According to a survey, 59% of project managers oversee 2 to 5 projects simultaneously.
It translates to the fact that project managers often have to run from pillar to post to schedule and manage multiple resources across diverse projects.
Undoubtedly, managing a project team always brings forward new challenges, such as lack of productive utilization, resource conflicts, shortage of resources, and more.
These challenges can have a negative effect on the project’s progress if not addressed proactively. Thus, it’s imperative for project managers to combat these challenges effectively for successful project delivery.
This article explains some effective strategies organizations can implement to manage resources across multiple projects. Let’s begin with some basics.
How does effective management of resources benefit businesses?
During the planning stage, project managers must estimate and request the right number and type of resources required in a project. Accordingly, resource managers can fulfill the requests by implementing suitable resourcing measures. Further, it helps them identify and assign competent and cost-effective global resources, thus reducing project resource costs.
Once the resources are deployed, the onus is on project managers to schedule and optimally utilize them to their potential. They can check the productivity of each resource through utilization and forecast vs. actual reports. In case of any discrepancy, they can adopt necessary measures to maintain the team’s performance levels.
Thus, the effective distribution of competent resources in projects helps maintain quality services and consistent delivery. Moreover, as the organization can deliver the project within time and budget, it increases client satisfaction and enhances brand reputation.
Having learned how beneficial effective management of resources is, now let us look at some effective strategies to manage them.
5 effective strategies to manage resources across multiple projects
With strategic resource management solutions, managers can balance resources between various projects and enhance workforce productivity.
Here’s how: –
Since every organization has a limited number of resources, managers must prioritize projects based on Return on investment (ROI) and profitability. This way, they can create a list of essential tasks where shared resources can be used.
This also helps the shared workforce to be optimally utilized as they can complete one task first and then move on to another. Further, the shared resource model enables resources to get involved more in billable and strategic initiatives, thereby enhancing productivity and profitability.
2. Identify and allocate competent resources uniformly across projects
Having the right employees for the right job is crucial as it will significantly affect project delivery. Additionally, cost-effective global resources can also be deployed to control the project costs. Therefore, managers need to identify competent resources and uniformly distribute them across the projects.
That way, they can ensure no resource is under or over-allocated against their available capacity. This will ease the workload for the resource and improve productivity levels.
3. Implement out-rotation & backfill strategy
Sometimes a resource with specialized expertise is required for a critical project. However, filling these positions becomes difficult when these resources are already booked on some other projects. At the same time, hiring a critical resource with the same levels of experience at the last minute could also be expensive.
In this case, the resource manager can implement our rotation and backfill strategy to help fulfill critical positions. They will look for projects on which they can out rotate the critical resource with a suitable backfill so that the current project does not come to a halt.
4. Provide multi-skill building opportunities to resource
The organization should provide multi-skill-building opportunities to employees as it promotes knowledge sharing and increases employability. For example, managers can implement various development programs, upskilling opportunities, on-the-job training, etc. This will help them develop skills, improve billability, and diversify their portfolio.
For instance- if there is a programmer in an organization with the primary skills of PHP, it will be challenging for the project manager to find a project relating to only a particular skill set. But if the resource is provided with a multi-skill building opportunity, then the resource can easily be assigned to multiple projects. This increases their billable utilization and also reduces the bench size.
5. Track & utilize resources productively across diverse projects
Tracking the performance of each resource diligently is required to streamline the workload. Regular tracking & monitoring will give managers comprehensive visibility of resource performance. And if they find that any employee is under/over-utilized, they can optimize their utilization levels by using various techniques.
For instance, if a resource is working on two or more projects and is over-utilized. Then, in this case, depending on the timeline of a project, managers can implement optimization techniques such as leveling and smoothing. These methods will help the workforce improve productivity across various projects. Furthermore, it ensures that the projects are completed on time.
How can dedicated resource management software help?
Saviom’s resource management software facilitates efficient allocation of resources by giving managers 360-degree visibility of all resources. It helps them find the best-suited resource with the right skills for diverse projects.
Moreover, the tool also helps managers understand how resources are utilized with heatmaps and forecasts vs. actual reports. Accordingly, they can implement optimization techniques such as resource leveling and smoothing to streamline workloads. It ensures that employees can work efficiently, so projects are completed on time and within budget.
Furthermore, using the resource management tool, managers can publish open positions and specify requirements for each position, such as skills, qualifications, and experience. Employees interested in the open positions can show their interest, and the best resource for the job will be assigned. When employees participate in projects that interest them, they are more engaged, increasing productivity.
Managing resources effectively helps in completing the project satisfactorily and maintaining business profitability. With the steps mentioned above and the right resource management tool, managers can easily manage the workforce across multiple projects. This will further help businesses enhance their work operations and boost productivity and profitability.