With limited supply of resources and tight deadlines, resource scheduling challenges can mount quickly. Most managers struggle with issues like –
- keeping track of projects and resource availability
- optimizing resource usage while accounting for risks
- maintaining consistency while assigning resources, and more.
All of this boils down to a suboptimal resource scheduling process.
Fortunately, you can ask a few questions as a manager and improve the resource scheduling process. Read on to find out what these questions are.
Five Questions About Resource Scheduling You Should Answer Truthfully
1. Do You Set Goals Before Resource Scheduling?
Managers schedule resources for two primary reasons:
- To ensure projects get completed on time
- To cut costs due to excessive wastage of resources.
Since both have two different objectives, the approach to resource scheduling is different too. This is why you must ensure you have a clear goal first.
For instance, if you are resource scheduling for a project with a strict deadline, you need to account for the project constraints like deadlines, employee skills, etc., while also accounting for resource costs and availability. You might also need to forecast any hurdles to project completion and allot resources accordingly.
Resource scheduling, in this case, depends on resource availability, project needs and constraints, and time.
In contrast, if you are resource scheduling to lower the wastage of resources like desks, meeting rooms, shared spaces, etc., you need to consider usage patterns, costs, and their budget.
For instance, if you want to optimize desk usage, you need to look at past desk usage trends, the costs associated with maintaining desks, etc. Once you have this data, you can decide whether you want to rearrange desks for better usage, provide more amenities at desks, allot employees specific desks in advance, or do away with certain desks altogether.
2. Does the office Have Enough Resources?
Once you know the purpose of scheduling, you must check if the company has enough resources to plan allocations. This usually differs depending on the purpose of resource scheduling.
Say the resource scheduling is for a project. In this case, you will have to ask the following questions to check resource availability.
- Do you have enough employees to carry out the project?
- Do they have all they need to complete the project, including workspaces, tools, and amenities?
- Do you have enough resources (spaces, tools, and labor) to overcome any short-term shortages?
Among other things.
Whereas, if you are resource scheduling to optimize resource usage, you will need to ask questions like –
- How many employees are coming into the office?
- How many resources are available currently, and how often are they used?
3. Are the Resources Exhaustible?
Whether you are resource scheduling for a project or for optimizing resource usage, you will encounter two types of resources. Exhaustible resources that deplete with time like labor hours, energy, etc., and inexhaustible resources that remain constant like the total number of desks or meeting spaces, skills, etc.
If you have exhaustible resources, you will need to go the extra mile to ensure that you never encounter resource shortages. This might include –
- scenario planning or resource forecasting to buy the said resources in advance
- budgeting to ensure your company has the funds to purchase these resources
- putting in requests for buying resources beforehand, etc
4. Do You Need to Plan Your Resources for the Future?
If you have exhaustible resources, you will need to plan resources to avoid shortages or forecast future needs. But there are a few other times you need to couple resource scheduling with resource forecasting.
Suppose your company has a project with a flexible deadline. If your client suddenly asks for urgent project delivery, you may not have time to place an order for new resources or hire new labor. So, you will need to forecast such events and plan your resources accordingly.
Likewise, if your company implements a hybrid work model, there will be times when more employees will come into the office. So, you must have enough desks and meeting spaces to comfortably accommodate them. To do so, you will need to couple resource scheduling with resource forecasting and plan your resources in a case-by-case basis.
Once you decide you need to forecast your resources, you can ask important questions like –
- What is the time frame for forecasting resources?
- Do you have the data for forecasting?
- Can you allocate the available resources as per the demand?
5. Do You Need Resource Scheduling Software to Help Manage Office Resources?
If you carry out the resource scheduling manually using Excel sheets, you already know how tedious the process can become. Yes, the method gets the job done, but it is ineffective in the following cases.
- You do not have a way to measure resource usage trends
- Your company is large, and you need to schedule resources for several teams and projects
- You spend too much time scheduling resources.
This is where resource scheduling software helps.
This software automates time-consuming processes like data entry and trend reporting and makes them quick and error-free. It simplifies resource allocation by giving you a snapshot of all the available resources, including employees, equipment, skills, and spaces.
It also cuts down the time you spend on resource scheduling by streamlining processes like creating and updating resource plans.
Over to You
Resource scheduling can be a long and challenging process but asking the above questions can streamline most of it. Not to mention, tech like scheduling software can shoulder a bulk of the resource scheduling responsibilities through automation.
WorkInSync resource management software is everything you will need to manage your employees and amenities in the office. Once you install the software, you can manage allocating resources, and automate the entire process.
Opt for a demo today to learn more about the product.