Starting to explore resource planning software? Using Float but thinking about alternatives? Here’s how Runn and Float compare.
Looking for software to support your resource planning and forecasting? Runn or Float could be just what you need. Both are a *billion* times better than using spreadsheets. But which one should you choose?
With pros and cons to each solution, you need to select the right software for your business needs. Here's a side-by-side comparison of two resource planning heavyweights you NEED on your shortlist.
We’re not here to throw shade on our friends at Float in this side-by-side comparison with Runn.
We love Float’s task-based scheduling and UI. And we respect the fact Float has been in the game longer than Runn and boasts some impressive big-name clients 💪
Both Runn and Float are robust and well-respected resource planning tools.
However, while they seem to have very similar functionality on the surface, there are some significant differences - and those differences could mean that one is perfect for you, whilst the other is just ok.
When you’re investing $$$$ in software, it needs to be more than just OK. It needs to blow you away.
So let’s dive into a side-by-side comparison, explore the differences between Runn and Float, and work out which is right for you.
Both Runn and Float are resource scheduling tools designed for project-based businesses. If you need to schedule resources across multiple projects - and see at-a-glance what everyone is working on and the capacity you have left - these tools are for you.
They help professional services businesses - from design studios to accounting firms - ditch the dreaded spreadsheet and replace it with something easier, faster, and more agile.
Dedicated resource management software - like Runn or Float - offers functionality for:
This makes it easier for busy firms to allocate the right resources to the right project at the right time - to ensure projects are appropriately resourced, set for success, and no-one is overcapacity - as well as spot skills gaps you need to fill through recruitment.
The main difference between Runn and Float is your vantage point over resources and capacity.
One thing that we hear a lot for those considering both Runn and Float is that Runn offers a half year and full year views, while in Float you can only see your team's schedule by week and by month. On one screen, the most that Float can offer when you select the "Month" view is five weeks. It makes a big difference for planning. The other thing is the forecasting capabilities. Float has visually appealing reports and dashboard views, but it's lacking forecasting abilities that Runn has. You can pull a bench report from Float, but there is no way to pull a hiring report like in Runn. - Lyssa, VP of Customer Success at Runn
Other key differences between Runn and Float center on project planning, reporting, integrations, and number of users.
Float is unapologetically focused on resource management and does it very well. Whereas Runn is equally committed to project planning. This means Runn’s project planning functionality is more advanced than Float’s.
Runn’s offers more advanced project reporting functionality than Float, which comes in for a little criticism in reviews for its limitations in this area. This facilitates more accurate billing, and the ability to monitor variance between scheduled and actual hours, which has a significant impact on profitability.
‘I do find that compared to some other systems, a level of detail when it comes to finances and budgets vs resource is missing. Whilst you can get some very top-level detail, the ability to link actual time spent versus project budgets is a little simplistic and could be expanded upon to drill down into more detail to provide better overall reports.' Capterra review of Float (David)
Presenting real-time project, people, and financial data in an intuitive format, Runn reports deliver actionable insights. You can easily see profit forecasts and how different decisions impact profitability.
You can also filter on a wide range of attributes to drill down into the detail, and group fields to see totals per client or project. So you’re less likely to need to export and manually manipulate your data, which takes time, expertise, and effort.
Float integrates well with other adjacent technology including project management and productivity tools like Jira, Asana, Teamwork, Slack, and Zapier. It also syncs with both Google and Outlook calendars, so resources can update their diary and see it reflected in Float.
Runn has numerous integrations - including Clockify, Harvest, and WorkflowMax - and is actively developing this area to allow data import from a wider range of tools. Both Float and Runn have an API to allow access to data and bespoke integration with other applications.
Float is pitched firmly at the smaller business while Runn can handle larger organizations and enterprises too.
Float’s website states they’re for 5 to 500+ users but reviewers have said the calendar view gets harder to manage the more resources you have, meaning usability can reduce as you grow.
'It works well for a lower amount of people. As the business grows it is more effort to maintain. However, for companies with less than 100 people, this is a great solution.' Capterra review of Float (Alice)
Runn’s high-level capacity visualizations are equally easy when you’re comparing 5 or 500 resources. For larger businesses that want to engage in capacity planning, this is a major advantage of using Runn.
Read on: How TPG Telecom Streamlined Their Capacity Planning with Runn
In Float, individuals have a personal calendar that shows what they’re working on and what availability they have left.
The team manager adds their team members to Float, sets up their availability (working hours, time off, holidays etc), and allocates tasks. Comparing available working hours against assigned tasks and calendar events then provides a picture of individual capacity. This is calculated automatically by the software and shown alongside individual’s names.
As team managers have an overview of all the calendars in their team or department, they can visualize workload and capacity of the whole team at a glance. This visibility allows them to spot spare capacity and make use of it; identify resource clashes and resolve them; and reallocate tasks from over-booked team members.
Individuals use their own calendar to understand what’s required of them and how long it should take - as well as add meetings, annual leave, and other commitments. At the end of the week, they can use their schedule to automatically populate their timesheets too.
With Runn, you see the bigger picture, not the daily detail.
Runn is designed for project managers (and senior leaders) who need a higher level of transparency to manage people, projects, and business performance. You can see a comprehensive overview of your projects - financial performance, group resource utilization, projected profits, etc - before drilling down into specific project plans, performance, and resourcing.
Unlike Float, Runn isn’t about individual team members’ calendars and daily to-do lists. We go granular but not that granular 🙂
Within Runn’s Project Planner you can create projects, phases, milestones, and tasks - and allocate resources accordingly - but we don’t go as far as specifying exact tasks. However, you'll be able to see blocks of time in people’s schedules assigned to specific projects and leave notes as to what the assignment entails.
Within the People Planner, you can use powerful filtering to see capacity, availability, and utilization at team or individual level - or sort by job role or skill set. This way, you can immediately spot the impact of different project combinations on workload, now and in the future.
As you’ll see - by comparing the screenshots above - project managers will get a very different perspective depending on whether they choose Runn or Float.
This is one way to choose between the two solutions, depending on your use case and business needs.
Float is a great fit for creative agencies and production studios, with their homepage stating they’re ‘For teams of 5 to 500+ people’. The ‘Who uses Float?’ page features case studies from design agencies MetaLab and Impression, marketing agency Social Chain, and the production team at BuzzFeed.
Businesses in this sector really benefit from Float’s task-level approach to resource and project planning, letting teams divide-and-conquer on a day-by-day basis. MetaLab highlight Float’s visual appeal saying:
‘We chose Float because it was intuitive and simple. It definitely speaks to our design team’s sensibilities when they want to quickly see what their team is working on. Our old spreadsheets were becoming quite an eyesore!’
Runn is perfectly suited to professional services, consultancy, telecom, and software development firms of all sizes. The Runn case study page includes Australia’s 6,000+ employee enterprise TPG Telecom, alongside SMEs like Lola Tech and TribalScale software development agencies.
TPG Telecom reduced their capacity planning process from weeks to two days with Runn. Cindy Tan, General Manager of IT Planning, values Runn’s ability to show both a bird’s eye view and granular detail of capacity.
‘There’s 600 people in my team and we run 30 to 40 projects at any given time. Our executive team was so surprised by the clarity that Runn gave us. They’d say to me, “You’re managing assignments for 600 people…are you sure you know what they are all working on?” So we gave them a demo of Runn and showed them, “Look, you can drill down and see for yourselves!’”
Whether you’re considering Runn or Float for your resource management needs, you’re already on the right track.
If you’re currently using spreadsheets or another manual method to manage resources and capacity, whichever you choose will infinitely improve your life.
You’ll find it quicker and easier to allocate the right resources, spot and use spare capacity, recruit at the right time, and keep workloads manageable - which means happier people doing their best work.
We hope our comparison of Runn vs Float has helped clarify the differences between the two - so you can make a confident choice for your business.
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