Resource Allocation Matrix: A Way to Manage Project Resources

A resource allocation matrix (RAM) is a vital tool in project management that helps allocate and manage resources efficiently throughout a project's lifecycle. It provides a visual representation of resource distribution against project tasks, aiding in forecasting milestones, cost management, scheduling, and avoiding resource imbalances. To create and manage a RAM, PMs must define the project scope, select an appropriate format, allocate proper resources, communicate the matrix to stakeholders, and continuously review and adjust the allocation. Challenges in managing a RAM can be mitigated by effective communication, corporate AI meeting assistants, and strategic adjustments such as resource leveling and upskilling.

Integrate your CRM with other tools

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit lobortis arcu enim urna adipiscing praesent velit viverra sit semper lorem eu cursus vel hendrerit elementum morbi curabitur etiam nibh justo, lorem aliquet donec sed sit mi dignissim at ante massa mattis.

  1. Neque sodales ut etiam sit amet nisl purus non tellus orci ac auctor
  2. Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti
  3. Mauris commodo quis imperdiet massa tincidunt nunc pulvinar
  4. Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti

How to connect your integrations to your CRM platform?

Vitae congue eu consequat ac felis placerat vestibulum lectus mauris ultrices cursus sit amet dictum sit amet justo donec enim diam porttitor lacus luctus accumsan tortor posuere praesent tristique magna sit amet purus gravida quis blandit turpis.

Commodo quis imperdiet massa tincidunt nunc pulvinar

Techbit is the next-gen CRM platform designed for modern sales teams

At risus viverra adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat nisl pretium fusce id velit ut tortor sagittis orci a scelerisque purus semper eget at lectus urna duis convallis. porta nibh venenatis cras sed felis eget neque laoreet suspendisse interdum consectetur libero id faucibus nisl donec pretium vulputate sapien nec sagittis aliquam nunc lobortis mattis aliquam faucibus purus in.

  • Neque sodales ut etiam sit amet nisl purus non tellus orci ac auctor
  • Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti venenatis
  • Mauris commodo quis imperdiet massa at in tincidunt nunc pulvinar
  • Adipiscing elit ut aliquam purus sit amet viverra suspendisse potenti consectetur
Why using the right CRM can make your team close more sales?

Nisi quis eleifend quam adipiscing vitae aliquet bibendum enim facilisis gravida neque. Velit euismod in pellentesque massa placerat volutpat lacus laoreet non curabitur gravida odio aenean sed adipiscing diam donec adipiscing tristique risus. amet est placerat.

“Nisi quis eleifend quam adipiscing vitae aliquet bibendum enim facilisis gravida neque velit euismod in pellentesque massa placerat.”
What other features would you like to see in our product?

Eget lorem dolor sed viverra ipsum nunc aliquet bibendum felis donec et odio pellentesque diam volutpat commodo sed egestas aliquam sem fringilla ut morbi tincidunt augue interdum velit euismod eu tincidunt tortor aliquam nulla facilisi aenean sed adipiscing diam donec adipiscing ut lectus arcu bibendum at varius vel pharetra nibh venenatis cras sed felis eget.

Resources in a project are like pieces of a puzzle. You need to look at them in one view to allocate and manage them effectively throughout a project’s lifecycle.  A resource allocation matrix simply breaks down a project into milestones and tasks and allocates resources to them based on availability, skill, and various other factors. 

In this article, we will understand why this matrix is crucial, how to manage it, and how to address challenges in the process.

What is a resource allocation matrix? 

A resource allocation matrix (RAM) gives an overview of a project's resource needs. It lets project management teams identify resource crunch or imbalances ahead of time and provides better optimization opportunities to organizations.

A resource allocation matrix typically includes the names of teams, daily rates, type of project, tasks involved, or the number of people assigned on a day. It visually represents resources mapped against project tasks and activities. This is a generic overview. A resource allocation matrix can vary according to the project and organization. 

A project’s resource allocation matrix can be rolled up at a program, portfolio, or domain level to convey a complete picture from the high level while including granular details. 

Why is a resource allocation matrix important?

Resource allocation matrix helps organizations navigate various stages and activities in project management, including: 

Project planning

The resource allocation matrix helps project managers forecast project milestones and ensure delivery on the set date. It summarizes resource mapping, cost allocation, and other requirements in one view, helping the project manager set realistic expectations for all stakeholders. 

The matrix lets you optimally allocate resources to ensure they are not underutilized.  

Resource assignment

Not every project needs 100% people’s availability. For example, a business analyst would be more significant when the project begins. When it’s ongoing, you can allocate them to a different project to optimize resource allocation. 

In the same way, you can share other resources at a tribe or portfolio level. A resource allocation matrix gives you the clarity needed to make these assignments. 

Cost management

The daily costs of resources determine the cost of a project they’re assigned to, among other things. Mapping these resources to respective projects helps calculate and set up budgets at the planning stage. 

Moreover, not all resource costs are due at the same time. The resources allocation matrix gives an overview of when the cost is due, helping you better utilize and manage budgets in different projects. 

You can optimally use budgets across project portfolios, helping you optimize costs. 

Project scheduling

A project schedule outlines when and in which order project tasks start and finish. It ensures that everything functions smoothly and the project is completed on time. 

A resources allocation matrix shows who will execute what and when they’ll do it. It lets project managers better balance workload to avoid overworking someone or under-utilizing their expertise. It keeps things balanced to avoid harsh surprises when it comes to  budgets or deliveries. 

How to create and manage a resource allocation matrix (+ Template)

Below are the steps to create a resource allocation matrix for your project. You can modify this Resource Allocation Matrix Template per your project or organization’s needs. 

1. Define the project’s scope and structure

Make sure you have already aligned on the project’s scope and structure. List goals, deliverables, assumptions, requirements, constraints, risks, and dependencies. These are prerequisites for creating a resource allocation matrix. 

Start by breaking down the project into more manageable milestones and tasks. Using a work breakdown structure or project management software, visualize smaller tasks. Based on task relationships, execute them sequentially or parallelly. 

Make a list of tasks associated with every milestone and assign roles. This clarity will help you execute the project seamlessly.

2. Select a resource allocation matrix format

Choose the RAM's format based on your project's size, complexity, nature, or sometimes hierarchy. Select a format that maps work tasks to teams and roles. You can represent various responsibility levels with numbers, letters, color codes, or symbols. 

For example: 

  • RACI: Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed
  • RASCI: Responsible, Accountable, Supportive, Consulted, Informe
  • RAMPS: Responsible, Approve, Perform, Support, Consult 

These are all functions of roles identified during project planning. 

3. Allocate resources

When you have the format set, the next step is to aggregate granular details about your resources. Consider the skills, experience, workload, preferences, and availability of human resources to map them to relevant tasks, ensuring optimal allocation.

Always keep a buffer. Suppose you assign a new hire a task, and the person didn’t join at the last minute. You need to have a backup plan for such situations. It’s advisable to encourage such hires to join a little early to ensure you have no last-minute surprises. If a project has performance issues, you may need to replace a few resources based on unique skill requirements. You might need to move them out of their previous projects and arrange for a backfill. 

When it comes to material resources, assign the quantity and quality resources needed to fix the budget and timelines when you need them. It’s advisable to leverage resource calendars and histograms to assist you in this process.

4. Communicate and update

When your resource allocation matrix is set, communicate it to your team members and all project stakeholders. It’s essential to keep everyone on the same page. If in-person meetings aren’t possible, hold a virtual meeting. 

Make sure these meetings are recorded. With AI solutions gaining popularity, many enterprises have started using corporate AI meeting assistants that record and provide comprehensive meeting minutes in a document, literally keeping everyone on the same page. 

Try Reelay

Monitor the performance and resource usage as the project runs its phases to make timely adjustments and optimizations. 

5. Continuously review your resource allocation matrix 

Establish a practice to review the resource allocation matrix when you complete specific tasks or project milestones. Measure how effectively you allocated resources and identify areas of weakness, if any. 

Document the improvement opportunities you come across and share them with your team members and project stakeholders. 

Feel free to use surveys or post-mortem meetings to go through this process. 

What challenges should you look out for while creating and managing a resource allocation matrix?

There are different kinds of challenges you’ll face while working on RAM. 

Differences in timezone

Organizations have offices on-site, offshore, or nearshore that differ in time zones. Getting all stakeholders to come together in one virtual meeting might be tricky. 

Getting these stakeholders together causes unnecessary delays in aligning things on the RAM for the project manager. They might be hopping between calls with different groups and consistently sharing meeting minutes with all. This inevitability becomes a redundant workflow that causes unnecessary delays in finalizing a resource allocation matrix. 

Businesses with modern stakeholder management practices solve this using corporate AI meeting assistants like Reelay. These virtual agents join a meeting on a participant's behalf, no matter if they’re out of the office or simply in a different time zone. Reelay shares comprehensive meeting minutes with a word-to-word transcript to keep all stakeholders posted. 

Reelay meetings data

Meeting minutes provide detailed insights into topics discussed, action items, questions, and more. 

Communication gaps

Only some project managers have profound business knowledge. Communication gaps in such scenarios create delays for project managers in estimating requirements. With inaccurate resource demand, the project has either excess or fewer resources. 

It usually arises during execution, when excess resources blow up project costs and fewer resources cause delays. Corporate AI assistants help bridge these gaps by keeping everyone involved in the project informed through meeting minutes or short summaries. 

Even if people miss out on attending planning meetings due to any reason, these virtual assistants keep them posted about action items and update them proactively.

Scope creep 

It’s common to see requirements change in a project's lifecycle. However, this creates a challenge for project managers when these requirements aren’t properly communicated. Scope creep and gold plating lead to changes in resource demands.  

Adjusting to dynamic demands becomes tricky as the communication gaps become broader.

You can address these challenges by solving their underlying root cause, communication, and collaboration

It’s best to be preventive here since revisiting resource allocation during project execution can be costly. 

No project manager wants to be there, but sometimes, the situations are inevitable. To address runtime resource allocation challenges, project managers perform: 

  • Resource leveling. Involves adjusting start and finish dates based on resource constraints. However, getting additional resource support might be tricky. In such a case, a project manager would revise the schedule to confirm a new completion date. 
  • Resource smoothing. In this case, the project manager can add or remove resources in a project’s lifecycle.
  • Upskilling existing resources. If there are fewer skilled resources on a project than required, companies give other available resources that require mentoring to upskill them. 
  • Conducting independent audits. If governance issues result in improper resource allocation, independent audits are carried out with the help of consulting firms and agencies, supporting the project's recovery. 

Keep everyone on the same page with Reelay

Reelay’s corporate AI meeting assistant keeps everyone on the same page. It improves meeting culture by sharing minutes, a quick summary over email, and a complete transcript and recording of the discussion (when needed). 

Reelay meeting mintutes that keep everyone on the same page while creating a resource allocation matrix

The best thing is that Reelay supports users across all popular video conferencing software, such as Zoom, Gmeet, Microsoft Teams, or Webex. It’s enterprise-ready AI with robust features that consider compliance. On top of that, it’s accurate and more affordable for enterprises than other solutions. 

Sign up for a free pilot program and experience Reelay for 30 days. 

Cut 2 hours of admin time
on every meeting