What Is Resource Planning Software?

How project management tech can help juggle multiple projects

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An ongoing challenge for many businesses and organisations is managing resources – especially skilled labour – across various projects whilst taking into account overruns and other snags.

Resource planning is an activity to ensure human and other resources are adequate for the projects in progress, those about to kick off, and those scheduled for further into the future. Resource planning software is powerful tech enabling this function to be more easily undertaken.

Letting tech take the strain

Well written resource planning software enables the ongoing optimisation of resources to cover the demands of various projects. It effectively draws them together and manages resources across all projects so the overall work in progress is taken as a whole.

It analyses the demands of each project and identifies if there may be potential skills bottlenecks; for example, another project starting may make excessive demands on those with a certain skill set, so the system flags up a need to recruit more people or at least outsource to meet the forthcoming skills demand.

The software effectively helps in what can be a massive balancing act in ensuring each project’s skills demands are being met, and can also ensure staff and others are working effectively in being fully utilised but not over-stretched.

Resource planning software can also perform various ‘what if?’ functions in that contingencies can be planned if projects were to overrun or others might need to be brought forward in the work flow.

Into the future

Good resource planning practice means looking into the future to assess likely skills needs, and resource planning software can help with this.

Armed with this information, it’s possible for the recruitment of suitably skilled staff to be planned and implemented or for existing staff to be suitably trained in time for when certain skills are needed based on future project demands.

Results driven

The overarching aim for most businesses is the optimal productivity possible; this is vital as lowered productivity is currently a general malaise of UK business and has been for over a decade since the last financial crisis.

Resource management software helps improve productivity not only through sound skills deployment on projects, but also in tracking and measuring it.

The beauty with a strong resource management package is not only its ability to measure productivity against certain parameters, but to provide fresh, up to the minute stats to enable corrective action to be taken quickly rather than, say, having to wait until the end of a quarter to analyse production figures.

More feedback

Resource planning software can provide more results data in the form of the following reporting:

Financial – overheads can be tracked and monitored so businesses know how much a project is costing in work time and resources so enabling accurate customer billing.

Performance – as said above, productivity can be measured by assessing performance against certain parameters.

Bespoke reports – the software can be programmed to provide reports specific to a particular recipient and based purely on what they need to know.

This is preferable to a multitude of people all receiving the same or similar reports and having to wade through material irrelevant to them to access what’s relevant.

For dealing with the present and for looking ahead resource management software is the ideal business tool for businesses running multiple projects demanding specific skills.

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FG Editorial Team
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