In today’s time, the projects have become increasingly complex and have even tougher timelines. This makes it impossible for you to experiment with resource management in architecture. You just cannot afford to do incorrect or imbalanced allocation of the resources. Architecture firms usually have multiple and large projects at hand. These projects unlike many other industries have outcomes that are tough to predict. Such architectural and construction-based projects require attention to detail and close coordination of various moving parts. You have to efficiently manage both human resources and tools and equipment among multiple projects and locations. If not done correctly, it can lead to a waste of money and time. Therefore, it’s imperative that you schedule and allocate the right people to the right task and at the right time. Having said that, creating an optimal team to ensure that every project is successfully completed is not so simple.
What are the Key Challenges of Resource Management in Architecture?
Some of the top challenges of resource management in architecture are as follows:
- Visibility over upcoming projects and resource availability
How would you plan for the resource requirement if you do not have an idea of the upcoming projects? A project in the architecture or construction industry requires many types of resources such as contractors, labor, mason, interior designer, architect, painters, and then non-human resources like resource allocation tools, machinery, finances, etc. Similar to many other industries, even architecture firms face the challenge that they do not have clear visibility into their pipeline and no clarity about all the projects and resources at hand. This makes it very tough to create a detailed resource plan. Without a Bird’s-eye view of all the organization-wide projects and resources that are available, executing projects can be tough, especially with a crunched schedule.
- Multiple projects and shortage of skilled labor
These days residential and non-residential projects are on the rise, and thus, architects and contractors take on multiple projects. Now, managing and executing all those projects with stringent deadlines and budgets can be very challenging. On the hindside, an overburdened team can be very detrimental in the long term as the quality of the work and the overall productivity will go down. In addition, in the construction and architecture industry, there is a shortage of competent labor. This creates a lot of burden on the existing skilled resources and the project managers need to utilize those people effectively to be able to remain profitable. Doing so is a herculean task as the limited skilled people do tend to get overburdened.
- Scope creep and delays
At times, many unforeseen events can happen that impact your project schedule. For example, a client is not happy with the output and is pushing for some change that wasn’t agreed upon, or a construction permit arriving late, some skilled and important resource going on unplanned leave, etc. Though you may re-prioritize your tasks to fit in the scope creep or changes so that project isn’t delayed, but at times, it is not possible to accommodate the changes without adding more resources to the team or spending extra cost. Having said that, it’s important to be flexible and always bake in some extra time, effort, and budget for unforeseen circumstances.
- Poor and improper resource scheduling
Imagine what resource overload and shortage of competent labor can lead to. It is a sure-shot path to disaster and project cost overruns. Overburdened resources can lead to huge overtime costs for an architecture firm, which means the budget is overshot. In addition, overutilized employees will become tired, and less productive, and their quality of work will go down. In the long run, the firm’s attrition could increase too and there could be a resource crunch. In the architecture and construction industry, there is also a risk of accidents and injury if the resources are fatigued. Proper and balanced scheduling and resource management in architecture enabled us to realistically assess project schedules and workload as per the existing availability of resources.
- Inability to meet the unpredictable resource demand
The architecture and construction industry is quite volatile due to uncertainties and various risks involved. As per a recent study, 78% of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) companies state that the risks they are facing in their projects have been increasing. As these projects are vulnerable to a lot of changes because of external factors, the resource demand remains unpredictable and dynamic. Now, because of the lack of clear visibility into the resource requirement, the construction project managers cannot fulfill the required demand in a cost-effective manner.
- Managing utilization
Managing the utilization of your resources is another big challenge for architecture firms. This is mainly because of the creative nature of the profiles, where certain skill set is needed to perform the tasks. Also, the time estimation for a given activity is difficult to estimate. Additionally, you cannot compare planned vs. actual time because there could be a lack of adequate equipment, materials, or tools. Hence, calculating and managing billable utilization for employees becomes tough.
Top Benefits of Using a Resource Management Software in Architecture
To deal with inefficient and manual processes and workflows, many architecture and construction firms are implementing resource management tools to schedule, track, and manage their resources and projects effectively. Such a tool simplifies the end-to-end process right from the planning phase, designing, execution, and completion. Here are some of the top benefits of using such software for resource management in architecture.
- Efficient resource management: Project managers can easily plan, schedule, allocate, and track their team and resources on all their current projects. Such resource management software enables them to set priorities between tasks and monitor utilization, productivity, and profitability data in real-time. If need be, they can amend schedules, re-align resources and change timeframes as per the changing demands or scope of projects and this helps in effective resource management in architecture.
- Transparency and clear visibility: A resource management tool also provides Gantt charts and comprehensive dashboards that make it easy for project managers to check and track resource availability, status reports, utilization, and financial data regarding all projects. This information is also quite useful in making important decisions and aligning with the business goals.
- Project planning and tracking: Project and resource managers can easily create project and resourcing plans with accurate timelines for their architecture and construction projects from the kick-off phase to completion. Such a tool helps to prioritize tasks and projects and allocate resources accordingly.
- Accountability: Resource management software provides a clear insight and comprehensive view, which in turn, improves accountability among your employees. Users can instantly access any data or information about the project, the team, its budget, timelines, scope, assigned location, and other details like equipment, tools, materials allocated, etc.
- Track project progress easily: Construction and architecture resource management software come with inbuilt reporting tools, which provide you with resource availability, financial reports, and utilization reports in real-time. This helps to utilize resources optimally and monitor any time-sensitive tasks to make sure that they are concluded on time and within budget. You can also customize all these reports as per your specific requirements.
- Notifications and alerts: Project and resource managers can set various notifications or alerts for their teams in real-time. This helps to keep a tab of all tasks in various projects, and reminds people of the start dates, various milestones, any changes, and schedule.
- Enables more flexibility and agility: A construction and architecture resource management software help you to avert any crisis situations with efficient and detailed planning, scheduling, allocation, and optimal resource utilization. It also allows you to constantly monitor your project status, cost, resource availability, productivity, utilization, equipment availability and utilization, materials and equipment used, etc. This data helps in evaluating and reallocating resources if the need be.
- Efficient financial planning: A leading tool such as eResource Scheduler provides detailed financial reports that are made available to all the authorized users and in its comprehensive dashboards. The resource and project managers can make use of this data to utilize their financial resources efficiently and enhance the project profitability.
- Open communication and collaboration: Resource management software acts as a single online tool that users can access at any time and from anywhere. Thus, it becomes very easy for employees to have two-way communication. Resource and project managers, the team members, and all stakeholders can easily share data, any updates, reports, dashboards, new developments, or any concerns they might have.
- Monitoring overall quality and safety: One of the major concerns in architecture and construction projects is quality control and safety. Resource management software offers accurate data and reports, which help in maintaining quality control by decreasing testing and inspection inaccuracies. Such a tool helps in completing all the tasks faster and enhancing quality. Thorough work logs and detailed inspection documents also make sure that project teams comply to all the prescribed safety norms.
Achieve Seamless Resource Management in Architecture with eResource Scheduler
If you are seeking a solution for efficient resource management in architecture, consider a cloud-based and AI-enabled tool called eResource Scheduler. This tool acts as a single platform where you can access all your data, important information for your projects, all organization-wide resources, billing, productivity, etc. What’s more? If productivity is the stress point for you, then such a solution helps to do the right resourcing, allocate a balanced workload, and maintain ideal utilization. eResource Scheduler can help architecture and construction firms effectively plan, schedule and allocate, and manage resources optimally. This top-rated tool has brilliant features like an intuitive interface, advanced filters, comprehensive reports, drag and drops features, timesheet management, etc. helps in assigning the best fit resources to various projects. So, in case you have any queries about how this tool can help, take for a free trial soon.