As a project manager, you must make efficient use of your resources—even the most high-value projects can end up unprofitable if you don’t.
To do this effectively, you need the right tools. The best resource planning software provides a 360-degree view of what people in your organization are working on, so you can plan better and quickly react to change.
In this article, I will outline some of the best resource planning software on the market right now and outline what each does best, suggested use cases, and product pricing information.
How I Choose the Resource Planning Software on This List
Many tools help you plan resources more efficiently. When creating this list, I looked for ones that go above and beyond. Our featured tools should have:
- A Clean User Interface (UI): The best resource planning tools are clean and easy to use. Drag-and-drop, visual charts, and clean animations make using the tools a breeze.
- Great Support: Even the most intuitive resource planning software has a learning curve. Real-time chat support, in-person training, video lessons, and knowledge bases help you quickly get to grips with the software.
- Integrations: Your resource planning software must be able to communicate with the other tools you use. Most of those on this list offer plenty of integrations.
- Value for Money: This is highly subjective as it depends on your resource planning needs and how you intend to use the tool. I think all the products in our list offer value to the right organization.
Key Features of Resource Planning Software
Each of these tools puts a unique spin on resource planning. But most still have plenty in common. Here are some of the key features to look out for.
- Advanced scheduling tools: to let you manage your workforce by assigning projects and tasks to people in your team. Look for extra functionality like the ability to search for employees based on skills or roles.
- Drag-and-drop Gantt charts: to show a bird’s eye view of who is working on which parts of a project and when each part should be completed.
- Flexible project reporting: features to show how work is progressing. You can see metrics like hours worked, remaining budget, and open/closed orders.
- Forecasting: features to predict how your project is likely to proceed. They show you when you need to intervene to get a project back on track.
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The 10 Best Resource Planning Software Packages
This is a list of the 10 best resource planning software packages. I have highlighted what I think is the best use case for each one.
Resource Guru simplifies delegating tasks to your team. It has a super-intuitive UI that is easy to use and provides great visibility into project progression and workflow.
The main benefit of the tool is that it provides full visibility into your team’s capacity so you can plan work and take on only as much as you can complete.
With Resource Guru, it’s easy to view your team’s schedules in colorful Gantt charts that provide a clear overview of what everyone’s doing. The software has powerful leave management features, which means you won’t accidentally schedule tasks to unavailable employees.
Report Guru pricing starts at just $2.50/user/month. If you want reporting tools, you’ll need to pay $4.16/user/month. Either way, you get a 30-day free trial.
I particularly like its labor allocation functionality. You can see which employees are available to work on projects and then plan resources based on this data. This makes it easy to decide who should work on what. It also highlights when you are over- or understaffed.
The reporting dashboard is another highlight. It provides an easy-to-read overview of all your work, including current budgets and total hours completed. Use this dashboard to ensure projects are going ahead as planned and share details with relevant stakeholders.
Big Time users also get time-tracking, billing, and project management features. The software integrates with many of the tools you likely use at your business, including QuickBooks, Sage, and Salesforce CRM.
Big Time costs from $10/user/month for a minimum of 5 users.
Jira is project tracking software designed with software teams in mind. It contains powerful project and resource planning features.
When starting, it’s easy to create a project from a template and then assign tasks to the appropriate team members. There’s even a capacity report that predicts bandwidth so you don’t take on more work than your employees can handle.
The roadmap dashboard lets you break projects down into tasks and then plan progression with a Gantt chart. It shows you what everyone is working on, which tasks are complete, and which are still in progress. You can also see a task’s dependencies, allowing you to quickly spot bottlenecks.
You can gain visibility into how new projects are progressing via the progress bar in the project tracking dashboard. It shows how close to completion each project is.
Jira has a free basic plan for up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $70/month, with Jira stating the average per-user price is around $7.
Apache OFBiz is an enterprise resourcing planning (ERP) tool suite that includes human resources, inventory management, and manufacturing management.
It stands out because it is an open-source framework rather than a typical closed SaaS tool. This means you can download the software for free and use it forever. It’s easy for your developers to access the framework and customize the software to your needs.
The downside is that it can be less user-friendly than other solutions. However, there is a Slack community and plenty of online resources to help you get set up.
Apache OFBiz is free to use.
Deltek is software designed to help project-based businesses find success. It has powerful resource planning functionality.
There are versions of the software built specifically for different types of business. Each has unique features that help in those industries. For example, the manufacturing ERP gives managers insight into how many orders are open, completed, or scheduled, whereas the agency tool helps owners plan for multiple projects at once.
Each tool has an easy-to-use UI and plenty of reporting and analytics features. This gives a full overview of project progression, helping you keep a healthy margin.
Deltek offers customized pricing upon request.
Tempo is a suite of time tracking and project management tools designed to work with Jira. It’s a great tool to use if you already use Jira to manage your tasks.
Tempo Planner is the primary resource management tool. You drop existing projects from Jira into the software and then plan how to best use your resources for each project. A nice feature is the ability to prioritize specific tasks so that everyone in your team knows what the main focus is.
The scheduling tool streamlines resource allocation. It’s powerful enough to account for circumstances like time off or employees that work flexible hours. Multiple reports show clear visualization of whether projects are progressing as planned. You can even track time within the software for easier invoicing.
Tempo Planner costs from $10/month per feature for up to 10 users. You can start right away with a free trial, and it’s easy to add more users as your business grows. You get a discount if you pay annually.
Demand forecasting is key to planning, and this is an area where Retain International stands out. The forecasting dashboard shows you how resource availability will change over time. You can use this information to allocate resources where they are needed most.
I also like how intuitive the software is to use. The different features are simple to navigate, and the reporting and forecasting views make gaining insight easy.
There are both self-hosted and cloud versions of the software. If you choose the former, you’ll need to host the software on your own server. But once it’s up and running, you can still access the tool anywhere via the web or Android and iOS apps.
Retain International offers customized pricing upon request.
Hub Planner is a dedicated resource management software with powerful resource planning features. You get access to time tracking via timesheets and the ability to create intuitive reports that show total resource spend.
Resource managers can schedule work on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It’s easy to spot gaps in workload and give people tasks to keep busy. There is also a matching feature that lets you tag employees based on their skill or role, so you can easily find people qualified for the work you have in mind.
Another cool feature is the project pipeline. This highlights upcoming work, which is useful for capacity planning. It has a heat map that allows you to identify production gaps quickly. API access also means there are plenty of integrations available.
Hub Planner costs from $7/user/month on an annual plan. But you’ll need to upgrade to the $18/user/month plan to get access to the scheduler and all reports. The tool offers a generous 60-day free trial.
Saviom is a long-established enterprise resource management tool. The software is customizable so you can set it up to meet your needs.
The software’s big promise is that it will help you increase efficiency and, therefore, profitability. One way it does this is through an early warning system. This uses benchmarks to highlight when a project is at risk of not going to plan so you can take steps to fix it.
The scheduling tool helps with project planning. It’s an easy-to-read Gantt chart that clearly shows who is working on what. You can easily search for skills and then drag and drop new tasks and projects into the chart. Automation reflects changes throughout the tool.
Saviom offers two licenses: Power and Lite. When buying the software, give those involved in resource planning the Power license so they have access to the full features. Everyone else can use the read-only Lite plan.
Saviom has customized pricing upon request. They offer a 4-6 week free trial.
Float simplifies team scheduling across multiple projects. The planner lets you assign work and then see an overview of how people are spending their time. Reassigning tasks is simple using the drag and drop interface and the Gantt chart view makes dependencies easily readable.
Time tracking reports show exactly how many hours are logged, scheduled, and the difference between the two. If the difference is too high, the tool prompts you take steps to find out what is going wrong.
Another neat task management feature is unassigned roles. This lets you add tasks to your schedule without assigning them to an employee. The idea is that this shows when you may need to commission freelancers or make a new hire.
Float costs $6/user/month for the resource planning features, or $10/user/month if you want to add time tracking. You can try the software for free with a 30-day trial.
The 10 Best Resource Planning Software Packages Summary
Other Resource Planning Software Tools
There are tons of resource planning tools out there. Including plenty of great options that didn’t make our list.
Here are some of them:
- Meisterplan – Best for project portfolio management
- ProjectManager.com – Best for getting started quickly
- Forecast – Best for cutting administrative work
- Mavenlink – Best for professional services
- Smartsheet – Best for tailored industry use cases
- Netsuite – Best for managing inventory
- Kelloo – Best for monitoring employee workload
- LANSA ERP Frameworks – Best for IBM i users
- SAP S/4HANA – Best for those who need a custom solution
- Planisware Enterprise – Best for industry
- Unit4 ERP – Best for people-centered businesses
- Glass Factory – Best for seeing resource utilization by project
- KeyedIn – Best for multi-language support
- Float – Best for project scheduling
- Workotter – Best for guided setup
- Rentman – Best for AV and event companies
- Workfront – Best for working across entire organizations
- EasyProjects – Best for optimization billable hours
- Celoxis – Best for customizations
- Productive – Best for agencies
- Timesheet by Dovico – Best for tracking employee timesheets
- BINOCS – Best for planning workforce and equipment
- Active Collab – Best for centralizing communication
What is Resource Planning Software?
Resource planning software is that which helps you manage your company’s workforce. It typically provides insight into your overall resource capacity and lets you assign tasks based on this data. You can then track the progress of both overall projects and individual tasks.
Most tools focus on your workforce. But they also help you plan equipment, meeting rooms, inventory, and other available resources.
What Do You Think About These Resource Planning Tools?
Finding the right resource planning tool for you is tough due to the many available options. But the tools on this list are a great place to start your search when looking for resource management software with planning features.
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