What is resource management software?
Resource management is an essential part of project portfolio management – it’s designed to help you complete projects on time, within budget, and to your expected standards. Best of all, resource management software has made this easier than ever.
But what is resource management software, exactly? And how can it help you nail your projects? In this article, we’ll explore its benefits and how it can help your business get even better results.
What is resource management?
Resource management is the process of planning, allocating, and monitoring resources to achieve your company’s goals and objectives. The types of resources will depend on the specific business, but the most common include assets like human resources, financial resources, materials, equipment, time, and information.
Effective resource management involves identifying the type and amount of resources you need for a specific project or task, then allocating those resources appropriately. You’ll also need to ensure the resources are being used effectively and efficiently, which is usually carried out by project managers.
The idea of resource management is to maximise productivity, reduce overspending and inefficiency, and to ensure that projects are completed on time.
What is resource management software?
Resource management software refers to the digital tools that help businesses allocate resources, monitor finances, and track employee performance across projects. This user-friendly software typically includes tools to help you with scheduling, task management, budgeting and financing, and reporting and analytics.
Resource management software is designed to help you maximise resource allocation, boost productivity, and improve communication and collaboration among team members.
What are the benefits of resource management software?
Resource management software makes it easier for you to hit your goals on time and within budget, but that’s not all. Here are the key benefits in more detail…
Resource management software can automate important tasks, such as scheduling and task allocation, which can save time and reduce the chance of errors.
Better resource allocation
By providing a clear view of resource availability and usage, resource management software can help you improve your decision-making and project outcomes, and reduce costs.
Resource management software often includes collaboration tools, such as digital whiteboards and direct messaging, that can improve coordination and teamwork, leading to better results.
With real-time visibility into resource availability and team performance, you can increase transparency and accountability, enabling project managers to make more informed decisions.
Better reporting and analysis
You can also benefit from reporting and analytics tools that can help you track performance, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions.
Faster project completion
By streamlining the resource allocation and project management, this software can help you finish projects more quickly, resulting in faster delivery of products or services to customers. This can also lead to happier customers and increased repeat sales.
Improve quality of results
Effective resource management can ensure that the right resources are allocated to the right projects, resulting in better quality products or services. This should also lead to higher customer satisfaction and increased loyalty.
Why is resource management important?
Resource management is important for businesses that want to hit targets on time and within budget, enabling you to carry out important actions, including…
Meet project deadlines
By managing resources effectively, you can ensure that projects are completed on time, which is vital for meeting client expectations, increasing customer satisfaction, and improving your brand reputation.
Improve resource utilisation
Resource management helps you identify underused or wasted resources, and take steps to maximise your productivity, helping to reduce costs and boost profits.
By understanding your resource availability, you can improve teamwork and coordination, which usually results in better collaboration and results. This is particularly important for businesses with employees working remotely who want to feel more connected to the company.
More effective decision-making
Resource management gives you the data you need to make informed decisions about your project and assets, which should help you make impactful decisions.
What are the best practices for resource management?
As with any business-related process, there are best practices you should follow in order to get the best results. Some of the best techniques for resource management include:
Identify resources in short supply
This involves identifying the most efficient way to allocate resources to other tasks or projects – using techniques such as linear programming, or optimisation algorithms.
Define a common approach to prioritising work
Create an agreed-upon time management process, including prioritising tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and scheduling resources effectively.
Resource levelling involves adjusting resource allocation to smooth out resource utilisation over time. By redistributing tasks or resources, you can reduce the risk of resource shortages or overloads.
Agile resource management
Agile resource management emphasises collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability, enabling you to respond quickly to changing project requirements.
Realise it’s an ongoing process
Once you realise it’s a long term strategy, resource management will help you identify and mitigate risks, which should help ensure you get long term success across all projects.
Prioritise skills management
We recommend tracking and managing the skills and competencies of team members, which will help you allocate the right resources in the best places. Before you start a project, take time to understand each person’s strengths and experience.
Account for non-project time
When planning in both the short and long terms, it’s important to account for non-project time, such as administrative time and paid time off. It’s also crucial to have a mechanism in place to capture unexpected project activities to avoid losing visibility to the reduction of capacity. Meanwhile, don’t forget that everyday items such as email, general meetings, and administrative tasks result in a natural time loss.
To support limited resources, particularly human resources, it’s crucial to apply automation wherever possible. Automation solutions can effectively manage essential, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks, freeing up resources to accomplish more with less effort. By doing so, human resources can focus their expertise on non-automatable tasks, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency.
What are the key management resources?
To help you understand how to manage your assets and resources effectively, we’ll briefly explain the five main management resources:
- Human resources – employees, contractors, and other people who work for your business. Human resources management involves recruiting, hiring, training, and managing employees to ensure they’re productive and engaged.
- Financial resources – cash, investments, and credit cards that your business uses to fund things. Typical tasks include budgeting, forecasting, and managing cash flow to ensure financial stability and profitability.
- Physical resources – equipment, facilities, and vehicles that your company uses, which also involves repair, maintenance, and replacement.
- Information resources – data, IT systems, and other technology that require data governance, cybersecurity, and IT project management.
- Time resources – the amount of time available to complete your work. Time resource management usually involves scheduling and prioritising tasks.
Retain Cloud for resource management
Retain Cloud is a professional service software developed with over 30 years of industry knowledge and best practices in resource management. The software, built on Azure, is designed to help you manage the complex demands made on your resources, offering a rich set of globally scalable features. It also functions as a platform for resource scheduling and talent management, providing enhanced visibility, insight, and control over your resources.
Retain Cloud software offers support for agile team working and collaboration in self-organising, cross-functional teams, enabling agile methodologies. It also provides integration flexibility with leading CRM, ERP, and HCM solutions, along with configurable interfaces to comply with stringent IT controls and standards and map data to all IT systems.
Effective resource management is crucial for the success of project portfolio management, as it goes beyond being just a desirable feature. Transparency plays a pivotal role in providing project managers with a comprehensive overview of all resources and their allocation across various projects, which is exactly what the best resource management softwares give you.
Instead of assigning resources haphazardly or accepting every project that comes your way, you can plan and manage resources meticulously to prevent project delays, overspending, and deadline delivery failures.
Without visibility and the right digital tools to monitor resources and direct them to the most valuable work, your project leaders are likely to fall short of completing projects and delivering competitive advantages, which can result in poor performance or missed opportunities.
Overall, by implementing an appropriate resource management solution, your business can ensure it has the right people and funding to nail your projects.