Resource management for projects and programmes

Mike Mawson 25-05-2023

Resource management is a critical aspect of project (and programme) management. It involves planning, scheduling, and allocating resources effectively to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the satisfaction of stakeholders.

Consequently, the success of a project depends on how well project managers manage the resources they have available. Resource management is important for project managers because it helps ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

In this article, we will discuss why resource management is so important for project managers.

Why is Resource Management so critical to project success?


Efficient Use of Resources

Resource management ensures that resources are allocated efficiently.

By having a clear understanding of what resources are needed and when they are needed, project managers can ensure that they are not wasting resources on tasks that are not essential to the project. They can also avoid situations where resources are overused, which can lead to burnout and decreased productivity – and the delays to come with these problems.

Cost Management

Resource management is critical for managing project costs.

By effectively managing resources, project managers can mitigate one of the many risks that can cause projects to go over budget. They can identify the most cost-effective way to complete a project and avoid unnecessary spending on resources that are not required.

Time Management

Resource management helps project managers to manage the project schedule time effectively.

By having a clear understanding of the resources required, project managers can make sure that the right resources are in place to deliver the planned tasks. This increases the likelihood of the project meeting deadlines and avoiding delays that could result in missed opportunities or increased costs.

Resource Allocation

Resource management allows project managers to allocate resources effectively.

By having a clear understanding of the skills and availability of resources, project managers can assign tasks to the most appropriate team members. This ensures that the right resources are used for the right tasks, resulting in higher productivity and better outcomes.

Risk Management

Resource management is an essential part of risk management. There are several strands to this.

By identifying the resources required and knowing the resources available, the project manager can identify where there may be potential bottle necks or gaps, and therefore put the mitigating strategies in place to avoid these risks.

Resources with the right skills and experience will help the project manager identify risks to delivery, as well as providing him with the expertise to mitigate (or even avoid) risks and issues.

Stakeholder Management

Resource management also plays a vital role in stakeholder management.

By having a clear understanding of the resources required for each task, project managers can set realistic expectations for stakeholders. This enables them to manage stakeholder expectations effectively and ensure that they are satisfied with the project outcomes.

There are many different aspects to resource management, including:

What are the key steps in Resource Planning?

  1. Identify what resources are required
    The first step in resource management is to identify the resources that are needed to complete the project. This includes both human resources and material resources.
    For people, the project manager will need to identify the skills required as well as the timescales.
  2. Plan when the resources are required
    The resources need to be scheduled so that they are available when they are needed. This involves creating a schedule for the project and making sure that the resources are available when they are needed.
  3. Request the resources
    Once the resources are identified and the plan is in place, the project manager will have to work with the owners of the resource pools to get the right resources in place. Due to availability of resources (holidays, other project work, BAU activities, etc.), there may be iterations of steps 1 to 3 before the final allocation of resources is agreed.
  4. Managing the resources
    The resources need to be managed throughout the project life cycle. Changes to the project (scope, timelines, costs, issues etc.) and changes to resource availability (illness, other resource demands, etc) can impact on the resource plan. To make sure that resources are being used effectively, the project manager will have to cycle through the resource planning steps on a regular basis.

Resource management is a complex process, but it is essential for the success of any project. By properly managing resources, project managers can avoid costly overruns and delays, and ensure that the project team is properly staffed and that all resources are being used effectively.

Because of the complexity of resource management in projects, tools such as PM3 provide the technologies to support project managers and resource pool owners in the planning, allocation and management of resources.


In conclusion, resource management is critical for project managers because it enables them to allocate resources effectively, manage costs and time, allocate resources, manage risks, and manage stakeholder expectations.

Effective resource management can make the difference between a successful project and a failed one. Therefore, project managers must make resource management a priority to ensure that their projects are completed successfully.


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