As the name suggests, the ‘Estimate Activity Resources’ process involves the evaluation of the quantity and types of resources needed. This includes the estimation of both equipment and raw material supplies alongside human resources. A beforehand analysis of what is needed by which activity of a project ensures accuracy in duration and cost estimates.
To wait unnecessarily upon the supply of certain materials delays the overall project schedule. A wrong choice of talents or equipment often prevents a project from achieving desired results. One has to be very accurate right from the start regarding every single resource requirement in a project.
Why Is The Estimate Activity Resources Process Needed?
This process helps in determining and preparing a sequence of every possible kind of resource a project requires. The estimating activity comprises 13 steps that have been discussed here, in order:
The first and foremost step is to ensure that every resource is ready at hand. This involves reviewing the human labour, equipment, and raw materials available within an organization. Suppose, an enterprise is lacking in software developers who aren’t capable of meeting the requirements of specific software development. In that case, an alternative way would be planned such as outsourcing new talent.
The activity list and WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) contain a map of the activities related to a project’s life cycle. It is essential to cross-check these two vital documents for allocating the resources accordingly. This forms the basis of resource estimation.
Reviewing familiar past projects provides an idea of the resources needed in the similar activities of the present project. This is a wise method of confirming the resource quantities and types without much difficulty.
Organizations generally follow certain policies like the PPM tool for resource allocation and requests. Such tools monitor task distribution and execution in the project team. They even supervise project phases and time reporting. Reviewing these policies is essential too since they must be observed throughout the estimate activity resources process.
Consultation with the experts in individual domains/ activities related to the project should be conducted. Their opinion regarding the experience and competence level apt for respective activities are worth considering. This helps in building a project team comprising members with the required potentialities. Team preparation falls in the purview of human resources.
Say, working twice a week would meet a project’s requirements of a graphic designer. In that case, it is not cost-effective to make this resource available at all times. Instead, the required work can be obtained from an external vendor through outsourcing.
Buy decisions are made to estimate activity resources in a project. These decisions play a significant role in the project’s cost planning, as well. For instance, a particular tool is needed exclusively in the present project and that too, for a short duration. To purchase such a commodity might cost more than renting it. Thus, the latter option is less expensive and must be considered a final decision.
Resource estimation gets difficult with the increasing size of project activity. Despite activity disintegration by composing an activity list and WBS, several tasks still remain complex. Estimate activity resources process marks further breaking down of a sizeable activity into individual chunks.
How many individuals are needed for a particular project procedure is determined during the estimate activity resources process. Say, a software development project requires software testers, architects, engineers, and analysts. The exact number of heads required from the different profiles is analyzed through this process.
An RBS (Resource Breakdown Structure) is created during the estimate activity resources process. This serves as a hierarchical structure for resource allocation based on who is working independently or under a superior. Suppose 5 software engineers are involved in a project and one of them is leading the rest then that must be noted during this process.
This step follows the aforementioned procedures as their outcome. A resource usage plan is made based on the estimated number of executioners alongside raw material and equipment supply quantities.
The last step is to update project documents since they undergo several changes while decisions on resource allocation are made. Therefore, the details should be altered accordingly to leave no gaps in project execution.
The estimate activity resources process is an indispensable segment of project management. In no way, it should be ignored by the project manager along with his/her team members. Resource type analysis as per the project’s requirements saves a lot of time otherwise wasted when a plan is absent. Those who are pursuing a PMP Certification or undertaking training must be well-versed in this process. The ability to fairly execute activity resource estimation helps one land satisfying jobs in project management.