Availability is not a skill set! 5 Tips for Resource Allocation

Availability is not a skill set! 5 Tips for Resource Allocation

“Who can do this job?”
This is something that all project managers will hear at one time or another. It’s not the best way to assign work to your project team members. Would you want brain surgery performed by a surgeon who isn’t a specialist in feet? No.
Would you ask a coworker to present to the board because they had some spare time? Despite the fact that their expertise lies in requirements analysis and they have never presented to senior management before?
This would be a recipe to disaster. You’d both look foolish.
The most difficult aspect of leading a high-performing team is resource allocation. You want everyone to be fully engaged, but only on tasks that are their strengths. Sometimes that means that someone might have to work on something outside their expertise. This could be a great opportunity for development, provided they have the right support.
However, I strongly believe that the availability of skills is not a factor in determining a skill set. How should you allocate tasks if you have access to a variety of resources with different skills? Here are five tips to help you determine who is best qualified to do the job.
1. Skill
Skill is the most important. Is the person able to successfully complete the project? If so, they’re probably the best person to do the job.
2. Experience
Is the person in question familiar with this type of task? If so, they will have the experience and confidence to do it again. They won’t likely need your support.
If they have never done it before but believe they are capable, they will need additional support. They can still accomplish the task if they have the right support.
This guide on delegation will help you support your team as they take on new tasks.
3. Interest
It doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is skilled and experienced enough to do the job well.
If they’ve done the same task 1000 times before, and aren’t interested in learning more, they won’t be interested. Although they can be assigned the work, it may not be completed in a timely manner or of high quality.
Before you assign work to them, talk to your team members. You should assess their motivation to complete the tasks. It’s not fair to let people do the interesting, fun stuff. However, you can at least consider it in your decision-making.
I recently volunteered for a project that everyone else was reluctant to do. It sounded interesting so I agreed to it. I am not sure I would make that same decision again considering how difficult that work was, but I don’t regret signing my name into the frame.
Interest in the work keeps morale high and gives people the feeling that they are developing professionally.
4. Cost
Yes, it is important to determine the cost of a resource before you allocate tasks. You may have to compromise if the person who is best placed to do your work is too costly for your project budget.
It’s not worth paying a programme manager to handle administrative tasks. It would be cheaper to have someone on your team as a project coordinator or PMO support person.
5. Localization
Where is the task going? It doesn’t matter where you are working on a project. However, there will be tasks that require you to travel. For example, setting up servers on site or working for a long time at a client’s location.
Naturally, you want to choose the best person for your job. If you have the option of using resour