The Advantages and Disadvantages of Resource-Constrained Projects
When your small business undertakes resource-constrained projects, it can present both challenges and opportunities. While you will have to operate with little or no room for error, this approach can encourage your team members to perform at the top of their games and be innovative in using the limited resources they have at their disposal.
When you know you're working within a specific time frame, with a certain dollar amount or with a limited number of staffers, you can streamline your project planning to ensure lean operations and limited waste. Staffers recognize there is no wiggle room with regard to meeting deadlines, working in a team environment and being attentive to the parameters of the project and the customer’s expectations. Staffers may be more focused on the project knowing they must be creative and judicious in their decision-making to ensure project elements are completed correctly, in order and on target the first time around.
Constrained resources prompt savvy human resources management and savvy comparison shopping for outside expenditures. If you have the right staffers together for the project, you can also provide them with some degree of autonomy. Staffers who are forced to make the most of their limited resources gain valuable experience in working within strict budget parameters, which can be beneficial in future projects where there is greater flexibility in terms of budget and timetable. This can ultimately help your business consistently deliver projects to consumers on time and within budget.
When resources are limited, there is little or no room for major changes in project direction. Project activity that veers away from critical, sequential steps must be quickly and accurately readjusted to ensure timely delivery. Unanticipated cost overruns, client-requested changes, supplier delays and missed deadlines all have the potential to derail projects and put them over budget. This is especially troublesome in a small business where it's difficult to absorb additional costs, particularly if they're related to internal miscalculations.
Constrained budgets leave little margin for error in project planning. For example, an order of brochures printed without a company logo can result in reprinting costs, rush delivery fees and missed client deadlines. If any project team member misses a beat in a resource-constrained project, it has the potential to create a domino effect that leads to errors or costly delays. Turning around a substandard or delayed project has the potential to negatively impact the company's reputation and result in future business loss.