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Tips for Managing a Resource-Constrained IT Environment

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Resource restraints are a significant challenge for any organization. When there isn’t enough staff, equipment, or other resources available to complete projects, the bottleneck can lead to missed deadlines and overblown budgets.

Thus, the key to success in any project is resource management, and there are plenty of tools on the market to help your project make the most of what you have on hand. The more effectively you manage your resources, the less likely they will run out before completion or cause other complications like delays.

Here are some actionable ideas for improving success rates without hiring more employees or spending additional money on materials—all while still meeting deadlines.

Identify which resources are the most constrained

The first step is to figure out which resources are the most scarce. It could be labor, equipment, storage, bandwidth, or anything else that limits your ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

Once you’ve figured out your stopgaps, look at the upcoming projects you’re expecting to take on. Identify which of these projects will be a stretch of the forthcoming resources, and try to figure out ways to reduce their scope or change their deadlines.

Prioritize tasks

It may sound obvious, but it can be easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when you’re trying to complete several tasks at once. When this tunnel vision happens, prioritize tasks and equipment changes that are most important to your company’s overall success.

  • If your data center is reaching its limits, consider moving some old archives to cloud storage with an offsite vendor
  • With limited storage space in your data center, you may decide to defer adding new virtual servers until the current ones are no longer needed

The same goes for other types of equipment and infrastructure that require dedicated hardware—if there’s not enough room for them now, they should be considered a lower priority.

Consider using a different technology or process to eliminate this constraint

It may be that some of the tasks you have require a particular type of technology or equipment, and there isn’t enough available in your data center for all of them.

This constraint is especially true if your data center is either getting too full or too empty—for example, if you’ve recently moved into a new space that has more room than before.

In this case, you could defer purchasing the extra servers and storage until your old equipment becomes obsolete. This delay will extend their useful life and reduce the amount of money you’ll spend on updates and maintenance. You can also increase the efficiency of your existing systems by incorporating edge-computing tools like these. Edge-computing tools are excellent for resource-constrained environments because they function closest to the “edge” of your network, requiring less energy.

Keep an inventory of resources

You may already have a good idea of the most constraining resources in your organization, especially if multiple projects are already stalling for want of more resources.

But just knowing this is half the battle—being able to track everything that’s available and what you’re using it for is the other half.

Having a detailed inventory of your hardware, storage space, and bandwidth will help you plan future upgrades, so they happen at the most efficient time possible. The last thing you want is to limit your capacity even further with untimely equipment updates or upgrades.

Look at each project objectively

One of the biggest problems companies face is that they don’t look at their projects objectively, especially after these projects hit roadblocks or significant issues.

Instead of reevaluating where a project is going, most employees will work harder to shoehorn these projects into success under the original schedule and plans.

By identifying where each project is heading before it becomes too difficult to fix, you can take the necessary steps (like reducing its scope or changing the deadline) needed for success.

Reduce scope according to constraints

Once you’ve identified which of your projects are resource-constrained, you can start to reduce their scope, so they fit within your current restraints.

  • If your constraints are labor-related (a lack of employees), you can break each project into smaller tasks that are easier to complete.
  • Or, if your constraints are budget-related, you can work with suppliers who have competitive rates so you can acquire the necessary materials at a lower cost

Whenever possible, try to reduce scope according to resource constraints—but don’t start this process until you’ve already identified which projects require the most resources.

Track progress closely

Once you’ve reduced the scope or deadlines for a project, make sure to track its progress carefully throughout development.

If you identify any roadblocks along the way, don’t be afraid to change direction and follow a different path. Your original launch schedule isn’t gospel, so don’t be scared to adjust deadlines and specifications along the way if it will ensure successful completion.

Before you go

Resources are a challenge for any organization. However, not all constraints are dire. Sometimes it will spur the creative inspiration for a solution previously unrealized.

The key to success in any project is managing your resources effectively, so take a deep breath and take stock of what you have on hand. Your resourcefulness may surprise you.

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