Once the generic resources needed to complete the project have been identified, the specific resources needed for each task must be allocated and their availability must be ascertained. In addition, it is necessary to estimate the scope and duration of the work required to complete each task.
Resource allocation must be weighed seriously. There are many considerations that have to be taken into account, among them resource availability, cost, and the nature of the work to be performed.
Sample questions one could ask when allocating resources:
- Who in the organization (or outside of it) has the knowledge required to complete the task?
- Who is free during the time assigned for task completion?
- What is the cost of the various resources needed to complete the task?
- How sensitive is the task?
- Is it worthwhile assigning the most experienced resource to the task or is it better to use a different, less experienced resource—someone who is less expensive and, also, more readily available? Alternatively, would it be best to use an external resource instead?
The project manager does not always have the option to decide which resource is the best to assign to a task. However, the project manager should strive to identify when it is important to avoid compromising on resource allocation and when it is not. A necessary resource that is not available must be replaced with another resource or else the task must be postponed until the resource becomes available.