Getting started with project resource management

project resource management

What is project resource management?

Project resource management is used to organize, plan and manage resources in the optimum way to help you deliver your projects.

If you are new to project resource management, you can easily get confused by terms like resource planning, resource allocation and utilization.

But in this article, we step you through the process – we have this covered.

What is involved in project resource management?

Struggling to understand how to do project resource management? At its heart, project resource management involves the following:

1. Resource planning

The starting point in project resource management is to take a high level view of your projects and the resources you need. This should include the projects you are currently running and any projects you are planning on starting up over the coming months.

The aim is to figure out when projects can happen given the people you have, if you have any skill gaps and what resources you may need to hire.

The easiest way to do project resource planning is to think in terms of roles (i.e. skills) and not individuals. So think about how many people in each role you need and when you need them (this is your “demand”).

You should already know how many people in each role you have available (your “capacity”). Compare your demand to your capacity and if you have any shortfalls adjust your project timings or think about hiring. Jump into resource capacity planning best practice for tips and guidance about capacity planning.

2. Resource allocation

Once you have a high level resource plan in place outlining the roles you need and when you can then start allocating resources to projects. This essentially means swapping out roles for named resources.

The chances are you are probably planning resources across multiple projects so you need to calculate and check your resource utilization to make sure you have not over allocated anyone.

3. Tracking utilization

When tracking resource utilization you are simply comparing resources total allocations (or bookings) to their availability. When calculating availability it is important that you take into account any vacation or planned time off.

It helps to track utilization at two levels:

  • Individual resource utilization. This lets you check if any individual resources have too much work allocated.
  • Role utilization. This summarizes the utilization of the people in the role. It helps you spot if you need to recruit any more people for a role or if there is still available capacity in the role to take on more work.

You may end up with a situation where you have some individual resources who are over allocated but their role is under allocated. Meaning you can move work between people in the same role to solve the resource issues.

If you are struggling to track resource utilization, download our free resource utilization report template.

Kelloo's resource management tools

Resource planning, forecasting and reporting in one place. We help you get the most from your projects and people.

Resource management vs. project management

Trying to understand the difference between resource management and project management can be a little confusing as there is a significant overlap between both techniques. 

For example, smaller organizations may combine the role of project and resource manager. But as team sizes and project numbers grow, it often makes sense to split the responsibilities.

The resource manager becomes responsible for:

  • Looking forward and forecasting what resources and skills will be needed.
  • Deciding who is working on what projects and allocating them.
  • Managing utilization of resources.

Whereas the project manager is responsible for:

  • Day to day scheduling of resources.

What tools can I use for project resource management?

Most folks will start off using a spreadsheet for project resource management. And this is perfectly fine until your resource pool size and number of projects grow. From experience, once you get above 10 resources and 5 or so projects, using spreadsheets becomes too time consuming and error prone. Then it is normally time to take a look at resource management software.

One thing we would stress is not to use project management tools like MS Project for project resource management. In most organizations resources do not work on one project exclusively – they share their time across projects. Project management tools take a single project view. So it is near impossible to effectively manage utilization of resources.

Start managing your teams more effectively today

This is where tools like Kelloo can help. Kelloo is a resource planning and resource management platform that has all of your projects and resources in one place.

Meaning as you make changes to schedules and allocations you instantly see the impact and knock on effect on your other projects. Here are some of the things Kelloo will give you:

  • Visual representation of your resource allocations and availability.
  • Drag bars to plan resources.
  • Ready made reports and analysis.
  • Built in features for capacity planning, forecasting and what if analysis.
  • Report builder so you can create your own analysis.
  • Collaborate and share plans.
  • Supports both agile resource planning and waterfall planning.

As you plan in Kelloo you can see the impact on your resources and projects instantly. The heatmap provides a great way to spot resource constraints, conflicts or resources with too much or too little work.


Resource management in Kelloo is done through a shared workspace meaning collaborative planning is easy and reports and analysis can be shared with your team.

resource capacity graph

The Kelloo report builder is a powerful tool that helps you unlock insights into your resources and help you more accurately plan future work and forecast resource needs.

Resource management report

If you are ready to look at project resource management software try a free trial of our resource management software.

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