Resource Management

...from basic to detailed planning

The Challenge

Resource planning is a very complex issue. Various factors lead to high dynamics in this process:

  • Changes to availability (e.g. holidays, illness)
  • Changes in other projects
  • Appropriate use of resources
  • Availability of employees for project work
  • Many being involved in the process

In practice, it has been shown that the level of detail in planning is of crucial importance. The resources are often planned directly at the activity level in the schedule. However, if the schedule is very granular (which is normal for scheduling), the statement about resource capacity or utilization is quickly confusing. If the resources are now planned in several projects, the complexity continues to grow.

For this reason, we have introduced the process step of basic planning and extended it with other useful functionalities. This is often sufficient (especially in the introduction of resource management). Of course, detailed resource planning at activity level is also possible, which then becomes a powerful tool in progress control.

The Process Steps at a Glance



  • Global: Managing resources / capacities globally
    Goal: Resource master data exist in the system
  • Basic planning: Availability planning
    Goal: To plan and compile the team and check resource availability without further consideration of specific project tasks
  • Detailed planning: Based on Activities
    Goal: Resource planning and utilization based on specific work packages
  • Confirmation: Confirming the progress
    Goal: Making the progress of the work measurable

The Process Steps in Detail


Scheduling staff

In the Global Project, settings for all projects are mades. This also applies to the resource master data. These are:

  • Organization
  • Locations
  • Organizational Units
  • Positions / Skills
  • Employee
  • Working Hours
  • Resource Costs
  • Machinery
  • Material
  • External Resources




These data can either be maintained manually, or are transferred automatically via an interface. An interface is particularly useful when many resources are kept up-to-date. Since most companies already have systems that maintain current master data, the integration of such systems is very useful. This eliminates the need to manually care for absence, illness, parental leave, part-time, etc., and the data stock is always automatically up-to-date for resource planning.

The systems that are most frequently connected are SAP HR and the Active Directory. However, due to the open architecture it is also possible to connect almost any other system.


Basic planning: Availability planning

Basic planning is simplified resource planning and regulates several topics in the system. Among other things, a project role is assigned to the individual person in the project team, which then automatically controls the authorization in the further process. Thus the authorization in the system is largely automatic.

The following simple steps already give a great resource planning which is easy to use, takes little time and is very informative:

  • Assigning Employees
  • Defining Time Period
  • Defining Participation
  • Defining Project Role
  • Defining Project Access
  • Assigning subprojects (optional)
  • Notifying Management (optional)


Detailed Planning

Detailed Planning: Based on Activities

After resources have been assigned to the project via the basic planning, these are now available within the project. In the further course of  planning, it is now possible to allocate these resources to specific work packages in the schedule and thus refining the planning successively. In SmartProjectManager, this detailing is only necessary for the further execution of the project, if the progress of the project is automatically controlled via the feedback of the individual resources (see feedback / feedback user).



Planning ressources on work packages

  • Create scedule or generate from template
  • Assign resources or planned resources from basic plan to work packages

Resource utilization at work package level


  • Conflicts can be detected and resolved directly at work package level

Comparison of Basic vs. Detailed Planning

  • Display how the resources are actually planned on activity level
  • Alignment between basic and detailed planning possible

Confirmation: Confirming the progress


After resources have been allocated to the individual work packages in the detailed planning. Each individual participant contributes to the project success and supports the project manager in a targeted manner.

  • Enter feedback on your own workpackages via drag & drop (times, texts etc.)
  • Only own working stock bookable
  • Record abscences
  • Save and send (release)
  • Estimate of remaining effort

Remaining Effort

As usual in a typical project process, work packages extend as the processing lasts longer than planned. This state is normal in almost all projects and at this moment nothing to worry about. If it's within limits, there is no objection. This time will most commonly be caught up within the project period, so that there's has no impact on the project deadline and thus on the project objective.

Frequently, however, these extravagances can be mission-critical. Especially if this is not recognized by or communicated to the project manager. For this reason, it is possibe for the project participiciants to report an estimated remaining work effort of specific work packages. The individual work packages are included with the respective plan expenses, the actual costs, and the calculated remaining efforts. If the project employee does not manage to succeed with the calculated remaining efforts for a work package, he can enter his estimates and send it to the PM.

Updating the Schedule

The project schedule is automatically updated (plan - actual), made possible by the confirmation of the project participants, so that the progress of the individual work package is calculated automatically. As already explained, it can happen that the expenditure for an operation takes longer than planned. In Smart Project Manager, the degree of completion from "Plan / Actual" as well as from "Plan / Actual + Estimation" are displayed side by side, so that the project manager directly sees where extensions are possible in individual processes. This allows the PM to reschedule  appointment in good time, in order to ensure the success of the project.

The PM is then able to override the calculated degree of completion manually and thus give its own estimation of the progress of the project. Thus, the PM has full control over the tasks and status of his project.

  • Feedback will result in the progress of the schedule
  • Remaining efforts result in the calculated progress of the project
  • Degree of completion can be overwritten by the PM
  • Status reports are thus created almost automatically


More functions

  • Project Participation list is created automatically
  • External Parties - In the schedule, the activity can also be assigned to the company or a specific person of the external participant
  • Material / Machinery - In the schedule, the activity can also be assigned to material and machine resources
  • All views also available on multiproject level


Project PhasesDepth of PlanningResource Management
Project Ideanone-
InitiationRough PlanningPlaning of generic or specific Resources
Rough schedule
Checking basic availability
PlaningFine PlanningPlaning of specific or generic resources
More detailed plan of action on work package level
Availability check
Central resource disposition without approval
Execution / Delivery/ Project ClosingRough Planning (Change Management)
Fine Planning
Planing of specific resources
Detailed plan of action, also below work package level
Availability check
Central resource disposition with approval




smenso | Smart Enterprise Solutions GmbH

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75179 Pforzheim | Germany

Phone: +49 7231 778575-0
Fax: +49 7231 77857-99

Mail: info@smenso.de