Project resources are the array of things needed to complete a project successfully. This may include:
- human resources, including specialist expertise
- plant and equipment
- facilities (e.g. for accommodation, communication, transport).
Having the right resources to hand for a project, in the right quantities, is important, because the wrong resources, or a lack of resources, can act as a project constraint.
Understanding what resources are available—and hence, what additional resources may be needed— is an important factor in project planning. This planning needs to take into account, too, when and for how long during a project’s life cycle the identified resources will be needed, to avoid resource waste. For example, there is no point in having a project team with a certain number of staff or a specialised expert if there is no meaningful work for them at a particular time. That is simply a waste of the project budget.
So, it is important that project resources are:
- estimated and planned for as carefully as possible at the start of a project; some may need to be initially stored for later use on the project. Care is needed to ensure these estimates neither significantly overestimate resource needs (which adds to cost) or underestimate resource need (which may affect project delivery and/or quality).
- that resources are used in a flexible way on the project to maximise efficiency (e.g. a project team member may be temporarily deployed to another task during a lull for his or her input during project delivery to avoid unnecessarily ‘loading’ the budget)
- that resource planning has an identified contingency plan, especially for critical resources (e.g. a specialist expert planned to be used on a project at a particular time is unexpectedly unavailable)
- reviewed and re-evaluated continually to ensure continuing adequacy and relevance throughout the course of the project.
For more information about project resources, visit: http://management.about.com/cs/projectmanagement/a/PM101b.htm