What is Resource Management?

Manage Resources Effectively to Make Your Business Run Like Clockwork

Any project needs the right resources in the right place at the right time in order to succeed. Resource management is about making it happen.

In a recent edition of the TV series Masterchef, semi finalist Alex was under pressure, working a lunch shift in a high-end restaurant in the West End. “Alex, I need ten moreBattuta on the pass now, how long?” bellowed Chef Patron Francesco Mazzei. “Err, it will be a while, chef, I didn’t prep enough so I need to do some more,” was Alex’s sheepish reply.

It is the stuff that nightmares are made of, and is a classic, and very public, example of what can go wrong if resource management is not properly taken care of.

In Alex’s case, resource manager tools might have been able to tell her that with two Battuta to a plate and a likely 30 portions to serve, preparing 25 ready for cooking was always going to end in disaster. But for other businesses, the questions that need to be answered in order to implement a successful resource management strategy can run a little deeper.

Plan to Succeed

Evidently something had gone very wrong at the planning stage when Alex was preparing her Battuta. At the very least, she needed 60 prepped and ready to cook.

In any resource management process, sketching out a basic plan is the first step on the road to success and to ensuring you don’t end up “35 Battuta short.” Cover the following points:

  1. What are the total resources you need to complete the project? That means materials, people, equipment, administrative resources, everything. Don’t rush this step, and go over it several times. Chances are, you will keep thinking of components you had forgotten, and the more accurate it is the better.
  2. When do you need each resource and for how long?
  3. How much of each resource will be needed?

With these basics sketched out, what assumptions are you making? Are there some “guesstimates” as to resource needs? Are you assuming that a particular team or skillset will be available, when it might actually be diverted to another project? The idea here is to pre-empt those elephant traps that might send your project off schedule and over budget later down the line.

Manage your resources

So much for the plan. But resource management isn’t just about getting all the resources in place, drawing up a schedule then handing the whole lot over to the Project Management team to execute.

Let’s look at Alex and her Battuta again. Better resource planning would have seen 60 prepped and ready. But good resource management would have noticed if there were more orders coming in than expected, or if some of the prepped items were being damaged, or going to waste in some other way.

Successful resource management is a proactive task that continues throughout the life of a project. That means a constant process of managing schedules, monitoring progress, reviewing those allocations from the planning stage and making constant adjustments and improvements.

Get those right, and all the aspects come together like the ingredients of the perfect meal at your favourite restaurant. Just don’t order the Battuta.