Struggling with resource forecasting? Is project management getting the better of you at times? You’re not alone.
As the leading resource forecasting platform, we spend a lot of time researching and perfecting ways to be more efficient with available resources.
Here’s some good news! Using this guide, you can learn how to streamline the entire resource forecasting process and blast past your project targets in no time. Resource forecasting tools like EmployPlan can automate resource forecasting for you in no time.
Let’s quickly jump into resource forecasting basics and see how it can help project managers, founders, and product owners optimize their businesses to achieve maximum results!
What is Resource Forecasting?
Resource forecasting is the process of estimating resources for upcoming projects. Accurate resource forecasting helps project managers know whether the planned project activities will be completed in a given time frame with predicted resource availability.
You must keep track of your future resources even more if you work in a dynamic business environment.
Resource forecasting needs to keep you prepared for future market trends.
While resource forecasting applies to many project resources, we’ll look into skills and human resources for forecasting in project management.
You can forecast capacity planning by gauging the key resources, their availability, workload and resource utilization.
Using EmployPlan’s insightful dashboard, you can automate resource planning and resource forecasting for you, thereby avoiding major scoope creeps and project failures.
Resource forecasting usually depends on many variables. You need to get insights from various verticals of resource management to make project resource forecasting accurate. Here’s how you can get that information:
You can do resource forecasting by checking with your sales team about the inbound leads and the current projects. That way, you would know how many resources would be needed for future projects.
Alternate project plans
Resource managers and project managers must work together to break down projects into milestones, deadlines, deliverables, and microtasks to make resource forecast more accurate. Resource forecasting tools like EmployPlan help you with all that data and eliminate project planning bottlenecks. Also, imagine worst-case scenarios for your entire project. It would bridge resource gaps, show critical resource’s unavailability and help you improve resource forecasting.
Seeing a larger picture of future resource needs is vital for accurate forecasting. Resource shortfalls, demand for additional resources, and even resource pool must be considered for forecasting resources.
You can get all that data used for planning strategic work by signing up on EmployPlan. Try it out to fix your resource requirements and forecast resources without errors!
The basics of resource forecasting are in place now! Take a look at the significance of resource forecasting now:
Why is Resource Forecasting Important?
Resource forecasting helps project managers and decision-makers for hiring new talent, meet future client demands and navigate hiring trends.
More importantly, it curbs overhiring, helps you hire contingent resources, and guards your business sustainability.
Benefits of Resource Forecasting
Considering how crucial resource forecasting is for a project’s success, take a look at its benefits:
Resource forecasting supports you in finding out the exact resources you need to complete a project. It saves your team from project failures and resources exit. It creates a clear plan for you and helps you break down project timelines, phases and offers critical financial indicators.
Companies spend most of their money on hiring. However, overhiring often happens in the race for growth because of poor resource management. Resource forecasting creates accurate staffing plans. It brings down extra project budget and makes project plan agile. Collectively, it boosts revenues and sets up companies for long-term business sustainability.
Become a Flexible Organization
Whether your organization is full-remote or hybrid, resource forecasting done using EmployPlan can make it more async yet dynamic. It allows project managers to manage their teams, project pipelines, and project demands all using easy-to-use dashboards. This decreases dependencies on communication and infuses more flexibility at work.
Avoid Project Bottlenecks
A resource forecasting tool like EmployPlan removes project roadblocks for you. It gives you visibility of critical resources and current project data and provides accurate details about existing and pipeline projects. You can analyze it to reduce project bottlenecks.
Prevent Employee Burnout
Poor resource planning can induce stress on teams as well as project managers. Through resource forecasting, you can reduce burnout and make decision-making more effective. This enables your team to take action, learn from past projects and succeed at new projects.
Top Factors that Affect Resource Forecasting
As we already established, resource forecasting is a crucial aspect of business planning and decision making. Accurately predicting the resources needed for a project or operation can mean the difference between success and failure.
However, there are several factors that can impact the accuracy of resource forecasting.
Planning the timelines, milestones, and expected project cost is essential to make a project succeed. The hourly rates of resources can often vary or project timelines are tight. A project manager needs to take all of that into account.
Type of Resources
Resource forecasting process depends a lot on your resource pool. Freelancers and full-time employees can both be at your disposal. Keep their availability in check using EmployPlan and it will be sorted!
Planned and unplanned days off
While you can mark public holidays, planned leaves or vacations of resources can catch you off-guard. Feel free to use EmployPlan to manage unexpected unavailability of resources without postponing project timelines.
Level of Effort
Practical resource forecasting needs to consider extra or ad-hoc work like communication, meetings, managing project financials, and more. Make resource estimates by including these in the Level of Effort (LoE) for accurate resource forecasting.
Last but not least, resource forecasting can only happen with budgeting. As a project manager, figure out how much your existing projects would cost. Connect the dots to understand how much budget you would need per your resources and create a backup plan.
How to do Resource Forecasting?
Unlike what professional service firms advertise, resource forecasting is not tedious. For example, many project managers have been using EmployPlan for it and they have been able to forecast resource easily through automation.
Along with using EmployPlan‘s robust dashboards, follow these tips to make resource forecasting win for you:
- Know the skills which are needed to deliver a successful project.
- Find out the strengths and weaknesses of your resources to allocate the right resources to suitable projects.
- Schedule team retrospectives to know what worked well or did not in terms of resources.
- Take hiring trends, attrition, and business performance into account.
- Avoid underestimating project timelines and resource needs.
In a nutshell, robust resource forecasting can only be done through automation in this day and age. Try automating your resource management with EmployPlan
Resource forecasting is the method that will help you understand the possibilities of your team and stay ahead of changing requirements.
Resource forecasting keeps your resource pool active, reduces project fails, and helps good decision-making.
Simply use comprehensive and clutter-free resource forecasting tools like EmployPlan to mobilize resources and manage resource planning without stress!