< More articles

What is Resource Allocation? A Step-by-Step Guide

share

Introduction: 

Resource allocation is a pretty straightforward term. 

It is about the optimal utilization of your company’s assets in a way that yields maximum returns while minimizing resource wastage. 

Resources vary from business to business. Let us keep it specific to project management in IT services as this article revolves around both these elements. 

Here, primary resources are people and the software they use. 

That’s quite simple, isn’t it?

What is resource allocation?

Resource allocation is collectively utilizing the right tools, capital, and people to execute and complete projects successfully. 

Part of resource allocation is identifying the availability of your resources and scheduling them to concur with your project timeline. 

resource allocation

What is resource allocation in project management? 

Resource allocation in project management refers to the process of systematically assigning and scheduling so that under or overutilization of resources does not happen.  

Projects will always need resources. However, these are often scarce, and it is the responsibility of project managers to allocate resources to various activities for a specific period. 

“Resources are best utilized through the best tool. Subscribe to ProofHub NOW!”

Why is the allocation of resources important? 

There are strong reasons why resource allocation is a top priority among businesses of every size and scale. 

Poor allocation of resources will have an adverse impact on the overall performance of any project. 

Without effective resource allocation, projects can quickly lose track, experience poor quality, and, worse, a potential employee burnout due to excessive stress and overload of work. 

On the other hand, intelligent resource allocation saves valuable time and money, improves productivity and quality of work, boosts employee morale, and helps in identifying and eliminating potential risks beforehand. 

What are the benefits of resource allocation? 

Resource allocation can prove beneficial in multiple ways as resources are optimally utilized. 

Let us dig deeper and explore some crucial benefits you cannot overlook. 

  • Employee retention

Each month in the US, 3 to 4.5 million employees quit their job. 

These statistics underscore the importance of retaining your best talent for as long as possible. 

Effective resource allocation can drive better employee satisfaction and retention due to balanced workload management. Optimal resource allocation also means that the right people are working on the right tasks, as per their skills, interests, and capability. 

  • Helps with planning 

Resource allocation helps project managers with strategic planning. 

You don’t need to overspend on resources that are not required. You can arrange resources according to your project requirements. Such planning ensures you don’t run out of resources halfway through the project.  

  • Improves transparency 

Resource allocation leads to improved transparency within the team as every team member stays in the loop regarding recent activities within the project. Everyone gets timely updates on tasks’ statuses, events, and milestones. 

Employees know who’s supposed to work on what tasks and their deadlines. They can also track the progress of their tasks to ensure there are no bottlenecks. 

Improves transparency 

  • Better time management 

Resource allocation helps project managers in precisely tracking how much time each team member is spending to complete tasks or projects. 

Sometimes, employees can run out of actual working hours, which can mean a loss of productivity for businesses. 

Accurate time tracking helps managers set time estimates for different tasks that give a clear timeframe to employees to complete a particular task. 

What are the challenges of resource allocation? 

If you want to taste victory, you’ve got to go through a path of thorns. 

Yes. Resource allocation has many benefits, but you have to overcome challenges first. 

Relax. There’s a solution to every problem, and we have mentioned how to do that! 

Let’s get on with it. 

Challenge#1. Change in project scope

Although the project scope is predetermined, there are chances of scope creep due to unexpected alterations without any control procedure. For example, new requests from clients, sudden unavailability of resources, resource scarcity due to market fluctuations, extensive tasks, etc. 

Change in project scope affects resource allocation, and project managers have to re-assign resources considering fresh requirements in mind. 

>>How ProofHub Helps Project Managers Tackle This Resource Allocation Challenge  

ProofHub offers Gantt Charts and Discussions. Both these features can help project managers to manage sudden and unexpected changes in project scope without any hassles. 

For project managers, it’s a lot easier to alleviate scope creep when you have a clear plan from the onset. Yes, plans can change, but you can refer to the original plan as your baseline will help you put your case forward for more time or budget. 

A Gantt chart serves as a great visual tool to plan and schedule your tasks and monitor the scope as you progress through. The ProofHub baseline feature will enable project managers to assess whether the project is on the track and how far it has deviated from the initial baseline set. 

Discussions is another ProofHub feature that project managers can use to bring all their discussions with clients, stakeholders, and teams to one place. You can quickly refer to these discussions, scope, and plans whenever a scope creep happens. These discussions can help you show to others the original project plan that was agreed upon. 

Challenge#2. Unavailability of resources

There’s always a possibility that some of your resources become unavailable at different stages of the project. A team member might fall ill suddenly or they have other urgent tasks to do that makes them unavailable for work you assigned to them. 

The availability of human resources changes over a period of time as the project progresses. What matters is how quickly you respond to this situation. 

>>How ProofHub Helps Project Managers Tackle This Resource Allocation Challenge 

When facing the unavailability of resources, project managers can use ProofHub to track their team members’ activities. They can see an individual’s activities, assignments, and projects all in one place through the “profile view”. 

If there’s a team member who has just finished a task, project managers can replace the unavailable resource with this person. Project managers can look at task dependencies and assess how the unavailability of resources can impact other tasks’ completion and delivery. 

Challenge#3. Unexpected delays

Delays in the completion of tasks and projects can happen when you least expect them to. Absenteeism, miscommunication, unclear task allocation, deadlines, etc, are some reasons why your project may suddenly get a snag. You cannot have control over every factor.  

>>How ProofHub Helps Project Managers Tackle This Resource Allocation Challenge

With its task management feature, project managers can avoid vagueness surrounding job responsibilities. You can create tasks and subtasks, allocate them to individuals and groups, set deadlines, and monitor their progress at every stage. 

Task management ensures clear distribution of job responsibilities in one place as every team member knows what tasks have been assigned to them along with deadlines. Proper task allocation improves job accountability and transparency within your team as everything is clearly defined in a single place. 

Challenge#4. Use of outdated tools 

Are you using tools for the sake of it? We hope not, but if you are then you need to discard them as early as possible! Using outdated tools with fewer features can hamper your team’s productivity as they are unable to achieve the desired efficiency due to limited functionality. 

If your obsolete resource allocation tool is missing critical features, like time tracking, chat, kanban boards, online proofing, etc, then it’s as good as dead! 

“To be the best, you have to use the BEST. Book your demo!”

>>How ProofHub Helps Project Managers Tackle This Resource Allocation Challenge

ProofHub is an all-in-one work management and team collaboration software that enables project managers to have greater control over their resources and projects. A comprehensive suite of features in a single location makes ProofHub one of the most advanced tools available today

Task management, Instant chat, Real-time updates, Gantt chart, Kanban boards, Time tracking, Reporting, Online proofing, and Scheduling calendar are some of the most useful features that ProofHub offers to project managers and teams. 

ProofHub has a simple learning curve and an intuitive interface, which makes it easy for new users to navigate through without any difficulty. 

You can access the tool from any device through the desktop app or mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. 

Challenge#5. Miscommunication  

28% of employees cite poor communication as the reason for not being able to deliver work on time. Miscommunications can happen in any team, especially when you are not using the right communication tools. As a result, important information can fall through the cracks, which can lead to a multitude of problems – delayed tasks, wrong execution, team conflicts, missed deadlines, and whatnot. 

>>How ProofHub Helps Project Managers Tackle This Resource Allocation Challenge

ProofHub helps project managers in improving team collaboration with widely dispersed team members through smart communication tools

Instant chat: Share quick messages on the go with others, use emojis, attach files, and add images to make your conversations expressive and descriptive. 

Discussions: Say goodbye to long email threads and create discussion topics and bring all your teams and client discussions at one place. 

@mentions: @mention people’s names and catch their immediate attention to loop them in chat, discussions, or comments. 

Announcements: Share project-specific (policies, achievements, etc.) or other information (work anniversaries, birthdays, etc.) across the team through a dedicated space for announcements. 

Real-time updates: Real-time updates ensure that every team member is notified of all the activities taking place in your account through real-time in-app, desktop, email, and mobile notifications.

These communication tools enable project managers to share and exchange quick information with other team members without unnecessary delays. Since all communication tools are in a single place, team members do not need to switch various tools for communication. 

How do you allocate resources in a project? 

Project managers have to be careful when assigning resources to tasks and projects.

What is the best way to allocate resources to a project? 

We have listed a few proven steps that can help you with efficient and strategic resource allocation to tasks and projects. 

Read on to know more about it. 

  • Map out new projects in advance

You cannot allocate resources efficiently if you do not have a clear understanding of what tasks are required to complete a project. That’s why mapping out new projects in advance is crucial to make decision-making easier. 

Find relevant answers to the following questions: 

  • What tasks are needed?
  • What is the deadline for the project?
  • When is each task due?
  • What skills are required to complete the tasks and which members of the team have matching skills?
  • When are resources available (and unavailable)?
  • Which tasks are interdependent?
  • Which skills are missing due to lack of knowledge or unavailability?

Knowing about to-do tasks and the availability of human resources beforehand can help managers plan accordingly. They can hire additional resources, estimate project timelines, and identify (and remove) potential bottlenecks. 

  • Divide your project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks

Once you’ve identified and determined the requirements for the project (skills, number of resources, budget, timeline, objectives, etc.), divide your project into smaller, manageable tasks and subtasks. 

Creating a workflow for your project will help you narrow down the resources required for each task. Project managers can use Kanban boards to divide workflow into different stages to improve their work process effortlessly. 

  • Assess the abilities of your resources

Project managers should know about their team’s availability before starting the project. It is crucial to the project’s success. It is likely that your business is managing multiple projects simultaneously. 

There are times when you find your skilled resources unavailable owing to reasons like sick leave, resignation, time off, public holidays, etc. Using spreadsheets to manage resources in this digital age makes it difficult to have a clear view of your resources’ availability. 

Using efficient work management and team collaboration tool can give you a Bird’s eye view of your team’s schedule and availability.    

  • Assign tasks and get feedback from team members 

Once you’ve determined your team’s availability, use a top-rated task management tool to assign tasks to individuals and groups, label them according to priority, set deadlines, and track their progress. 

Wait. It’s not done yet. As a project manager, it is your responsibility to make your team members understand their job responsibilities, task dependencies, and deadlines. In other words, your team members should own their work. 

Also, encourage your team to give feedback regarding tasks and projects. It will help you have a clear idea of whether your team is in sync with their job roles or not. 

  • Track and monitor resource usage

Project managers can’t afford to relax once they have allocated resources to tasks. You have to constantly monitor the performance of all your resources. You cannot leave resources unchecked as there is a possibility of procrastination creeping in them, which can delay tasks, and subsequently projects. 

That doesn’t mean you should micromanage either! One efficient and reliable way of tracking your resources (without checking in too often) is by using a good project management tool with a wide range of tools. 

You can use the tool to track time, workload, and the current stage of tasks. You can bring all your team members on a single platform for improved coordination of tasks. 

Conclusion 

Project managers, it’s how you manage your resources that determine your project’s success or failure. 

You manage them smartly and you will get the desired results, like successful project deliveries, increased organizational revenue, and a team of confident and motivated individuals. 

Now, that’s some serious gain! 

With the best tools and right resource allocation techniques in place, you can achieve set project goals in the most efficient manner possible. 

Good luck! 

FAQs

What is resource allocation in management?

Resource allocation in management refers to assigning the right people to the right tasks to achieve maximum efficiency.

Who is involved in resource allocation?

Generally, project managers are responsible for resource allocation. They identify resources and allocate them to tasks on the basis of their skills.

What is the purpose of resource allocation?

The purpose of resource allocation is to schedule resources in advance and provide an insight into the project team's progress.

What are the types of resource allocation?

Strategy implementation deals with two types of resource allocation - one-time resource allocation and continuous resource allocation

What are the principles of resource allocation?

Principles of resource allocation are: Resources are usually people Having a Bird’s eye view of all projects and resources is the key Good collaboration is the key to increased productivity

 

 Vartika Kashyap
Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap is the Chief Marketing Officer at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2018. Her articles are inspired by office situations and work-related events. She likes to write about productivity, team building, work culture, leadership, entrepreneurship among others and contributing to a better workplace is what makes her click.


So, let’s start delivering projects!

  • No installation
  • No credit card
  • No chaos