9 Tips for Project Managers To Improve Resource Utilization

What is resource utilization in project management? Resource utilization is a measure, expressed as a percentage, of how much of a project team or individual team member’s time is booked for work or actually spent working.

Resource Utilization – Project Management Dashboard (Part-4)

Resource utilization and its importance

Resource utilization gauges an individual’s or group’s level of output over the course of a project or a typical workday. The analysis aids managers in comprehending how their current resources are being used. A resources effectiveness can significantly impact ROI (return on investment). Managers can use data analysis to plan the most effective use of resources for ongoing and future projects, maximize productivity, assign tasks to the workforce, deliver products on schedule, and produce products of the highest quality.

Tips for improving resource utilization

The majority of businesses aim to increase resource efficiency while setting realistic goals. Here are some pointers that managers and project managers can use to maximize resource usage for effective outcomes:

1. Use technology for improved productivity

Utilizing technology to track resource usage can simplify the challenging process of dividing team members’ working hours by their available hours. Tasks like calculating utilization, team management, and project-related decision-making can be completed more quickly with features like intelligent forecast, automatic calculations, cloud-based data storage, and real-time information access all in one place. With the aid of this software, project managers can quickly identify areas for improvement and take appropriate action to maximize billable resource utilization.

2. Maintain 70-80% resource utilization

Working at full capacity may result in team members receiving more work than they can handle in terms of resource utilization. Maintaining resource utilization at 70–80% can result in higher-quality output while ensuring that your staff continues to produce at a steady rate. A company can achieve consistent resource utilization and the desired profit margin at a pace that is ideal for all employees by including a unique percentage. Managers can create better schedules that are practical for the business and the workforce thanks to this change in calculation.

3. Conduct in-depth resource planning

Project managers have a better understanding of resource pool management, skill sets needed, and resources needed for the project once they are aware of the project requirements before beginning resource management. Listing skill requirements, comparing the project schedule with the anticipated time for completion, and taking vacations, leaves of absence, and schedule delays into account are all steps in the process of mapping out resources for each project.

Managers can plan resources more effectively by incorporating data from resource utilization calculations, which helps the business meet project goals without putting pressure on its workforce.

4. Track hours

Not only does keeping track of hours help with payroll and promotions, but it also allows managers to see how long a task is taking a particular employee to complete. Based on this, one can determine how well all of the company’s resources are being used. Additionally, time tracking enables project managers to determine which tasks require more effort and billable hours to complete, and distribute those tasks among their team members for maximum resource productivity. The number of tasks finished within a certain time frame and tasks taking longer than anticipated are two common problems when tracking chargeable hours.

5. Get an overview of the resources

For project managers to maintain optimal levels of resource utilization, it is crucial to keep an eye on their available resources. To ensure effective resource planning for each project, managers may assign some people to more than one project at a time. It is therefore crucial to verify their availability and obtain an overview of each person’s assigned tasks.

Before starting resource allocation, project managers should create an inventory of all the available resources to have a good understanding of what they have and determine whether they need to upskill existing resources or add more to the inventory.

6. Focus on upskilling and outsourcing expertise

Every project comes with its set of requirements. The quality of deliverables for various projects may be impacted by the internal workforce. Project managers must carefully assess the project’s requirements and may decide to contract with outside experts if necessary. Project managers must also assess whether existing resources need to be upskilled in light of shifting customer needs and technological developments. Additionally, keeping a pool of experts on hand to meet the shifting demands of various projects can be expensive. Outsourcing guarantees quality work and more effective use of internal resources.

7. Check on resource utilization regularly

Project managers can manage their resources more effectively by regularly measuring and monitoring resource utilization. For a thorough understanding of the project, team, and individual, managers can track resource utilization under various categories. With this, the manager can strike a balance between the needs of the project and the efficiency of the team. Monitoring resource utilization can improve the chances of long-term success. After analyzing the information obtained from calculating resource utilization, a manager can redistribute, re-plan, or reallocate resources.

8. Create an active task board

Any project’s task board aids in the project’s planning, management, and execution. Task boards facilitate scheduling, maximize output, and establish an action plan. Additionally, it can give managers a general overview of potential improvements. It’s crucial to create realistic task boards based on the resources available and the project requirements.

9. Perform efficient bench management

When team members are awaiting a new project or assignment, it is known as “bench time” for resources. Managers can use this bench time to prepare for upcoming tasks and increase their teams’ potential output by anticipating future requirements. Project managers may gain from periodically evaluating whether the training they use is likely to benefit the company when forecasting using the available data and switching to something else as necessary.


What is resource utilization?

A KPI called resource utilization measures performance and effort over a given period of time (or capacity). Project managers can predict resource availability across multiple categories thanks to optimal resource utilization.

How do you show resource utilization?

The availability of a designer on your team is set to 40 hours per week if they work 8 hours per day, five days per week. The math you perform is 34 / 40 x 100 = 85 if 34 of those hours are deemed billable and 6 are reserved for other tasks (like administrative work).

What is effective utilization of resources?

Making the “MOST” of the resources that are available to you in order to achieve your goal is defined as the process of using resources. This is an efficient and effective procedure for an organization.

How do you achieve optimum resource utilization in project management?

Create a detailed Task to Resource Mapping
  1. Resource to skill requirements to get the tasks done.
  2. Well defined task duration and estimated hours.
  3. Task to resource assignments for the entire project.
  4. A task schedule that allows for planning holidays and vacations (and includes contingency slack as well)
  5. Training & skill requirements.

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