Resource management refers to managing the resources of a company, project or department. This can mean many different things, including managing resources such as finances, human skills and information technology or, in a larger corporation, managing the resources for multiple departments and projects. Resource management is also commonly known as human resource (HR) management, although that covers just one type of resource management.
Resource leveling is one of the basic concepts of human resource management which aims to find underused people or resources within a company and put them to work. Resource leveling looks at all resources, people and equipment to determine if some of those assets are being underused or could be used more effectively elsewhere. It is one of the most important HR concepts as it helps maximize employee resources.
An example would be a manager of one department who could also oversee another department, or a person in the accounting department who would also be very beneficial in the IT department.
The traditional approach to resource management techniques is a concept that has been around for centuries and has maintained popularity because of its success. The traditional approach to resource management is a five-step process which includes the initiation stage, planning or design stage, execution or production stage, monitoring and controlling and the completion stage of the process.
Not all processes of resource management will hit every step of this process. This process is most commonly used when introducing or creating a new product or service, but can also be used to prioritize and help integrate a new resource into a company such as a new computer system.
For example, if a company introduces a new phone system, they may first perform a feasibility study in the initiation stage to see how practical the idea is. For the planning stage, they will make a budget and find phone systems. Execution would involve installing the system and monitoring would involve testing it to make sure it works properly. Closure might involve turning the system on for the whole company if it was only tested by a few employees originally.
Another concept of resource management is the use of the resource limited schedule. This technique is basically creating a road map of a project and pinpointing resources along the way. For example, each person or employee involved in the project will be pinpointed along the way and all resources are accounted for along the road map.
The schedule will also have a start date and an end date, and corresponding resource information. Obviously, this concept is largely focused on planning rather than completing the task at hand.
The resource breakdown structure technique for resource management is used essentially as a list of the company's most important resources. In the beginning of the project, a supervisor (or any team member for that matter) will list all resources in order of their importance, their abundance and their uses. This technique can be useful when deciding how to more efficiently redistribute resources.