Why Resource Allocation is Critical to Delivering Successful Programmes

By Alchemmy’s Nicola Osinaike

AI is rapidly developing, yet programmes still require real humans to deliver the promised outcomes. All successful programmes have achieved the ‘North Star’ – accessing the right people, with the right skills and at the right time.

Despite its critical importance, resource allocation is one of the most challenging aspects of Project and Programme Management. Understanding why and how to effectively allocate resources can mean the difference between success and failure.

What is Resource Allocation in Plain English?

The term is more of an art than a science. Resource allocation is the process of assigning and managing the range of components (i.e. people, finance, raw materials) which keep any business moving. Focusing on the people component, any project manager aims to ensure their delivery team is utilised both efficiently and effectively. But what does that mean in plain English:

Efficient people allocation – the value of work produced by each team member outweighs the cost to the business

Effective people allocation – the right team member with the right skills is assigned to execute work delivering maximum impact and minimal waste.

In reality, striking the balance between efficient and effective resource allocation is easier said then done.

Common Challenges in Resource Allocation

  1. Limited Resources: Lack of suitable skills is a challenge for many sectors, creating internal conflicts and rising costs in the race to attract the right talent.
  2. Unclear Priorities: When everything is deemed a priority, nothing is truly prioritised, leading to overworked staff, high attrition and ineffective resource allocations.
  3. Dynamic Environments: Business environments are forever changing. Market conditions, customer demands, and technological advancements all create turbulence, changing the requirements for people and skills.
  4. Interdependencies: Programmes often involve multiple interdependent projects. Allocating resources without understanding the dependencies can lead to delays and inefficiencies.


Strategies for Effective Resource Allocation

The expression ‘forewarned is forearmed’ summarises the tactical advantage gained when project managers take proactive action to help them avoid disaster. Options include:

  • Having clarity on which programme goals are urgent vs important in the context of the overall business strategy
  • Having real-time visibility on resource availability, allocation and utilisation to enable effective decision-making
  • Skills development roadmaps to ensure investment is targeted on training to ensure the skills required are cultivated to meet future demand
  • Increase cross-functional collaboration between different teams to ensure critical resources are deployed effectively.

Our view is that these are some of the most effective strategies programme managers can deploy to help them ensure their programme is deemed a success – on time, on budget and on quality.


Alchemmy’s Programme Diagnostic Service

So where can Alchemmy come in? Through the use of our diagnostic service, we can offer a tailored approach to really understand the needs of your programme and ensure that resource analysis and allocation is not only done at the project definition phase, but the process is future-proofed throughout the programme’s life cycle.

Resources will be actively managed and allocated on a frequent basis, covering all aspects of both simple and complex programmes. Our service will unpick pre-identified resource challenges your programmes and projects are facing and instead will provide solutions to deliver successful outcomes.

Let Alchemmy’s Programme Diagnostic Toolkit be your partner in delivering successful programmes.


For more information on our Programme Diagnostic Service, please contact:

Adam Kearns

Head of P3M Centre of Excellence

Email: adam.kearns@alchemmy.com

Contact: +44(0) 7900 783962



Written by

Sam Smitherman

Published on

19th July 2024


We use cookies

Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies.