They say a worker is only as good as their tools – and when it comes to project management, your strongest tools are your team.
Delivering successful projects depends on managing human resources meticulously, so that the right people are available at the right time, and within the budget. On the other hand, poor resource management will undermine your project planning, leaving you unable to complete tasks on time.
To get project and resource planning right, an ambitious project manager needs to add one more tool to their toolkit: a resource management tool.
In this article, we analyze the best resource planning tools you can use to visualize resource availability, monitor your team capacity, and complete projects with maximum efficiency.
A project resourcing tool helps you plan and allocate resources. These project resources are the key features for successful project completion, including people, equipment, and finances. The primary purpose of a project resourcing tool is to optimize how you're using your human resources: to ensure you maximize your their full potential without overloading them.
While project management tools focus on what needs to be done, resource planning tools look at who will be doing the work, so you can optimize your resource utilization. You can use a resource planning tool in conjunction with project management software, to help you plan projects in relation to the resource capacity you have available throughout the project lifecycle.
While it's possible to manage resource allocation manually, it can be complicated and time-consuming. That effect is intensified when handling large teams or complex projects! Powerful resource management software can help in the following ways:
Resource scheduling software ensures efficient use of resources, so that nobody is charging overtime and nobody is sitting idle. This improves efficiency, and helps costs stay within the budget. Resource forecasting also enables you to anticipate potential issues ahead of time, such as a clash of priorities, so that you can schedule resources to each project more effectively.
Knowing each project's needs can help you match qualified resources with appropriate projects. Rather than having to work out who has the skills and then check their individual workloads, all the information is at your fingertips in the resource planner.
Looking after each team member is an important part of management, and the top resource management tools include features that can help you achieve this. Using time-tracking, you can monitor the workload distribution within your team, and reassign tasks if needed.
You can also use resource planning features such as timesheet management and leave management to ensure you're only assigning tasks to available resources. This results in resource engagement, creates motivation, and improves productivity.
Resourcing tools make your work more comfortable when they replace traditional project resource management methods such as spreadsheets which are cumbersome, time-consuming, and inaccurate. This is especially true if you handle numerous resources or manage multiple projects.
For example, an enterprise resource management software can be indispensable for professional service companies.
Resourcing tools ensure accurate resource allocation, and help you identify when additional resources are needed. With the optimal distribution of resources, projects are completed within the set deadlines giving you credibility with clients.
Having accurate data on resource management in previous projects allows you to make accurate project estimations, and makes future scheduling easier. Resource planning software is also vital in helping agencies determine their capacity to handle additional projects.
Using the right tools can help you work smarter and not harder. Here, we've combed through the options to bring you a shortlist of the best resource management software tools available on the market today.
Runn is a complete resource management package with comprehensive insights to keep you updated on all matters concerning your staff so that you can plan your resources efficiently. It has a sleek design and flexibility, allowing you to customize your resource management strategy to suit your needs.
For example, you can scroll through your team members' earnings, capacity, and utilization rates. You can also view assigned time, billable and non-billable hours daily, weekly, or monthly. You can filter the Runn resource planning tool to view people assigned to specific tasks or within a given team.
The most convenient feature is the ability to view each person's availability at any given time, including their time off and leave. You can then drag and drop to allocate resources to tasks in a project. In addition, Runn comes with a resource calendar to show you daily activities and variance charts to show how your plans have been implemented.
Runn offers a free unlimited plan for up to 5 users, and the payment plan begins at $10 per user per month.
Monday.com is a flexible project and resource management software allowing project managers to plan, schedule, and regulate their team's work effectively through customizable functions. The software has over 40 integrations, enabling users to import data from their current tools. It offers different views of the workflow, including Gantt, Kanban, and timeline.
Monday.com allows form creation and file sharing with team members and clients. With many custom automations that are easy to set, the software prevents repetitive tasks and increases the visibility of ongoing projects.
Monday.com offers a free individual plan of up to 2 seats. Paid plans are:
Timely is a project resourcing tool that shows a team's availability by displaying each member's logged and planned hours, including overtime and adjusted schedules. With task management features, teams can assess individual workloads and monitor work status in real-time.
Timely considers time to be the universal currency of work, and its automatic time-tracking features help to increase productivity in various ways, such as measuring key performance indicators, identifying time drains and revealing distractions. Project managers can use this information to adjust their processes and reduce disruptions, in order to optimize their team's capacity.
Unlike the average project management tool, Timely also works with your team to help them focus on the task at hand, observe timelines and stick to priorities. This is interspersed with appropriate breaks and workload management to guard against burnout.
Timely comes with a 14-day free trial and three paid plans: the starter plan goes for $8 per user/month, the premium for $14 per user/month, and the unlimited plan for $20 per user/month.
ProjectManager is a project resource management tool that's often used in the construction, manufacturing, engineering, and IT fields. Its key features enable real-time tracking of tasks progress, resources, and costs. Project managers can also allocate resources, view dashboards, assign tasks, and link dependent duties. It also has team management features, reporting tools, and online Gantt charts for scheduling resources and tasks.
As well as helping in the creation of a project schedule, ProjectManager guides the team throughout the project. The project schedule includes work packages, project calendars, task dependencies, and deliverables.
PojectManager offers a 30-day free trial and three paid plans: a team plan at $11.50 per user/month, a business plan at $20.50 per user/month, and an enterprise plan.
Kantata is one of the top resource management solutions for medium to large services organizations. As a Professional Services Automation software, Kantata gives users visibility into team utilization, allowing them to assign resources efficiently and improve productivity. It has modules for business intelligence, team collaboration, project management, resource management, and accounting.
Kantata's center of focus as a resource management software is its resource shaping tool, which enables project managers to shape their resources' workweek and book availability for efficient workload management.
Apart from resource management, Kantata offers file sharing, built-in timesheets, task dependencies, built-in timesheets, the ability to create comprehensive reports, and integration with other apps.
Kantata offers various plans, but the pricing is not published online. Some sources claim that it is priced at $59 per user/month.
There are many resource management tools that can help you in resourcing your project activities, and it's important to choose one that meets your specific needs and budget.
Runn is one of the best resource management tools you can have in your toolbox. It can help you optimize your team's utilization, streamline resource management, and ensure every project is completed successfully.
Jump-start your project resourcing with Runn's resource management software. Book a demo with us today!
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