Thinking about hiring a resource manager but want to learn more about how they can contribute to your projects? Or maybe you're thinking about becoming a resource manager but not sure if it's the right choice for you?
Read on for a high-level overview of this position and how Resource Managers can help you succeed in your projects.
The task of a resource manager is still not as common as that of a project manager, but it is just as important: In addition to assigning the right resources to the right tasks at the right time, the use of a competent resource manager can improve the entire project process, relieve employees and prevent burnout, overcome resource shortages and ensure that all ongoing projects in the company are staffed with perfectly suited employees.
A resource manager: job description
A resource manager is the one who helps project managers plan and allocate resources for a project; determines the resource needs of an organization and ensures that it is able to meet the staffing needs of projects; assigns employees to the tasks of a project; and participate in the recruitment process.
Resource managers are mostly needed in fast-growing companies or medium and large organizations with distributed teams and an increasing number of projects.
After reviewing the job descriptions for the Resource Manager position on LinkedIn jobs and job boards (glass door,ZipRecruiter,jobs overall,Simply employed), we have created the following summary.
Resource Manager Responsibilities
A resource manager typically has the following responsibilities.
- Assignment of available employees to projects according to their skills, previous experience and availability.
- Monitoring of daily project activities and related resources.
- Capacity planning, i.e. ensuring that a company's resources have capacity to work on upcoming projects.
- Monitor and manage employee workload, utilization and overtime.
- Manage resource contention.
- Overcoming resource bottlenecks through resource management techniques, reallocation of resources, allocation of more staff, etc.; Informing senior management of any issues related to the inability to meet customer needs due to resources.
- Support of project managers in questions of resource management or the improvement of resource management processes.
- To be aware of all current and upcoming projects going on in an organization and business development activities and to be able to plan resources accordingly.
- Worked with HR on employee training, compensation and benefits planning, payroll and hiring of new employees for projects.
- Familiarity with labor laws and trends in resource management.
- Documenting processes (e.g. weekly utilization report, etc.).
In simple terms, all of these responsibilities boil down to allocating the right resources to the right projects at the right time to ensure the successful delivery of projects.
Now let's look at the professional and personal qualities that a resource manager should have.
Requirements for a resource manager
A resource manager is primarily concerned with people, projects and related processes, so it is important that they understand project management, business processes and talent management. Your soft skills are no less important: you should be good at communication, interpersonal skills and strategic thinking.
- A resource manager should have a bachelor's degree in human resource management, business, management or a related field.
- Participation in a project management certification course or similar resource management courses (e.g.project resource management) will be a great benefit.
- Previous experience as a project/resource/HR manager or in the related industry is optional but an advantage.
Skills and competences
- Knowledge of personnel and project management,
- Ability to use technology (analytics tools, CRM, PSA or resource management software),
- knowledge of applicable labor laws,
- Ability to efficiently prioritize and manage multiple tasks,
- Critical thinking, analytical and predictive skills,
- conflict resolution and problem solving skills,
- flexibility and good decision-making skills,
- management and time management skills,
- Interpersonal interaction skills (effective communication, negotiation, collaboration, ability to be diplomatic and assertive).
Continue reading:What do companies like Apple, Amazon and Google look for in project managers?
Sometimes there is a misunderstanding regarding the roles of a project manager, a resource manager, and a human resources manager. So, in the next section, we'll look at how these locations differ from each other.
What are the differences between a resource manager, a project manager and a human resource manager?
See the table below for a brief description of these jobs to better understand the difference between them.
|criteria||resource manager||project manager||HR Manager|
|operation area||The whole organization||One project or multiple projects||The whole organization|
|deals with||Resource planning and allocation, ensuring optimal use of a company's resources, managing employee skills, assisting PMs with resource acquisition||project planning and scheduling; Estimation of project scope, budget and time; risk management; advocacy groups administration||All employee-related matters (hiring, training, engagement, compensation and benefits, etc.)|
|Goal||Ensuring projects have enough resources to be delivered||Deliver projects on time and within budget||Management of the workforce of a company|
So, the key difference between these three jobs is that a resource manager treats employees (and sometimes equipment and facilities) as resources on projects, a project manager is responsible for delivering projects on time and on budget, and a human resource manager interacts with employees as the workforce of the entire organization. Specifically, a resource manager works with both project managers and human resources managers.
Continue reading:How to start a career in project management: answers to frequently asked questions
As we mentioned earlier, a candidate applying for a resource manager position should be able to work with technology tools, including resource management software. Why is this software necessary and how does it help? Let's find out.
Resource Management Tools: Why Use Them?
A resource manager encounters various challenges in his job: lack of qualified resources, ineffective use of resources, resource conflicts, lack of visibility of project resources, poorly informed project resource procurement decisions, resource management in a large organization and distributed teams. To successfully tackle these challenges, it's a good idea to use resource management software solutions: they aim to automate routine processes of an RM's work (e.g. help to make important decisions.
What deserves special mention is the management of resources in a multi-project environment, which is inherently complex and challenging due to the shared pool of resources, overlapping due dates, and dependencies between projects and tasks. Let's look at some major resource management challenges in a multi-project environment and how an RM tool can help address them. As an example, we'll describe the capabilities of Epicflow - a global resource management tool designed specifically for the needs of a multi-project environment.
Challenge #1: Overwhelmed employees
In a multi-project environment, employees typically have a significant number of tasks on their to-do lists, which can easily overwhelm them.
- Project and Task Prioritization: Due to its prioritization capabilities, the Epicflow system analyzes existing constraints and automatically prioritizes tasks from all projects in a multi-project environment. In this way, each employee concentrates on the most important tasks and avoids bad multitasking, overload and their negative consequences. The list of prioritized tasks, available to both a resource manager and each team member, is displayed in theto-do list.
- Overload protection in advance:Future load chartshows the future workload of employees depending on their current tasks. By analyzing this chart, a resource manager can allocate resources in a way that doesn't overwhelm team members.
Challenge #2: Shortage of resources
First, it is a typical challenge of fast-growing companies, where the number of projects increases while hiring new employees takes more time. Second, due to shared resources, a collaborator or resource group may be required for multiple projects at the same time, and if they are assigned to the project with the highest priority, they become unavailable to the others.
Epicflow's solution: competency management
In addition to using resource management techniques, it is important to manage employee skills. Epicflowscompetency managementThe functionality provides a resource manager with the necessary information about the skills, level and capacity of team members. This data can be used in the following ways: A staff member or group that has capacity can be retrained and assigned to the tasks of staff members that have capacity or help the overloaded group. Also, this feature makes it easier for a resource manager to deal with isolated and distributed teams and improves visibility of the resource allocation process.
Continue reading:Dealing with the problem of slow recruitment with resource management techniques
Challenge #3: Resource Conflicts
Allocating resources when some of them are needed for multiple projects at the same time is a challenging task.
- The most important thing when managing a multi-project environment and its resources is the right prioritization. In Epicflow, the projects with the highest priority are always visible: they are marked in red and given a special number. Also, it shows which of the milestones are not feasible and need attention. All this information is presented in thePipeline.
- previously mentionedcompetency managementalso works like a resource allocation advisor, suggesting a resource that has the required skills and capacity to complete a task.
- To make informed resource allocation decisions, an RM can perform scenario analysis, which is available withWhat if the analysisFunction: You can change various parameters and see how they affect the project results, allowing you to make the most sensible decisions to make the most of the available resources.
Continue reading:Resource Management Best Practices: 7 Tips to Consider
Epicflow was founded by researchers who have grappled with the complexities of a multi-project environment for many years. Additionally, it has a powerful resource management feature that makes it a perfect solution for overcoming the vulnerabilities of a multi-project environment, including resource management challenges.
If you are interested in finding out how Epicflow can improve resource management processes in your organization, you can contact us andBook a demo.