Project Resource Management Definition, Techniques & Tools

Project resource management is critical to successfully managing projects and teams. While many of us still make intuitive decisions when managing resources, it has many pitfalls. Project resource management requires a deep understanding of project requirements, team members’ skills and strengths, and resource availability and limitations.

In this article, I will explain project resource management and provide techniques and tools.

Let’s get started!

What is resource management?

Resource management is the process of planning, allocating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and complete projects. It involves identifying the necessary resources to complete a project or task, determining their availability, and then allocating them in a way that maximizes efficiency and productivity.

Types of resources

Resource management can include the following resources:

Human resources

First and foremost, the most important project resource is the team. Finding suitable project managers for your projects is critical for project success. When selecting a project manager or team member, you must consider factors like workload, skills, and strengths.


Project costs are also essential aspects of resource management. This involves budgeting, forecasting, and monitoring the financial resources needed for a project.


Proper resource scheduling requires clear priorities, deadlines, and an overview of available resources, which is essential to manage time effectively.


Establishing information flows before, during, and after the project is crucial for future resource management. Collecting and utilizing data correctly can help make more accurate estimations, identify possible pain points, and make informed decisions after completing several projects.

Equipment and materials

Equipment and material management depend on the project type. It involves identifying and acquiring the necessary tools and resources to complete tasks.

Resource management steps in project management

Let’s go through the resource management steps!

Determining project objectives

Effective resource management requires the establishment of well-defined goals in terms of time, finances, and other relevant factors. Without a clear understanding of the timeline for completing a project, it can be challenging to determine the necessary resources to complete it successfully and accurately.

By setting specific targets and objectives, you can better understand the project’s scope and the resources required to achieve it. This includes identifying potential obstacles and challenges during the project and developing plans to address them.

Ultimately, by establishing clear goals and objectives, we can optimize resource use and ensure project success.

Resource management plan

One of the most crucial tasks in achieving project success is developing a resource management plan.

It aims to identify and estimate the resources required to complete the project successfully. These resources may include team members with particular skills, data, or financial resources. This process is called resource capacity planning.

Budgeting and forecasting in resource management plan

Budgeting involves developing a comprehensive budget that outlines all the costs associated with a project, including direct costs such as labor and materials and indirect costs such as overheads. The budget should be realistic, considering potential risks and uncertainties impacting the project’s financial performance.

Forecasting means predicting future costs based on historical data and other relevant factors, such as changes in market conditions or supplier prices. Accurate forecasting is critical to ensure the project remains within budget and on track to deliver the expected outcomes.

Project team

While it may sound simple to identify the ideal team member for a project, it can be tricky, especially if you are working in a remote team. Making intuitive decisions regarding the right team member with the necessary skills and available capacity is not always easy.

For example, ClickUp can help to optimize resource allocation with a good overview of the workload
ClickUp can assist you with relevant information to craft a project resource management plan.

Fortunately, there are various project management tools that you can use to oversee the team workload and find the ideal project team that is not overburdened yet.

With these tools, you can make data-driven decisions and optimize your resource allocation to achieve your project goals more efficiently.

Asana is an excellent tool for project management automation.
Asana is a powerful tool for project resource management.

Resource allocation

Once these critical resources have been identified and you have a resource management plan, you need to allocate resources. The resource allocation steps involve assigning tasks to team members and providing them with the necessary resources to complete the tasks, such as relevant data and information.

Effective resource allocation is crucial for the success of any project. It ensures that the right resources are available at the right time to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.

Resource monitoring

Monitoring multiple projects is an ongoing process. You need to monitor various factors, such as project milestones and deadlines, budgetary constraints, the workload of your project team, and potential obstacles that may arise throughout the project’s lifecycle.

Tracking and constantly optimizing resources require project resource management software to identify possible pain points and provide an overview of all the essential information.

By monitoring these critical aspects, you can ensure that each project stays on track and that your team has the resources and support they need to deliver high-quality work on time and within budget.

Project resource management techniques

Here are two main project resource management techniques:

Resource smoothing

Resource smoothing is a project management technique that is commonly used to optimize resources and ensure the timely delivery of a project without changing the scheduled delivery date.

This technique is also known as time-constrained scheduling. The primary aim of resource smoothing is to balance resource demand throughout a project to avoid unnecessary spikes or falls in demand, which can lead to resource depletion or waste.

Resource smoothing may involve:

  • Adjusting the project’s scope.
  • Hiring additional personnel.
  • Reallocating resources to ensure the project is completed within the deadline without causing undue stress on the available resources.

This technique is precious in complex project management scenarios, where unexpected delays or changes in resource availability can significantly impact the project’s outcome.

Resource leveling

Resource leveling is a project management technique that is used when resources become a limiting factor in a project’s schedule. In other words, it is a scheduling technique employed when the required resources for a project exceed the available resources.

Resource leveling aims to ensure that resources are allocated most efficiently and effectively so that the project can be completed on time and within budget. This project resource management technique involves adjusting tasks‘ start and finish dates to balance the workload and avoid overloading resources.

By doing so, resource leveling helps to minimize delays, reduce costs, and optimize resource utilization.

resource smoothing and resource leveling-min
Resource leveling and resource smoothing. Source:

Project resource management software

Automating project management processes, including resource planning and allocation, is key for long-term success. Automation is a highly effective tool for several reasons:

  • A project resource management software streamlines collaboration,
  • It reduces manual tasks and human errors relating to resource management.
  • Improves the overall productivity of the project team.
  • It results in faster resource planning and controlling.
  • Project resource management software provides an overview of workloads, projects, tasks, etc., so you can more effectively monitor processes.

The most popular tools for automating project management are:

  • Wrike
  • ClickUp
  • Asana
  • Trello

Related articles:

While the benefits of project management automation are undeniable, implementing it requires strategic planning and execution. The implementation has four steps:

  1. Assessing current processes
  2. Selecting the right tools
  3. Creating and testing workflows
  4. Monitoring and adjusting automation as needed


Resource management is an essential aspect of any successful project. It provides the foundation for the entire project, similar to how building a house requires a solid foundation.

You also need to monitor your expenses and evaluate what fits in your budget when building a house. The same is true for project resource management. Without a solid resource management plan and practices, you would need to make too many intuitive decisions with a high miss rate, which could lead to unsuccessful projects.

It is more than just managing resources and assigning a project team. Resource management covers activities like identifying the skills and expertise needed for a project, assigning the right people to the right tasks, and ensuring everyone has the necessary tools and information to do their jobs effectively.

Frequently asked questions

How do you effectively manage resources in a project?

First, you need to determine the project’s objectives. Second, you should identify the project’s resource requirements.

Once you have identified the project resources, you should allocate them and provide the project team with relevant data and information.

The last step of the resource management process is to monitor the resources and ensure that each project stays on track.

Which software have you found works best for resource management?

Wrike and ClickUp are both advanced resource management software. They can significantly accelerate resource planning, optimize team workload, and track project budgets or progress.

What is a resource list for a project?

Project resource lists refer to the necessary components for the successful initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of a project. These resources may include human resources, such as project team members, stakeholders, subject matter experts, and physical resources, such as equipment, machinery, and infrastructure.

Project resources may also encompass financial resources, such as funding and budget management, as well as intangible resources, such as knowledge, information, and intellectual property. Essentially, any element necessary for a project’s smooth and effective implementation falls under the category of project resources.

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