According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2020 report, poor resource management hygiene can waste up to 11.4% of a company’s resources. Yikes. If you’re anything like me, you can’t afford to be hemorrhaging time and money like that, especially since over half of project managers are running between 2-5 projects at the same time! Resource management software can help mediate your workload and address some of these risks.
In this complete review, I’ll walk you through the best options along with a simple explanation of the criteria for choosing high-performing tools. You’ll also find overviews of each , 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 . ; you’ll learn why it’s important to track and carefully and how smart plats into your overall
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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 10 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.
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
- Custom Reports Can Be Difficult to create without training
- Proofing solution is an add-on
- Advanced features are available only in the Premier and Enterprise editions of the application
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
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
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
Float is for teams who want robust and powerful resource management software that’s also unfussy and easy to use. Over 4,000 of the world’s top teams use Float, including Deloitte, Ogilvy, BuzzFeed, and MetaLab. Its simple, visual design and rich 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 $6 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
- Team availability management
- Project phases and milestones for planning
- Monitor budgets and forecast capacity
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Built-in time tracking with pre-filled timesheets
- Updating staff/personnel list takes time
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
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
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
Silverbucket is a resource planning tool for project-based businesses, and is designed for use by architects, engineers, and IT professionals. Silverbucket is easy to use and allows users to view and compare resource plans and actual hours to get insights into the success of resource management activities.
The tool provides clear views of a company’s resource allocation activities, including conflicts, workloads, and capacity levels. Project managers can allocate team members to tasks and projects, and make allocations to unassigned roles if needed.
Skills tracking features such as tracking competencies and abilities are also included, as are reporting tools such as performance dashboards, insights on past resourcing plans, and forecasting for future resource management plans.
Silverbucket gives different parties, such as project managers, team leaders, and company management, information about resourcing and how it affects the success of projects, as well as monitor sales forecasts, cash flow, and utilization rates.
Silverbucket offers a variety of APIs for integrations, which also allow automation of data flows.
Pricing starts from €9/ planned person /month.
- Easily compare resource plans to actual hours
- Soft booking can be used to create tentative allocations
- No mobile application available
- No ability to create “what if” resource planning scenarios
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 days 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.
- Excellent capacity planning & forecasting
- Search filter for available resources with skill sets & location
- Powerful & precise built-in reporting
- Easy toggle between user/group
- Need to click into modal for more details on events/projects bookings
- Editing Custom Fields requires manual input or help from Hub Planner support
- Need an API or intermediary for MS Teams
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.
To be featured on this list, I evaluated tools based on the following criteria:
- User Interface (UI): The will offer clear displays for the when optimizing your ?
- Usability: Is this resources system easy to learn and master? Are there tutorials and training? Does the company offer good tech and user support?
- 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?
- – Can you visualize who is doing what, how much time it will all take, and who can handle more tasks?
- Easy tools – Can you drag-and-drop and point-and-click to quickly build a template?
- integration – Time spend/used/cost is a key part of so solution integration is key.
- automation – is time consuming so we want to automate some of the grunt work.
- alerts – Gone too far over time or cost budgets without noticing? We want a that catches that for you.
- permissions – The should be able to differentiate different account permissions for security.
It’s worth comparing different tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionalities (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, , building, etc.), 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.
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?