Engineering Project Management: Managing Your Resources

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A well-thought out resource management approach is one of the key differentiators between an engineering services project and a software project. Let’s discuss some of the resource management tips for an engineering services project.

Engineering Services Resource Management tips

  • Buffer Resource Management: Engineering project work requests normally come in small packets. Also, quantity of work varies according to onsite work requirements. Hence, keeping a human resource buffer is necessary for executing any engineering project. At the same time, the size of the human resources buffer should be kept under check or else it can become a failed project. Ideally, an 8-10% buffer should be considered healthy for any engineering project.
  • Work Forecasts: Getting accurate work forecasts is important for three reasons – billable human resource, buffer human resource management and arrangement of software/hardware. Onsite coordinators should have clarity about the client’s business model to make the work forecast correctly.
  • Reducing Software Costs: Unlike software projects, an engineering project needs third party software. In fact, outputs of this software are the major deliverables for most of the cases. A significant amount of engineering project expenditures go towards software licenses costs. Software license costs can be reduced by implementing a shift system, so that two or three engineers can make use of a single license.
  • Energy Efficient Building: A significant part of project revenue goes towards electricity costs for lights and air-conditioning systems. Natural lights and ventilation could be used to drastically reduce electricity costs. Buildings, which are totally enclosed with glass, accumulate significant amounts of heat inside the building and increase the air-conditioning heat load, which increases electricity costs.
  • Using of Part Time Resources: In contrast to software project management, where logical codes are main deliverables, an engineering projects involve multi-disciplinary activities that require domain expertise. Using knowledge of part time and freelance experts, as and when required, will help running projects without increasing project resource size.


Like software projects, engineering projects also fall under the service project category. However, a resource management approach for engineering projects is totally different than that of software project management because engineering project management is a combination of engineering and project management.