This blog was updated on July 1, 2020.
This is How It Always Goes
It’s 3:00 pm on a Friday when your most important client calls with an urgent request that your firm must absolutely complete by morning. It won’t be easy. There’s just too much you cannot see.
And you can’t be expected to predict the future, right? You can’t know exactly how much extra to bill the client for last-minute work, or precisely how many extra hours to request from your client to complete a project, or whether your best worker is available for the next six months.
In fact, you can easily know all of those things, and it’s easy to do but you’ll need the right tool for the job. That’s where resource allocation helps you save time, trouble, and money.
What Resource Allocation Does
Resource allocation is when you look at the resources, staff, and time that you have, and plan your projects based on when those resources are available. It’s simple. If you know exactly what you have today, you can make reliable plans for tomorrow, or for weeks to come.
That’s why so many people use resource allocation to make their jobs easier. No matter the size of the firm, a lot of project managers depend on resource allocation software to quickly and easily answer questions like:
- Who is available, right now, to take on some work for a project?
- Does a project need additional staffers to meet a client’s deadline?
- Has your project exceeded your budget?
- Will you go over your budget before the deadline arrives?
- How many staff hours should you allocate to complete a project on time?
Why You Want Resource Allocation
Know your business better. When you let the software do the resource allocation for you, then your entire firm can instead focus on hard work. No more over-complicated spreadsheets, no more educated guesses and no more doubting yourself.
When your firm uses resource allocation software to manage projects, you’ll notice some changes around the office:
- Project Managers are more organized and better prepared to respond to unexpected changes. They’re now able to see every detail of each project. No more scrambling to find out who’s available. No more living in the dark. No more simple mistakes.
- Consultants are more engaged in their work. They know you can easily see who is available to work, as well as how much time and money is being spent on a project, and what each worker is contributing.
- Clients see an indirect payoff in all the work you’re doing behind the scenes, since they’ll see you meeting your deadlines, and you’ll have the power to accurately answer their questions in real-time.
When You Should Do Resource Allocation
It’s not enough to know what resource allocation is. To be successful, a project manager must also know when to use a resource allocation tool, and when to depend on a different management strategy.
Here are some situations when it makes a lot of sense to use resource allocation software for project management:
- Communicating with Your Client: A client calls you to make major changes to their existing project. However, your software tells you the client will exceed her budget by 50 billable hours. Working together, the two of you can find a reasonable solution that’s within budget.
- Avoid Invoice Surprises: You notice that you’ve budgeted 300 hours for a six-month project, but after the first month, your staff has already worked 200 hours. Get in touch with your client to talk about how to budget the remaining hours.
- Organizing Your Staff: Your star designer has an emergency, and you need to find out who is available and can take on 12 hours of work. Your resource allocation tool shows you who’s available, and lets you rearrange all of your firm’s projects, even if the projects are ongoing.
So while you’re busy saving the day with your resource allocation tool, you can also be as cost-efficient as possible. That’s because resource allocation is made to help you do the best project management you can, no matter the challenge.
If you think that a resource allocation tool could help you and your firm, please contact us to request a demo of BigTime, our top-rated project management software.
About the Author
Former Digital Marketing SpecialistSee more by Matthew Corey