Resource allocation is a complex-sounding term with a simple definition: putting people (and things) in the right place at the right time. It’s easier said than done, of course, but for business owners, resource allocation is well worth understanding.
What is resource allocation?
Resource allocation is a critical piece of successful project management. If you have a task to get done, you have to distribute your resources properly to get it done well, on time and on budget.
Most resources fall into these 3 buckets:
- People (employees, managers, vendors)
- Tools (software, hardware, budget)
- Time (your time, your clients’ time)
Balancing all 3 resources is a challenge, which is why many managers succeed with one at the expense of the other. In order to ace resource allocation, you have to work your way through each challenge, one by one.
Resource allocation challenge #1: People
As a manager, you know your most important asset is people, from the employees who do the work to the stakeholders who’ll sign off on the finished product. Allocating time for the right people with the right skills to get things done is priority #1, whether you’re managing accountants, construction workers or delivery drivers.
The solution: Scheduling
Scheduling is crucial for any manager, and spreadsheets and email attachments no longer cut it. Not only do you need a global view of employee schedules before you begin resource allocation, you need to be able to see where everything stands as a project progresses.
With a solution like Time Tracker, you can:
- Create daily, weekly or monthly schedules in minutes.
- Automate employee rostering using templates.
- Easily share schedules with your whole team from one centralized location.
- Keep track of which employees have passed the overtime threshold and which are short on hours.
- Evenly distribute the workload for maximum efficiency and minimum cost.
Simple scheduling is crucial, and the keyword there is simple. If you’re still spending hours on manual employee scheduling, the first resource you need to worry about is your time.
Resource allocation challenge #2: Tools
Now that you’ve created an optimal schedule, you need to give your employees the tools they need to get their jobs done. Those vary by industry, of course, with contract management tools looking very different from legal tools. The one thing, though, that every employee needs is a way to track what they’re doing.
If people are concerned that they don’t appear to be working when they should, or if they get sidetracked every time they need to request a schedule change, productivity suffers, and even the best resource allocation can’t get a project back on track.
The solution: Time tracking software
The one skill that’s crucial to every industry is time management. By giving your employees a tool that will help them easily track their time, you’ll free them up to focus on the task at hand, not to mention boost morale and productivity.
Time Tracker allows managers to:
- Standardize the way everyone at a company tracks time.
- Streamline paid and unpaid time-off requests.
- See where employees stand with regard to hours in order to make schedule adjustments.
- Edit or approve time for one or all employees in seconds.
- Get people paid faster.
With a time tracking solution, managers get the ability to see every metric they need and employees get an increased sense of control. It’s a win-win, and one that will have a trickle-down effect into every other aspect of your business.
Resource allocation challenge #3: Time
How many hours, days, months or years will it take you to finish a project? Which people have the time to complete each task? And whose time do you need most in order to get your project done fast and done well?
Time is key to resource allocation, but many managers rely on instinct and general expertise to estimate how much time a given task will take. It’s an antiquated approach, and one that often leads to blown budgets and last-minute scrambling.
The solution: Reporting
Business reports have been shown to boost productivity, reduce unnecessary expenses and help you ensure each milestone of a project is met. From a managerial perspective, they also give you insight into your most important resource: your employees.
Reporting features like those included with Time Tracker:
- Allow managers to better understand current business needs, such as when peak times occur, and when staffing shortages are usually encountered.
- Make data compilation and visualization much more intuitive and actionable.
- Enables managers to gain insight into employee behavioral patterns:
- Which employees are chronically late or absent?
- Which ones consistently come in early?
- What effect do longer shifts have on employee productivity?
Without detailed reporting, there’s no way to know what’s going on with your business day-to-day. And if you don’t know that, proper resource allocation isn’t a realistic goal.
Better Allocate Your Resources with Time Tracker
Ready to see how Time Tracker can help you ace resource allocation? Try our free, 14-day trial.