IT Resource Management : 13 Must See Tips

Information Technology or IT Resource Management has its own challenges and problems. With a lot of companies focusing on optimizing resources the resource management function has become a core activity. In this article I have listed a few practices than can help a resource manager manage the resources effectively.

IT Resource Management
IT Resource Management

#1 : Maintain a resource plan

  • Always maintain a resource plan. 
  • It does not mater which resource management tool you use it is important that a resource manager always has access to latest resource allocations. 
  • You may use a Simple Resource Plan, Resource Matrix or Advanced Resource Plan.
  • The resource plan is like a contract between everyone so the plan should be up to date.
  • Use a resource plan which supports multiple projects. You may also consider using Capacity Planner.

#2 : Have dedicated resource manager 

  • This is very effective if you have a large team of resources or software developers. 
  • The resource manager will be responsible for updating the resourcing plans and will be the single point of contact for resource allocations. 
  • The resource manager should track only the resource loading. How the resources utilized in a project is a project manager's responsibility.

#3: Regularly update. review and publish resource plans

  • It is important to update the resource plan regularly. 
  • I will recommend that you update the plan at least once a week. 
  • Review the plan with team managers and project managers at least once in two weeks.
  • Publish the resource plan to everyone including the team on regular basis.

#4 : Leave enough room for other day to day activities

  • Anyone working in a software or IT company has to spend time on other tasks like meetings, performance reviews, training and other such day to day routine tasks.
  • It is important that a resource manager leaves room for such activities and so does the project manager.
  • This can be achieved by reducing the resource availability for everyone by certain %.
  • The % of time spent on such tasks will very from organisation to organisation. 
  • By looking at the time sheet data for resources you will be able to get an approximate idea about the time resources spend on other activities.

#5: Maintain a resource leave and public holiday register 

  • It is vital for a resource manager to know who is on leave and for how much time. 
  • Without knowing the leave plan allocating resources is very dangerous as the project managers will assume the resources are available and plan the project.

#6 : Enforce additional leave approval policies 

  • Implement policies outside normal HR Policies. 
  • For example 1 day leave needs to approved one week in advance, one week should be notified one month in advance and anything more than that a quarter in advance. 
  • This will allow the resource manager to plan accordingly. 
  • Always insist on a backup being identified for the resource going on leave.

#7 : Automate and track resource time sheets

  • It is important to know here your resources are spending time.
  • There are quite a few systems which allow you track time. One of them is JIRA.
  • Having the ability to track time allows a resource manager to compare actual vs planned.

#8 : Demand to see project plans and track project progress

  • After a resource manager assigns resources to a project it is the project managers responsibility to make sure the software resources are utilized.
  • But it is important that a resource manger knows when the project will start and complete so that he can plan next assignments for the resources.
  • Also, knowing the project plan helps in understanding how much work load each resource has.
  • The resource manager may also be able to identify opportunities where resources can be shared across projects.
  • Check how your project managers can plan project resources effectively.

# 9 : Actively track resource cost 

  • Depending on the resource pool different resources will have different costs.
  • It is up to the resource manager to actively track resource costs and inform the project managers of any cost changes to the resources.
  • Also, track that the resource are billable on the right project. It is very easy for a resource to get distracted on non-billable tasks.
  • You may consider using Excel Budget Template for resource cost tracking.

#10 : Automate resource requests

  • It is helpful in tracking and maintaining audit log when resources are requested.
  • It also allows the resource manager to ask for any additional information required as most of the system allow customization.
  • It is easier to enforce standards when requests are automated.

#11 : Have a resource approval hierarchy

  • Always have a approval hierarchy to make sure that you are making the right decisions. 
  • In some organisations the resources are jointly owned and having approval hierarchy gives an opportunity to validate the resource requests.
  • Senior managers in the approval hierarchy can also validate the alignment of the resource requests with the organisations priorities.

#12 : Plan forward for long term and be conscious of upcoming projects 

  • Always try to plan forward and keep your resource plans updated for at least one quarter in advance.
  • Also, keep a track of the new upcoming projects to find out what kind of resources will be needed.
  • In the software development world is always possible to predict the projects. 
  • Also, a good pratice is to keep fixed number of resources as buffer.

#13 : Keep buffer for on-boarding and training

  • When a new resource is on-boarded it takes a while for the resource to start getting productive.
  • Make sure that the project manager leaves buffer for the boarding and training activity in the project plan,
  • Some buffer is needed to be maintained when a new resource from a different project joins. 
  • Most of the software or IT Projects get delayed or change plans. So having this buffer is always a good idea.

Swapnil Wale

Written by

Swapnil Wale is an IT Professional based in Sydney, Australia with over 10 years of experience in technology and project management. He is a passionate blogger and focuses on project management and BRMS articles.


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