Your schedule should include all the resources required to perform the project work. A resource plan—also called a staffing plan—can help you line up the resources you need when you need them. Learn to identify resource skills and qualities needed for a project.
- Your schedules should include all the resources required to perform the project work. A resource plan, also called a staffing plan, can help you line up the resources you need when you need them. To build a resource plan, you need to know the skills required. You also have to identify other resources, like materials, equipment, facilities, and travel. You also need your high-level estimated schedule for when major portions of the project occur.
The spreadsheet is an effective way to build a resource plan. Start by listing the skills and other resources needed in the cells in the first column. Next, use the rest of the columns for time periods, like weeks or months depending on the overall project length. Finally, using high-level estimated durations for major sections of the project, fill in the cells at the intersection of a time period and a skill or resource with the quantity you need during that time.
Labor is usually tracked in hours or full-time equivalents, FTEs. A full-time equivalent represents one person working full-time. Another way to build a resource plan is with a scheduling program. With this approach, you set up generic resources for the skills and other resources you identified. In our example, the skill-based resources includes a writer, reviewer, copy editor, graphic designer, web developer, and so on.
You would assign these skill-based resources to the activities in your schedule. Next, assign resources like materials, equipment, facilities, travel, and subcontractors. You can look at the schedule or run a report to see how many resources you need during each time period. Here is an example of this type of report. You can use a resource plan to determine how many resources you need to find.
You can also use it to determine where to get your resources, and when you need to start the procurement process. First, review the plan to look for potential resource shortages. In the example, if the initial plan shows that you need two writers, and you now expect to get only one, you can adjust activity duration to reflect the new quantity. Next, review the skills and timing in the plan to determine whether you can use resources in your organization, or have to go outside the company.
Third, work back from when resources work on the project to figure out when you need to start the procurement process. A resource plan is a work in progress. As you get commitments for resources, you can update the plan with quantities and timing. A resource plan provides a high level view of a project's resource requirements, and gives you the information you need to develop a realistic project schedule.
Note: This course aligns with best practices from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) - Sixth Edition, published by the Project Management Institute®.
- Developing a schedule management plan
- Identifying project activities
- Adding milestones
- Organizing work
- Estimating duration and work
- Handling lag in dependencies
- Defining resources
- Assigning resources to activities
- Working with part-time and remote workers
- Fine-tuning assignments
- Optimizing schedules
- Managing and changing schedules