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Being able to accurately plan your resources is one of the most important aspects of project management. Having the right resources available at the right time can make or break a project, and keeping on top of your team’s capacity and availability is essential if you want to be able to do your best work, and also meet your budget. But ensuring your team’s capacity aligns with demands can be tricky—especially when you throw flexible working hours, overtime, time zones, vacation and leave into the mix.
Failing to manage team capacity properly can cause serious issues for employee wellbeing and team performance, in addition to project profitability. But the good news is that there’s an abundance of capacity planning tools available to simplify the whole endeavour. No matter the size of your team, there’s a tool out there that can make a difference. We’ve pulled together some of the best resource capacity planning tools for small teams through to enterprises.
The best resource capacity planner for small teams
If there are only a few people in your team, you might want to use a simple shared calendar tool like Teamup to stay on top of everyone’s capacity. Teamup’s calendar view allows you to schedule team meetings and events, optimize your resources, cut down on any scheduling conflicts, and allocate work—all without losing sight of the big picture. Using sub-calendars, you can schedule work based on team members, locations, and events—and the color-coded calendars make it easy to stay on top of things at a glance.
Teamup also allows you to keep all resource details like images, files, links, notes and comments in one single place, which helps you streamline communication and effortlessly maintain accurate records. Teamup can get a bit cluttered if you have a larger team, however, or work across several projects—and there’s no way to get an instant overview of an individual employee’s capacity. For these reasons, Teamup is best for small companies and teams.
Used by high-performing teams all over the world—including Deloitte, BuzzFeed and MetaLab—Float is a great choice for teams big and small, although it works especially well with medium-size teams looking for a strong, powerful resource management tool that’s also understated and simple to use. Float’s scheduling capabilities are extremely intuitive, and you’ll be provided with a precise and detailed overview of your team’s availability and capacity, allowing everyone to view the whole team’s workload and status, time off, vacation, and upcoming tasks and projects.
Updating schedules is quick and easy, and you can use the drag-and-drop feature to effortlessly reassign or update tasks. Real-time reporting then allows you to monitor resource utilization, track project budgets, and calculate your team’s capacity. Float also syncs up well with other apps like Asana, Teamwork, or Trello, and allows you to import events from your Google or Outlook Calendar right into your Float schedule.
Capacity planning tools for enterprises
For enterprise-wide resource allocation visibility there’s Saviom, a global specialist in tools that improve efficiency and project performance. According to Saviom, their resource management suite helps you identify available skills and utilize the best resources for the right work, as well as act on accurate resource predictions and plan future projects as best as you can. As a result of these insights, Saviom users are able to slash resourcing spend by at least 20%.
Designed to streamline project and resource workflows for resource managers with little time on their hands, Saviom’s resource planning module and dashboard coordinates with many other tools to highlight your most crucial project data. The capacity planning features provide detailed reporting and analytics, allowing you to swiftly spot potential resource clashes and correct work imbalances—and the handy skills repository makes it easy to outline available resources and identify matches for future tasks.
One of the most versatile capacity planning tools is Timely, which is used by small start-ups and global enterprises alike to automatically track time and keep team work visible. Timely lets you set and manage capacity for each and every team member—from full-time staff and people on flexi-time, to even external consultants. Each person’s capacity is informed by the work hours they log throughout the week, as well as the time they have planned for upcoming tasks—which is particularly useful when mapping out resources for future projects.
Timely’s visual reporting makes it super easy to spot employees who are struggling with an unmanageable workload, and the colour-coded capacity bar makes it easy to see how people are doing at a glance: dark blue for billable time; light blue for non-billable time; and red for overtime. Being able to quickly gauge team capacity allows you to help employees keep to their hours, balance multiple project plans, and ultimately, schedule resources in a more thoughtful manner.