The first and most crucial step in executing any project is selecting the right resources. Therefore, it becomes important that managers pick the appropriate resources based on their team or organization’s skill set. A resource management tool can automate this step and helps project managers make quick decisions while optimizing employee staffing.
In this guide, we’ll cover the ins and out of a new breed of project management software: resource management software. A growing number of vendors are now offering these tools, which focus on employee skills and availability, within their project management platforms.
Here’s what you need to know:
What Is Resource Management Software?
Common Functionality of Resource Management Software
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Benefits of Resource Management Software
Key Considerations for Resource Management Software
Resource management software is a type of project management software. It allows organizations to track the availability of their employees, identify what skills they have and schedule them for projects accordingly. Resource management tools are typically used by larger organizations, which have a greater need to optimize employee workloads and identify which workers are best suited for certain projects.
For example, a large software development firm might use resource management software to help select a team of front-end, back-end and full-stack developers, who each have unique skill sets, to work on a big project. This eliminates the busywork of manually trying to identify and schedule the right people for the job.
Here are some common capabilities you can expect to find in most resource management tools:
|Skills and availability tracking||This important tool allows users to find employees with certain skills who are available at certain times and assign work to them. This relies on users inputting employee schedules and workflows and creating a profile that lists their relevant skills. For example, a project manager would use this functionality to find which back-end developers at her organization are available to tackle a side project in the coming month.|
|Staffing forecasting||Allows organizations to plan for expected staffing needs in the future by collecting internal data regarding sales, product development, product launches etc., then making recommendations based on that data. For example, if higher sales are expected in the coming quarter, the system would recommend hiring a certain number of sales reps.|
|Knowledge base||Some platforms will include a library of white papers and community channels to help human resources and project managers better understand what types of workers they’ll need for technical positions. These might contain easy-to-understand explanations of technical skills and roles that help managers know what to look for when hiring.|
|Request automation||This tool simplifies the process of selecting teams for particular assignments by automatically searching for and identifying suitable employees, based on their skills and availability.|
|Document template||Enable team managers to streamline the repetitive work of managing resources. You can use a previously used template that features all the required tasks and resources for the new project. This template eliminates the need to re-enter all the details again and again.|
|Timesheet management||Allows users to track the actual time spent by an individual on a particular project. Managers can also calculate the overtime of each project. An optional feature of automatic notification can also be included in the tool that notifies the managers when any of their team members log in to the system.|
In general, resource management platforms are best suited for large organizations that have more than 500 employees. However, smaller companies in software development, engineering or other highly technical fields can still get a lot of use out of resource management tools. Companies with fewer than 500 employees that aren’t in a highly technical field can generally get by with a traditional project management suite.
In general, here are the biggest benefits you will see from using resource management software at your organization:
Here are a few other things to keep in mind as you evaluate resource management software:
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