Using Resources in Projects
Many men, many minds. While some companies prefer careful resource planning in accordance with the project tasks, others choose not to tie resources to their projects. This essay discusses the positive and negative sides of not tying resources to the corporation’s projects and argues in favor of resource scheduling.
The managers who prefer not to tie the resources to ongoing projects may see some benefits in this, such as flexibility. For instance, when the business entity conducts more than one project at the same time, it is essential that some skilled employees are available to stick from one to another project, where their help is the most needed. Thus, hiring an additional professional would cost more to the company than switching the same person from one project to another without concrete allocation of this professional to one project. On the other hand, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to calculate the exact need of the quantity and quality of the resources for the project. Therefore, the manager, who has not assigned the resources beforehand, has a unique opportunity to choose people, equipment, facilities and funding possibilities just in sound with the changes in project’s timelines, scope and direction. Another reason for not tying the resources to projects is the concept of so-called “missed opportunities”. For example, sometimes the changes in economy and finance occur, thus, even being involved in ongoing project, it is more efficient to slow down the project and make an investment in another business, in order to gain higher interest.
On the other hand, in project management resources are required to accomplish the project tasks. Therefore, the lack of the resources limits the project activities and may decrease the success of the outcome. In this case, it is significant that resource planning is in charge of professional operation managers. Allocation of limited resources should be done according to the idea of activities’ priority, which can be calculated using the critical path method and heuristic analysis. The method proposes the maximum use of the minimum resources within the shortest period. Thus, the careful planning and scheduling of the resources, that is, in other words, tying the resources to the project, may provide the greatest results excluding the problems with lack of resources. Moreover, when certain resources are assigned to the project tasks, the manager is able to calculate the costs of the project, the time needed to achieve the plan, the possible revenues and income, thus he is more confident in positive outcome.
To conclude it is important to mention that tastes differ and every manager chooses the way to organize his business according to his own likes and strategies, either planning carefully or leaving resources untied to projects. Nonetheless, the positive hints as flexibility and potential to maximize profitability when resources are not tied to project, in many cases, do not outweigh the risks. That is why careful planning and allocation of resources is probably the most widely used technique in project management, yet it requires a solid knowledge and practical experience in operational management and finance.
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