Resource Planning is crucial for any organization to be able to operate efficiently. This is also very challenging when there are multiple projects, teams, and tasks. Here at Techno-pm, we have resource plans based on Excel, which can help in resource planning, including allocation, overutilization, underutilization.
What is Resource Management?
Resource management entails using all of the resources at the PM's disposal in the most effective way possible. These resources may be machines, human resources (HR), or financial resources. While managing multiple projects, the PM (or PMs) must consider the other projects' needs while allocating any of these resources to their project/s.
The goal is to efficiently allocate all of the resources to as close as 100% as possible while considering the other projects' needs and priorities. Other factors that need to be considered while managing multiple projects are the HR's skills and experience and the environment in which each project will occur (different cultures, goals, and management styles).
Best Practices when Managing Resources for Multiple Projects
- Prepare an HLP (High-Level Plan), which will take into consideration the multiple plans. This will allow the PM’s to see which similar tasks are planned to occur in parallel and are planning to use the same resources (which may lead to over-allocating).
- Break the HLP down into a detailed plan, and allocate resources to each task with the required work percentage. Then aggregate the percentages of each resource across all of the project plans.
- If any resource is overallocated, leveling the resources may be required. This often results in postponing the end date of the project. The alternative is to hire an extra workforce for the critical positions, but this will require added funds.
- Consider allocating general HR to the tasks across the multiple projects and not allocating particular names. For example, Allocate “SW Engineer” and not “Marcy Bartholomew” to a task. Once all of the resources are aggregated, this will result in the required FTE (Full Time Equivalent) list. This list can also help in forecasting the required workforce and needed recruitment of the company.
- Once all of the HR has been allocated with their percentages, getting their input is crucial for its success. This will achieve two main objectives: First, the percentage will be more accurate if whoever is planned to perform it gives their input, and second, this will heighten their accountability to completing the task on time.
- Consider appointing one HR from each team who will have the added responsibility of training the other team members in any innovations in their field. This will have the added benefit of improving everyone's skill set, thus allowing the PM to transfer any of the team members from one project to another. The mobility will grant the PM more flexibility and increase the efficiency of the projects.
Excel Resource Management Templates
- Simple Plan - Simple excel based plan for tracking day to day allocations for resources. Download Simple Excel Resource Plan.
- Advanced Plan - Includes tracking over-allocation and underutilization. Use this plan to track over and underutilization.
- Matrix - Simple excel resource matrix template for mapping resources, projects, and gaps. Plan in matrix style with this excel template.
- Team - When you have a team, you must manage their allocation and time spent. This template allows planning resources for multiple projects for up to 60 days.
- Monthly Team Calendar - This template is for planning monthly team capacity. This template is handy as it plans resources in a calendar format.
- Capacity - Planning capacity is part of resource planning. Use the traditional capacity planner and agile sprint-based capacity planner, both build in excel.
Whatever the tool used, it is a perfect practice to document a detailed resource management plan with allocations, skills, costs, and checklists and get a sign off from your key stakeholders so that everyone is on the same page.
Simple Team Resource Utilization Template
Team Resource Utilization Template Free Download
How to use the Resource Utilization Template -
- There are two columns - P and A. P stands for a plan for each day, which the planned hours, and A stands for Actual which actual hours.
- To start using the template, simply add the resources on the top in the Planned work, and the Unplanned work sections are simultaneous.
- Plan the allocations for the entire month by entering the hours that you think the resources will work on the projects.
- Daily, update the actual.
- You will see the utilization % for projects and total team utilization at the bottom of the sheet, which utilizes the entire team.