PRECURSIVE GUIDE TO
RESOURCE ALLOCATION & SCHEDULING

WHAT IS RESOURCE SCHEDULING?

Resource scheduling, sometimes referred to as resource allocation, is a methodology companies need to adopt when they want to efficiently organize and assign resources across their projects and their sub-tasks. Based on resource availability they can map their resource pool and know when projects are due to commence and end.

Resources typically refer to human capital but it can also be the other requirements of the job:

Equipment
Machinery
Facilities
Consumables

IS RESOURCE SCHEDULING IMPORTANT?

Good project management requires good resource scheduling. Utilization rates, capacity availability and other such constraints can be identified at the scheduling stage and this in turn can inform the project manager of the likely feasibility of the requirements and timelines. Misidentify components at this stage and you can misinform both your staff and customer; this leads to missed milestones, deadlines, ill-fitting teams and project delays. It is therefore a key step in your planning process and allows you to optimize your business by providing an overview and a level of transparency that would otherwise be missing. This then provides a level of control over your project as your are aware of the pitfalls

WHY IS RESOURCE SCHEDULING IMPORTANT IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

How does resource scheduling tie to a project? Project Management needs to be efficient, on time and on budget. The resources you’ve allocated to the project are among the largest influencing factors on this. Therefore project management is nothing without resource scheduling. Knowing you can carry out the project in the first place is a given but you also want to do it to the best of your abilities - better estimates, better capability, improved capacity and a happier customer. It also provides the opportunity to be agile and adjustments at both a macro (all projects) and the micro (a single project) levels can be made easily as all work is accounted for, both actual and forecast; it means you’ll be able to predict the likely project landscape better than without resource allocation.

WHAT ARE RESOURCE SCHEDULING METHODS?

Critical Path Method (CPM) and Gantt are very traditional but most look to either the resource constrained or time constrained to highlight where your project limits might be. This following process helps you understand those constraints:

  

  1. Creating a scope of work: this is essentially a task list with accompanying time-frames, typically expressed in days and hours or billable and non-billable time.

  2. Creating a list of dependencies: knowing what is required to get the job done.

  3. Understanding resource volume and type: this is sometimes referred to as resource demand.

  4. Understanding and mapping capacity: assigning the resources to project phases or tasks. Beyond this a project manager will have to view projects outside of the scope as some resources might need to be held back for future jobs and others might have constraints, e.g. holiday, sick days.

  5. Availability vs requirements: understanding capacity crunches and conflicts. 

WHAT IS MULTI-RESOURCE SCHEDULING?

This is where the classic configurations of your teams are grouped and denoted, so you can schedule them together or have multiple set-ups for your typical variations in delivery. This way you can build out the schedule with teams over individuals based on your requirements and search across specific or specialist configurations. This makes traditional time and team planning easier and quicker.

RESOURCE SCHEDULING IN PRECURSIVE

Precursive has an intuitive Gannt overview which helps you find the right people for projects and balance the workload. Our skill search functionality means you can find those people you require in a matter of clicks. Group your resources by need, skill, location or capacity for easy multi-resource scheduling. Our easy-to-use planner means capacity is visually displayed, to a timeline of your choosing providing a complete overview of your scheduling requirements and constraints; see those capacity crunches or white space at a glance. Then use our metrics and dashboards to analyze and optimize your scheduling and allocation function so it’s ideal for customer and company alike, every time.


To learn more about resource scheduling head to our blog