Many times when managing projects, I have needed to manage the list of resources in a spreadsheet from memory based on who I know in the organization, or in a Project Management Software tool that only most of the project team members use. Although it is possible to export my resource list from Microsoft Project to a spreadsheet, it takes time and is not fool-proof, sometimes resulting in duplicate versions of the truth. Therefore, keeping track of resources and communicating tasks can be a challenging, manual process. The problem with manual processes is that some resources may be overlooked, overbooked, or under-utilized. In order to make sure that everyone knows which tasks are due when, it is necessary to spend massive amounts of time sending reminder emails, re-emphasizing timelines in meetings, and tracking down people one at a time to check in on their status or communicate work changes. When managing multiple projects, this ad-hoc and time-intensive coordination requires the need for even more spreadsheets, emails, meetings, and difficulties in keeping track of the resource pool. Some organizations hire a full-time person just for resource management.
So… that is the long-houred, stressful, and painful way to handle resource management.
Luckily, I have happily discovered an easier way. As a die-hard Microsoft Project user, EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition makes it possible to communicate to team members and contributors without the export to a spreadsheet step from Project. All lists and assignment information is online and accessible by everyone saving me lots of time and drastically reducing confusion and mistakes. In WorkEngine, it is so easy to build a team for a new project. I can add people to the resource pool, quickly pull them into my project, see their availability, and assign them tasks.
I can view and share the list in a Spreadsheet, Gantt chart, or simply online. As the project manager, I can approve or decline resources added by others so security and central management of resources is not compromised. And my favorite feature is that when I assign a task to a resource, it immediately shows up on that person’s workspace page so they can see the task details, priority and due date. Wow- I don’t have to track the person down or send more emails to communicate his/ hers latest assignments.
I love how the resource lists and charts are included in the same project workspace as the shared documents, announcements, and other great EPM Live tools. The resource management capabilities in EPM Live’s WorkEngine edition make my life as a PM of multiple projects so much easier!