Resource Management

Mastering the Art of Resource Acquisition in Project Management

I recall a time when I was managing a large-scale construction project. We were in the early stages, and the task at hand was to gather all the necessary resources to kickstart the project. This was my first real encounter with the 'Acquire Resources' process in project resource management.

This process, as I quickly learned, was about more than just getting the right people on board. It was about securing everything we needed to complete the project - from team members to facilities, equipment, materials, and supplies. And it wasn't a one-time thing. We had to revisit this process periodically throughout the project, ensuring we had what we needed when we needed it.

The key benefit of the Acquire Resources process is that it guides the selection of resources and assigns them to their respective activities. Resources can be either internal or external to the project-performing organization. Internal resources are obtained from functional or resource managers, while external resources are acquired through procurement processes.

The project management team's control over resource selection may be limited due to factors such as collective bargaining agreements, the use of subcontractor personnel, or a matrix project environment. Internal or external reporting can also influence the team's ability to select resources.

The process of acquiring project resources requires careful consideration of several factors. The project manager or project team should negotiate and influence others to acquire the necessary resources. Failure to secure necessary resources can impact project schedules, budgets, customer satisfaction, quality, and risks.

If team resources are unavailable due to constraints like economic factors or assignment to other projects, alternative resources may need to be assigned. These resources, which may have different competencies or costs, can be used as long as they do not violate legal, regulatory, mandatory, or other specific criteria.

In the planning stages of a project, it's crucial to consider factors like the potential unavailability of required resources. The project manager or project management team is tasked with documenting the impact of unavailable resources on various aspects of the project, including the project schedule, budget, risks, quality, training plans, and other project management plans.

Reflecting on my construction project, I can see how the 'Acquire Resources' process played a pivotal role in our project's success. It was a lesson in the importance of thorough planning and resource acquisition, a lesson that has stayed with me throughout my project management career.