Tips for Estimating Resources for Projects

3 min read

Project management teams must be able to create resource plans for projects effectively. This requires understanding the project scope and requirements and having a detailed knowledge of each team member, their performance, and the historical data and feedback. It can be challenging to predict accurately, but it is essential to bid on new work accurately and plan and execute the project effectively.

Tips for Project Management Resource Calculation

The amount of project switching between team members (passing tasks around among them) and the feedback loop from clients and stakeholders will affect the resources required to complete a project.

Learn about the Scope of the Project

The project manager must have a detailed and clear understanding of the project scope and risks before a company can bid accurately on a project. You can use project management scope to estimate deliverables in various ways, including top-down and bottom-up.

The best method to forecast resource requirements is a bottom-up approach. This involves using the team’s collective knowledge to predict each step from inception through completion.

However, it can be difficult and time-consuming during project planning. While it is faster and more accurate, a top-down approach (which breaks down the project into high-level requirements and allows the team to handle the details within a time frame) can often be slower. Project managers’ best and most efficient approach is usually somewhere in the middle.

Know The Project Management Team and Account for Risks

Project management professionals have a standard that says no one should expect to be 100% utilized. The average utilization rate for any resource is 80%. Some resources might be more productive than others. Some may have vacations or scheduled leave. Others may have more sick days than others. Most people can expect lower productivity when there are many projects switching or dependencies. You can and should have a deep understanding of the team’s working velocity and how they work and collaborate as a team. 

Analyze and Apply Historical Information

You might find it comforting to know that everyone is and was in the same position. You are not the only one who has worked to execute such projects. Project management communities support one another in their PM efforts by publishing periodic journals, articles, and books that collect data on projects, including the resources used. These publications can help you better understand how to calculate the resources required for your project.

If you have a successfully delivered project, save the project resource templates for future use. You can either save the template using project management software like PPM Express Projects or create a role-based template that drives how much time your team will need to perform a specific role (e.g., a software developer/analyst/data scientist) so that you can efficiently allocate resources for your next project.

Account for Past Performance Data

You should have a detailed resource tracking system to track the performance of previous projects. You will be able to look at this data to determine which resources were used in the past projects and tasks. This data can help you calculate your resource needs. Implement a tracking system if you don’t already have one. These systems can provide valuable information that will help you manage your project.

Take into Account Other Workloads

It is crucial to determine if the resources required for a project are available and when. The project management software must provide a comprehensive view of team availability. It should also allow you to see individual availability. This will enable you to forecast timelines and determine if resources are lacking.

Consider Several Allocation Scenarios

Your team is a set of resources that work at a different velocity, and have different skills, experience, and costs. There will be variability in the time and cost of completing tasks and projects. 

It can be very beneficial to create multiple project scenarios to evaluate the differences in profit and timeline when calculating resources. 

What Can We Do to Help with Resource Project Management Planning?

Are you ready for PPM Express to help you create accurate resource plans for your project? To get your trial, click “Try for Free” below!

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Tips for Estimating Resources for Projects
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