Organizations often need to implement more than one project at a time with limited resources. Resource scheduling allows managers to identify their resources to best apply them to areas where sufficient resources are not available to complete multiple tasks at the same time.
A project manager needs resources to start a project. When resources are limited, projects are prioritized based on a set of criteria. The most important projects have the highest priority and start sooner than projects with lower priority. Resource scheduling involves staggering start and finish dates to coincide with the availability of resources.
Identifying and scheduling resources is integral to assessing a project's risks. Project activities are identified and time lines for completion of these activities are estimated based on available resources. If other projects are dependent on the same resources, these project activities need to be completed or disrupted before new activities can begin. The risk associated with these delays is minimized when resources are scheduled to complete higher priority project activities before starting other activities.
Scheduling highlights areas where resources are not available at the times needed for completion of high priority projects. Organizations may start lower priority projects sooner if they can be completed with available resources. Other projects that are higher priority, may wait until resources, such as plant capacity or skilled staff, are added.