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Using Time Management Applications to Manage Resource Constraints and Changes

Managers need to plan, allocate and handle all resources effectively and productively for a project to be successful. The cost and availability of resources, the scope of the tasks and the time available to complete these tasks are all factors that have an impact on the quality of the project. Any change in these factors has a domino effect that can delay the project and increase costs. Efficient management of resources in the face of constraints is imperative. Resource management software comes with time management applications that equip managers with the necessary tools to competently prioritize tasks and resources to ensure that the desired project outcome is achieved on time and within budget.

Resource Planning for Successful Project Management

Employees and time are the two most valuable resources for completing a project. Project managers have to ascertain that the right resources are available at the right time for all project-related tasks. Proper resource planning includes:

  • Identifying skills and resources needed for each task
  • Ensuring adequate resources with the required skillsets are available
  • Matching the right resource to the right task at the right time
  • Managing resources and time effectively so that all tasks are completed as per deadlines and budgets

What is Time Management?

The process of planning and assigning time to each activity on your to-do list is called time management. It essentially means working smarter to do more in less time. Effective time management leads to increased productivity. Completing a project on time and within budget is vital for its success. This is where efficient time management comes in. To do this, project managers must:

  • Break down the project into individual tasks
  • Prioritize these tasks according to their importance in completing the project
  • Create a workflow – some tasks may be dependent on others and need to be completed in a certain order
  • Assign resources and the time to be spent on each task
  • Monitor the progress of the project to ensure that tasks are completed within set timeframes
  • Revise timelines as per the changing needs and scope of the project

Resource planning and time management go hand-in-hand. Projects are dynamic and there may be constraints and changes in resource availability from time to time. Managers must think on their feet to make adjustments to resource allocations and to amend deadlines. Resource management software like eResource Scheduler is a great tool for managers to efficiently allocate and reallocate all resources including time. They will be able to accomplish more in the limited time available.

What are Resource Constraints?

Managers have limited resources, time and budgets to work with. They have to utilize them optimally. Despite forecasting and prior resource planning, there are bound to be times when things don’t go as per plan. Clients may change their brief or a resource may become unavailable – this would directly affect the time taken to complete the tasks. Any risk or roadblock related to using project resources is called a resource constraint. This can limit or restrict the use of the resources and have the potential of derailing your project from its set completion path. To keep the project progressing smoothly, managers have to be up to the challenge to cope with these limitations. 

Let’s take a look at the kind of constraints that may occur during the lifecycle of a project.

  1. Availability of resources: Matching the right person (or equipment) to the right task is essential for the task to be done efficiently. Checking if the right skills and expertise are available within the company is vital. As the project progresses, there may arise a need for more resources or a particular skill. 
  2. Scope of the project: This refers to what tasks need to be completed to reach the desired predetermined outcome. Project demands and expected outcomes may change if the client changes his brief midway through the project cycle. This would lead to a need for more resources to be assigned to the job.
  3. Time available: Projects have deadlines. Getting the right resources is as important as getting them at the right time. When resources are shared across teams and projects, sometimes pre-determined timelines may not be met. Project completion dates would get delayed.
  4. Budgets allocated: The costs of resources, equipment, etc must come out of a set project budget. The quality of resources employed depends on the budget available to the manager. Most resource constraints are affected by costs. 
How to Overcome the Challenges Faced in Managing Resource Constraints and Changes Using Time Management Applications?

Resource constraints are unavoidable, and managers must be prepared to face them through effective task and time management. Resource scheduling software like eResource Scheduler can help managers keep their projects on track, in terms of timeframes as well as budgets. Let’s take a look at how managers can use eResource Scheduler to handle resource constraints:

  1. Create a detailed work breakdown structure that lists all the activities that need to be completed to deliver the project. eResource Scheduler also allows managers to map out the timeline of each task that makes up the project.
  2. Check the resources available within the organization. Online Gantt charts help managers identify, allocate and schedule resources to match capacity. 
  3. Identify any gaps in skills and expertise. Skillsets of all resources are available on a common dashboard and managers can easily pinpoint the skills that resources need to acquire through training or recruitment.
  4. Allocate resources by matching the right resource to the right task at the right time. Managers can also prioritize tasks, add time for each task and assign team members to tasks using the scheduling tool of eResource Scheduler. 
  5. Use timesheets for time-tracking, i.e., know the difference between estimated time and actual time taken for each task. This helps managers shift resources around to meet the changing demands of the project.
  6. Use available data to set realistic timeframes and deadlines. eResource Scheduler generates real-time reports on resource availability and utilization that allow managers to monitor the progress of the project and amend timeframes accordingly.
  7. Resource utilization reports help managers keep track of how resources are being utilized to avoid over-burdening or under-utilizing any resource. 
  8. Run forecasting reports throughout your project lifecycle. This helps managers keep track of budgets and also helps them plan for future projects.

Projects can be delayed or even fail if resource constraints aren’t resolved on time. eResource Scheduler is one of the best time management applications in the industry. It helps managers plan their projects and also adjust them when the need arises. Book a free demo today.