Resource Allocation: Definition & Tips
Resource allocation sounds complex. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be. With a defined scope of work and understanding 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 is assigning your resources—time, people and tools—across various tasks in a project to work toward your deadlines.
Let’s 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, and we’ve put together a list of the top 8 tips that’ll help you keep your project organized and on track.
Top 8 resource allocation tips for managers
To help you understand how to allocate resources efficiently, we’ve put together a list of the top 8 tips for project managers to keep projects organized and on track.
1. Get to know your resources
It’s helpful to understand the constraints of your team or agency before you scope a project. How many people do you have on your team? What tools do you have at your fingertips? Answering these questions will help you create a realistic scope and assign the right resources to the project.
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. 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.
4. 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. Review estimated time vs. actual time. If things are out of whack, reallocate your resources.
5. Use tools to make allocating resources easier
Keeping track of your resources can be hard. Project and resource management software helps you stay organized, creates transparency, and protects your team from overload.
6. Check in with your resources
Stick with good communication habits with your team once the work starts. Ask them how the workload feels and if they have any blockers preventing them from doing their best work quicker. Remember, your team’s on the front lines, and they can have great ideas to create efficiency.
7. 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?
8. Learn from every project
At the end of every project, do an in-depth analysis of the original project plan vs. the actual project lifecycle. Look at your task creation, hourly estimation, resource allocation, and ability to meet deadlines. What went well? And what didn’t go so well? Take your learnings, and apply them to your next project. Soon enough, you’ll be a resource allocation Jedi.
Keep your team and clients happy with TeamGantt
With TeamGantt, you can allocate and manage resources quickly and easily. Ensure your team has just the right balance of work, and wow clients with your knack for meeting deadlines every time.