Without the right resources, a project can’t be a success and your project management office (PMO) need to facilitate accurate resource scheduling. Creating a process around the five steps of project resource scheduling will help ensure all the projects under your office are a success. 

There are a range of resources that need to be taken into account when putting together the resource plan for an project. Project managers will generally be the ones to complete the task, but there is a lot of scope for your PMO to support the processes and provide data. 

To help you understand the process you need to have in place and how your office can support resource scheduling, we’re going to look at:

  • The information needed to create a project resource schedule
  • How to understand what the project needs and what it has
  • Using the information generated into the future

So you can ensure the right information is on hand when a project is in the planning stages. 

1. List the project activities

Listing out the project activities is a vital task for project planning in general. When the overall project plan and schedule were created, the project manager will already have created a list of project activities. 

The same list of activities can be used at this stage of resource scheduling. Your PMO can ensure the creation of the project activities list can be used for both project and resource schedules. This means you can ensure that time estimates and skills requirements are included, for example. 

2. Assess resource capabilities and constraints

With a list of the tasks to be completed,the next step is to understand what the project does and doesn’t have and what the capacity challenges could be. Some considerations here include:

  • What skills are needed and is there any training or recruitment that’s needed?
  • How easy is it to increase cloud storage capacity during the project? 
  • Can suppliers fulfil orders at a rate that matches the project schedule?

This is the point where the schedule should start to be considered and possibly amended before a full resource schedule is completed. 

The PMO needs to have a database of resource capabilities and information about constraints. It needs to be available to project managers and updated as a project plan gets signed off – this step comes up in a moment. 

3. Understand the resource capacity

The project manager needs to know what each resource is realistically able to produce. While it’s important to know the production time of printed assets or how much your machines can output each day, human resources are the most important here. 

You don’t want your people to get burnt out by expecting too much. A PMO should have data on how long a task can take so the schedule can be realistic and practical. Contingency needs to be built in – resources can and will be unpredictable. 

4. Match resources with tasks

This step is where the resource schedule should come together. The project schedule and the resource schedule need to be merged into a plan that can be implemented, managed, and delivered effectively. 

The outcome of this step is a detailed list of every task that needs to be completed, how long it’ll take, and when it will be delivered. During project scheduling, task dependencies will already have been determined but conflicts in schedule still need to be checked here. 

It’s at this point that resource availability needs the be updated. Your PMO should hold this data and ensure that there aren’t conflicts in schedules in the long term. 

5. Monitor and review the resource schedule

Your PMO needs to ensure that the resource schedule is effective and is adhered to. It’s possible that the resource schedule works but deliverables are missed, or the project gets delivered but the resource schedule wasn’t successful. 

Regular checks on the schedule should be built into your offices operating rhythm. This will allow for issues to identified and resolved quickly. After the project closes, tasks, resources, and timeframes need to be logged so they can be referred to by future projects. 

How to do project resource scheduling

Project resourcing needs to be completed as a separate task to project scheduling since there are more elements to be taken into account. Once everything is understood about resource capabilities, it can be plugged into the main schedule. 

These five steps of project resource scheduling will help your PMO facilitate the process effectively for your project managers.