Project Resource Management Software – The Meaning and Benefits
November 25, 2010
The definition and benefits of software for managing resources
Managing project resources is one of the critical management activities aimed at finding the balanced allocation and leveling of available project resources and optimizing resource utilization and consumption. The resource management process focuses on planning, scheduling and allocation of the resources required for initiating and executing a project and its phases. Usually this process is successfully implemented with help of resource management software, which allows using spreadsheets, estimates, templates, to-do lists and reports in planning and utilizing project resources.
What is It?
Project Resource Management Software is a computer program to simplify planning and using of resources by providing tools for achieving the balance between project resource requirements, schedules, availability, and optimization opportunities. Project resource management tools allow managing what, where and when a resource should be available and utilized to achieve the optimum project outcome.
Using project resource management applications becomes an integral part of the best planning and control practices in project management. Then the project resource management process will tend to excellence and every resource (people, funding, equipment, facilities and other valuable assets) will be utilized appropriately and no overheads will occur in project resource management templates and estimates.
Why project teams need to use such software? Are there definite benefits that make project resource management activities more efficient so people, funding and time are used in strict accordance with approved project resource estimates and templates? Obviously project resource management program provides some benefits. For example, Microsoft project resource management software allows using Gantt Charts and network diagrams to plan resource utilization, create resource schedules and use to-do lists. MS project resource management tools make it easier for teams to view their working hours, assignments and tasks, and requirements per assignment.
Managers benefit from using project resource management samples and templates that simplify allocation and monitoring of resources. Besides, Microsoft project resource management application supports user collaboration and data sharing allowing several users to access one and the same project database to view resource estimates, to-do lists, templates, cost spreadsheets, etc.
Not only MS software products for project resource management (MS Project) let benefit from better planning and using of people, funding and equipment. There are many other solutions such as VIP Task Manager, TaskMarlin, LiveProject. Using an example of software for planning and allocating resources within projects gives the following resource management benefits to management teams:
- Increased accuracy of resource planning and forecasting.
- Maximized resource utilization.
- Managers can view project resource management schedules and estimate resource availability in real-time.
- Improved staffing that helps assemble more effective and productive project teams and workgroups.
- Better project resource availability management.
- Accurate resource capacity planning and minimized allocation conflicts.
- Using generic resource profiles to keep track of project resource consumption.
Various resource management programs can be installed on different systems (Windows, Mac OS) and launched on desktop computers, laptops, nettops and portable devices (iPhone, Blackberry). Today IT technologies offer project managers and resources planners a great variety of project resource management tools compatible with various systems and devices – this opportunity makes it easier for management teams to access and use information on project resources.