Successful projects involve many variables but I would argue that resources are the most important. Resources are an organizations most valuable asset and usually the largest expense. The ability to effectively plan and allocate limited resources against your entire project and work demands requires project software that provides insight and capabilities for the entire resource management life cycle. Organizations should look for project management tools that provide visibility, analysis and execution capabilities.
Resource Management capabilities to look for in project software:
Resource Capacity Planning – The process of determining the amount of resources available for projects with in the portfolio. Use tools to estimate role-based resource hours to ensure the resource plan can be fulfilled given current resource workload and availability.
Resource Allocation – The process of scheduling resources to projects based on their availability and project time. Look for tools that help you easily assign resources to any work item and that allow resources to easily provide status updates from one centralized system.
Resource Work Management – Work management is a new standard in the project management discipline. The ability to manage project tasks alone is no longer enough. In order to get a true picture of project performance, all work that affects a project portfolio must be considered. The need to maintain disparate systems to manage various types of work such as applications, products, projects and services, is no longer required. Work management brings all projects and all work together for true reporting and maximum efficiency.
Resource Collaboration – The world is going social and businesses are following suit. Water cooler conversations are obsolete these days because social information is readily available and easily shared with a quick click of the mouse. Social Project Management is a new discipline emerging amongst organizations; it’s a non-traditional way of organizing and executing projects leveraging social networking techniques to quickly move information to distributed or virtual teams. Look for tools that encourage communication through comment streams or use project wikis and discussion boards.
Resource Task Management – It sounds simple but many times task data is stored in disparate systems not providing a true scope of the resources project work. Make sure your tool centralizes this data and allows for simple list creation so resources can easily share and collaborate on them.
Learn more about the Resource Management Life Cycle in this free webinar, “The Resource Management Life Cycle – Effective Planning for Maximum Utilization.”