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Last edited 18 Jan 2021
Resource management in construction
Construction companies face the challenge of delivering often complex projects to a schedule, within a budget, and hopefully with a reasonable profit margin. Resource management is the process of planning the resources necessary to meet the objectives of the project, and to satisfy the client’s requirements.
Construction resource management is the process of planning and allocating resources required to meet project objectives. Proper resource management helps to keep projects on schedule by ensuring that the demand of project resources is met and also maximizes the utilization of resources from project to project.
Without proper resource management, projects can fall behind schedule, or can become unprofitable. The objective is to ensure the adequate and timely supply of resources, whilst at the same time maximising the utilisation of resources between projects.
- Products and materials.
- Construction plant, tools and equipment.
- Human resources.
- Space and facilities.
Fundamental to resource management is real-time visibility of; what resources are needed, what resources are available, where resources are located, and the ability to reschedule those resources accordingly.
A resource management plan can be used to:
- Ensure resource availability and resolve resource conflicts.
- Optimise time, effort and cost.
- Ensure workers with the right skills are available.
- Identify limitations, such as site access, weather conditions, and so on.
- Reassign resources in response to circumstances.
- Track resources utilisation to avoid excessive resourcing or under-utilisation.
- Type of activity.
- Start date and duration of the activity.
- Activity owner.
- Resource type and quantity required.
- Source/supplier of each resource type.
- Equipment required.
- Cost estimates for each of the resources to be supplied.
- Risk mitigation.
Successful resource management requires:
- Access to the up-to-date project plan with clear definition of the different phases of work and activity scheduling.
- Understanding the types of resources that are needed.
- Understanding the availability and optimum utilisation of resources.
- Understanding the potential for developing resources for new uses.
- Understanding of the lead time required to ensure that resources are available when needed.
- The ability to redeploy resources if works need to be accelerated, or if works are completed.
Automated resource management systems can improve companies’ overall efficiency, replacing less efficient data collection methods such as paper forms, spreadsheets, and so on. Some of the features they can incorporate include:
- Automated calculations.
- Ability for managers to simulate and test different scenarios.
- Re-evaluation and re-calculation as decisions change.
- Real-time resource utilisation tracking.
- Resource allocations can be assessed and approved quickly online.
- Access to real-time information via mobile device.
- Online collaboration between sites, offices, partners, subcontractors, and so on.
It may become necessary to accelerate the progress of works, either to achieve the completion date, or to meet a new requirement imposed by the client (such as accommodating additional works, or bringing the completion date forward).
Fast-track construction is a scheduling technique that can be used to reduce the overall duration of projects by overlapping tasks that on a traditional contract would not be commenced until the previous task was completed. Whilst the same number of tasks need to be performed, they are condensed into a shorter period, and so are likely to require more resources.
Resource levelling is a project management technique in which the demand for limited resources is accommodated by adjusting the project programme. In construction, resource levelling can be used to analyse the variations in resource usage that can occur over time, and which can be inefficient and costly.
Human resource management (HRM) is the process of managing people within an organisation. In construction, HRM is primarily concerned with ensuring that a project has sufficient human resources, with the correct skill-sets and experience, for the project to be successfully completed.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Acceleration of construction works.
- Activity schedule.
- BREEAM Construction waste management.
- Construction inventory management.
- Construction logistics manager.
- Construction management.
- Contractor’s master programme.
- How to manage construction plant.
- Human resource management in construction.
- Logistics management.
- Modern slavery.
- Pre-construction information.
- Programme for building design and construction.
- Project manager.
- Resource allocation in design and construction.
- Resource leveling.
- Scheduling construction activities.
- Time-location chart.
- Time management.
- Time management of construction projects.
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