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?
According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession 2020 report, poor resource management can waste up to 11.4% of a company’s resources. You can’t afford to be hemorrhaging time and money like that, especially since most 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. On top of that, I answer all the commonly asked questions about .
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Resource Management by Smartsheet, 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. Resource Management by Smartsheet 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.
Resource Management by Smartsheet 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.
Resource Management by Smartsheet’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
monday.com is a flexible platform to help teams communicate in context and get a birds-eye view of outstanding projects, available resources, and projected timelines. monday.com’s smart design and straightforward 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 $6/user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 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
- Gantt charts locked to mid-level plan
- May be too robust for small teams
- Comparatively complex pricing rubric
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 private 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 offers plans to meet your needs. Choose from resource management to complete PSA with advanced BI. To receive accurate pricing information, contact Mavenlink directly.
- 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
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
- Time-consuming logging structure
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
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Built-in time tracking with pre-filled timesheets
- Updating staff/personnel list takes time
Runn is a real-time resource, demand, and capacity planning tool with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities. Get a bird’s-eye view of all projects and people to instantly spot overbookings and identify resourcing patterns. Collaborate with co-workers to stay up-to-date and on the same page with remote teams.
Scheduling allocations is easy and intuitive in Runn–simply drag-and-drop to create project phases and allocations. Flick between monthly, quarterly, and half-yearly views to plan for the short and long term. If you don’t have the right person at the right time, use placeholders to define the requirements for the project.
Runn makes resource management dynamic and visual. Watch the charts and reports update as you plan out your work. You can see visualizations of capacity, workload, availability, and billable and non-billable utilization. Drill into different roles, teams and tags to compare trends and understand which groups are overbooked. Plan out tentative projects to see how your resourcing plans might change if the work gets confirmed.
Track projects, view forecasts, and get relevant metrics within Runn. You’ll have up-to-date data in one place to keep tabs on insights like utilization, project variance, and overall financial performance. Use Runn’s built-in timesheets to understand how much time was worked compared to what was planned.
Runn integrates with Harvest, WorkflowMax, and Clockify for importing project, client, and people data and syncing time entries. With Runn’s API, you can build your own integration to send data across your favorite tools.
Try Runn free for 14 days, no credit card required. Runn has three pricing plans: Free for Startup (5 or fewer people), $10 per person for Pro, and custom pricing for Enterprise. There is also a 20% discount on annual plans.
- Drag-and-drop resource scheduling
- Intuitive utilization reporting and forecasting
- Easily identify overbooked/unavailable employees
- Over-budget predictions
- Powerful API
- No offline or mobile time tracking
- Limited number of integrations
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
Saviom is a leader in powerful and configurable resource management software. It has helped many organizations reduce their resourcing costs by at least 10-30% and enhance profitable utilization by 10-20%.
Saviom’s comprehensive ERM suite helps optimize the modern workforce and protect them against growing market uncertainties. It comprises several modules such as multidimensional resource scheduler and planner, advanced forecasting and capacity planning, real-time Business Intelligence, integration with other business applications, and more.
Saviom’s ERM solution enables agile resource scheduling with a Gantt chart style view using simple drag and drop functionality. Besides, the enterprise-wide visibility of the tool helps you identify and allocate the right resource to the right job. Additionally, using modeling and simulation techniques, the tool helps select an optimized resource plan and enhance ROI.
Using the forecasting and capacity planning module, businesses can forward plan pipeline projects and bridge the capacity vs. demand gap proactively. Moreover, you can optimize your workforce by maximizing the profitable utilization of every resource. The tool also helps businesses achieve the desired level of maturity as per the organization’s need.
Firms can improve their organizational health index using real-time Business Intelligence. They can build customized portals, dashboards, analytics, and reports using the tool’s highly configurable and expandable capability. The tool allows you to maintain a single source of truth by seamlessly integrating with your existing systems.
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.
- Multidimensional resource forecasting & capacity planning
- Highly configurable & customizable RM solution
- Real-time resource optimization, modeling & simulation
- Highly flexible real-time reports, analytics & dashboards
- Seamless integration with other enterprise applications
- There is a learning curve as the tool comes with extensive features
- More suitable for medium to large enterprises
- Pricing is available only on request
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 €10/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
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, and 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 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
Need expert help selecting the right Project Resource Management Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Project Resource Management Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business’s needs. Through our partnership you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14 days free trial
|From $25/user/month||Check out Resource Management by Smartsheet|
14 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out monday.com|
|Custom pricing available upon request||Check out Mavenlink by Kantata|
14 days free trial
|From $29/user/month||Check out Forecast.app|
30 days free trial
|From $6/user/month||Check out Float|
14 days free trial
|From $10/user/month||Check out Runn|
60 days free trial
|From $7/user/month||Check out Hub Planner|
30 days free trial
|Custom pricing available upon request||Check out Saviom|
30 day free trial
|€10/planned person/month||Check out Silverbucket|
14 days free trial
|From $5/user/month||Check out eResource Scheduler|
To be featured on this list, I evaluated tools based on the following criteria:
- User Interface (UI): P. s should offer clear and easily comprehensible displays for optimizing your
- Usability: Is the 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?
Key Resource Management Features
- : Can you visualize who is doing what, how much time it will take, and who can handle more tasks?
- Easy ing tools: Can you drag-and-drop and point-and-click to quickly build a template?
- integration: Metrics relating to time spent, time used, and time costs are key to , so a integration or built-in solution is critical.
- automation: is time consuming, so you want to be able to automate some of the grunt work.
- utilization metrics and catches this for you. alerts: Gone too far over time or cost budgets without noticing? You want a that monitors the relevant
- permissions: The should allow you to set different permissions for users depending on their required level of access, for security.
Best for small and medium-sized businesses and team
- Zoho Projects
Best workload allocation tools
Best reporting and analytics features
Best for advanced resource workload calculation
Best RM that integrates with CRMs
Best for ease-of-use and UX
- MS Projects
Best RM software for Microsoft users
- Harvest Forecast
Best for users of Harvest’s time tracker
Best for tracking non-typical resources
Best enterprise-grade resource management tool
Best for resource management dashboards
- KeyedIn Projects
Best for resource management at the PMO level
Best RM tool for remote teams
Resource Management Basics
What Is Resource Management?
In project management, resource management refers to the practice of planning, tracking, and optimizing the utilization of resources (such as staff, space, and equipment) in order to streamline project work and completion. This process involves planning and managing: checking the resource’s availability, scheduling start and end dates, managing any resourcing conflicts or dependencies, and monitoring over time to adapt to changes.
What Is Resource Management Software?
Simply put, resource management software makes it easy to plan and schedule (and reschedule) projects. Sometimes referred to as resource capacity planning software, it’s a type of project management tool that enables you to plan, allocate, and then track who’s working on what project, when, and for how long.
This software makes it easy to see the resource availability and capacity of the organization, the available skills, and then schedule and provide reporting to show historical and forecasted resource utilization.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Resource Management Software?
- Streamline resource management and deployment to be as efficient and effective as possible, reducing downtime and increasing utilization.
- Provide a bird’s eye view of organizational capacity to prevent overbooking and support hiring decisions.
- Forecast revenue by providing reports on upcoming projects and planned resource deployment.
What’s An Example Of An Effective Resource Management System?
An effective resource management system is one that works. It could be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or Google Sheet (more on this below), but it’s one that enables an organization to deploy the resources at their disposal, as efficiently and effectively as possible.
That’s hard to do without some dedicated software. To make the system effective, it enables the organization to conduct resource planning in a way that maximizes the utilization of available resources and considers the availability of staff, their skills, their preferences, their location and timezone, and maps them against projects and organizational goals. Resource management software supports project portfolio management, and provides a way to effectively manage resources to maximize productivity and profitability.
How To Create A Resource Plan
- Identify the different types of resources needed to complete the project.
Resources could include: team members, equipment, meeting rooms, or anything that’ll be required as part of the project process.
- Quantify the amount of each type of resource required.
To quantify the resources, you’ll need to consider the resources, and estimate their effort on the project.
- Schedule the consumption of each resource within the project.
To schedule the resources, you’ll need a project schedule so you know who to book, when, and for how long.
What Is A Resource Forecast?
Resource forecasting is a plan of the resources required to deliver a project. It often occurs in the initial phases of a project, even as early as the sales process. A resource forecast is an estimate of the resources and effort that will be required for the project, which helps determine the project hours, project budget, and the project estimate put forward to the client.
How Do You Calculate Project Resources?
A simple way to calculate the level of effort required is to look at past project performance and compare it with the current project plan to identify the current project team velocity. You can then use the formula: current velocity/project estimate = resources required.
It’s important to calculate resources needed for a project so that you take the right amount of the team’s time. Resource too little, and they won’t have enough time to complete the work, and if you resource too much you’ll find they waste time, or work slowly to fill the time.
Not seeing what you need on this list? Have a look at other useful tools:
- Project scheduling software to help you plan, track, and analyze your projects.
- Resource scheduling software to help you schedule equipment, rooms, staff, and other resources.
- Marketing resource management software (MRM software) for marketing-specific resource needs.
- Open source resource management software for extra flexibility and (often) cheaper pricing.
- Project management software to help you with project planning for better resource estimates.
- Capacity planning software to help you organize your team’s workload according to their capacity and availability.
- Free resource management software, in case you need a less expensive option that will still cover your primary needs.
- Resource allocation software, which is specifically designed to help you alllocated the right resources to the right projects and tasks.
- Resource planning software to help you forecast required resources and their utilization on your projects.
- Web-based resource scheduling software, in case you require a SaaS solution, rather than an on-premise option.
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. 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.
Spreadsheets: The Ultimate Free Resource Management Tool
Everyone knows resource management by spreadsheet doesn’t really work. It’s not 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 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 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.
Further Reading: In-Depth Guide To Resource Availability In Project Management
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?
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