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Steven Male

What Are the Best Workload Management Tools in 2024?

Looking for workload management tools that could do wonders for your team's productivity? Check our ultimate list.

As workload management increasingly becomes a priority for businesses, the popularity of workload management tools is skyrocketing.

But with so many different options, how do you know which is best suited to your specific needs?

The following list of workload management tools are the ones that make the biggest difference for those looking to manage workload effectively in their organization.

Why are workload management tools important? Top features for better project delivery 

For project-based businesses and professional service firms, efficient workload management can be the difference between a healthy profit and happy clients and…well…the opposite! 

Your workforce is your biggest investment and you need to optimize their workload for maximum ROI. But heavy workloads and frequently shifting project scopes make workload management a perennial challenge. 

Enter workload management tools – software solutions for managing projects and resources to ensure higher utilization, productivity, and profitability.

Here are four top features of workload management tools and how they translate into bottom-line benefits for ambitious project-based businesses.

1. Project scheduling and management 

Project scheduling tools support better project planning by creating detailed timelines, setting milestones, and allocating resources efficiently. Features like Gantt charts and dependency tracking help project managers create visual project plans that keep all stakeholders informed and on track. 

Project management tools also improve demand forecasting, strategic capacity planning, and schedule and budget adherence, by identifying potential bottlenecks and mitigating risk early. They also make it possible to pinpoint resourcing needs in advance, to ensure resource supply matches demand, reducing resource risk. 

TL;DR – Ensures better project planning, improves schedule and budget adherence, and flags resource requirements early

2. Task setting and monitoring

Task-setting features help break complex projects down into manageable work plans – supporting the creation of accurate work breakdown structures and resource schedules. This improves forecasting accuracy and reduces the risk of schedule and budget variance. 

For team members, tools like Kanban boards and to-do lists organize and prioritize work, ensuring everyone understands their tasks and responsibilities, and are aligned to overall project goals. Real-time updates on task progress also help managers quickly identify and address issues that could impact delivery or costs. 

TL;DR – Breaks projects down into manageable tasks and subtasks, for accurate forecasting, risk management, and monitoring

3. Resource allocation and management

Resource allocation and management tools support proactive scheduling by assigning tasks based on skills, availability, and capacity. This maximizes utilization rates and ensures the right people are working on the right tasks at the right time. 

Features such as resource calendars help maintain a balanced workload across the team, preventing delays and increasing project quality. They also ensure no individuals or teams are unfairly overworked, which improves staff satisfaction and engagement – and reduces costly and disruptive employee turnover

TL;DR – Supports proactive resource scheduling and management to ensure higher utilization, fewer delays, accurate skills matching, and better project outcomes

4. Data visualization, reporting, and analytics

Data visualization, reporting, and analytics tools allow managers to monitor key metrics and make better, faster, more confident business decisions. Visualization tools like heat maps and charts make complex data easier to interpret, so you don’t have to rely on complex calculations or data analysis to understand project status or business needs. 

Together, these tools enable data-based decision-making by highlighting trends and potential issues. For example, resource utilization reporting helps inform recruitment strategies and timely promotion of new vacancies. This reduces disruption to delivery and maintains workforce capacity. 

TL;DR – Lets managers monitor metrics through real-time at-a-glance insights and in-depth reporting, for more confident data-based decision-making and improved business outcomes

Now, with all of that in mind, let’s look at the best workload management tools for 2024.

Best workload management tools

1. Runn - Best workload management for larger IT & Digital Agencies

workload management tools

Runn workload management software creates highly visual and engaging reports that provide a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of workload management.

This includes employee utilization in percentage terms, how much capacity a team member has on a given day, HR functions such as time off, leave and timesheets, and report filtering by role to help inform resource management and allocation.

Runn integrates a complete range of metrics to produce real time insights in one intelligent workload management tool that is easy to manage and share across different layers of organizations.

Being able to do all of this in one central place creates one reliable source of truth, rather than piecing information together across different platforms or tools.

🚁 Get a helicopter view of who's doing what 🚁 Runn brings visibility to your team's time and workload, helping you find the sweet spot between "time out" and "burnout". Try for free today ➡️

2. Resource Guru - Workload management software to avoid double-bookings

tools for workload management

Resource Guru uses a multi-layered full team calendar to make resource management more visual and straightforward.

One of the features that helps Resource Guru to stand apart from the competition is its approach to resource booking and clash management. It makes it impossible to double-book resources, even when two separate project managers are booking a resource at the same time.

Its centralized calendar is visible across entire organizations, and this transparency is particularly beneficial for in-remand resources or complex businesses.

As well as full team calendar views, Resource Guru has individual dashboards that show staff members what they need to be working on at a given time. It uses drag-and-drop functionality for ease of use, and generates real time reports on resource utilization, overtime tracking and availability.

3. Float - For better workload management and scheduling practices

workload management tool

Float helps to promote good workload management by making resource scheduling easy. It's easy to create new projects, see resource availability and allocate resources or assign tasks. This is perhaps why it's one of the more popular team workload management tools, used by global leaders such as BuzzFeed, Deloitte and Ogilvy.

As a team leader or project manager, you get both a high level view of your team's workload and the ability to drill down to an individual team member's schedule on a given day. Time tracking functionality also means you can compare timesheets with project schedules to monitor team performance against deadlines.

Float also makes it easy to adjust schedules. Editing shortcuts and drag-and-drop reassignment options also reduce some of the hassle of dealing with inevitable project changes.

4. Accelo - For workload management & client communications

Accelo has a wide range of applications in workload management, including sales, projects, ticketing, retainers, timesheets and resourcing. Its platform also incorporates client communications, making it a complete home for all project management activity and workload management.

Not only does it help to monitor team workloads, but it can be used to enhance capabilities in CRM, project management, time tracking, capacity planning, business development and financial reporting.   This helps to find efficiencies within these processes, helping workload management while also reducing business costs.

Accelo is capable of delivering great results for complex businesses, although its sophisticated functions and integrations may be surplus to requirements for smaller organizations.

5. Trello - For tracking work in progress  & stalled tasks

Trello is a very simple project management software that creates workload management opportunities. While not primarily a workload management tool, Trello's Kanban view helps project managers to make sure that team members don't have too many tasks in progress. That's why it deserves to be in this list.

Trello interfaces include calendar, project and task views, and all are very easy to use. Project creation, task allocation and workflow visibility are all made simple, so team members with limited technical abilities can use it. It's intuitive usability helps team members and managers to see their actual workload in one place.

Its mobile app comes highly rated, and it has customizable automations that help to progress a project through different stages and pieces of work.

However, Trello has limited reporting and analytics functionality, which means having to do a little more digging to understand key team workload management metrics.

6. Asana - Workload management for marketing teams

It's hard to find effective free workload management tools, as many softwares withhold key functionalities on their free versions. However, even Asana's free version has plenty of features to make a genuine impact on the workload management front.

Asana is perhaps one of the more widely known project management tools, and its intelligent and automated functionality help to create workload management benefits. It's easy to collaborate with colleagues and teams on tasks and projects, with automated notifications that keep key stakeholders informed of progress.

Both its desktop and app version are easy to use, and users commonly discover more and more workload management benefits the deeper they go.

7. Monday - For distributing workloads evenly

Of all of the workload management tools examples above, may be the best known. It has a large online presence, and it also comes highly rated by the many people who use it. Reviewers at The Digital Project Manager rate it the best at enabling managers to distribute workloads evenly across teams.  

Monday provides data-driven insights and analytics in a wide range of HR and project management applications. It's easy to use and highly visual, helping to understand workload management from a bird's eye view and at a granular, individual level.

Workload view helps to see which team members can take on more work, while it also comes with capacity and timeline dashboards to further optimize workload management.

8. Basecamp – For uniting remote teams in a single space

Basecamp: Features

Another of the most well-known tools, Basecamp has become almost synonymous with project management. It's reached this household name status thanks to a low-cost per-user plan, easy syncing across accounts, and a hassle-free upgrade process.

Seamlessly bringing together key project management and team communication tools, Basecamp excels at keeping remote teams on the same page. As well as the power to assign roles and responsibilities on a project-by-project basis, Basecamp ensures everyone stays on track with a timeline feature that intuitively visualizes milestones and deadlines. 

Enhanced communication tools also help Basecamp stand out. Campfire is a chat channel that acts similarly to Slack, while Automatic Check-ins can be established to answer regularly recurring questions.

9. Teamwork – For simplicity without being simplistic 

Teamwork is easy to use but loaded with must-have features for project and workload management (much like Runn 😉). The watchword for Teamwork is 'intuitive'. Navigating, creating, and assigning tasks to people, tracking time spent on a task, creating reports, and adding extra details to tasks are all quick and easy.

Teamwork's interface is clean and fresh, with well-explained options that dodge the off-putting jargon that accompanies other tools. But just because Teamwork is user-friendly, don’t mistake it for simplistic. Teamwork's features are deep enough for most teams, with subtasks, priority levels, and task dependencies all available to add to tasks and build robust project schedules. 

On the workload management front, you can create your own teams to assign certain tasks to, quickly identify individual workloads and availability, as well as estimate task completion times and deadlines.

10. Jira – For sprints and software pros 

Initially finding favor among software developers working in agile teams, Jira's popularity is spreading beyond software studios – perhaps due to its excellent free plan. Up to ten users can access 2GB of storage, community support, basic road mapping, unlimited boards, reports, and insights – making it ideal for small teams with matching budgets. 

Where Jira really shines is its backlog view. This intuitive tool simplifies the process of prioritizing work for upcoming sprints, ensuring that tasks are aligned with team capacities and project goals. The ability to add story points to tasks allows managers to clearly communicate the complexity and effort required for each task, facilitating better planning and resource allocation.

Additionally, Jira’s pages tool offers a collaborative space for project managers to create and share important notes. This feature enhances team communication and coordination, allowing managers to document key project information and collaborate with team members effectively.

11. Zoho Projects – For the budget-conscious manager  

Like almost all of the tools on this list, Zoho Projects has multiple service tiers. Unlike the others though, Zoho remains affordable for even those with a small budget. Even at the highest tier, Zoho comes in at just $10 per user per month.

For that small outlay, project managers get access to resource management reports, budget monitoring, and time tracking. Because Zoho Projects is a simpler, more value-for-money tool there are omissions. You don't get access to built-in billing or invoicing tools, for example, but the ability to connect with external apps has you covered. 

What you do get is everything you need to get started, including Gantt charts, milestones, forums, pages, reports, timesheets, and more. Paid accounts also come with built-in time tracking for tasks.

12. Wrike – For customization and automation 

One of the better-known names in project management, Wrike features the usual project and workload management tools, but at a cost that's noticeably higher than some of its rivals. Not a problem for some bigger budget businesses, who’ll be happy to pay a premium for Wrike’s feature-packed functional footprint powerful customization options.

The Work Intelligence Suite uses machine learning and AI to automate what would otherwise be time-sapping, brain-draining, repetitive manual tasks. For example, it can create tasks and substacks, proactively predict and manage project risks, or generate suggestions for automated responses. 

As far as customization goes, Wrike can be closely tailored to your needs thanks to over 400 available integrations, including Salesforce, Quickbooks, and NetSuite. This furthers the opportunities to accelerate workflows by creating automations across different software tools. 

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