What Is Resource Planning?

Resource planning refers to an organized strategy that organizations use for judicious planning and utilization of resources for a specific purpose, whether it is a continuous business plan or a one-time project. Resource planning involves the distribution and allocation of resources to specific tasks to team members or employees following their skills, abilities, and experience. Without resorting to resource planning, organizations will have difficulty managing the utilization rates, tracking employee performance levels and capacities, tracking project budgets and expenses, and monitoring the overall progress of a project. When it comes to resource planning implementation in societies, the process and application itself are critical. In doing so, organizations consider the most efficient and sustainable ways of using resources to guarantee that the regional, national, and international stakeholders are content with the resources, positive that they are unharmed and without any unnecessary damages. For project managers, resource planning is the process of arranging resources manually or with the help of electronic spreadsheets for planning purposes. With the rise of new technologies and software in the digital age, resource planning has grown over time. Resource planning, at present, also includes different forms of software to incorporate intricate and immediate information in a variety of projects.

According to an article published by McKinsey and Company, most senior executives understand the significance of managing and shifting resources, and 83 percent state that it is a key component in the management lever for spurring growth and innovation.

Tools and Techniques Associated with Resource Planning

Resource planning tools, including software, can automate tasks quickly and efficiently, tracking work hours following budget plans, providing color-coded sheets and charts to monitor the scarcity of resources in real-time, and sharing several big picture data and information for portfolio management to track plausible scenarios across different teams and projects. Resource management strategies, on the other hand, deal with various processes and procedures to organize and manage project teams. Resource planning deals with the proper and strategic use of resources to develop products and offer services under time constraints and limited budgets. Planning tools enable organizations to simplify the resource planning processes. However, when it comes to handling and managing human resources, the process requires more than software and technology. There are different resource planning techniques to assist the resource planning process and manage project teams. The section below covers different tools and techniques in resource planning.

Resource meetings: Resource meetings are brief, regular, and action-oriented meetings that provide project managers with a forum to discuss the different roles and responsibilities relating to resource planning. The meeting focuses on detailing and communicating fact-based information and short-term planning for all critical tasks and activities in a project. The meetings help create the project and team cultures and provide leadership through frequent control for corrective actions and room for clarifications.Resource leveling: Resource leveling is a technique that teams and organizations use to optimize resource allocation through necessary adjustments in the project schedule over time to accommodate unforeseen changes and resolve conflicts after an event of over-allocation of resources. These project schedule adjustments affect the project’s critical path.Resource smoothing: This resource planning technique is a way to optimize resource allocations through free float or total float without influencing the critical path of a project. According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the term free float refers to the amount of time that a scheduled activity can incur delays or extensions from its early starting date without any delays to the ending date or disregarding any schedule constraints.Resource availability and utilization: Resource availability and utilization is a resource planning technique ensuring that the allocated resources for a specific project are openly available. To do this, organizations or teams calculate the associated costs of use, monitor for the planned versus actual use of resources, and take the appropriate corrective actions.Resource capacity planning: Resource capacity planning is a technique that portfolio managers use to oversee the resource planning procedure and manage multiple projects. Capacity planning also involves determining whether the allocated resources are sufficient to complete the new project. The technique also determines if the number of resources or the level of skilled individuals is adequate for the project team.Forecast: Forecast is an all-in-one resource planning tool that oversees the projects starting from the quotations to the invoices. Some of the best features of Forecast include project management functionality, workload management, time tracking, and budget tabs that make it easier to replace fragmented resources during the lifetime of the project.Paymo: Paymo is another resource planning tool for maximizing task management efficiently, including time tracking, invoicing, and scheduling modules. Paymo also comes with a visual timeline that contains tasks, activities, and bookings in sync with the changes that project managers make in real-time, with mapping coming from both ways.Runn: Run is another resource planning tool running as a resource management application to help plan resources intelligently. Project teams and organizations often prefer this planning tool over others. Its application pays attention to necessary details by narrowing down the earnings of team members, their capacity, and utilization rate to calculate billable and non-billable fees on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.Scoro: Scoro is a resource management tool with a distinguishing quality to its resource planning with a calendar view. It makes it easier for everyone in the project management team to plan for daily activities and use the different filters in the planner to view every other member’s schedules.

A Guide To the Resource Planning Process

Project resource planning involves allocating and utilizing the necessary resources for the project, including people, materials, equipment, and financial resources. In the business world, resources refer to all of the things that project managers or businesses depend on to deliver their products and services. However, the resource that resource planning focuses on is human resources. Remember that people planning is distinct from material resource planning. The section below tackles the resource planning process in detail to help individuals plan for their projects and programs effectively.

Step 1: Develop a Comprehensive Project Plan

The first step in the resource planning process starts by selecting which project the organization wants to focus on handling and to take and coming up with a concrete outline or overview for its execution. This step is also the stage where project management teams determine and request access to all preliminary planning for resources. Project managers also lay out the specific project tasks during this step, which is vital to allocate a sufficient amount of resources and time for the completion of each activity.

Step 2: Organize a Resource Meeting with Stakeholders

Many individuals are not fond of having meetings, thinking that they are only wasting time. However, without the presence of resource meetings that gets the entire team on the project, it becomes difficult to gain uniformity in understanding the project vision for every team member. During resource meetings, project managers assign and explain the individual and team responsibilities for the project and establish the key performance metrics for evaluating the project. Many organizations also utilize this step of the resource planning process to determine the resources that the project needs to push through. The reason behind this is that it is during resource meetings that the project teams have a clear vision and understanding of the exact resources they need.

Step 3: Match the Resources to Specific Tasks

In this stage of the resource planning process, project managers utilize resource planning tools through sophisticated software programs to match the resources to the tasks as part of managing team workloads. In using the software to match resources with skills, project managers can determine where teams need more support, where the organization needs the newer employees to contribute, and the time and procedure for implementing necessary department shuffles.

Step 4: Set a Budget Plan and Develop Timeline Tracking

When talking about project management, budgeting and timing co-exist. Budget plans are within their limits and are feasible if there is a proper timeline that project management teams create and strictly follow. On the other end of the spectrum, budgets can spiral out of control if there are problems meeting deadlines or there are continuous adjustments to the timeline. As part of the resource planning process, project managers must continuously keep track of their budget at all times while comparing it to the project timeframe to see how they can manage the funds accordingly as the project continues to progress.

Step 5: Forecast for Future Planning

A competent project manager keeps track of the present progress of the project, and they must be mindful of how the project can change in the future. This is especially true when it comes to handling long-term projects that projects teams execute for more than two quarters. Forecasting future planning is a process of understanding the kind of management approach that project managers can take to keep up with the changing scenarios and circumstances surrounding the project. There are common approaches that project management teams implement during these crucial moments, including accelerating the project at a fast pace when everything is back on track, then ticking back to a slow and steady pace under any circumstances, and holding back on the initial stages of the project and become extra cautious to ensure that no one commits any mistakes.

Step 6: Update the Resource Plan and Conduct Post-Project Analysis

The last step of the resource planning process is a challenging task because this is the step where organizations must show that they are flexible to make adjustments or reorganize project plans according to real-time changes. These changes are the result of slow approval processes, unforeseen scope of work alterations, lack of team members, or a sudden breakdown of the project timeline. After completing a project, project managers take the time to analyze what processes and activities can undergo improvements. Address if there is a need to implement adjustments to work schedules, incorporate freelance workers into the project, or include conflict resolution methods in the project plan. Asking these question are necessary to improve the next project.


What is the significance of resource planning?

There are various benefits of implementing resource planning, including the identification of needed resources, avoidance of resource wastes, trackers for resources, and the use of energy-saving and environmental-friendly resources.

What are the different types of resource planning?

Resource plans have two distinct types. One is the hypothetical resource plan that the team comes up with as an ideal plan, and the other is the actual resource plan that project management teams implement during their projects.

What are the three phases of resource planning?

Resource planning has three distinct stages. The first is the preparation stage for the inventory of resources. Second is the evaluation of resources in terms of availability for development. Lastly, project managers are planning for the exploitation or use of the resources to accomplish projects.

Resource planning is defined as the process of identifying, forecasting, and allocating different resources to a particular project at reasonable times and costs. As such, resource planning is a crucial step to ensure that projects and programs that businesses implement become successful. Project managers and project management teams must be very thorough when creating resource plans to ensure that everything stays on budget and schedule. Guide the process planning procedure in the organization by downloading the templates available in the article, only from Samplet.net.