Project management is not only managing timelines and clients. There’s more to it. It is also effectively utilizing and managing the available resources so that the projects can be completed on time and within the pre-determined budget. Most project managers rely on spreadsheets or some traditional methods for resource planning and project management. However, for efficient project and resource planning, it’s vital to estimate the expenses, and then determine the budget and schedules accurately. Project managers face many challenges as they often require more resources to deliver their projects than are available. Another major issue is the skill gap as the requirements are very dynamic. No project plan can succeed if the project managers don’t have clear visibility into their resources and requirements. Implementing the right manager software can help streamline various activities in project management and optimal utilization of resources.
Significance of Efficient Resource Planning in Project Management
Resource planning is an important step in the project management process. Be it multinational organizations or mid or small establishments, it is an essential activity in human resource management. Managing resources well is always the foundation of managing projects. As a project manager, how well you do your resource planning will directly impact the project’s outcome or final result. If you have over-booked your project, then you can overshoot the budget. But in case your project is under-resourced, then there’s a risk of missing the timelines. That’s not all. If you align some resources to a project who does not have the requisite skills, then the outcome won’t be as expected. Even the expectations of your client and stakeholders won’t be met. Thus, a project manager should first identify what type of resources are needed for a particular project and if the existing team members are suitable for it.
The Right Resource Manager Software Helps in Seamless Resource Planning and Project Management
Plan Efficiently with Project Planning and Management Tools
As a project manager, you need to manage team members in various locations, different types of resources, and also handle vendors. Resource planning tools help in streamlining various aspects of project management. For example, right from the project planning, resource planning, and scheduling stage, such a tool proves to be very helpful. Not only can you make a detailed project and resource plan and divide tasks and sub-tasks, but you can also easily calculate the time for each activity, determine the resources required, and a lot more. A resource management software also helps to estimate the effort for each task or overall project and then determine how many team members are required to complete it within the schedule. The tool also raises any red flags in terms of constraints or if there are any dependencies.
View Details About all the Organization’s Resources in a Centralized Online Directory
With most organizations operating globally, your team members may be working across multiple cities or geographies. Mostly, the resources in a business are classified under teams, departments, projects, or verticals. And coordinating things between various teams isn’t easy. The common challenge that project managers face is not getting to see the bigger picture or knowledge about the overall resources in the organization. But a resource management software acts as a centralized online directory with details about all the organization’s resources. You can simply log into the tool and view the availability or utilization of any team member. You can also organize the information using parameters like qualifications, experience, skillset, availability, etc. So, when you have to find the right people for your project, you can easily identify suitable resources even if they are located in some other country or are a part of some other team.
Planning and Managing Capacity
If you use the right resource management software, you can easily pull out resourcing data because of its inbuilt capacity inventory. As the tool helps to deal with any resource insufficiencies or skill gaps, the organization can keep getting new projects and clients along with repeat business from existing clients. The tool helps in doing accurate capacity planning and management which prepares you for market uncertainties such as technology adaptations, new competition, etc. You can also easily determine if there was a hiring mismatch and accordingly, plan your resourcing for other projects in an optimum way.
Align the Most Suitable and Skilful Resources to the Right Projects
Resource manager software helps to consolidate all the data or information like projects and resources in one resource plan. The advanced filters of such a tool come in handy for project managers as they can select resources with criteria like expertise, experience, competencies, qualifications, availability, cost, location, etc., and then allocate the best people to the right opportunities. Such a project management tool also maintains updated information that can be used to match competencies or capabilities with the right task. It also helps to allocate resources across different projects equitably and facilitates the ‘best-visible-best-fit’ and not the ‘first-visible-first-fit’ approach.
Different Permission Levels Possible on the Resource Manager Software
Leading resource management software allows multiple permission levels as per different roles and requirements in an organization. Implementing cloud-based resource planning software can be a big help to project managers and their teams. Even the team leads can use such a tool to streamline their processes, allocate tasks to the team, and schedule resources. While the team members can use the tool to check what are the projects and tasks allocated to them, the schedule for the same, and manage their availability. That’s not all. The clients or stakeholders can also log in to the resource management software to view various dashboards, reports, project plans, status, and milestones, etc.
Better Collaboration Resulting in a Connected Team
With AI-enabled resource planning tools, it becomes easier to collaborate with distributed teams working remotely or from different locations. A cloud-based project management software acts as a centralized platform that any team member can access from any geography and at any time. Team members operating from the office, those working remotely, or even vendors can share data, review files, and connect easily by using this tool. Hence, there are no silos and people feel a part of a larger team and can work towards a common goal.
Real-time Resource Utilization and Availability Reports
A project manager also needs to monitor and manage individual and team resource utilization and availability data. This helps in averting any overbooking and under-utilization of resources. It also helps to divide the tasks equally within the team. A resource manager software measures utilization accurately across various teams, projects, and locations. Project managers can also easily pull out utilization data and easy-to-read reports to showcase to the top management. That’s not all. All this utilization data is updated in real-time in such tools, which means whenever any resource joins a new project team or becomes available, the tool will reflect the same to everyone.
An online project planning and resource manager software bridge the gap between your project budget and resource plan. This helps in forecasting and calculating the resource requirement and availability accurately and accordingly drafting long-term plans. Such detailed data and plans help to identify the resources that are occupied and the ones who have some available time at hand. The tool also shows the resources that are completely busy or booked shortly and those who have some capacity to take on new projects or tasks. This makes resourcing for new projects a lot easier.
A project manager’s job isn’t easy. He needs to monitor the status of projects, keep a tab on timesheets, payroll, and also keep resource costs in control. But with resource management software, you can easily get a detailed insight into the schedules, effort or utilization, availability, etc. for your team or any resource in the organization. This information is very important to improve accountability. A resource planning tool records all the time-related information for all team members which the project managers can easily access and analyze.
Regulating the Project Complexities
Though you may have planned for a project in a detailed manner, scoop creeps and other challenges can still happen. Imagine if you could track all your resources, their effort and utilization, availability, and productivity in a few easy steps. What if you could get detailed dashboards, reports, and visual data representing all this information? Imagine if project managers can manage calendar integration to plan their projects. Wouldn’t project management become much easier? Resource management software is designed to handle any project complexities or discrepancies. It helps you to tackle unforeseen issues, unexpected leave requests, and find the best replacement immediately without impacting the timelines.
Streamlined Project Development and Deliveries
Resource manager software also helps in organizing many aspects of project management such as effective planning, execution, and on-time delivery of all milestones. Right from the project kick-off, such software helps to define the scope clearly, make a list of all tasks, and calculate the total time and effort required to complete it. You can determine how many people you need and what competency should they have. If you implement a top-rated resource management software, it will also ensure optimal utilization of your resources, handle process governance, and enable process automation. So, sign up for a free trial of such a tool today to eliminate manual and redundant processes and activities and take steps towards more productivity and profitability.