Resources are limited, so you must plan their use. You can only put each person in one place, at one time, working on one task, matched to his or her unique skill set. Effective resource planning helps you deliver projects on time regardless of shifting deadlines, changing priorities, and common project evolutions. Resource planning keeps utilization rates at a profitable level, reducing the non-billable time your resources spend on projects. When your software works well for your people, your profit margins reflect this.
Common resource planning software capabilities include these:
• Resource Planning (by individual or role)
• Resource Scheduling (at the project or task level)
• Utilization Reporting
• Resource Availability Forecasting
• Resource Auditing
• Resource Discovery
Who Uses Resource Planning Software?
Companies of all sizes do resource planning. This includes anyone managing a team of employees, contractors, or a combination thereof. When you need talented individuals to come together as a team to complete tasks, you can benefit from resource planning software.
For very small companies, resource planning can be accomplished without software through regular team meetings and by using a whiteboard. Once companies reach a certain size, more formal tools are required to avoid resource shortages and maintain utilization.
For creative and professional services businesses, resource planning software becomes valuable once the team reaches 15-20 people. At this size, maintaining high utilization and margins becomes difficult to juggle without technology. Many firms initially use homegrown solutions like spreadsheets before adopting a more integrated solution.
The benefits of resource planning software correlate with company size. Since larger organizations have more resources to manage and clients to satisfy, the impact of improved forecasting and allocation are magnified. Larger companies are also often more metric-driven, and may be expected to maintain specific utilization and financial targets. Companies focused on improving billability and profit margins stand to benefit most from a professional resource planning solution.