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How To Become A Resource Manager

August 29, 2023 | By Samantha Varner

So you want to become a resource manager? Good news: this post is your comprehensive guide to understanding the role of resource managers and the skills you need to excel in this dynamic field! 

Resource managers play a critical role in project and portfolio management by ensuring the right people with the right skills are assigned to projects efficiently and effectively. But what are their key responsibilities? What qualities make a great resource manager? And how can they stay ahead of strategic initiatives to ensure portfolio success? Let’s dive in and uncover what it takes to become a great resource manager.

Understanding the Role of Resource Managers

Resource managers are like conductors of an orchestra, harmonizing each resource to create the ideal output. Their primary responsibility is to identify the necessary roles and skills required to successfully complete projects. To do this, they work closely with project teams to understand the unique demands of each project and then evaluate the available capacity of the teams against the impending workload. Once the assessment is complete, resource managers allocate the right individuals to each task, making sure all projects are staffed optimally.

However, keep in mind that a typical day in the life of a resource manager requires adaptability and agility. For example, your day might start with an email informing you about a newly prioritized project that demands immediate attention. Step one is connecting with the project team and deciding what specific roles and skill sets are needed to deliver the project. Step two is performing a meticulous comparison of the projected resource needs against the current availability of skilled individuals within the organization. Finally, armed with this analysis, step three is presenting your findings to project leadership and discussing which ongoing projects may need to be deprioritized to accommodate the new initiative.

At the end of the day, resource management is just as much about adapting as it is about planning. Even a perfectly-allocated project portfolio is going to have to adjust to new initiatives or changing market conditions. The resource manager role is critical for enabling organizations to adapt to evolving demands effectively.

Traits of a Great Resource Manager

A great resource manager possesses a unique combination of skills and attributes that allow them to thrive in this challenging role. Firstly, organization is paramount, as resource managers must juggle multiple projects and teams simultaneously. Their ability to collaborate effectively across different departments and teams to foster a cohesive working environment is also essential.

Additionally, resource managers need to hone their strategic foresight. The best resource managers can anticipate potential bottlenecks or resource shortages before they become critical issues. Solving these complex problems is second nature to them, and they enjoy the challenge of finding creative solutions to optimize resource allocation.

Staying Ahead of Strategic Initiatives

One of the key responsibilities of resource managers is to be well-versed in the organization’s strategic initiatives. This involves closely monitoring industry trends, the project pipeline, and market demands to be prepared for upcoming resource requirements. Being ahead of the curve allows resource managers to proactively plan for workforce needs and ensure that the right talent is available when needed.

Purpose-built resource management software like Tempus Resource is the ultimate tool for helping resource managers stay ahead of the curve, plan for bottlenecks, effectively reallocate when new initiatives arise, and more. Instead of tracking employee skills in a stagnant Excel sheet (or not at all), Tempus’s Skills Database makes it easy to identify skills shortages and where current employees could be upskilled. Additionally, when projects and resources do need to shift, the What-If scenario planning feature allows resource managers to test exactly how changes would affect the portfolio without altering their real data. This sandbox feature enables resource managers to find the best solution that keeps the portfolio on track.

Becoming a resource manager demands a unique skill set and a passion for problem-solving. These orchestrators play a pivotal role in project success, making sure that projects have the necessary resources to thrive. Their ability to balance strategic initiatives, workforce capabilities, and project demands is essential to an organization’s efficiency and growth. That being said, having access to the right software like Tempus exponentially increases a resource manager’s ability to make strategic decisions and ensure portfolio success.

To learn more about Tempus Resource’s resource utilization capabilities, contact us today or schedule a demo.

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