What is Resource Management?
Resource management is the process by which businesses manage their various resources effectively. Those resources can be intangible – people and time – and tangible – equipment, materials, and finances.
It involves planning so that the right resources are assigned to the right tasks. Managing resources involves schedules and budgets for people, projects, equipment, and supplies.
While it is often used in reference to project management, it applies to many other areas of business management. A small business, in particular, will pay attention to resource management in a number of areas, including:
- Finances – Can it meet current expenses or afford to invest in new equipment or staff training?
- Staffing – Does it have the right people for the work at hand? Will it need to hire if it gets that new client and if so, what skills will those people need to have?
- Physical space – Is the company’s office or manufacturing space configured so that other resources can be managed for maximum efficiency?
- Equipment – Does it have the tools needed to do what’s required?
- Technology – What does the business need to succeed and should financial resources be reallocated to fund what’s missing?
In Project Management
When used in reference to project management, resource management often applies to resource leveling and smoothing.
Resource leveling is designed to avoid shortages or excess inventory by keeping the stock of resources at a level that avoids both problems. Specialized software can help determine that level.
It’s also used in references to the time it takes to complete a project. With leveling, the start and finish dates are adjusted so that they mesh with resource availability. Leveling might extend the project timeline.
Resource smoothing is a scheduling technique that attempts to meet a specified deadline while avoiding peaks and valleys on the resources. The goal is a constant use of resources over time.
At its simplest level for small businesses, resource management is about making sure that a company is using its talents and materials wisely and effectively.