What is Resource Management Software and Why Use it?
A post from our Project Management blog
Written by Jordan James
Resources are the biggest investment for any organization. Therefore, maximizing resource efficiency and profitability has now become a priority for every firm.
In today’s competitive economy, the demand for specialized skills continues to rise. As a result, access to real-time data for decision-making has become more critical than ever. However, many managers are still relying on spreadsheets and home-grown tools to allocate resources which has its own limitations.
A value-driven resource management software enables real-time forecasting to facilitate competent resource allocation along with timely capacity planning for pipelined projects. Thus, it plays an instrumental role in ascertaining a project's delivery within time and budget.
Here is a detailed blog post that explains the benefits of using modern resource management software.
But first, let’s take a step back and understand the basics:
1. What is Resource Management software?
Resource management software allows organizations to manage their business resources efficiently and effectively and get the best value out of them. It easily integrates with existing systems and provides comprehensive reporting and dashboards that help in decision-making.
Components of futuristic resource management software:
● Resource scheduling
● Forecasting and capacity planning
● Resource planning
● Resource utilization
● Business intelligence and reports
Given the components of resource management software, let’s look into its various business benefits:
2. Business benefits of resource management software
Here’s a rundown of how advanced resource management software benefits the modern business realm:
1. Gain visibility for competent resource allocation
Having 360-degree visibility ascertains competent resource allocation as it allows managers to filter resources based on their skills, role, location, etc., and assign them to the project’s task. The tool also shows present and future bookings of resources that give insights into their availability. Based on this information, managers can optimize their allocation without overloading them.
2. Reduce project resource costs significantly
According to Deloitte, cost reduction takes precedence over other business initiatives.
The project vacancy reports, people on the bench report, and foresight into the pipeline project provide enough leeway to managers to procure the right talent and minimize hiring/firing costs. They can either allocate a cost-effective global resource, a benched resource, or can conduct planned hiring. All of these practices create the right resource mix that suits the project budget.
3. Plan ahead with forecasting and capacity planning
Forecasting capabilities of the software let managers have all the resources they need before project onset. It helps to identify resource shortfalls/excesses and formulate an action plan to bridge the gap.
For instance, if there is a shortfall of resources, then managers can hire, select a bench resource, implement rotation/backfill technique. Whereas for excess resources managers can bring future project work ahead, and adjust timelines.
4. Maximize profitable resource utilization
The resource management tool provides real-time utilization reports that allow managers to mobilize the resource from a non-billable work to a billable project. The utilization heatmap shows if the resources are being over or underutilized in a color-coded fashion. Accordingly, managers can drive resource optimization techniques and keep their workloads manageable.
5. Manage complexities of matrix structure
Over the decades, many organizations have evolved into a matrix structure where employees have multiple reporting lines and are distributed in multiple geographies. An enterprise-level resource management solution can streamline work operations among multiple teams and foster a shared services model to maximize resource efficiency.
6. Timely delivery of projects within budget
An effective resource management tool provides reports like forecast vs actual for real-time expense and schedule tracking. Using the reports, managers can assess if there are any budget or schedule overruns in due time to take remedial measures.
3. Applications of resource management software
Below is the list of areas where resource management software can prove beneficial:
1. Effective resource planning with what-if analysis
An effective resource management solution has the modulation and simulation feature also called what-if analysis that allows to build different scenarios and choose the best possible outcome. One can compare the changes made in each scenario w.r.t to resource demand, budget, before applying the viable option on the final resource plan.
2. Seamless resource requisition workflow
An automated resource requisition workflow helps project managers to raise a request in a systematic manner. Then depending on the project priority, resource managers can fill the open positions. Moreover, the tool minimizes internal conflicts for critical resources and gives absolute transparency to the stakeholders and management.
3. Real-time resource booking systems
Often managers struggle to juggle resources in between existing projects or new projects. With a robust resource management tool, managers can implement real-time resource booking by considering their availability. The easy drag and drop feature also helps them to schedule resources to project tasks in the form of simple, split, and bulk booking.
4. Conduct training and development programs
To stay competitive and sustainable for future demands, companies must invest in development activities. A configurable Resource management software can be used for training scheduling and to effectively manage training courses established by L&D.
A LinkedIn Report reveals that 94% of employees are willing to continue if their employer invests in learning.
5. Improve productivity of the workforce
Scheduling the resources as per their interests and skills, self-development opportunities, all result in an increase in resource productivity. Resource management software gives foresight into the overall utilization of resources and allows you to improve their efficiency in case there is a decline observed.
Ever-growing market volatility is continuously impacting the viability of every business. Therefore, adopting modern resource management software is crucial: it will help to create the optimal resource mix and schedule project activities to best achieve an organization’s strategic and financial goals efficiently.
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