Organizations undertake projects to achieve their business goals. The projects need to be conceptualized, planned and executed with the resources available to the project manager. Smart and timely resource management can make or break a project. This can be a complicated process, especially if there are several concurrent projects. Managers use resource management reports to monitor and allocate resources professionally, and they rely on resource planning software to do this.
What Is Resource Management?
The process of planning, allocating and scheduling resources (human as well as equipment and technology) to different tasks that complete a project is called resource management. Organizations need resources to achieve their goals, and good resource management ensures that the right resources are available for the right task at the right time.
Project managers must prioritize tasks and utilize resources to optimal capacity. To do this they need to have precise information on:
- What resources and skillsets are available with the organization?
- Are the available resources being utilized to maximum capacity?
- What demands ongoing and future expected projects will make on these resources?
- What is the balance between resource demand and resource capacity?
- Do more resources need to be hired?
- Are resources allocated as per project and task priority?
- Are the work schedules balanced for all resources?
- What are the budgets and financial data?
- Are project deadlines and timelines being followed?
Additionally, managers have to also ensure that the projects they take on are in alignment with the corporate strategy. These are the key factors driving the organization’s profitability and sustainability, and all these falls under the purview of resource management, which is critical to timely and successful project delivery.
How Does Resource Planning Software Help Managers?
We saw how important resource management is for successful project execution. Traditionally it was possible to follow manual systems of doing this, but as projects expand and grow in complexity, managers may find it difficult to do justice to all tasks by following ad-hoc systems. They are now increasingly using resource planning software to manage resources. The myriad tools offered by this allow the manager to get an overview of the entire project, and the complete visibility and transparency help them assign resources to various tasks.
Resource management reports are a project manager’s go-to tools that allow them to check resource availability, allocate the right resource to the right task, and schedule the available resources in such a way as to ensure that there is enough capacity to complete all ongoing projects and accurately plan future ones as well. These reports give managers an overview of their projects and allow them to plan and execute these efficiently and effectively, with optimal resource utilization and maximum profitability.
A resource planning software like eResource Scheduler has many features that ease the project manager’s job by simplifying and assisting in planning for the short- as well as the long-term. These give them more visibility, a key feature that helps them schedule and allocate resources and set realistic deadlines.
Top 5 Reporting Features Of eResource Scheduler
eResource Scheduler comes with several tools that aid in resource planning by ensuring:
- detailed planning
- more efficient scheduling
- maximum resource utilization, and
- better overall management of the project.
eRS Cloud from eResource Scheduler helps managers profile, identify and schedule qualified resources for various tasks and projects, making sure that all resources are utilized efficiently. The dashboard feature gives real-time visibility with all information on resource availability, allocation and scheduling accessible in one place. This makes resource monitoring and tracking easier for managers. They can also move or reassign resources for optimal utilization.
Managers can use eRS Cloud to generate various resource management reports that give them a better perspective of how the resources are performing and where the project is heading. Project managers can match the available resource skills to the right tasks, making for stronger teams and more efficient project implementation. Access to financial data helps them monitor the project costs and ensure that it is completed within the pre-decided timeframes and budget.
Let’s look at the top 5 reporting features of this software and what benefits they offer to businesses and project managers:
1. Measures resource availability and utilization at every level: Resource utilization reports help measure how many resources and what skills are available across the organization, and how well they are being utilized for the various tasks of all the ongoing projects. eResource Scheduler calculates and reports on utilization for each task and project at the organization. The information is at project, branch and geographic levels, which makes this software especially beneficial for businesses with multiple locations.
Managers can also create groupings of resources, teams, locations, etc and the utilization data can then be filtered for each of the groupings. This gives managers the information they need to identify the areas that require optimization. They also have the option to organize reports as per their preferences and then quickly switch between them. Different users have different preferences. The various basic and advanced settings on the reports can be set to suit individual preferences.
2. Allows viewing utilization levels by projects or resource types: Users can configure reports as per their preferences. Reporting data can be organized and viewed by projects or resources or by any other grouping that has been created. Resources can be divided as per teams, project managers, departments, etc., while projects may be grouped under managers, business units, geographical locations, etc. By using these different options, managers can get a holistic view of which resources are available within the organization and how they are being utilized.
Project management is a dynamic process. By comparing actual and planned reports managers can compare utilization and capacity. This comparison highlights resource shortages or skill gaps and helps them plan better for future tasks and projects.
3. Always gives updated real-time reports: All the resource availability and utilization reports are updated in real-time as soon as a booking is created, deleted or amended. This gives users complete transparency, and they can view the latest updated information and make efficient scheduling decisions. Real-time resource availability, allocation, and schedules give managers an insight into the remaining capacity and also tell them when the resources may be available for other project work.
Resources need to be optimally utilized. This is an ongoing process and managers need regular insight into the present and the expected utilization of available resources. This is possible with eRS Cloud which organizes and delivers reports with short, medium and long term resource utilization data.
4. The visual display makes a comparison of resource utilization between projects easier: eRS Cloud gives managers the option to view data on different projects side by side, making comparisons on utilization and allocation more efficient. This provides managers with a better perspective and leads to more informed decision-making.
Reports are generated with graphs and charts that make it easier to read and understand the data reported. These are also useful for seeing at a glance how all the projects, tasks and resources are working together. Managers can also quickly interpret and compare data for different variables. Charts can be designed to display the information required for particular projects.
5. Allows colour coding of data to highlight: Good reporting emphasizes easy identification of important data. It is then essential that all key information should be highlighted in reports. This resource planning software allows managers to define and colour code utilization levels as per the organization’s requirements. This ensures that they can easily pinpoint which resources are being over–or under-utilized. These resources can then be reassigned to ensure a balanced workload. Managers can easily zero in on problem areas. This saves time as projects can go on uninterrupted, and also ensures optimal utilization.
Resource management and utilization reports equip project managers with the arsenal they need to plan and execute projects intelligently, effectively and efficiently. Having information easily and accurately available makes it more convenient to schedule resources. The bird’s eye view of the resource capacity and availability provided by eResource Scheduler helps managers forecast future requirements and plan for workflows. Amending schedules and plans, as well as dealing with shortages or bottlenecks is also more streamlined.