Check out our simple, easy comparison of the best resource management software on the market in 2021.
In this complete resource management software review, you’ll discover the best resource management tool options along with a simple explanation of the criteria for choosing high-performing tools.
You’ll also find overviews of each tool, screenshots, and a comparison chart that will help you narrow down the choices.
On top of that, I answer all the commonly asked questions about resource management; you’ll learn what resource management software is and how it can change the way you deliver your professional services and complete work in a more effective and productive way.
Managing your team members without a proper plan or tool can be a total nightmare. And that’s probably why you’re here. You know there must be a better way to manage your resources and team, right?
You’ve got the PM’s with their half-baked resource requests and the primadonnas who only work on certain clients or types of projects. Throw into the mix competing projects, contractors, 3rd parties and freelancers, insane clients, and leave management for vacations and sick leave, and getting any work done on schedule gets tricky. You know that you need some type of human resource management software, to make a plan that works – but which one? And how to choose?
The 15 Best Resource Management Software Overviews
In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of software, considering complexity, price points, and functionality. But as much as anything, it’ll come down to your agency or studio resourcing workflow and what functionality you need to make that function better. Have a look and sign up for some trials to test-drive and find the best agency resource management software for your case.
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1. Mavenlink – comprehensive project and resource management software
Mavenlink is a well-rounded tool that bridges the core planning, execution, project accounting, and analysis systems in a single operating environment. It has modules for project management, accounting, resource management, business intelligence, and team collaboration. On top of this, it offers a system of dashboards, live time and expense tracking features, a great documenting system. And all of these best-in-class features are delivered through straightforward and minimalistic design.
Mavenlink ticks off all the boxes when it comes to RM features. The resource management module offers real-time utilization and margins at the project and even the task level. Some key features include resource forecasting, capacity management, skills management, scenario planning, and role-based planning.
Drilling down into its other features, the BI suite module supplies built-in reports, custom reporting, trend analysis, data visualization, as well as data integration with other systems. The software also provides more accounting tools than many others, with project costing, project and task budget management, real-time utilization and margin tracking, invoicing, rate cards, and robust integrations into back-end financial systems. It also has some good contextual collaboration features to communicate in both provide and public discussions around tasks, projects, and many other project objects.
I could go on and on about Mavenlink’s features because there really are too many to list—it’s a comprehensive RM suite, that, despite requiring time to truly master, has been recognized as being easy to use and learn. What’s more, the company leverages its professional services expertise as part of their offering, making available their Mavenlink BI Consultants who can build reports specifically for your business. As well, they provide some great training resources that can help mitigate the risks and costs of implementation.
Mavenlink takes a unique approach to integrations. As part of their “API-first strategy”, they’ve built a solution that doesn’t require a third party in order to integrate with any apps. They provide an integration platform (called M-Bridge) that’s designed to simplify integration between Mavenlink and other business apps like CRM, HCM, and financial software. On top of the M-Bridge platform, Mavelink provides several pre-built integrations with these tools: Expensify, G Suite, Xero, Salesforce, Netsuite, Jira, Hubspot, Slack, Concur, Dynamics 365, Qualtrics, Quickbooks, and Sage Intacct.
Mavenlink costs from $19/user/month and offers a 10-day free trial.
- Easy capacity management
- Distinguish between soft and firm allocation
- Good reporting functionality for resource data
- Resourcing fully integrated with master planning
- Can’t organize deliverables at the task level
- No top level administrator with omnipotent access
- Approvals not as flexible as other options
2. 10,000ft by Smartsheet – best for matching resources and team members to specific projects
10,000ft, a high-level project, and resource management software, helps teams make confident decisions about project planning, team capacity, budget forecasting, team utilization, and hiring needs in real-time.
The tool’s unique project and resource matching feature allow users to match team members to projects requirements according to different criteria like disciplines, skills, availability, and more. 10,000ft also offers built-in timesheets, mobile time tracking, and expense tracking. Users can create project reports by filtering project data, get insight into historical data, and see forecasts on team utilization, actual vs. planned time reports, budget tracking, expense reports, and projects in the pipeline.
10,000ft easily integrates with a variety of internal workflows and software suites. Additionally, it provides a flexible API and Zapier integration that can connect with top operational tools for analytics, communications, project management, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and finance.
10,000ft’s basic plan starts at $25/user/month.
- Combines time tracking and resourcing
- Able to forecast resource utilization
- Skills database helps resource allocation
- Intuitive for keeping timesheets and assigning hours
- Initial resource set-up is time consuming
- Needs better data visualization
- Bulk project edits don’t apply to resource field
3. monday.com – simplistic and engaging design, flexible planning, and clear communication between teams allows for easy and informed decisions around resource planning
monday.com is a flexible platform to help teams communicate in context, get a birds-eye view of outstanding projects, available resources, and projected timelines. monday.com’s simplistic design and straight-forward interface mean teams can get started planning timelines, assigning project ownership, and managing any project in minutes.
monday.com offers various views to represent data, so each team member can work according to his preferences. With workload view, you can easily see who’s able to take on more work and who’s not. Gain insight into your team’s work capacity and make adjustments to timelines or ownership accordingly— no matter where you are. The monday.com app gives you the flexibility and power to run your team on the go. You can organize your daily work, projects, and teams all in one place.
Monday.com has over 40 integrates with apps like Slack, Excel, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and others, accessible via Zapier.
monday.com costs from $17/month for two users.
- Color coded status great for resource overviews
- Easily create boards dedicated to operational resource tracking
- New features being rolled out regularly
- Quick learning curve
- Requires manual resource forecasting (no automation)
- More expensive compared to similar products
4. Float – leading resource management solution with powerful scheduling, integrations, and mobile apps
Float is for teams who want a robust and powerful resource management software that’s also unfussy and easy to use. Over 3,000 of the world’s top teams use Float, including Deloitte, Ogilvy, BuzzFeed, and MetaLab. Its simple, visual design and potent feature set make it the perfect choice for teams big and small.
Scheduling in Float is easy and intuitive. Create new projects quickly, and assign them to your team within seconds. The schedule view gives you an accurate, high-level overview of your team’s availability and capacity, and you can drill down deeper using Float’s search and filter functionality. Set custom work hours, import and assign public holidays, schedule time off, assign custom tags like location and skills to your people and projects, and set a scheduled status to let everyone know when you’re working from home or remotely, or what you’re up to on a particular day.
Updating your schedule is simple, with a right-click menu full of editing shortcuts, a click-and-drag feature that lets you reassign and update tasks, and a lightning-fast interface that can handle an enterprise volume of people and projects.
Real-time reporting lets you track your resource utilization, monitor project budgets, and forecast your team’s capacity. Add time tracking to access pre-filled timesheets and compare your team’s scheduled hours with the actual time spent on tasks.
Float has a range of dedicated integrations that play well with your existing apps. Sync and schedule your Jira, Asana, Teamwork, or Trello projects and import your Google or Outlook Calendar events directly onto your schedule in Float. Stay on top of schedule changes via Slack, email, or mobile push notifications.
Float is free to try for 30 days, and you get unlimited access to both resource planning and time tracking features. After that, it’s $5 per scheduled user, per month, or $10 with time tracking. Float also has volume and yearly subscription discounts available.
- Easy-to-use resource editing tools
- Set custom work hours
- Can monitor budgets and forecast capacity
- Easily add contract workers
- Time tracking feature
- Updating staff/personnel list takes time
5. Saviom – highly customizable resource management tool offering deep visibility into complex resource data
Saviom is a global specialist in software products which boost efficiency and project performance (Saviom reports that users of their product have cut their resourcing spend by 20% or more).
The several modules in Saviom’s flagship resource management suite, such as the smart resource scheduler, helps you correct work imbalances instantly. The resource planning module (for tracking and scheduling resources while maintaining their optimisation) and the accompanying dashboard which integrates with other business tools to display your key project data. You can also sync resource and project schedules across your enterprise with the suite’s resource management system The capacity planning tools offer granular reporting and analytics which helps you quickly identify resource clashes. It also includes a skills repository which makes it easy to profile resources and find skill matches for future work.
Saviom’s Enterprise Resource Management software is designed to unify project and resource workflows for resource managers hard-pressed for time. Its business intelligence dashboards offer insights into real-time activities across the enterprise, and the Gantt chart view provides visibility into resource and project workflows, enabling managers like you to make accurate predictions of schedule conflicts and mismanaged resources to accommodate work influxes.
With a tiered pricing model as customizable as the tool, Saviom’s power and lite licenses operate under role-based access, ensuring you retain full control over data.
- Drag-and-drop resource bookings
- Easily generate resource insights
- Comprehensive depth of resource filters
- Interface shows a lot of information at once
- Unavailability of a few fields in reporting
6. Elapseit – integrated resource planning and task tracking solution that you can actually use from small details to the big picture
elapseit is a SaaS platform where two of the most needed and used features in project management – task management and resource planning – are integrated and interconnected in a unique way that will make workforce management a lot easier.
The resourcing system takes vacations and bank holidays into account and is designed to help you avoid resource over and under-allocation. Bank holidays can be defined per location so you can grow worldwide without worries. You can define custom vacation types with different numbers of vacation days and keep track of them. All this can happen with or without an approval workflow. Each person’s timesheet is pre-filled based on the allocation, and you can generate multi-language invoices based on hours submitted and approved.
elapseit is smart enough to let you know in seconds if you have enough resources to take a new project on board based on the “Available Capacity” report, so forecast is a breeze. You can check the resource utilization along with many other reports. You can even see the income your resources generate by checking the profitability report.
The task system integrates seamlessly with the resource planner, so anytime you are looking at the allocation planner you are also seeing how many tasks any of your team member is working on, what is their status, if there is any blocker or if they are working on tasks that are not part of an allocation on that project.
In a nutshell, elapseit is a powerful project and resource management software with fully integrated features. These include resourcing management & forecast, task management with Kanban boards and Gantt charts, time-tracking, time-off management, invoicing, reports, document management, all together in a secure user experience. It’s the best option for all company sizes and project types. The price starts at $14USD/user/month.
- Integration of tasks management and resource planning
- Mobile applications (iOS and Android)
- Prefilled timesheets based on allocations
- Rate history, time-off tracking
- Bank holidays defined per location
- Clear, intuitive data interface
- The complexity of the interface might be overwhelming at first until you get used to it
- Dashboard could be more customizable
7. Resource Guru – reliable resource planning, management & scheduling tool
Resource Guru offers some solid features including: visual calendar style interface, custom views, fields and filters, availability indicator, drag and drop resources, scale view, see utilization, reporting, overtime tracking, data import and phone support.
Resource Guru makes sense of the gong show that is resource conflict resolution: resource management and team collaboration is built in to make resource booking more straightforward, with clash management, leave management and a waiting list to prevent over-booking. It helps project managers make bookings simultaneously with no chance of stepping on each other’s toes. Clashes are automatically prevented.
Helpfully, each staff member gets their own resource dashboard so they can log in and know exactly what they should be working on. And to monitor business performance, powerful reports help identify which projects and clients are being over-serviced and help to monitor team utilization and help with future capacity planning. Resource Guru costs from $2.50/user/month (they offer a 30-day free trial).
- Availability bar for capacity planning
- Clash management for unintended overlap
- Attractive and flexible UI
- Daily resource summary emails
- Very affordable per-user rate
- Unable to sort resources by experience level
- No copy-paste of resource tasks
8. Forecast.app – streamlined resource management software with forecasting, capacity planning, and plenty of pre-built integrations
Forecast is a full project and resource management solution used by professional service companies all around the world to improve KPIs and scale with real-time insights at hand. Powered with artificial intelligence (AI), Forecast aids with scheduling and finds the right people to work on projects and tasks. The AI learns from the work being performed and helps optimize all parts of people, planning, and projects.
For resource management and scheduling, you can allocate people to projects or specific tasks. On task allocation projects, Auto-Schedule weeds out the need to manually assign resources to tasks. The whole resource allocation process, together with task estimations, can be fully automated. You can manage allocations directly in the heatmap feature, which is a quick visual way to see everyone’s capacity and utilization. You can use the searchable database to find the person with the right role and/or skills that are most likely to be available for any task that’s not assigned yet.
The reporting features in Forecast are great. Timesheets and tracking are built right into the product (and there’s iOS and Android apps for tracking on the go). Forecast uses actual and planned data to present customizable reports with key metrics such as real-time utilization, compare actual vs. scheduled utilization, track project progress, profitability, budgets, and get other insights on a portfolio or project level.
Integrations are above average—there’s turnkey integrations with several mainstream tools in their extensive app catalog, as well as two-way sync with Jira.
Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises – has Lite, Pro, and Enterprise options that cost from $29/user/month (14-day free trial).
- Quick top level view of available resources by user
- Easily compare budget and expenses
- Connects to your existing toolstack
- Colorful, intuitive resource charts
- Higher learning curve
- Time consuming logging structure
- Lacks approve button after filling timesheet
9. Runn – best resource management tool for capacity forecasting
Runn is a resource, demand, and capacity planning tool with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities. The tool’s Planner interface provides you with a bird’s-eye view of all the projects and people in your organization, allowing you to quickly spot overbookings and manage resourcing and scheduling conflicts.
Runn lets you plan out work and phases using drag-and-drop functionality. The app also allows you to collaborate with your co-workers in real-time, making it especially useful for remote teams. Runn offers a number of charts and reports that update as you plan out your work— they provide an overview of capacity and workload, allow you to check resource availability on any given day, or drill into utilization rates to analyse how work is split between billable and non-billable work. All of this data can be filtered by role, team, or tags, (which you can use to identify people’s skills or location) and accessed from the Planner interface.
Runn generates easy to understand financial forecasts and surfaces relevant KPIs across the app, so you can keep tabs on your company, client, and project profitability; project performance; cost overruns; and actual vs planned variance. Runn supports both fixed-price and time and materials pricing methods, as well as custom and blended rate cards.
The app has built-in timesheets so you can better understand how time was spent compared to what was planned. Runn integrates with Harvest, WorkflowMax, and Clockify, so users can import project, client, and people data and sync time entries. Runn also offers a REST API that allows you to build out your own integration and send data to and from your favorite tools.
Runn is free to try for 14 days, no credit card required. Runn has three pricing plans: Free for Startup users (5 or fewer people), $10 per person for Pro users, and custom pricing for Enterprise users.
- Drag-and-drop resource scheduling
- Intuitive utilization reporting and forecasting
- Easily identify overbooked/unavailable employees
- Over-budget predictions
- No offline or mobile time tracking
- Limited number of integrations
10. Hub Planner – best resource management software with built-in enterprise resource management features
Hub Planner is a resource management software with a full suite of scheduling, time entry, and reporting features. The core feature is the simple and usable Scheduler, which allows for project and resource planning and visualization. Users can drag and drop to plan projects and schedule resources. The tool also offers a multi function menu, powerful filtering, and a dynamic team capacity bar. Multiple view modes allow for both high-level birds-eye views and granular views of projects.
Hub Planner has a powerful reporting engine with 70+ pre-formatted templates. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in a template, you can create reports from scratch.
Hub Planner also has a number of inline workflows for timesheets, requesting vacation time, and a slick resource requesting & approval option. Their Unassigned Work feature is great for scheduling and forecasting ahead of the pipeline, and users can create custom fields at the resource or project level. Users can also customize schedule notifications and reminders.
They’ve taken a modular approach so you have the option to add or remove extensions to the base product, allowing teams to increase functionality or turn off bits they don’t need. Inline integrations with Basecamp, Slack, iCal, REst API, and Zapier are available.
Hub Planner offers a pretty extensive 60 day free trial with everything included. There is an extensive knowledge base with tutorial videos, and their customer support is excellent.
Licenses begin at $7 per month, per resource with annual discounts available.
- Detailed and precise reporting
- Easily searchable resource indexes
- Easy toggle between user/group
- Quickly generated reports
- Can’t click on events for details
- Field data can be hard to edit once input
- Limited integration with MS Teams
11. Paymo – automatic resource management software for creative agencies, architecture studios, law firms, and consultants
At its core, Paymo is a resource management software that comes with an intuitive, automatic resource calendar so you can cut down bookings time drastically. You can track all your team’s current and remaining workload, leave days, and project budgets on a single timeline. Paymo’s smart scheduling sets up automatic bookings based on the previously entered task details for you to convert at a later time. It also surfaces unassigned tasks, which can be dragged and dropped on the timeline to those team members with a loosened schedule.
With Paymo, each team member has access to their own schedule to see what’s on their plate on any given day. This includes leave days (paid and non-paid), so managers know whom to rely upon without resorting to HR. They also have access to the remaining bookable hours from the total project budget, a feature that in combination with the timespan views (1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, 4 weeks) helps them make more down-to-earth forecasts in the future.
Being a complete work management tool, Paymo integrates with a suite of productivity and invoicing apps like Slack, Google Calendar, Adobe CC to support the full management of a team.
There are two paid plans, the lowest one starting at $11.95/user/month – no seat cap. Yearly subscribers are also eligible at a 20% discount. Free trials are also available.
- Time reports can be broken up in several useful ways
- Great (and customizable) at-a-glance dashboard
- Keeps track of PTO days well
- Steep learning curve compared to other apps
- Can be difficult to find time spend on projects
- Can’t start the timer for multiple projects at the same time
12. Celoxis – a resource management tool with reporting and analytics features, automatic scheduling, and project planning features
Celoxis is a web-based software for managing projects, resources, issues, risks, timesheets, workflows, and collaboration. Project dashboards and reporting options are customizable so you can see resources, tasks, and project details in a layout or format that works for your team.
Other features and capabilities of Celoxis include accurate resource loads, resource utilization management, resource capacity, and efficiency. These features are helpful for planning and decision making around resource allocation. The real-time and customizable reporting options are also helpful for decision making.
Celoxis is available as a cloud service or can be installed on-premise.
Celoxis costs $25/5 users/month.
- In-app timer for task tracking
- Customizable widgets for groups or individuals
- Percentage of project tasks-per-user feature
- Easy, interactive Gantt charts
- Some difficulty with report building
- Complex menu structure
- Resource planning is not automated
13. eResource Scheduler – flexible and comprehensive resource management for organizations of any size, including Fortune 500s
eResource Scheduler offers both Cloud and On-Premise versions with configurability &; ease of use at core of its design. It’s been used by organizations of all sizes since 2011.
This resource planning tool’s features include a dashboard that highlights important information on single screen, along with multiple types of user-defined fields that allow capturing complete information (roles, skills, qualifications, certificates, team, office etc.) about your projects.
The scheduling chart offers resource, project and role views, and users can create their own scheduling views on the fly. Filters identify qualified resources as per projects requirements. Meanwhile, features like drag and drop, availability and overload indicator, extend-shorten, precise split, copy-paste make scheduling efficient and quick. They also offer the option to schedule at both project and task levels. You’ll find multiple calendars with different timings, holidays, exceptions and personal leaves (visible on scheduling chart) to ensure correct resource capacity for different types of employee (Full, Part Time, Casual etc.). Their reports show real-time utilization at different levels and their reporting offers several different views/filters which make the reports informative and useful.
To integrate their tool with your other business tools, you can use their Open REST API, and you can also take advantage of easy imports/exports.
And finally, their timesheets feature and financial module (complete with cost and billing rates and a forecasting report) make eResource Scheduler complete resource management package. eResource Scheduler costs $5/resource/month and provides annual billing discounts (14-day free trial).
- Resource notification emails
- Ease of use and functionality
- Change control records for resource data
- Robust resource dashboard
- No invoicing module
- More complicated pricing structure
14. ProjectManager – best for resource monitoring through project dashboards
ProjectManager.com is a resource management software for scheduling and allocating project resources. As a cloud-based software, the tool runs on both Windows and Mac computers and doesn’t require download or installation.
This is a project management solution where you can plan and assign resources, track task progress, and collaborate with teams easily through in-app communication features such as commenting on tasks. Assign tasks to team members, create project plans, manage tasks, and create reports within the tool, as well as switch Gantt chart, task list, and Kanban board views.
Their real-time reports are easy to use—you can use their pre-set reports, or create your own custom reports. The real-time dashboard provides an overview of current project stats, and allows user to manage tasks, workloads, progress, and costs.
Integrations include Google Apps like Drive, Gmail, Calendar, etc. as well as Microsoft Office and Microsoft Project. More integrations are available through Zapier.
Pricing for ProjectManager.com starts at $15/user/month, with their basic “Personal” plan requiring a minimum of 5 users. They offer a 30 day free trial (a credit card is required to sign up for a free trial).
- Excellent high level view of project
- Customizable schedule templates
- Time and expense tracking
- Multilingual and very flexible
- No mobile app
- No way to update partially complete tasks
- Doesn’t output schedule files to .mpp
15. TeamGantt – easy-to-use online Gantt chart software with a simple read-only sharing link for quick collaboration and update opportunities
Used by Amazon and Netflix, TeamGantt is a project management tool with resource management functions like time- and budget tracking in the availability tab. TeamGantt specializes in task planning tools and charts but they also track workloads and team availability, collaboration features like chat and tagging, and customizable alerts.
One con with TeamGantt is that dashboards’ views sometimes lag behind real-time changes to resource tracking. Resource-complex projects may lag a bit due to the fact of TeamGantt being an in-browser, cloud-based application.
TeamGantt scores well in the Usability segment of the evaluation criteria, as it is incredibly flexible to use. The tool is accommodating to however you may want to set up and track your projects, no matter their resource structure or constraints. Additionally, providing an easy “read-only” URL makes it great for sharing with outside parties for input.
TeamGantt costs from $24.95/month and has a freemium version of the software for up to 3 users.
- Flexible setup and tracking for projects
- Share charts without receiver logging in
- Easy drag-and-drop task duration
- Quick learning curve
- Dependency data is awkward at times
- Lack of in-app notifications
- Views can lag behind changes
The Best Resource Management Software Comparison Chart
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the baffling array of resource planning software out there. Below, we’ve put together a reader-friendly table neatly summarizing basic info about the tools described in this article.
Resource Management Software Comparison Criteria
To be featured on this list, I evaluated tools based on the following criteria:
- User Interface (UI): How well-designed is it? Does it offer clear displays and intuitive navigation?
- Usability: Is this resources management system easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
- Features & Functionality: How many of the key features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
- Scheduling and allocation tools: s it easy to allocate the right resources and put the right people on the right projects? Includes simple calendars, timesheets, grids, gantt charts, ability to set deadlines and dependencies, and easy drag-and-drop to move resources around. Auto-scheduling features are a great plus, as are real time updates on changes to resource allocation.
- Skills tracking: can you find certain employees based on their specific set of skills and availability? Includes the ability to input employee schedules, create profiles listing their skills, and easily search by skills. Additionally, the better tools offer powerful search functionality that allows you to filter by essentially any project variable: tag, department, client, etc.
- Forecasting and planning features:does it include staffing or demand forecasting to help you plan resource availability ahead of time? This entails that the software collects data on sales, development, launches, schedules (etc) and makes resourcing recommendations to help you anticipate demands. The best resource management solution options offer an overview of your resource availability for the day, week, or month so you can see what you’re working with.
- Utilization management tools:usually takes the form of analytics and reporting features that give insight into capacity, utilization, and performance for projects, clients, and individuals. Many tools also allow you to analyze your entire project portfolio.
- Integrations: Is it easy to connect with other tools? Any pre-built integrations?
- Value for $: How appropriate is the price for its features, capabilities, and use case? Is pricing clear, transparent, and flexible?
- Customizable: Can you customize and adapt the software to your project team’s specific needs?
- Team collaboration: Does it allow team members to easily collaborate with each other and gain efficiencies through messaging and communication features, screen shares, and the ability to have more than one person contribute to specific tasks?
It’s worth comparing different tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionalities (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, task management), and different 3rd party integrations.
Video: How To Choose The Best Resource Management Software
Wondering what to look for as you check out the options? Here’s a video that covers our criteria and gives you an idea of what various tool interfaces look like.
Need expert help finding the right Project Resource Management Software?
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Do you need resource management software?
You might be on board, but getting buy-in to change the status quo within your agency, team or studio can be tricky.
After all, do you really, really need resource management tools?
A quick google search for ‘resource management tool excel’ or ‘resource management software free’ and you’ll find a whole bunch of resource management templates that do the job—well, kind of.
Actually, not really. Yes, they’re a free resource management tool, but no, they are not great.
When agencies start, it’s usually with a handful of resources. There’s no urgent need for resource management or specialist software. Usually, everyone simply gets together for a quick huddle, agrees on priorities, and works out what everyone is going to work on for the day. Or—if people are feeling really ambitious—for the entire week.
As the agency grows, resource management becomes more formal and the resource scheduler becomes a whiteboard. Simple, right?
Then, disaster strikes as someone accidentally wipes the whiteboard clean, or the office grows to the extent that people can’t actually see the whiteboard, and everyone realizes it’s time to move to the agency gold standard: the infamous resource scheduler of doom, otherwise known as the resource spreadsheet.
Google docs: the ultimate free resource management tool
The truth is resource management spreadsheets kind of work. Most agencies are still using them. And suffering for it.
Everyone knows resource management by spreadsheet doesn’t really work. It’s not really cut out for the job. Everything’s a bit of a hack, they’re clunky and they’re horribly prone to errors. Months pass by and still the resourcing spreadsheet somehow just about manages to keep its head above water.
But everyone feels like they’re drowning. Yes, it enables you to keep moving and it kind of works but everyone knows that despite good intentions and some fancy formulas, it keeps on slipping under and it’s not really fit for its purpose at all. Unless you’ve got the mother of all resource spreadsheets (that I’ve never laid eyes on) it’s missing a few key features and is a disaster waiting to happen.
Still using spreadsheets?
At a push, your resource management spreadsheet might tell you how under-resourced or under-utilized your teams are, or even include forecasting, but does it include budget tracking, time tracking for billable hours, project reporting, sending staff real time notifications, helping them collaborate, or a built-in process for requesting resources and resource allocation? Without these elements, it cannot be the resource management solution you’re looking for.
And importantly, does it have a change process for when resources get moved around by the resource manager or your rogue project manager colleague? Maybe that’s why no one follows it – it’s considered more of a rough resource management guide than a true resourcing source.
But there’s hope. A growing number of tools have evolved in recent years to fix the problem of resource management in Excel and actually create something better than the free resource management tools—stuff that actually brings additional business value on top of keeping everything organized.
Which Resource Management Software Do You Recommend?
What do you think we’re missing? Which other tools do you recommend, and what would you add to these resource management software reviews? We’d love to hear if you’ve got any suggestions, tips, or thoughts on using this kind of software – why not share them using the comments below? What is resource management?