Resources in project management are the people, places and things you need to get the job done. This includes the project team, the tools they need, materials, facilities and so on. That can mean a lot of headaches for project managers trying to balance their resources with the team’s capacity. And, of course, all this is happening on a tight schedule and budget.
You can see the need for resource management software, which includes planning and proper allocation of those resources to make sure teams have what they need when they need it. It’s through resource management that projects keep to their budgets and stay on schedule.
Before we look at a number of tools that claim to be the best resource management software, let’s define resource management in-depth. Then we’ll get to the best resource management software rankings of 2021.
What Is Resource Management?
Resource management is all about getting the materials, supplies, equipment and people you need to execute a project. It involves how you plan, schedule, allocate and manage those resources to best serve the project.
Making sure your resources are used effectively is the backbone of resource management, whether those resources come internally or externally. That means working with vendors, subcontractors and your own teams, coordinating their work and making sure that resources are always balanced with capacity to keep productivity high.
Clearly, resource management is important for many reasons. Using too many resources can be costly and using too few can slow down production. You’ll either overspend or miss your deadlines. Neither option is advisable. Fortunately, resource management software can help.
What is Resource Management Software?
Resource management software is a tool used by organizations to balance their resources with their capacity: it’s a way to streamline resource management. With the right tool, organizations can monitor resources and manage work so progress continues without interruption.
All companies should use resource management software to manage their teams, subcontractors, vendors and any materials, supplies and equipment needed for the project. It helps to identify when team members are overburdened or underutilized, and it provides the ability to correct and keep things running smoothly.
Resource Scheduling Software vs Resource Planning Software
Resource planning is about figuring out how you’re going to allocate your resources, including how you’re going to track capacity to balance resources while staying within your budget. Resource scheduling is how you assign those resources with start and end dates attached to each task based on resource availability.
The two disciplines work together in resource management. You can’t really have one without the other. While they each have their own job to do in resource management, you’ll want to get resource management software that has both resource scheduling tools and resource planning tools.
The following are a handful of the best resource management software currently available. One of them should meet your resource management needs.
2021 Best Resource Management Software Rankings
ProjectManager is comprehensive project management software that organizes your resources, tasks, projects and teams. Resource management is fully integrated into the software, allowing teams to plan, schedule and reallocate their resources as needed.
Live data gives teams greater visibility into their resources, so they can track labor costs, workload and task progress in real time. That means you have the most current information to better plan and schedule resources.
Schedule & Track Resources with Gantt Charts
Resource management is one of the more challenging aspects of managing a project. Fortunately, ProjectManager makes it easy to identify and categorize teams, supplies, equipment and other resources for easy planning and scheduling on the Gantt chart.
Input hourly rates and those figures show up throughout the software. You can set a baseline once your schedule is done, then, as team members log their hours, ProjectManager automatically calculates the actual cost and compares that to the planned cost. Plus, as you adjust your schedule, resource availability is updated in real time, eliminating resourcing headaches.
Set Availability and Balance Workload
Teams are your most valuable resource and you need to know how busy they are without getting in their way. A color-coded workload chart gives managers transparency into how many or how few tasks are assigned to their team. You can then balance the workload right from that same page.
ProjectManager lets you know everyone’s availability. This is especially helpful if they’re working remotely, in different time zones or even countries. You can define working days, holidays and planned hours. This blocks certain days and sets parameters to help with resource and project scheduling. If you’re working with multiple projects, ProjectManager allows users to filter by project, team or even month, making it easier to find the information you need.
Monitor and Track Resources in Real Time
Resource management is not just about planning and scheduling; it’s also about tracking resources as they’re being used. ProjectManager has live dashboards, unlike other tools, and one-click reporting for in-depth tracking of workload, availability, timesheets and tasks.
Yep, ProjectManager has secure timesheets too. And, when hours are updated, that data is reflected across all of its reporting features, including its real-time dashboard.
With these features and others like a sheet view, kanban and more, no software does resource management better than ProjectManager. The best part? You can get started for free right away. Start your free trial of ProjectManager by clicking here.
Float is a resource management software that is used by agencies, studios and firms for tracking who is working on what and when. It can manage more than one project at a time, so you can see all your projects and their competing milestones in a single view, which helps with planning and scheduling.
With Float, you can monitor budgets in real-time and forecast hours to stay on budget. It has a drag-and-drop interface and integrates with Slack, Google Calendar and many other apps. It can help with capacity management, demand forecasting and skills tracking.
A problem with the software is that if more than one person is using it things like tasks names and job descriptions are not centrally controlled and can vary as people edit them. While it can help organize resources, it’s missing some vital features, such as a decent search and a well-designed dashboard. Reports are complicated and not visual, which would make them easier to digest at a glance. However, the fact that it can work with multiple projects makes it a good bet for many projects.
3. Resource Guru
Resource Guru is designed for resource managers and project managers. It is a scheduling and resource management software for projects. Adding, editing, moving or deleting items in your schedule is fast and simple.
Its calendar view offers visibility into team resource use. A staff time tracker keeps you aware of vacations, sick days, maternity leave or any type of time off. There’s also a dashboard and the calendar syncs, keeping every project member on the same page. It is best for resource and team scheduling. There is a reports page that offers a visual presentation of resource use.
Beyond that, the software has limited features. For example, there’s no alerts or appointment scheduling. There’s also little automation, which would help streamline the process greatly. The reporting feature could be better, and while there are integration workarounds, it would be nice to have everything working under one roof. But the fact that it keeps your teams on schedule is a resource management win.
Silverbucket is a resource planning tool for projects that is user-friendly and helps to plan and allocate resources. It allows you to avoid conflicts and manage loads and capacity.
Projects, people and capacity levels all are monitored within a single view, so decisions are based on hard data, which leads to greater profitability. There is a filtered search, which is helpful, and skill tracking for team members. Plus, it integrates into many other apps.
Some issues include that the software doesn’t have drag-and-drop functionality, which can make it a bit clunky to use. The dashboard is less than ideal, and you have to click to get data on team member’s allocation. The reporting is problematic, too, and leaves a big hole in the software that hopefully will get filled in one day. For all its shortcomings, we did appreciate the ease with which it integrated with other apps.
5. Easy Projects
Easy Projects is a resource management software for midsize to enterprise level teams. It’s used in projects ranging from marketing, IT, operations, software development to professional services. A big plus here is that this software automates your workflows, which saves time.
Teams can automatically create template-driven projects or tasks based on incoming requests. Easy Projects offers a more visual way to plan resources and generate reports. It has collaboration tools, Gantt charts and kanban boards, making it more of a full project management solution.
However, Easy Projects can be a problem if two people are working on a task and one finishes because they still receive notifications until the other completes the assignment. There have been issues with reporting, as well, as stakeholders don’t get the full Gantt view unless they have a license for the software. While there were some dings, the overall visual style was very appealing and makes using this software fun and functional.
What’s the Best Resource Management Software for You?
There’s a lot of resource management software choices. The right one for you depends on what you’re looking for in a resource management tool. Some projects aren’t going to be as resource rich, but most projects require a lot of resources and that means a lot of management.
Getting a resource management tool that helps you plan, schedule and allocate is crucial. Having one that’s online and provides you with real-time data to track your resources is even more important, especially in the 2021 working environment. Whether you use it now or grow into it, you’ll not regret the investment.
ProjectManager is the one-stop shop for all your project management needs. It’s cloud-based software has the most up-to-date data possible, so your resource management is in real-time. ProjectManager’s resource management is part of a larger project management suite of tools that control your entire project from planning to monitoring and reporting. See how it can manage resources on your next project by taking this free 30-day trial today.