We’ve written before about best practices for resource management. There’s no doubt that these practices – like understanding the resources available, tracking time, prioritizing work and creating efficient workflows – are integral to project management. There’s nothing that spells disaster for a project more than a situation in which resources aren’t covering the work that needs to be done.
It’s easy to talk about anticipating and mitigating potential resource problems, but what are the specific problems that could crop up? In this blog, we’ll explore some common resource constraints and skill shortages in project management, plus solutions to help get everyone on the same page.
Common Resource Constraints and Skill Shortages in Project Management
- Lack of Resource Centralization
If resources are not centralized either geographically or through standardized systems, the work and even team relationships can suffer. A decentralized resource pool can derail projects quickly, whether due to a distributed or remote workforce or simply a lack of established processes for communication and accountability.
- Project Dependencies
Dependencies refer to the relationships between tasks – in other words, when one task can’t be performed without a particular other task being completed first. But what about when the fate of a project rests on the guidance of a freelance consultant?
While an established workflow can help with the former, the latter problem can create constant delays and disruptions if project teams have to reinvent the wheel every time another freelance developer enters the mix. Learning curves and long onboarding processes can extend project timelines as well as team and client relationships.
- Employee Retention and Turnover
Projects always go more smoothly when experience and institutional knowledge are allowed to pass between team members and, in some cases, between projects. Low employee retention or a heavy reliance on contractors and freelancers can cause constant disruptions and delays, not to mention conflict.
While this problem overlaps with dependency on consultants as we described above, it can spread beyond individual projects if there are company-wide culture or workflow problems. Without in-house developers, for example, projects can become chronically dependent on organization outsiders, making consistency across tasks or projects impossible.
Tips for Addressing Resource Constraints and Skill Shortages
Focus Management on People
A breach of deliverable timelines doesn’t always mean a lack of skills. Leaders should make sure team members both understand their roles and responsibilities and feel motivated and empowered to carry them out. Understand what motivates people and leverage the management styles at your disposal to cater to the personality types of your team members. Work toward collaboration rather than keeping teams siloed.
Adopt Efficient Workflows
No matter how motivated team members are, they need reliable systems of communication and accountability. While this is especially important in distributed and remote workforces, it’s really crucial for all project teams. Invest in efficient workflows to mitigate delays and confusion.
Create Processes to Capture New Developments
Beyond establishing workflows, you can also establish internal processes for bringing in new team members or developers, fielding new ideas and adopting new perspectives on existing work. This helps project teams anticipate and manage onboarding processes while minimizing conflict.
Make Use of Project Management Tools
Project management software like Clarizen is designed to help organizations better collaborate, standardize processes and ultimately boost efficiency and project success. To see firsthand how project management tools can help you manage resources, check out our website and get started today.