In general, project resources are defined as the people, capital, and material or supplies needed for successful management and completion of a project. So when you are about to begin a project you need to consider what resources are required for you and your team members to finish it successfully.
It’s always best to ask for the things you need at the beginning, rather than getting stuck halfway through and having to ask then for additional resources, because you haven’t planned out your project properly. In fact, overlooking important project resources may cause project issues and ultimately project failure.
There are three types of project resources that are considered essential for a project to be executed and completed on time and on budget.
Depending on the type and scale of the project, the project resources may vary, however, there are three major resources for project that every project manager needs to plan thoroughly in order to avoid further potential problems.
People (Work Resources)
No matter the size and complexity of the project, in order for the project tasks to be performed effectively, human resources are essential.
Also Read: How to Find the Right People For the Project
Human resources are considered to have the most complex requirements than the other two types of project resources. Therefore, project managers should plan in advance and identify potential people to become part of the project team by making sure they are available and skilled for the project in question.
Normally a project team is a group of people that is managed by a project manager. The team management part is often the hardest part of the project, especially if the manager hasn’t had to lead a team in the past.
Managing the project team’s time and workload can be tricky too, as, usually, most of the project team members don’t work solely on one project. They often have day jobs and may be involved in other projects at the same time.
If you, as a project manager, know what individuals you need for your project it could be a lot easier to do your resource planning, which should help you balance those peaks and troughs of availability in the team. Spend some time thinking through the different skill sets that you need and the kind of tasks that are required for the project, regardless of the project complexity and type.
Even at this early stage, you can still get a good idea of who needs to be involved. You’ll have to work out who is needed on the project at what times, based on your project schedule. You’ll need to bring in different types of subject matter experts at different times, and each one will have to know enough about the project’s objectives to get their part done successfully.
Capital (Cost Resources)
The second essential resource for successful project completion is – capital. As you know, all projects, regardless of their type, scale or complexity, need money.
The cost resources are used for many things related to the project, and don’t comprise only yours and your project team members’ salaries.. To be more precise, under the category of cost resources fall also all the tools and equipment that you and your team will be using during the project execution.
Generally, managing a budget for a particular project is one of the core skills that all project managers must have. As a project manager you need to be confident handling finances and costs so that every phase of the project goes smoothly.
One important aspect of this type of resource is for the project manager to talk to its project sponsors about their expectations for the money that are planned to be spent. It’s important that project sponsors have a realistic idea about how much the project will cost, and as a project manager you can help them do that once you have undertaken some of the planning.
If you don’t have enough finances for your project then you won’t be able to get everything done. It’s that simple: the budget funds the work and when it runs out the work has to stop. If they want the project to be completed successfully then it needs to be adequately funded.
You’ll need to know how much money you are spending because it helps you establish whether you are on track or not. Project management software like Schedule Reader will let you easily see what tasks have been completed so you can link that back to your spending and work out if you are progressing as planned.
Material Goods (Material resources)
Projects also use up material resources that include different materials, supplies and/or items that are part of the project. Assets, or goods, vary from project to project but it’s highly likely that your project will need some kind of tangible resource. It’s normally what you use the project budget to buy.
- Software licenses
- Hardware like technical infrastructure such as cabling or switches for the IT equipment
- Equipment or machinery (which you might hire for the life of the project or buy)
- Property (again, it might be something you hire for the project such as a temporary cabin on a building site).
Project managers can also make use of assets that the company already has although they may have to budget for borrowing them or schedule in the right time to use them so that they don’t clash with another project. An example might be a testing lab that is used for multiple projects and that you will need to book in advance in order not to coincide with other project teams using the resource.
This type of resource is particularly important to o be planned in advance because otherwise you can encounter huge problems for your project. For example, if for certain tasks you will be in need of particular software elements and you don’t manage to acquire them on time, they could take weeks to ship from the manufacturer and add considerable delay to your project.
All resources of project management process are important to get the project off the ground and successfully move it in the right direction. The more effort you put into thinking through these three types of project resources you will certainly need and start providing and requesting them far enough in advance to ensure that they are ready for you when you need them, the easier it will be for you to complete your project on time, on budget and to the required specifications.