Producing an accurate resource schedule for a project means it should run smoothly, and your project management office (PMO) can gather valuable information on project performance. There are five key benefits of effective resource scheduling for projects that we’ll look at here.
Along with an overall project schedule, a separate but complementary resource schedule can help your PMO improve planning and capacity management in the long run. Knowing these benefits will help you understand the outcomes you’re looking for when designing or updating your resource scheduling process.
We’re going to look at:
- The business case for an accurate resource schedule
- How a good resource schedule can improve your PMO
- The short-term wins you’ll achieve with a good resource schedule
To help you get the most out of your project resource scheduling.
1. Understand the full extent of the project
While a task and activities list is part of the wider project planning phase, having a resource schedule can get to the bottom of what a project really entails. What may be a single line on an activity list could require a sub-team or buying a whole new machine, for example.
By forecasting ahead with the resources needs, there won’t be any unexpected needs or lead times for orders that cause a problem.
Further, stakeholders like the client or the project sponsor may want to know exactly what’s going into a project. It can help demonstrate why a project budget is a certain amount or why a timeline for the project could be delayed.
2. The schedule is grounded in skills and abilities
A project timeline needs to be grounded in reality. Your PMO will have information on how long a task can take in an ideal world, but resources can be different, such as team members having leave booked or a contractor can’t start on the date needed.
Your people are the most valuable element of a project and ultimately, they’re the ones who will get a project delivered on time. It’s possible to ask them to do a task they don’t yet have skills for, but you’ll still need to have time in the schedule to train them and let them learn on the job.
A realistic schedule is much more likely to be delivered when promised and not overspend by bringing in people that weren’t planned for.
3. Issues can be identified and dealt with
A schedule helps your PMO know if the project is on track for a successful delivery. With regular check-ins, the project manager and your office can tell if there is an issue with the work rate of a person or a machine and find ways to remedy it.
The relationship manager working with the project’s client can also have plenty of time to reschedule or manage expectations when there is a schedule and data available.
4. Data can be measured during and after the project
As well as knowing when there may be a problem with the schedule, it’s easy to see when a resource schedule is being effective. During the project lifecycle, valuable information can be gathered about task duration and resource productivity.
Your PMO can use this data to provide benchmarks and best practices in the future. A good resource scheduling framework will give project managers a chance to record their logic and decision-making process; a successful schedule can be analysed to use the same logic in the future.
A good resource schedule can also help when project priorities change. Knowing who and what is needed and when will make the reallocation of those resources easier and more effective.
5. increased profitability
A good resource schedule can help give accurate budgets and timelines for delivery. A project that sticks to budget and delivers on time is going to protect the bottom line of the business.
Having no proper resource schedule in place means your PMO and the wider business will never quite know what should be spent to deliver a project, making financial planning a challenge.
Overall, when a project is well-planned and well-managed, efficiency increases and your PMO and the wider business will benefit.
The benefits of effective resource scheduling for projects
Before a project kicks off, a good resource schedule will help ensure an accurate budget and help with the ongoing management. The benefits of an effective resource schedule for projects helps the project and, ultimately the organisation, throughout the life cycle of the project. It should enable the effective allocation of resources so as to give an increased probability of achieving the outcomes of the project.