All projects need resources, and it’s up to your project management office (PMO) to help projects access the ones they need. Your PMO role in resource scheduling can take many forms, but however it’s set up you need our complete guide to project resource scheduling.

It’s usually the role of project managers (PMs) to create the overall project schedule and the resource schedule. As a part of that, a PMO does have a role. Your office will need to have processes in place and templates for your PMs to work with to ensure every project works the same.

Having a solid process will ensure resource scheduling wins are repeatable and problems are easy to identify. If you’re revamping or creating a resource scheduling process, we’ve got the information you need about:

  • What resources scheduling is all about
  • The resources that need to be considered in a project
  • Five steps to effective project resource scheduling
  • Why resource scheduling is important

And we’ll finish with some details about how to integrate a project schedule and a resource schedule.

What is project resource scheduling?

Project resource scheduling will ensure that projects have the right people, hardware, and other tools to meet the project deadline.

To hit the deadline and deliver a successful outcome to project clients, it’s not just about having people available; and it’s about having the right skills and abilities on hand to complete work. Without the right resources in place, a broader project schedule doesn’t have any value.

Having a resources schedule also ensures flexibility within a project. Knowing who is needed and when helps to understand where there is spare capacity.

What resources need scheduling

Your project teams are the most important resource you have. Teams of people are probably the most challenging to schedule since the chances of sickness, family emergencies, and other issues are ever-present.

In general, the resources that need to be considered are:

  • The people you have available and their skills, capacity to work, and available hours
  • Equipment such as computers, vehicles, machines, and tools to get a job done
  • Software, including having sufficient licenses and seats for the people who’ll need them
  • Rooms, space, and facilities such as enough meeting rooms
  • Consumables like office supplies and where they’ll be stored

What are the five steps for resource scheduling?

To create a resource schedule, you need to establish the following process for your PMs:

  1. Make a list of all the activities that need to be completed – you’ll have this as part of the project schedules.
  2. Assess the resource capabilities and constraints, such as the skills needed, the logistics of moving machinery between locations, and the deadlines that have been set.
  3. Understand the capacity of your resources, such as what a person can reasonably complete in a day or how many pieces a machine can deliver.
  4. Match the resources available with the tasks that need to be completed; think of this like merging the project schedule with the resource schedule.
  5. Monitor the progress of the tasks and resource performance regularly and complete a review of the success of the schedule as part of the project closing.

We’ll cover these steps in more detail in a future post.

What are the benefits of a resource scheduling process?

Breaking your scheduling process into a project schedule and a resource schedule can have a range of benefits. These include:

  • Your PMO and project managers can all understand the full extent of the project requirements before it starts, which can help with budgeting as well as scheduling.
  • The final project schedule will be based on skills and abilities, and it’s easier to plan for new skills ahead of time, bringing in contractors and freelancers where needed.
  • If an issue with the schedule arises, it’s easy to understand why it’s happened and reformulate a schedule that can keep the project on track because all the variables are planned for.
  • During and after the project, the success of the project can be easily measured and details adjusted.
  • The information about the initial project schedule and its adherence can be used as benchmarks for future project schedules and other PMO-level analysis.

The guide to project resource scheduling

Setting up or reformulating your PMO’s project resource scheduling will be helped by this guide. Once you’ve got a resource schedule created, it needs to be reconciled with the overall project plan – the PM should have an eye on this during the resource planning phase of the project.

We’ll get into more depth and detail on the topics we’ve covered here in the next series of posts.