One of the software project risks is “Correct resource allocation at the correct time is a crucial key to project success”. That is so true and happens all the times in the projects where project managers want tasks finished quickly and would allocate a resource to the task asking, “who is free”. It is clearly not a desirable state even if that resource has spare time. To constitute a project team that has high performance is a trickier job. It has happened from time to time when free resources are allocated to tasks that might not be their expertise but a more better approach when allocating tasks to team members would be to keep in mind:
- Skills: The most crucial element is the skill. The person needs to have the required skill for the task.
- Experience: If the person has relevant experience from previous projects then they will have more confidence in completing the task quickly and swiftly. If they have the skill but not experience, even then they can complete the task but with some support.
- Interest: People are driven by their interests too. A resource might have skill and experience and would have dozen similar motor repair shop projects but want to work on something different, they would still take the task but might not do it to the highest standards. So before assigning tasks, it would be good to discuss their interests and goals.
- Costs: One important fact is to estimate how much a resource would cost you for a certain task. The most suitable person for your project might be expensive but quality should not be compromised for the cost.
- Location: One needs to assess where the specific task is to be carried out. Travel costs add up to the budget. So, a locally based resource with skills would be a better option.
- Availability: it often happens that a resource due to high skills is often overloaded with tasks. This should not happen.
Projects that fail due to the lack of visibility into available resources might be because of the most significant reason is the overloading the resources with tasks, which occurs due to difficulties in resource management. In such situations there are two options, either leave it like this, which would bring down the morale, overstress the resource, work standard would come down etc. or a better option would be to reallocate the tasks by inspecting the details This might include (Bailey, 2017):
- Assign additional resources – distribute the tasks among people who are not on the project already. This has the possibility of taking away productivity from other areas.
- Delaying a task – postpone a task (the ones with lesser priority).
- Substituting resources – find another suitable person with skills and availability who matches the needs of the project.
- Decreasing task duration – limit the range of the work required.
- Find a replacement – find a better person to finish the task on time.
Bailey, G. (2017) What’s behind failed projects? Exploring poor resource allocation in project management. Available at: http://prosymmetry.com/resource-allocation-in-project-management/ (Accessed: 3 October 2017)
Harrin, E. (2014) How to allocate project management resources effectively. Available at: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/how-to-allocate-resources-effectively/ (Accessed: 3 October 2017)