Resource management tools are an essential part of any project management software. Every project has materials, tools, equipment, people or resources to manage. No matter how good your project plan is, if you can’t manage your resources, your project will suffer.
Before we identify the five most important resource management tools, we need to define resource management and the software that’s used during projects to control them. We’ll then explore the resource management features you need and why you need them.
What Is Resource Management?
Resource management is defined as the planning, scheduling and allocation of people, materials, equipment, money, technology and anything else necessary to execute the project. As resources are anything that you need to get the job done, the goal of any resource management plan is to allocate resources to achieve the greatest organizational value.
In other words, resource management is making sure you have the right people, tools, materials, etc., at the right time to execute the project. While the goal of resource management is to efficiently deliver these resources in order to satisfy requirements and deliver on time and within budget. The challenge is that resources are usually also in demand elsewhere in the business.
Resource management is all about balancing demand and capacity to keep resources available as needed in the project. This is done through a set of tools and the ability for transparency in the resource management process. Scheduling, budget and alignment with corporate strategy are all critical parts that make up a well-executed resource management plan.
The goals of resource management are to minimize waste and duplication and streamline automating processes. This maximizes processes and allows enterprises to respond quickly to customer demands. Resource management works within any project methodology, from waterfall to agile.
Managing resources effectively takes project management software. ProjectManager has online resource management tools that have the features you need to get the most out of your resources. From planning and scheduling with Gantt charts to gaining visibility into available resources, our resource management tool has everything you need to work more efficiently. Workflow automation frees time for your team, allowing them to focus on pressing tasks while ensuring quality with task approval settings. The task status doesn’t change until an authorized manager approves them. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
What Is Resource Management Software?
Resource management software is a tool that’s used to manage human and nonhuman resources as well as their schedules. It helps organize resources throughout the lifecycle of the project and allows project managers to allocate resources, assign their teams to projects and track progress and performance.
There’s also resource management software that assists with capacity planning and management to deliver resources when they’re needed and ensure that those resources are balanced so everyone on the team can work efficiently. Resource management tools work best when integrated with a full suite of project management software features that can track data.
Ideally, resource management software allows you to use your resources at their full potential without straining your team. Look for resource management software that allows you to profile the project team and track their progress and workload. It’s also helpful to have secure timesheets for payroll and a calendar to chart available hours when assignments are made.
5 Must-Have Resource Management Tools
Not all resource management tools are the same. If you’re in the market for resource management tools that can handle your resource management needs, then you’re going to need one with these five tools.
1. Gantt Chart
The Gantt chart is a staple of project management. It’s been used for decades as a tool to schedule and plan projects over a timeline and is ideal for more traditional methodologies such as waterfall. ProjectManager has robust Gantt charts that link dependencies, filter for the critical path and can set baselines to track project variance to help you stay on schedule.
More than that, there are tools to manage resources on the interactive Gantt chart. You can incorporate resource plans and schedules into the Gantt chart and your project plan. This keeps your work in one place, which makes it easier to manage. Estimate the planned costs and effort for your resources and track them in real time. You can schedule resources, both human and nonhuman, assign tasks and even determine the percentage of complete work.
Of course, things change over the course of a project. Many Gantt charts are hard to create and even harder to edit. Not our Gantt chart; you can reassign tasks and deadlines by simply dragging and dropping them to a new place on your timeline.
Not every resource management tool has timesheets, which means you’ll need to invest in another software or you’ll be manually inputting that data, which wastes time. Instead, you want resource management tools that have timesheets.
ProjectManager has secure timesheets that automatically update team members’ logged hours and are locked once submitted by the team member to ensure there’s no tampering. We offer multiple project views and tasks can be updated from the list view, kanban board and more, which automatically reflect on the timesheet.
Timesheets streamline the payroll process. They can only be approved by someone authorized in the software, and they help the project manager stay on budget by tracking time spent on assigned tasks. Use them to see if work is falling behind and reallocate resources to address this.
3. Workload Calendars
Human resources are your most important resources. You need to make sure that they’re working at capacity but not overworked. Resource management tools should be able to show you how many tasks each team member has been assigned.
ProjectManager’s workload chart does just that. It’s easy to see at a glance who has too many assignments and who has too few. You can quickly and easily reallocate their work right from the workload chart, saving you valuable time and balancing your project team so they work more productively.
4. Resource Management Dashboards
Dashboards are a great tool to monitor the progress and performance of your resources. They provide a high-level overview of the project that can help you manage your resources more effectively. ProjectManager has a live dashboard that requires no setup. Many inferior resource management tools make you manually set up the dashboard.
Our project dashboard automatically captures project data and calculates that information into six project metrics, which are then displayed in easy-to-read charts and graphs. You get an instant status report whenever you need one. There’s an overview of the health of the project and you can see the workload of your team in a bar chart. Other metrics include time, cost, tasks and progress.
5. Resource Management Reports
Dashboards are great, but they’re only one aspect of project monitoring. You also need to get deeper into the data, which is where resource management reports come in. Reporting helps you get more detailed information than the dashboard provides and that allows you to make more informed decisions.
Project reports can be customized to show only the information you want to see, which helps manage resources. There are reports on project and portfolio status, workload, availability, timesheets and tasks. All reports can be shared in a variety of formats to keep your stakeholders updated.
Bonus: Real-Time Data
One of the things that distinguish ProjectManager from the rest of the resource management tools is that ours is cloud-based. That means you’re getting real-time data, which informs each of the five must-have resource management features we’ve spotlighted.
Gantt charts, timesheets, workload calendars, resource management dashboards and resource management tools are all fed live data. That means that you’re always viewing the work as it happens and not an out-of-date snapshot from the past. Project managers and teams are working from one source of truth whether they’re working in the office, out in the field or remotely.
ProjectManager is award-winning resource management software that connects everyone on the project team with real-time data. Manage human and nonhuman resources better, make more insightful decisions and keep teams working at capacity and productive without overallocation. Join teams at NASA, Siemens and Nestle who already use our software to deliver success. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.