Common Resource Management Problems
Even though resource management is a crucial part of many organizations, companies often struggle to achieve successful resource management. While no two organizations are the same, some of the most common issues that arise with resource management include:
- Few people (or sometimes no one) have a clear overview of all employees’ qualifications and skills. If you, the resource manager, aren’t completely sure what qualifications and skills your employees have, then it is even more difficult to allocate the right people to the right projects in a sensible and efficient way.
- Because there isn’t enough transparency about workload and capacities, the resource manager or the Project Management Office (PMO) often plans with inaccurate capacities, leading to overallocations.
- Everyone, including executives, department managers, and project leaders, wants the best employees assigned to their project or to what they consider the highest priority project. This creates the potential for conflict, especially in smaller companies, where resource management takes place directly at the individual level. Project managers and employees have to learn how the resource manager decides who is working on which project. In large companies, there is less potential for conflict because the resource managers usually plan based on roles and the project leaders are solely responsible for the staffing.
- Key resources or high-demand employees often create a bottleneck. They are often assigned to several tasks and projects at the same time and are chronically overallocated, while other employees have ample capacity.
- Employees are constantly switching between projects. This leads to delays and a noticeable reduction in quality and productivity (Source: Harvard Business Review).
Although these problems are common, they’re not easy to fix. So, how does a resource manager overcome these challenges and successfully plan resources?