A resource pool is a set of resources available for assignment to project tasks. A resource pool can be assigned exclusively to a project or task or shared by several projects. One resource can be part of individual resource lists for multiple projects or the resource can be part of a single shared resource pool.
In project management, automation facilitates the creation and use of resource pools. Project management software enables you to create specific project files for resource information, which makes managing information and task assignments much easier. A resource pool allows you to schedule the work of resources across multiple projects. As the information is integrated and accessible to all users, you can also quickly identify conflicts between an employee’s assignments in different projects, and see how their time is allocated in each project.
A resource pool makes it easier to administer people, or even equipment assigned to tasks, in more than one project file. Using automation enables you to centralize resource information, such as the resource name, calendar used, resource units, and cost rate tables.
Organizations use shared resources to be cost and operationally efficient. A resource pool also reduces bench time. For example, a building contractor may have five building projects. Each building project is in a different phase of construction and is managed by different project managers. All five projects will need the company’s two cable installers. Rather than each project manager having a dedicated cable installer, which would mean hiring additional staff, the cable installers would be part of a shared resource pool that could be shared among all five projects. Project management software will enable the project managers to view calendars, and assign the resources to their projects for the dates needed.
Using project management software, each project would first set up its project file that would contain only that project’s resource information. The shared resource pool is then created and all resources are assigned from the single resource pool. Assignment information, cost rates and availability for all resources are now centralized in one location.