Project planning can be complex, especially when you are dealing with multiple projects across divisions or companies or managing a portfolio.
Implementing resource management software to help manage projects pays big dividends. For example, compare what happens in companies that do use predictive formal project management tools and those that don’t, according to the Project Management Institute:
- Meeting goals: Those using a software-driven and agile planning process meet goals 73% of the time compared to just 58% for those that don’t.
- Within budget: Those using a software-driven and agile planning process stay within budget 63% of the time compared to just 48% for those that don’t.
- On-time delivery: Those using a software-driven and agile planning process bring projects in on-time 59% of the time compared to just 43% for those that don’t.
Implementing the right resource management software and processes, project managers met project goals nearly 26% more often, stayed within budget 31% more often, and had more than 37% higher on-time delivery.
12 Reasons to Consider Resource Management Software for Your Organization
Besides these quantifiable results, implementing resource management software delivers significant advantages for other key components of your project management planning. Here are a dozen reasons why you should implement resource management software for your next project.
1. Simplify the Planning Process
A resource-planning tool and project-management toolset lets you simplify allocating resources and professional services to your projects. So much of the process is automated, so you can quickly scope out milestones, roles, and key deliverables. As you begin your project, data stays current in real-time so you can track progress.
2. Produce A Single Source of Truth
If you’re still tracking resource management and doing capacity planning on spreadsheets or whiteboards, data can quickly get out-of-date. Someone can forget to update something, have an out-of-date copy of a spreadsheet, or make a mistake in a formula cell. This leads to confusion and can facilitate poor or inaccurate decision-making.
When you have a centralized repository for all of your data accessible by key stakeholders at various levels, you have a single source of truth that is always current with the most recent data.
3. Streamline Resource Scheduling, Allocation, and Tracking
This centralized dashboard tracks all of your total resources and projects across your organization. In a few clicks, you can find the person or resource you need with specific skills, qualifications, or expertise and check availability.
Making sure you have tasked the right person with the right skills at the right time in the project is essential for success. Since projects rarely go exactly as planned, using drag-and-drop resource management tools, you can adjust quickly to meet changing demands or resource requirements.
Every resource gets identified and defined and team members know what they are expected to accomplish and when. This helps everyone stay on course.
Tracking is also simple. As tasks are completed, they get checked off to keep everyone up to date.
4. Create Better Pipeline Forecasts
When you are managing multiple projects, things can get complicated quickly. Competing resources, utilization rates, and project delays can alter timelines and costs. Competing projects and priorities can also occur.
Staying on top of pipeline forecasts helps you plan more accurately and make better decisions about adding new projects to the planning chart and enables you to visualize the impact on current projects.
5. Develop More Predictable Timelines
Businesses make plans based on hitting specific timelines for completion. When projects fall behind schedule, it can add to costs — especially lost opportunity costs. This can make it more difficult to achieve forecasted revenue, which can have a ripple effect across an entire organization and impact other projects.
With real-time data and more proactive management and resource utilization rates, it is much easier to track deliverables against timelines. As you make adjustments to resources, projected timelines automatically respond so you can quickly see the impact of any necessary changes. This also becomes a robust project management tool for envisioning scenarios and contingency plans.
6. Produce Better Budget Forecasts
According to a KPMG study, less than a third of all projects came within 10% of the budget over the past several years. While there are some things that are outside your control, such as weather for outdoor projects, supply chain backups, and unforeseen labor shortages, the majority of project deliverables are controllable.
A big part of why companies employ project managers is to handle all aspects of projects, including keeping costs under control. When you have a centralized platform that shows real-time data, you have a much better chance of managing resources, costs, and project ROI.
7. Improve Data Analysis
The right resource management software platform will produce automated reports on projects, availability, workload, utilization rates, or timesheets in a few clicks. Many standard reports will be available and you can create custom reports for any project or project portfolio.
This can save considerable time that can be used for planning rather than pulling reports or data entry. These manual, repetitive tasks take a toll on productivity. Not only does it increase the possibility of human error, but they take the focus away from higher priority concerns. A survey by Monday.com found that 54% of workers spend 5+ hours a week on tedious tasks that do not require creativity or higher levels of thinking.
What would you do with an additional 5 hours a week? The right resource management software can give you that.
8. See Real-Time Project and Budget Management Tools
Since data is always real-time and up-to-date, reporting is more accurate. This allows you to see where everything stands accurately at any time. By using resource management software tools to plan and control every aspect of a project, you can have tighter control over projects and budgets.
You can easily monitor budget forecasts versus actual spending, track shortfalls and overruns, and hold teams accountable.
9. Deploy Agile Planning Tools
Over the past few years, companies have had to learn to be increasingly agile to navigate uncertain economic issues and consumer demands. Many businesses had to pivot to new and unknown business models or adjust to an increasingly mobile and remote workforce. Businesses that did saw huge benefits.
A McKinsey consulting study shows operational performance improvements of between 30% to 50% for companies embracing an agile planning approach. Those companies also saw an increase in the overall financial performance of 20% to 30% compared to their peers.
Resource management software dramatically increases your flexibility and agility by allowing you to run any number of scenarios and anticipate potential bottlenecks. When a pivot is necessary or project scope changes, you can easily drag and drop resources to see the immediate impact on resource capacity, budgets, timelines across projects. This lets you see forecasted resource allocation quickly.
10. Maintain Clear Communication for all Stakeholders
When project managers were asked to name the single most crucial factor in efficient project management, effective communication to all stakeholders was the number one response. PMI estimated that 56% of project expenses are at risk due to ineffective communications.
When team members aren’t kept in the loop, things get lost in translation. A cloud-based resource management software platform gives access to team members, project planners, key stakeholders, and vendors so they are all getting the information they need.
When everybody has access to the data, reports, and files — both internally and externally — you get increased transparency and save time. There’s no cutting and pasting, emailing files, or waiting for someone to respond to get what you need to move forward.
Built-in collaboration tools make it easy to provide feedback, make edits, and check on project status at any time.
11. Automate and Reduce Workloads
Companies that embrace the robust automation and streamlined process afforded by resource management software see a significantly reduced workload. In many cases, companies have been able to reduce project management teams due to increased efficiencies. However, most simply let automation handle routine tasks so that PM teams can focus on bigger-picture thinking or are able to handle more projects.
12. Resolve Conflicts More Easily
When there are multiple projects ongoing, resource demand can have a significant impact on project timetables and budget. Resource conflicts can cause all sorts of problems.
Manual scheduling and resource planning can easily lead to double-booking resources or failing to assign resources. Competing projects can create bottlenecks or conflicts, especially when priorities change. Conflicts are easy to miss in the manual process.
Resource management software automatically identifies resource conflicts so you know when they occur. You can drag and drop resources, add resources, or reassign resources from other projects or labor pools to see the impact instantly.
The Best Resource Management Software
Resource management software helps your organization with real-time resource visibility into every aspect of your project planning. This helps you better plan and execute project schedules, balance workloads, and prepare for potential changes, allowing you to respond to resource issues fast and more effectively.
With Cora resource management software, you get a cloud-based solution that can be accessed by team members everywhere, so everyone has the most current information. You can visualize resource allocations, see which resources are over or under-utilized, and even reassign talks in bulk without having to go into individual tasks. This makes it simple to accommodate changes and instantly update budget forecasts.
As you allocate resources to tasks, labor costs are automatically calculated. A single click can generate a forecast based on scheduled resources. You can easily see the estimate at completion (EAC) for both the project and program level whenever you make a change.
With Cora resource management software, you can plan, execute, and track more efficiently.
For near-term views, such as 0-6 months, you can see task-level resources for skilled or named users against project schedules. This allows you to leverage:
- Centralized dashboards
- Approval process
You get the tools you need to track costs, tasks, and timelines along with managing project governance.
You can get overviews and detailed granular-level details to help track project activities on a day-to-day basis. Gantt chart and WBS modules can be connected so that tasks can be driven directly from the project schedule. Work can easily be assigned to resources.
Powerful alerting and notification tools make sure everyone gets notified of relevant information. Users get their own dashboard that provides prompts and reminders for tasks that are pending, due, and overdue.
Task-level resourcing also feeds into the timesheet function to track hours associated with work performed for governance.
Request a Demo of Cora Resource Management Software
If you would like to see how Cora resource management software can help improve your project planning and execution, request a demo today.