What is resource availability? Definition
In the services industry, resource availability refers to the extent to which the required specialists or other necessary materials are accessible and ready for utilization when needed. A comprehensive evaluation of resource availability involves considering both the physical availability of resources and the organizational capacity to allocate and utilize them effectively when needed in a given project scope or project management as a whole.
Resource availability formula
The resource availability formula project managers can use in their daily work is as follows:
- Total Available Resources represent the quantity or capacity of the resources that are currently accessible or ready for use or an entire resource pool.
- Total Required Resources refers to the quantity or capacity of resources that are necessary to complete a specific task, project, or operation, also known as resource demand.
The units of measurement in this equation may differ depending on your preferred way of calculating the resource availability for project allocations.
How to calculate resource availability? Example
Let's consider an example of calculating resource availability for project management in the IT industry.
Assume you are a project manager in a software development project and need to determine your team members' resource availability to allocate resources and start the project. Here are the relevant figures:
Total Available Employees: 15
Total Required Employees: 12
Using the resource availability formula, we can calculate the resource availability as follows:
In this example, the resource availability in the project for employees in the IT industry is 125%. This means that you have 125% of the required employees available for the project, indicating a surplus of resources for the entirety of the project life cycle.
Is the data precise enough for resource management?
Provided you have a suitable resource availability planning process, it is all the data you need to match resources to a realistic resource schedule.
However, resource availability can vary depending on each project or organization's specific needs and circumstances. It's important to regularly reassess resource availability as projects progress and resource requirements change, impacting the resource schedule.
Additionally, you need to track resource availability daily to manage resource availability without schedule conflicts in multiple projects. We recommend using resource management tools for the purpose, as the capacity of your project team or necessary resources for your project schedule may change. Designated financial and time resources programs can keep project managers updated when resource availability management issues occur.
What else do I need to check before deciding on project resources?
Before choosing your allocated resources or starting any other project management process, use project management software to ensure your employees have the skills to match the project tasks. Otherwise, balancing resource availability might be impossible, as specialized developers might not have enough resource capacity to join your project management team on a whim!
What are the benefits of monitoring resource availability?
Measuring resource availability offers several benefits, including:
- Effective resource scheduling is guaranteed by determining the quantity and type of resources at their disposal while preventing schedule conflicts - you simply won't use the same resource twice!
- Improved planning and decision-making. Resource availability helps in setting realistic goals and creating precise project timeline based on the availability of resources, allowing organizations to make informed decisions regarding project feasibility, resource acquisition, outsourcing, or prioritization.
- Risk identification. Resource management analysis helps identify potential risks associated with resource scarcity, unavailability, employee bench, or constraints and allows a project manager to allocate resources with no mistakes.
- Enhanced efficiency and productivity. Managing resource availability helps project managers with resource optimization, enabling organizations to maximize productivity and efficiency.
- Performance evaluation. Organizations and project managers can track resource availability and assess people's performance in resource management by comparing the planned resource allocation with the actual availability and utilization.
Can I automate calculating resource availability?
Yes! Using a resource management tool to track resource availability is the best thing to do for your business, as it saves your time and provides accurate results - of course provided that you have a tool capable of covering a whole range of different resource management plans and scenarios.
Let’s see how Primetric does that!
Resource availability in Primetric
In Primetric, you can monitor both the availability of individuals and the company as a whole.
First, you can monitor the unassigned hours of your employees in their profile, where their available capacity is displayed - just like in the example below.
Then, you can use the calendar to monitor resource availability for a few employees at once, a team, or just a group of specialists with specific skills. You simply need to customize the calendar by removing excessive information from it to create an availability heatmap.
Last but not least, you can monitor changes and trends in resource availability using some of the reports. For example, with utilization report, you can see exactly how many hours you still have to assign, and which period are at risk of being unprofitable due to excessive employee bench.
I want to learn more about availability and capacity!
Great - you’ve come to the right place!
Our blog offers a variety of resources explaining the most important concepts in resource management, including:
- resource utilization plan and all the tips you need to perfect it,
- good employee utilization rate - and what it really means depending on your industry,
- resource forecasting that can help you during any kind of crisis,
- calculating team utilization with no mistakes,
Or, if you feel like our tool is what you need (or you need more information to make sure of it), simply book a demo with our advisors and start your journey with Primetric!