So, what do you understand by resource management? The process of planning your available resources in a way that you reach their maximal efficiency is resource management. By doing this, you get answers to questions like who is doing what, by when will a task be completed, what is the status of each project or task. Having said that, to efficiently manage your resources, you must know your team’s competencies, expertise, availability, etc. Sounds complicated? A good resource management software makes resource planning, scheduling, allocation, and monitoring project status a breeze. But as the requirement for each organization is different, you should choose a tool after proper consideration. Resource management software that includes a real-time overview of the entire resources and projects is very beneficial in project management. Read on to see some of the factors that could help you find the right resource management software for your business.
Choosing the Suitable Resource Management Software
Define Your Needs for a Tool
Before you start looking for resource management software, you should identify what are the current problems that your team faces. List the key issues that hamper smooth operations. Then, when you start looking for various options for a resource management tool, you should ask yourself if that particular software solves these issues? Do not be confused or distracted by good-looking UI or some features that are not going to be useful to you. Make a list of the features you would need in the tool and mark them as low, medium, or high on priority.
Ability to Handle Complex Matrix Organization Structure
Most of the global organizations these days have a matrix structure where resources have multiple reporting and teams are spread across different locations. Check if the resource management software can support resource scheduling and allocation across various geographies. It’s important to find out if the tool is designed to manage resources in a matrix structure. Then ask if the tool provides a 360-degree view in terms of resources, entire projects, and bookings? This enables you to make your decisions in real-time and double bookings can be avoided. Also, check if the resource management software provides a workflow to streamline the complete resource management process, as that will be very beneficial.
1. A Centralized Directory of all Resources
With global businesses and distributed teams nowadays, resources are usually spread across different cities or countries. This poses a challenge as the management cannot get a bigger picture of resource utilization and productivity. Resource management software helps to maintain a centralized directory that lists all the company’s resources in one place. What’s more? You can organize and structure this list by using different parameters and filters like competencies, qualifications, expertise, experience, availability, etc. This proves very beneficial when you have to find a suitable candidate for a specific project.
2. Time Tracking Features
Time management is one of the most important factors for any project’s success. A project manager needs to manage and track multiple deadlines. He also needs to ensure that throughout the project lifecycle, all the team members are fully utilized and motivated. As every minute is important for a project, planning and utilizing time efficiently is the key to completing the project deliverables on time. However, team members usually do not feel comfortable filling in cumbersome spreadsheets or maintaining a login and logout time. In such a scenario, using resource management software that has an in-built time-tracker can be very helpful. Not only can it track the time your resources are spending on the project, but it will also highlight any red flags regarding timelines or project cost.
3. Supports the Way Your Business Functions
The ideal resource management software must support the way your business and industry operate. It should also be able to aid your decisions to continue with certain set structures and workflows and suggest where some improvements could be made. However, when you decide to implement a resource management software, don’t compromise for anything but all-inclusive project management and time-tracking tool. Choose a vendor who is open to accommodate your specific requirements and make any updates if needed.
4. Configurability and Expandability
Another important question is if the tool can be configured as per your business needs or not. Configurability is definitely a critical requirement. Next, you must find out if the resource management tool is user-configurable or not? Ask the vendor if you will be able to configure the tool on your own. It will be helpful if the tool permits the organization to customize the overall number of fields and the screen titles as per their specific internal guidelines. Scalability is another important factor. The resource management software needs to scale with multiple users. Choose a tool that can cater to various departments, verticals, and business units across geographies. Also, check if the tool can be expanded to support any new requirements? The business needs of a company are dynamic. It’s best if a user is able to implement a maximum number of changes with no or minimal training.
Drag and Drop Calendars
A project manager has multiple projects and resources aligned to him. In most cases, these resources and projects are intertwined and dependencies between these projects affect the calendar. Choosing a resource management software with a feature like drag and drop calendars helps in carrying out your work smoothly and strategically. You would have some projects that go on throughout the year. Hence, the best approach is to size up the resources required for certain time periods in the calendar year. The drag and drop scheduling feature helps to remove suboptimal bookings. It also updates the project status according to the milestones that were attained within timelines. Thus, your project and resource schedules stay on track.
Different Permission Levels
The right resource management software provides different permission levels. Though mostly, it is the project managers who would use such a tool, there are many benefits for team members as well. For instance, they can check the tasks they are assigned, their work schedule, save time-related data, and manage availability. Even your stakeholders and customers can use the software to track project status, check project plans, or dashboards and reports. A resource management tool that offers several roles and permission levels enables you to create a structure of multiple users for your project. This saves a lot of time as both the team and your stakeholders can log in and assess the status or any other data themselves.
After shortlisting the tools, you could go for a free trial. If you like a specific tool, then you must check how it is actually priced. Also, ask if it is priced per user. This kind of pricing scheme is suitable only if a few people will be planning the resources in your organization. In some cases, the software is also priced per resource and here, the resource doesn’t mean a user. This is a good option if you want a transparent planning process. This way, you will be able to add as many users as you want while offering them different user rights. Also, if you are finding a central resource management software that multiple departments and resources can use, then choose the one that offers fitting pricing options.
Reliable Integrations with other Existing Tools
Your organization or some departments may be using some tools for managing the business operations. Ensure that the resource management software you buy can be integrated with the existing ones. In case turnkey integrations are missing, you won’t have the transparency you need. That will make it tougher to track the progress of your projects and resources. The fact is that the businesses that are not integrated properly usually have huge cost escalations and their resource utilization is also unbalanced. Whereas integrations eliminate the silos and help business functions collaborate seamlessly. This further enables better cross-departmental communication and data accessibility.
Enbraun’s eResource Scheduler
Have you tried the leading resource management software yet? Check out Enbraun’s award-winning tool, eResource Scheduler. It is a multi-user, network-based resource management tool that is designed to optimize resource utilization and profitability for a business. eResource Scheduler also works wonders in resource coordination across various locations and distributed teams, thus enabling real-time visibility. Want to know more about this tool? Try it for free today.
Company Bio: ENBRAUN is a software product and service company. eResource Scheduler is its Flagship software product.