Resource Utilization Best Practices in Project Management

Resource Utilization is one of the key performance indicators in project management. And project managers have a tough time finding their resource utilization metrics right.

Resource Utilization is one of 3 key components of resource management. The other 2 being resource availability and allocation.

As we review some of the best practices for resource utilization within our project management practices, let us understand resource utilization and its impact first.

What is Resource Utilization?

Resource Utilization is the productive or billable time as a percentage of the total working time of a resource.

Gartner suggests anything between 70–80% is a great utilization. However, organizations are hard-pressed between their costs and project profitability and keep pushing for more.

90%-95% is kind of the desired utilization rate by PMOs the world over.

The most critical problem with pushing for higher resource utilization is — employee burnout!

Note: A higher utilization rate does not necessarily indicate higher productivity or efficiency. Instead it has proven to be counter-productive.

The question then becomes, how do we maintain optimum utilization without draining our resources and still deriving maximum efficiency?

Create a detailed Task to Resource Mapping

Task to resource mapping is the first step towards getting your resource planning right.

This includes a robust yet realistic task breakdown that covers:

· Resource to skill requirements to get the tasks done

· Well defined task duration and estimated hours

· Task to resource assignments for the entire project

· Task schedule that accommodates holidays & leave planning( add contingency slack as well)

· Training & skill requirements

Task planning will give you a clear indication of what type of resource requirements you have for the project, how many total resources will be required, what is available in-house and how to meet the skills gap if any.

Armed with these insights, you can then analyse your overall resource pool to see which other resources might need to be pulled in, shared between projects or be contracted.

Read the full article at Orangescrum Blog