Resource Allocation: Definition & Tips
Resource allocation may sound complex. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be!
With a defined scope of work, a documented plan, and a clear picture of available resources, you have all the ingredients you need to start allocating resources effectively.
What is resource allocation, and how does it work?
Resource allocation simply means assigning your resources—time, people and tools—across various tasks in a project to work toward your deadlines.
Imagine you’re managing a content creation project. You need to know who’s available (resources) to do the writing, editing, and design work (tasks) required to get the job done on time and budget. That’s resource allocation in a nutshell.
Sounds simple, right? Well, there is indeed an art to resource allocation. Let’s take a look at some simple ways you can manage project allocation more efficiently.
Top 9 resource allocation tips for project managers
We’ve put together a quick list of workload management tips that’ll help you keep your project organized and on track. That way you can allocate resources across projects without overextending your team.
1. Get to know your resources
It’s helpful to understand the needs and constraints of your team or agency before you scope a project. Here are some resource considerations to keep in mind as you plan your project:
- How many people do you have on your team?
- Will your team work on a single project at a time or juggle multiple projects simultaneously?
- Does the project require any additional tools or equipment?
- What kind of space does your team need to work effectively?
Answering these questions will help you create a realistic scope and ensure your team has the resources available to get the job done.
2. Follow the scope
Once you have a scope of work, read it carefully. Make sure you fully understand the deliverables and timeframe. With those key facts, you can figure out how many people you need to assign to the project and if there are any potential blockers to meeting deadlines.
3. Map out a plan
Most teams don’t have the luxury of focusing on a single project at a time. That’s why it’s critical to have a plan for every project you undertake.
Documenting project schedules and assignments in a big-picture plan means you always know exactly what your team is working on when. This makes it easier to assign deadlines that are reasonable and realistic and advocate for more time or resources when needed.
4. Resist the urge to overallocate
With simple resource management software, you can view your team’s workload across multiple projects. If you know that your go-to designer is assigned to over a dozen tasks the same week that you need to deliver mockups to a client, you’d probably find another designer with more availability.
It’s easy to assume that your team will figure out a way to get everything done. But you risk burning people out and impacting the quality of the end product with that approach.
In TeamGantt, you can check team availability right from your gantt chart so it’s easy to see who has the bandwidth to take on new work as you build your project plan.
Watch the video below to see how one project manager handles workload management in TeamGantt.
5. Track and manage time
Estimate how long it will take to complete each task at the beginning of the project. Hourly estimating will help you put parameters around abstract tasks and allocate your resources appropriately.
Ask your team to track their time, and monitor progress to see how estimated hours stack up against tracked hours. If things are out of whack, reallocate your resources to ensure your team can still hit the final deadline on time.
6. Use tools to make workload management easier
Balancing resources across multiple projects can be difficult and overwhelming. TeamGantt brings resource management into your gantt chart so you can keep track of project schedules and team workloads in a single tool. This saves time and stress by helping you stay organized, while also creating transparency and protecting your team from overload.
To get the most out of TeamGantt’s workloads feature, give every task in your projects an hourly estimate. This enables you to view workloads by hours assigned for a more accurate picture of availability. That way you can make smart resourcing decisions for all your projects and ensure your team is busy but not bogged down.
7. Check in with your team along the way
Stick with good communication habits with your team once the work starts. Ask them how the workload feels and if any blockers are preventing them from doing their best work quickly. Remember, your team’s on the front lines, and they can have great ideas to create efficiency.
8. Schedule a regular time to review your project plan
Maybe you’re rolling through your project and things are moving fast, or you’re stumbling along and missing deadlines left and right. These are two clear signs that it’s time for a thorough review of your project plan.
Is it possible for your team to shorten the timeline? Or do you need to add more resources to meet your deadlines?
No plan is set in stone, and change will pop up in just about every project. That’s why it’s important to check in on your plan regularly to ensure your team is still on track for project success.
9. Learn from every project
At the end of every project, conduct a project post-mortem to assess how your project actually went. Look at your task creation, hourly estimation, resource allocation, and ability to meet deadlines. What went well? And what didn’t go so well?
In TeamGantt, you can use baselines to compare your original project plan vs. the actual project lifecycle. Look for areas where your project slipped, as well as tasks that finished ahead of schedule. This will tell you where there’s room to adjust task timing or resource allocation next time around.
Watch the video below to see how baselines work in TeamGantt.
Manage workloads easily in TeamGantt
With TeamGantt, you can allocate and manage resources quickly and easily, plus keep track of how progress is stacking up against project estimates.
Ensure your team has just the right balance of work, and wow clients with your knack for meeting deadlines every time.