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Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chapter 41: Introduction to Project Resource Management

Well, as part of project planning we have completed planning for the projects schedule and project communication. The next step would be to start planning for project resources. After all, you need someone to work on the project right? This is what we are going to learn in this and the next few chapters.

So, lets get started!!!

What are Project Resources?

Project Resources are entities that you need to execute a project. You need a team to work on the project (human resources), the team needs computers and other set up (infrastructure resources), the team needs to be paid (cost resource) and so on…

So, the core question that will be answered at the end of this series of chapters is: How do you plan for the project resources? This issue breaks down into three major areas:
• Human resource planning
• Cost planning and
• Procurement planning.

Planning for Resources

As you might remember, resource requirements are estimated by using the Estimate Activity Resources process, and the schedule is developed by using the Develop Schedule process. The activity resource requirements estimated this way are used to develop the human resource plan for the project. The human resource plan and the project schedule, in turn, are used to make cost estimates for activities, which are aggregated to determine the project budget.
Look at the picture below to understand the whole idea…

The direction of the arrow heads indicates flow of information from one activity to another.

Note: Don't worry too much if you can’t understand this picture. We will be covering all the steps involved in planning for project resources in detail.

The approved budget with a timeline assigned to it is called the cost baseline, against which the project performance is measured. This baseline is also used to plan for procurements i.e., purchases and acquisitions that are needed to complete the project but cannot be produced by the project team.

While developing the project schedule, the availability of resources required to perform the schedule activities is an obvious assumption. An important category of resources is human resources—for example, a computer programmer who will write a computer program. You need to plan for these resources.

We will be covering cost planning, human resource planning and procurement planning in detail in the forthcoming chapters…

Prev: Important Terms - Project Schedule & Communication Management

Next: Developing the Human Resource Plan

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