Section 5 Key Points Briefing: Identifying Project Resources 5-87 Discuss the importance of identifying project resources. Both human and nonhuman resources must be identified for a project so that the project has all of the skills, material, equipment, and money needed for the project. Identification of project resources is a necessary step in determining the project’s budget. Explain the consequences of failing to accurately identify needed project resources. If a project manager fails to accurately identify needed project resources, the progress of the project will probably be delayed until the needed resources can be acquired. This can result in problems with completing the project during the initial timeframe. In addition, the project’s total cost will have been underestimated so that the business is unable to obtain its planned return on investment. Identify sources that can be used to determine needed resources. Project managers can review previous project documentation to see what resources were used and what comments about resource allocation appears in the lessons learned documents. Project stakeholders should be asked to provide insight as to the nature and quality of resources they want to be used in the project. Team members can be consulted to find out what resources they have used on previous projects. Explain considerations in determining resources needed for successful project completion. The work breakdown structure is useful in identifying the types of skills that are needed to successfully complete a project. The project manager should focus on identification of the needed skills before focusing on the individuals who’ll make up the team. The skill level should also be determined—e.g., does the project require an expert or could it rely on a person with less skill who will cost less to obtain? Once the skills and skill level are determined, the project manager can begin to match that information to the names of people who possess the needed skills. The project manager needs to verify the availability of each person identified so that s/he ensures that the person won’t be on vacation, scheduled for other projects, etc. The deliverable the employee will provide should be referenced. The number of days that the employee will be needed, start and end dates, and the person’s cost must be estimated and recorded. Describe techniques for identifying individuals who possess the needed skills. Project managers can ask the functional managers to assess the skill set of their employees to determine who has the requisite skills. They can access previous project plans to see what individuals have participated in similar projects. Explain the importance of estimating project costs. Project managers attempt to estimate project costs as closely as possible. If they underestimate project costs, they might find that they have to “eat” the costs themselves as a contractor. When working for the company for which the project is being undertaken, project managers might find that they are running out of funds before a project is completed. If this happens, they may have to request additional monies or cut corners to complete the project with fewer resources. Section 5 Briefing: Identifying Project Resources 5-87 Demonstrate procedures for identifying project resources. For human resources, take each deliverable in the WBS, identify the activity required to produce the deliverable. Next for human resources, determine the skill sets needed. Specify the level of expertise required on the project. Match people to the required skill sets and skill levels. Designate the specific deliverable that each identified resource will produce. Specify the number of days of effort that the person must spend on carrying out the deliverable. Identify start and end dates for each person. Estimate the cost of each person’s labor. For nonhuman resources create a nonhuman availability sheet that involves: Taking the activity specified on the WBS, and determining what nonhuman resources are required to complete the activity. Recording the nonhuman resources on the availability sheet. Estimating the number of hours that the nonhuman resources will be used or needed, and recording that information on the availability sheet. Specifying the date(s) the nonhuman resources will be used or needed, and recording that information on the availability sheet.