Resource management practices are how companies typically control their most important assets, ranging from raw materials and finished products to labor and talent, during project planning.
Resource management software is a project management solution for planning out your workload in order to best use all available resources, from physical materials to labor. Also referred to as resource planning software, this solution tracks a mixture of assets and employee schedules in relation to current and future projects.
Resource management solutions are most often used by project managers at enterprise-level companies with a large project workforce. The more talent you have to control, the more important it is to have a way to control who is working on what. This can cover workers who gather raw materials to those who sell the finished goods. The software generally includes capacity planning and forecasting tools to ensure the availability of employees based on their skills and workload in order to optimize the upcoming project schedule.
Selecting the right resources can make or break a big project. As a project management software, resource management tools offer many benefits to enterprises across every industry. Just a few of these help you to:
Project resource planning is about more than ordering raw materials. It’s about resource availability: balancing the physical assets you have against employee schedules to get the best turnaround on projects. A resource management software makes it easier than ever to review all your resources and how they are being utilized.
Resource management includes long-term forecasting tools for future projects as well. Before starting any new project, analyze all your resources to ensure everything is distributed in the best possible way. Plan out your material and labor needs far in advance in order to avoid shortages down the line. This type of resource allocation can range from sending more materials to certain manufacturing plants or relocating employees to fill in at different facilities to streamline operations.
Finally, you can find creative uses for your limited resources with the right management tools. Perhaps you have a highly specialized worker who fulfills a singular task. Reviewing your business processes may reveal other areas where their skills can be utilized. And leave management tools can account for common project disruptions like holiday, vacations, or team member retirements.
Resource management software with capacity planning tools let you review workers based on their respective skill sets. These talent management tools give you a complete overview of who is available and has all the right abilities needed for new projects. Have an upcoming project which needs to be handled by someone with a certain skill? See who’s available and even reassign tasks to ensure the best talent is available for the entire duration of the project.
Further, you can use resource management tools to measure how effective individual employees are on different projects. Need a job done fast? Analyze your records to see who has the best turnaround times. Have a multi-year project which needs a dependable team for the long haul? Review your files to select team members based on their past ability to work together in the past.
Additionally, planning features lets you avoid overworking employees. The best talent for the job might already have enough on their plate, and adding more projects of equal importance can cause burnout. Use resource management scheduling tools to check the workloads of every employee before assigning new tasks to prevent overloading one person or team.
Managing labor between different departments can be difficult. Customizable resource management tools help human resource teams and managers alike keep track of what employees are doing and how well they are executing their assigned goals. A quick analysis of this data can reveal who is best suited for helping on upcoming projects.
Resource management also lets you determine who shouldn’t be on the project. Time tracking applications can immediately reveal who is putting in the most time throughout the life cycle of any project. If certain workers experience the same roadblocks over and over again, you can assign them to different tasks to avoid unnecessary project delays. Or you can see if it’s worthwhile to train them on specific tasks which can offer more benefits than their current abilities provide.
Optimal resource utilization can save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run. Streamlined task management cuts down on the actual time needed to complete projects. Real-time schedule changes can prevent burnout and bring in new talent when necessary. Improved team collaboration can see projects completed without error. All these combined factors help projects get completed on time and on budget.
Project management tools often have a lot of overlap. This is true of resource management and capacity planning. In essence, resource management is about the big picture allocation of all company resources while capacity planning software is a supply chain solution that helps manufacturers and distributors compare production loads against available capacity. Also known as design capacity, capacity planning provides real-time data on resources to help eliminate production bottlenecks.
In short, resource management software generally includes some level of capacity planning. The best resource management software will include capacity planning tools. However, there can be benefits to having an independent capacity planning software depending on the scope of your projects and available resources.