It Manager Duties And Responsibilities – Effective resource management can make or break a project-based business. That’s why hiring a resource manager can be truly transformative. But what is a resource manager and what can they bring to an organization?
You’re no doubt familiar with the phrase “herding cats.” Well, many resource managers agree that this is an accurate picture of their day-to-day work!
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Resource management is a very complex task. Time, equipment, people and money are all resources and need to be adequately distributed within the company to meet the needs of various projects. And if resources don’t meet projects’ needs, you can expect missed deadlines, sub-par work and unhappy clients.
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Resources are also expensive and limited, so they must be carefully managed and allocated. As a result, effective resource management is often the difference between a highly profitable and healthy business and a cash-strapped business.
Therefore, it is clear that resource managers have a lot of responsibility. But what does a resource manager job description really mean? Let’s find out.
First, resource managers assist project managers with planning and allocating resources to projects. Their job is to allocate the right resources to the right job at the right time within the budget.
Resource management is one of the essential aspects of project management because it is a way of planning, organizing and allocating a company’s resources. Good project execution depends not only on people, but also on processes, budgets and automated technical solutions. All these elements are “resources” that need to be managed carefully.
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Resource managers also provide collaborative support to project managers on ongoing and upcoming projects. They may need to adjust plans and reallocate resources to increase efficiency or to deal with any unforeseen difficulties the project may encounter.
A project manager may only oversee a handful of projects, but at the same time they are responsible for all the success metrics related to these projects. Will the project be completed on time? Will it stay on budget? Does the work meet the specifications?
On the other hand, resource managers may work across the entire organization, collaborating with several project managers. This is because they focus on the resource side of project success rather than the entire scope of the project.
That’s not to say that resource managers’ responsibilities don’t play a significant role in ensuring that project deliverables are achieved—in fact, they absolutely do. Having the right resources at the right time is absolutely essential for project success. Resource managers have little need for granular details of every aspect of a project.
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And while project managers spend most of their time interacting with customers and other external stakeholders, resource managers may have less contact with people outside the organization.
To further illustrate the difference, here are some examples of typical tasks that project managers and resource managers work on in a typical week:
With a limited budget and other resources, a project manager can assign tasks to team members based on what they are doing. However, the job of a resource manager is to ensure that the right person is given the task and that the resources provided for each project are used to the maximum.
The role of resource manager intersects with human resource manager and hiring manager, but is separate from those two roles. Resource managers work with hiring managers in the hiring process and with human resource managers in allocating resources.
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However, human resource managers differ from resource managers in that they deal only with human resources, whereas resource managers consider all the resources of an organization, not just personnel.
Resource managers are involved in resource allocation planning to ensure that all the company’s resources are used optimally. While this includes employee training and development, it also includes the management of additional resources such as equipment and supplies. Their main goal is to ensure that each phase of the project is adequately resourced.
On the other hand, HR managers deal with benefits and payroll administration, employee engagement, staff training, onboarding and hiring.
Human resource management may collaborate with resource managers to manage and monitor all project staffing and staffing needs. In some cases, depending on the company’s organizational structure, resource managers may also step in to collaborate with HR managers on employee-related concerns.
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According to Neil Whitton, PMP, resource managers are “the chief patron…the most selfless, yet most influential, position in an organization”. Because they spend most of their time thinking about people, skills and performance, soft skills and broad and varied experience managing different people are essential.
However, resource managers rely heavily on data. In this regard, they are greatly assisted in doing their work by using modern project management software.
Instead of manual entry and crunching numbers in spreadsheets, modern platforms automate much of the data entry and help you track complex interdependencies in a clear, concise way. They are also exposed to useful trends and data points to aid in decision making.
In fact, the use of resource management software is essential to get things done quickly and to a high standard.
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To guide you through the basics of resource management and other best practices with the help of efficient resource management software, read our Resource Management Getting Started Guide here.
It goes without saying that a resource manager should have the appropriate experience and the right professional background for the job.
The resource manager does not tick the boxes for the correct qualifications. They also draw on a wide range of analytical and people management skills and develop a specific mindset towards the pressure of juggling multiple projects at the same time.
Resource managers usually have a master’s degree in any of these fields or their related fields:
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Aside from a college degree, industry certifications can demonstrate specific professional expertise. Some of these certification courses include:
Advanced or advanced certificate programs are also available for career development in the resource management pathway or to follow the requirements of a company’s organizational structure.
Another important qualification of a good resource manager is having previous experience or working in a similar role:
Some companies do not require specific experience for a resource manager position. Previous experience in a related field may be optional depending on the job description, but will give the candidate an advantage over other candidates.
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Resource managers should be able to demonstrate knowledge in resource management by possessing the following hard skills:
There are not only industry qualifications to be a resource manager. It requires leadership skills and personal qualities that help foster a collaborative, motivating and productive environment. Here are some relevant skills that a good resource manager should possess:
Some organizations may feel that project managers are better suited to manage resources and other responsibilities. However, as the company begins to scale, the negative effects of the misuse of resources become more visible.
Apart from helping project managers, resource managers keep an overall view of the status of various projects, what is pending and what are all the deadlines. Using software to help, they can track the location of equipment and technicians in real time. They can then communicate this information to various project managers.
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When your team members are managing multiple projects at the same time and working overtime for weeks on end, it may be a sign that your organization needs to hire a resource manager.
While there is nothing wrong with taking on several projects at once, having too many resources is not the route you want to take. Teams with their to-do lists become frustrated and discouraged, leading to poor work quality and low productivity.
Resource managers can manage the resource allocation process and plan project requirements to match staff assignments. This prevents team members from overbooking and reduces workload.
Managing your company’s staffing needs can be overwhelming if you don’t have resource management experience. When you can’t figure out when and who to hire, you need a resource manager to help. One of his skills is to accurately analyze and evaluate when you need to add staff to your team.
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Specifically, resource managers can make accurate forecasts of your organization’s needs based on future plans, resource schedules, and team member capabilities.
Assigning tasks seems like a no-brainer. But once you get into the middle of a project, if you don’t have a well-established process to monitor who is working on what, you may find it difficult to report everyone’s progress.
This is one of the areas of expertise of resource managers. Lack of perspective makes it difficult to prioritize calls and facilitate communication. Resource managers use their bird’s eye view to allocate and monitor available resources and capacity for all projects in progress at the time.
Today’s resource managers use resource management tools to create greater visibility into work, schedules, and team member availability. These tools are used to automate,
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