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Shannon Toe

5 Best-in-Class Tools for Resource Forecasting

Resource forecasting has never been simple, especially if run out of spreadsheets. It's time to change the tide and pick a better tool.

Better resource forecasts are a dream of every business executive. They can help to make calculated hiring decisions and match resources to future projects. To make this dream come true, however, executives need to try many resource forecasting tools before they find a suitable solution that covers their needs.

The best forecasting tools are the ones that are the most accurate, make resource availability the most transparent, and can be used in a way that is convenient for all team members.

A few stand out as the best resource forecasting tools in their class, so below is a list of our picks.

  1. Runn
  2. Resource Guru
  3. Saviom
  4. Workamajig
  5. Kantata

1) Runn - resource forecasting & scenario planning in one tool

Runn is a project resource management tool that helps you do anything and everything, from resource forecasting to workload management and reporting. 

A resource planning tool is only as good as its data, and Runn distributes that data across the organization in a way that lets users take action from anywhere.

Runn's unique approach to data management ensures that all of your stakeholders are informed of all aspects of the business, from a bird's eye view to the ground level — and with everyone knowing what's going on across the entire organization, there's no need to wait until the last minute with your forecasts.

Here’s a brief overview of some of the things project managers could do here:

Create placeholders

tools for resource forecasting

When doing project planning and trying to predict your resource needs, it’s not always easy to accurately juggle your available human resources. Why?

Some of them might be booked for tentative projects or project tasks, or maybe they simply might have a holiday coming up. Which means you will not be able to know the exact picture of your resource availability. So how do you go ahead and do resource planning regardless?

Use placeholders!

Placeholders give you a chance to allocate an expert to a project, indicating the number of hours you would need yet without assigning an actual team member to the project.

This way you know your resource needs — and from there, you can see whether you can fill that placeholder with someone from your current pool or look for a new hire. 

Compare capacity and workload charts

resource forecasting tools

Project managers can’t do realistic resource planning without being able to compare capacity with workload.

In short, capacity shows the maximum amount of work your team can handle, while the workload shows how much work they already have assigned to them. 

From there, you can fill in the gaps to ensure maximum outputs yet also keep your people from having to work extra hours. 

Create utilization reports

Resource utilization reports are a must for professional services businesses, yet they can get quite cumbersome when you actually get to the process (unless you have it automated, of course). 

Resource utilization rate shows you how much you’re using your resources, compared to their availability. It also tells you where your team’s time is going: are they spending most of their time doing things you can bill the client for or not?

2) Resource Guru - predict scheduling conflicts and demand

Resource Guru is an excellent tool for planning your resources. 

Among the most relevant features you could use during resource planning and forecasting are Booking clashes, the Waiting List, and Resource utilization reporting:

Booking clashes

resource scheduling with resource management software

You don’t want to plan out your whole project only to discover that a few of your resources got double-booked and can’t actually participate in your project.

This means your resource predictions were wrong top to bottom.

To avoid that, with Resource Guru, you will receive alerts when there is a booking clash so you can make realistic workload plans for your resources. 

Waiting list

resource management tool showing tentative bookings

With this feature, Resource Guru gives you a chance to create unconfirmed or tentative bookings.

In such cases, you will know that you planned a resource for a task they currently have no availability for so you will either need to free them up from some other project or find an expert to replace them. 

In other words, this is your chance to get flexible with resource management. 

Resource utilization reporting

resource planning software showing utilization

Same as Runn, Resource Guru helps project managers see whether they're being smart when handling resource availability. Are you creating efficient processes for your people to work on tasks that bring profit to the company?

3) Saviom - A tool for forecasting availability

Saviom is yet another tool for resource management and team scheduling, which means it can ease you into the experience of trying to predict and efficiently use your human resources. 

Saviom's platform comes with resource capacity planning and workforce optimization, so you can take a look at your resources on an individual level and plan how they fit into the business.

This way, you'll know exactly how many hours each of your employees can work, when they're available to work, and what skills they bring to the table.

On top of that, with the tool’s resource utilization you can build a realistic picture of how your resources are being used and how you expect them to perform in your future projects. 

4) Workamajig - A simple tool to plan your resources

Workamajig promises to 'make resourcing a breeze' — and so it does, with its instant project team scheduling and resource capacity features. 

With its ready-to-use templates at hand, you can go ahead and plan your resources in a few clicks, while also keeping an eye on the capacity of your resources before and during the project itself. 

Compared to the resource management tools above, this one will give project managers rather limited functionality on the resource planning stage, yet it will be of considerably more help when you get your projects running. 

5) Kantata - More than resource forecasting

Kantana is a worthy candidate to finish up this list of resource management software strong.

It aims to help you plan for success with an array of its features like capacity forecast and resource dashboard. 

Here’s a closer look at them:

Capacity forecast

How much capacity are you expecting to have on your upcoming project? What is your unstaffed demand like?

With the latter, what people are you missing to finish assembling your project team and how many productivity hours will you need from them?

Resource dashboard

Resource dashboard shows you anything and everything that goes into resource management. How many experts do you have and what teams can you build with them?

What capabilities do you need on your upcoming project and do your current resources satisfy those needs? What are the capacity and demand like? See all of that data in easy-to-read graphs and charts!

Wrapping up

Resource forecasting is one of the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the project planning process, especially when it comes to determining the resources needed to complete a project on time and on budget.

But with the right tools in your pocket, this process can go in a much easier direction.

Are you ready to talk about predictive resource management? Book a demo with Runn today!

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