How to Create a Resource Plan: 3 Actionable Steps
Step 1: List All the Resources You’ll Need
Ask yourself the following questions:
A. Who will you need for each milestone?
B. What will their roles and responsibilities be?
C. Make a list of both part-time and full-time contractors.
D. Next, think about the equipment you will need to complete each task.
E. List everything from office equipment, such as computers and photocopies, to machinery.
F. Consider the materials you’ll need to complete the project as well, such as steel, wood or concrete.
G. Try to go beyond the obvious and plan for the unexpected as well. What will you do if a machine breaks, or if one of your developers quits right before an important milestone?
H. Do you have a backup plan with additional resources in case things go astray?
Step 2: Estimate How Many Resources You’ll Need
Resource planning is not an exact science. More often than not, you’ll have to guess and figure out how many of the resources on your list you’ll need for each stage of the project. That’s why it’s vital to anticipate any possible scenario and always prepare for the worst.
A. Try to figure out how many hours your team will need to complete each task, but make sure to carve out some extra time for potential errors or downtimes.
B. Do the same thing for the equipment you will need and the materials.
C. Try to get estimates as accurate as possible, such as the number of units or the square footage required.
D. The more precise your data is, the easier it will be to allocate the resources.
Step 3: Create a Resource Schedule
Now that you have a detailed list of all the resources needed for the project, it’s time to design a comprehensive schedule for each item.
A. Specify what resources you will need to complete each task.
B. The quantity (if applicable).
C. The timeframe in which you estimate that the supply will be consumed (if applicable).
Try to be as realistic as possible when determining the duration of each assignment and the resource type it will require. For example, you may think that testing the prototype shouldn’t take more than three weeks, but try to consider the fact that your team will also have to attend meetings, revise their work based on the feedback received, and handle urgent but unrelated tasks that come their way. As such, they may only be able to dedicate 70% of their time to testing the prototype, so a four-week duration would be more realistic.