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10 resource planner tools that simplify project management

Written 22 October, 2019, 6 minutes to read

Great resource planning means connecting work with the right people. It’s an essential part of delivering successful projects – making sure tasks are completed on-schedule without derailing other projects. Between monitoring employee availability and capacity, and navigating upcoming commitments, there are a lot of variables to think about. Thankfully, a good resource planning tool can simplify the entire process and cut your project scheduling down to seconds. Here’s our pick of the best.

An impossible balancing act

Resource planning involves a complex equilibrium. You need to be mindful of existing employee workloads and parallel projects, as well as planned employee vacation and unforeseen absences, like illness. Synching schedules and mapping availability gets even more complex when you throw remote working arrangements, freelancers and external consultants into the mix.

Without using a purpose-made resource planner, project managers face an overwhelming task in just aligning that information – drawing on a disparate set of spreadsheets, calendar apps and emails. It’s ridiculously inefficient and time consuming, and opens projects to risky inaccuracies whenever details are lost or forgotten.

Fortunately, there’s a growing range of affordable, intelligent resource planner tools to absorb the administrative burden. With clean interfaces and slick functionality, project managers can now quickly visualize employee schedules, monitor employee capacity and allocate resources thoughtfully – ensuring everyone maintains a healthy workload.

Simple resource planner tools

To help cut your research short, here are 10 of the best resource planner tools currently available on the market:

1. Hubplanner

hubplanner@2x

Seamlessly meeting people against schedules, Hubplanner allows you to quickly identify the right resources for a project using skills matrices and location tags. The tool has a built-in dynamic “Heat Map” feature, which allows you to quickly identify specific gaps in your production schedule and visualize your team’s capacity.

2. Saviom

Saviom@2x

Saviom’s AI helps organisations optimize their resource allocation to boost productivity and increase project management efficiency. It integrates comfortable with existing systems, so you can quickly import and export important capacity data. Gain real-time visibility of each team member’s availability against current tasks, projects or time off.

3. Timely

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Timely’s team planning tool makes it easy to allocate project work against resource availability and capacity. A universal view lets you visualize and compare employee and project schedules, to find the optimum time for collaboration. Its slick drag-and-drop interface then reduces resource allocation to a matter of seconds. All employee activity, hours and work against capacity can be monitored in real-time from the “People” page.

4. Project Manager

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Typically used by construction, engineering, manufacturing and IT fields, Project Manager helps coordinators distribute tasks evenly and gauge task duration. As part of a suite of comprehensive project management functionalities, the tool also helps account for resources beyond the team – like equipment rentals and office space.

5. Smartsheet

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Connected with apps like Dropbox, Docusign and Jira, Smartsheets is a simple collaborative tool for scheduling your teams. It also provides priority lists to help keep your most important tasks front-of-mind, and also integrates popular agile tools, like Gantt charts and Kanban boards.

6. Microsoft Planner

microsoft project@2x

Used by over 20 million, Microsoft Project’s resource planning function provides insight into how resources are used while simplifying task management. With AI-powered resource analytics and built-in resource request tickets, resource managers can enjoy greater executive oversight across project lifecycles.

7. Productive

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Productive marries resource coordination with live project management, showing how long people have worked on different tasks. It highlights who’s available and who’s overbooked, as well as upcoming employee vacation plans and team events, like training. You can also forecast your cash flow for an upcoming period based, making it handy for monitoring project profitability.

8. Retaininternational

retain international

Using a traditional wallchart, Retaininternational makes it easy to keep resource activity and stakeholders aligned. It clearly lays out team availability over time, using colors and shapes to help you anticipate any overbookings. Great for planning work against minutes, hours or even weeks’ worth of time.

9. Workamajig

Workamajig@2x

Workamajig is fully-integrated resource planning platform for agencies and in-house creative teams. It takes care of scheduling and assignment while organizing important project details so people can collaborate anywhere. Requests are automatically routed to the right person using an intelligent portal space, so nothing gets misplaced or miscommunicated.

10. LiquidPlanner

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LiquidPlanner’s “Dynamic Project Management tool” breaks down the spread of all your resources, and lets you shift tasks against team capacity in real-time. It provides a simple way to track exactly what different teams are working on – ensuring deadlines and priorities are always respected.

Visualize all your resources from one intelligent space

Read also

Resource planning – what it is, how to do it well

09 October, 2019 • 1 minutes to read

Project planning isn’t just about listing tasks; you need the foresight to know what resources you need when, and the flexibility to overcome changes to timings and availability. Here’s why resource planning is essential to every successful project – and how to go about curating your own project dream team.

How to identify and manage project risk

10 October, 2019 • 1 minutes to read

While project risks can’t be 100% controlled, adopting a culture of risk management is vital to delivering projects successfully. It helps you solve issues flexibly, improve estimates, and make informed decisions when taking on new projects. Here’s exactly how to go about project risk management.

5 project planning oversights to watch out for

24 September, 2019 • 1 minutes to read

While no two projects are the same, many are often derailed by similar problems. From underestimating resources and task durations, to failing to set strict project boundaries, here are five of the most common project planning oversights to watch out for – and what you can do to manage them.