4 Tips for Resource Planning

Resource planning is the process of various departments within an organization working together to ensure budgets align with organizational needs and that staff is available to support them.  Often spear-headed by the Human Resources department, in coordination with the Finance Team, it is important to have a strong communication strategy in place to ensure cohesive planning.

People operations teams typically survey the needs of the company’s various departments, eg – engineering, product, marketing and sales, to gain an understanding of the people resources needed to achieve departmental and organizational success.  This process is sometimes referred to as mapping the organization headcount.  At times this can be precarious, as agreeing on which line items live within which departments budgets, and how to prioritize various needs, can be challenging.

Below are 4 Tips to help streamline effective Resource Planning for your organization:

1. Build an amicable relationship between HR & Finance – This will help you to navigate the needs of all facets of the business and ultimately have a positive impact on resources. Consider building a cooperative communication strategy amongst HR and Finance in coordination with the rest of the organization.

2. Set a road-map for effective planning – Having a timeline for headcount mapping, financial needs to support growth and necessary resources (tools, supplies, etc) will help manage who works on what and prepare the organization for the present and future needs.

3. Transparency leads to understanding – When all departments have clarity into the overall organizations needs they tend to work better.  Evaluate all needs and prioritize as a team.  However, remember to have leaders for each task, having too many “cooks in the kitchen” can have an adverse effect.

4. Plan for the uncontrollable – There will always be unfortunate and unforeseen factors (eg – running over budget). Being prepared before-hand can help mitigate issues. While all companies wish they had all the resources that everyone wants it may not be possible.  Having a back-up plan with external resources that are available to support the needs of your organization will minimize disruption and keep the process as pleasant as possible.

Do your best to know your team and this will keep them happy.  People do their best work when they are passionate about it.  Matching resources (ie – people) to tasks rather than tasks to people will help ensure employees enjoy what they do.

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