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How resource constraints negatively impact project management

How resource constraints negatively impact project management

At some point in time every company has to deal with resource constraints. The negative effects of resource constraints can be detrimental to a company. It can cause project delays, rushed projects with elevated amounts of errors, high stress levels and even the loss of good employees.

There are two questions that you need to be able to answer to alleviate this issue.

1. What are my current priorities?

It is important to take a step back and understand, of all the current activities your resources are working on, which activities should they be focused on. Sometimes all the activities can feel like the top priority and if your resources are feeling this way, it can be overwhelming for them to perform their best work. Prioritize your activities and give the resources an execution path so your activities will be completed with a higher quality and your resources may not feel as stressed. Setting priorities will keep the entire team focused on the right activities at all times, and thus ensuring higher success.

This is a temporary solution to the issue and what you really need to follow this up with is planning.

2. Do I have a resource plan that matches my project plans?

You can really nip this issue early on if you have a solid resource plan. Understanding all of your upcoming activities and aligning resources to execute those activities will show you how the team stacks up against what is projected.

There are three possible scenarios you can find by having a resource plan: Being adequately staffed, understaffed or overstaffed.

The goal is to obviously be adequately staffed for your needs, but having a plan that aligns to your activities can help you make the right decision when it comes to staffing. The timeliness of making these decisions is important because the last thing a company wants to do is to feel like they are hiring resources in a reactive manner. If you feel like you are hiring reactively instead of proactively, that means that you aren’t projecting and planning adequately for your resources. This most likely also means that you are running into resource constraints consistently, which results in longer working hours and higher stress levels for your resources, rushed delivery of projects filled with errors and delays in successful project completion overall.

Sometimes organizations have enough staff and the team is truly eager to execute on new ideas and plans, but the skill set is simply not there. There are options if this is your scenario: you can hire someone with the specific skills needed, outsource to fill the gap temporarily, or train your existing team members. All of these allow you to focus on the projects at hand rather than a resource constraint issue.

By prioritizing, you can start to tackle the resource constraint immediately, but that is not a long-term solution. You ultimately need to build a resource plan and align it to your upcoming activities. Once you have this in place and maintain a consistently aligned plan, a resource constraint issue will be a rare and unique concern rather than the norm.

About David Wells
David Wells is an Engagement Manager at The Pedowitz Group with more than 12 years of marketing experience. He is always looking for opportunities to make our lives easier through more efficient work habits and automation. You can either follow David virtually @TOADWells on twitter, or follow him physically to sporting events, concerts and family functions.

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  • Posted by David Wells
  • On 06/20/2016
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Tags: Project management, resource constrained, resource constraint, employee turnover

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