Check out our simple, easy comparison of the 10 best resource management tools on the market in 2020. 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 help you narrow down the choices. On top of that, we 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 work to be more effective and productive.
Quickly Compare & Evaluate The 10 Best Resource Management Software
Managing your team 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, 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?
Video: How To Choose The Best Resource Management Software
Wondering what to look for as you check out the resource management software options? Here’s a video that covers our criteria and gives you an idea of what various tool interfaces look like.
Resource Management Software Comparison Criteria
To be featured on this resource management software 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 resource management software features and functions does it provide, and how powerful are they? Specifically, I looked for:
- Scheduling and allocation tools: is it easy to put the right people on the right projects? Includes simple calendars, grids, ability to set deadlines and dependencies, and easy drag-and-drop to move resources around. Auto-scheduling features are a great plus.
- 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: does it include staffing or demand forecasting to help you plan for the future? This entails that the software collects data on sales, development, launches, schedules (etc) and makes resourcing recommendations to help you anticipate demands.
- 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?
It’s worth comparing different resource management software tools as they’re set at different price points, different functionality (such as timesheets, expenses, approval workflows, task management), and different 3rd party integrations.
The 10 Best Resource Management Software Overviews
In this post, we’ve tried to cover a broad spectrum of resource management software tools, 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 that’s designed to integrate easily with other tools
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.
2. Runn – Modern resource management and capacity planning tool with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities.
Runn is a modern resource, demand and capacity planning tool with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities that gets remote teams on the same page. It has a Planner interface that 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 resource and schedule conflicts.
Runn lets you plan out new work using simple 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 live as you plan out your work— they provide an overview of your company’s total capacity and workload, allow you to check how much resource availability you have on any given day, or drill into your utilization rates to analyse how your team’s work is split between billable and non-billable work. All of this data can be filtered by a role, team, or tags (which you can use to identify people’s skills or location) and accessed straight from the Planner interface.
Compared to other resource management software and capacity planning tools, Runn also 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 time tracking capabilities built-in so you can better understand how time was spent compared to what was planned, or you can integrate with Harvest to import your project, client and people data and sync your time entries. The Harvest integration is currently in beta and more integrations are on the roadmap. 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 currently free until 1 July 2020, to support existing and new customers during COVID-19. Free for small agencies, free-lancers and start-ups of up to 5 people. $10 per person for pro-plan. $30 per person for enterprise plan.
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.
4. Float – Powerful and easy to use resource management software with mobile apps and integrations
Float is the leading resource management choice for some of the world’s top teams, thanks to a simple, visual design combined with a powerful set of features, apps, and integrations. Float’s features include: click and drag resource assignment, live updates and notifications, utilization management, time-off tracking, project budgets, and apps for iOS and Android.
Helpfully, in Float, multiple people can have access to the schedule and make changes at the same time as live updates ensure you and your team are always seeing the latest changes. You can send your team a personalized overview of their assignments with a daily or weekly email and keep track of changes in the activity feed, or be notified via email and/or push notifications.
With Float, you can also assign project budgets to forecast your team’s time and other expenses, allowing you to plan ahead and prevent unwanted surprises. And their powerful reporting lets you filter your assignments by resource, department, client project, and anything in between. You’re able to keep track of utilization, compare staff and contractors, drill down to a specific department and compare billable with non-billable time, including holidays and time off.
Float time tracking integrates with your resource schedule to give you a clear picture of your team’s estimated time vs. actual hours worked. Timesheets are pre-filled based on your team’s planned workload, and hours can be logged in a single-click, or a tap within the mobile app.
In addition to getting on-the-go access to their app using the iOS and Android apps, there are integrations available for Slack, Google Calendar, Outlook and Teamwork Projects, and over 1,000 other apps (such as Basecamp, Asana and Trello) through Zapier.
Float costs a flat $5/user/month, and they also offer a free 30-day trial as well as unlimited, free guest access.
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.
6. Resource Guru – Reliable tool used by some of the world’s top agencies; a popular marketing resource management 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 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.
7. Elapseit – Complete resourcing tool for startups and freelancers with built-in project management and invoicing features
elapseit is an online human resource management tool for allocating and managing company resources. With this resource planning tool, you can assign resources on multiple projects, phases or task components by using the resourcing planner. The interface is easy to use—just drag & drop an allocation from a person to another, add a new one or modify an existing allocation in seconds.
Their resourcing system takes vacations and bank holidays into account, ad is designed to help you avoid resource over- and under-allocation. It also includes a leave planner with approval workflow and evidence of remaining vacations days. Once a manager approves a vacation request, all the allocations are automatically updated. 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. You can check the resource utilization along with many other reports.
In a nutshell, elapseit is a powerful project and resource management software with highly connected features. These include time-tracking, task management, invoicing, time-off management, Kanban board, dashboard, reports, document management all together in a secure user experience, through different access levels. It’s the best option for all size companies and it suits perfectly all kind of projects. There is a freemium version which includes all features. The price starts at $5USD/user/month.
8. Productive – Easy-to-learn resource management software for agencies with powerful, visual reporting features
Productive is an all encompassing agency management tool. This online resource management tool supports time tracking, employee cost rate management, budgeting and profitability reporting (among other features). You also get progress reports which show you the future revenue on every project.
Some other, standard resource management software features include multiple views (per project/person/team). Booking indicators tell you who’s overbooked or underbooked at a glance. You can also schedule people on custom events (vacation, sick leave, education, or anything else). It also factors in overheads and employee costs when calculating profitability, ensuring you can focus on improving your metrics without getting burdened by non-billable work.
One of the best things about this resource planning software is that Productive has very active development and a well defined roadmap. It was built to replace a non-integrated tool stack agencies usually struggle with, both in terms of cost and quality of reporting. All in all, Productive gives you an amazing, top-down view of your people’s capacity that also reflects on the rest of your business (reports, time tracking, profitability).
Productive’s integrations include an assortment of accounting tools such as QuickBooks Online and Xero. A Zapier integration is available too, along with an open API anyone can use.
Productive costs $12/user/month. They also offer a fully featured, free 14-day trial.
9. 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).
10. Smartsheet – well-rounded work execution platform with plenty of integrations, custom branding options, and great reporting features.
Smartsheet is a spreadsheet-like project management tool. It has won a few awards for quickly becoming a favorite business app. It’s a nice tool if you’re comfortable working in Excel but wants a break from complicated formulas—Smartsheet performs all the calculations for you across multiple sheets. You can also add customized brand logos and set color themes for individual projects.
However, Smartsheet is far more than a glorified spreadsheet. It has a standard and well-rounded set of tools for project management, scheduling, resource management, and reporting, collaboration.
For resource scheduling, Smartsheet has useful features such as workflow automation and visualization of tasks in Gantt, calendar and card views. Team members get notified of critical changes in real-time, and the tool provides shared views, detail history, activity logs, automated alerts, reminders, and status reports to keep everyone aligned and informed.
The Critical Path feature highlights all the tasks which directly impact your project completion date to keep an eye on important milestones. Reporting is a strong feature of this tool, with editable summary reports that you can easily export to Excel. You’ll also find real-time data in your dashboards, which you can customize through a drag-and-drop interface for each project.
Smartsheet integrations include Microsoft and Google apps, as well as development essentials like Jira, and useful business apps like Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Box, and Tableau. The platform is extensible through a REST API and webhooks.
Smartsheet costs from $14/user/month and offers a 30-day trial.
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.
Want Help Narrowing Down the Options?
This tool is pretty useful. We’ve partnered with Crozdesk to give you access to their “Software Finder”.
If you input some of the details about your project and the features you’re looking for in a project management tool, it will generate a list of tools that match your preferences. You provide your email, and they send over a nice PDF guide with a summary of your best matches.
Do you need resource management software?
You might be on board with trying to find the best resource management software, but getting buy-in to change the status quo and replace it with resource management software, a resource scheduling tool or project scheduling software for 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 and so there’s no urgent need for resource management or specialist resource project management software. Usually, everyone simply gets together for a quick huddle, agrees on the resource management 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 starts to get really formal and the resource scheduler becomes a whiteboard. Simples, 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 for more advanced resource management – it’s time to move to the agency gold standard – the infamous resource scheduler of doom – the resource spreadsheet.
Google docs – the free resource scheduler 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 intention and some fancy formulas, it keeps on slipping under and it’s not really fit for 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.
Resource management software trumps 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, project reporting, send staff notifications, help them collaborate or have a built-in process for requesting resources and allocating resources to projects?
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 of truth.
But there’s hope. A growing number of resource management software tools have evolved in recent years to fix the problem of the resource management in Excel and actually created something better than the free resource management tools. They’ve made resource management software that works!
What do you think?
What do you think we’re missing? Which other resource management software 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?