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Choose the Resource Management App That Suits Your Business Needs
Every PM’s nightmare is to have a project and not a team available! Or, maybe worse than that, to have a team but not to have an overview of the team schedule – considering that, in general, the team members are shared with other projects (PMs)!
Here is where a good resourcing planner will show you the benefits of not working with pen and paper or with “an excel” – the forever tool for everything. It takes and efficient planning, of all your resources, to be able to deliver the expected results in time and in budget.
Because deadlines are very important, and to respect those deadlines you need to have a very clear structure of project phases but also of your team and team allocation on project, we tested some of the best-known resource management tools, on the market today, and we will share our thoughts for each one:
As a resource planning, time tracking, and project management software elapseit is THE choice for any company, small, medium, or large, looking for a business management application, that covers all the aspects of a business from resource management to financial management.
At the same time, elapseit is a scalable solution for the companies that are in a continuous growth of personnel and of projects, being able to keep track of a few users and projects to hundreds of users and projects without decreasing the quality of the product (interaction). Relying on a single platform, you will be able to have accurate forecasting, real time statistics, a better collaboration between teams and that will be visible in your company’s success.
For the resource management part, elapseit provides clear views and real time action so that you can balance team workload and redistribute hours, with a simple drag and drop, from one user to another. At the same time, when you make allocations in the planner, the timesheet is pre-filled with the hours from the allocation, making the time tracking a lot easier and less time consuming. Considering that a resourcing planner will not be accurate without considering and visualizing the time off of the resources, in elapseit there is a build-in leave management that shows employees/contractors how much leave they have taken and when, but also how many remaining days they have.
The timesheets help in more than one way, with the project’s hours budget (spent and remaining), with the cost visibility and with the billing, the financial department being able to automate the invoicing process.
The project management part is as simple to use as the resourcing part, making elapseit the only tool that you need for your business. With the task management you can see exactly what your team is working on, at any time. Users can create, allocate, and track tasks in elapseit from beginning to end. Users can view tasks and subtasks Gantt chart – tracking the progress from a calendar point of view – dependencies and deadlines, and also they can use the Kanban view, where they have an overview of the entire projects with the status of each task.
The dashboard and reports give you an image of your business at any time, so you can make informed decisions.
- Intuitive and user friendly
- Multiple assignees on a task
- Mobile version available (or other type of devices)
- No allocation on specific hours
- No automate import of bank holidays
- Can be overwhelming for small companies because of the multitude of features.
Forecast by Harvest
Forecast is the resourcing planner of Harvest, meaning that Forecast will give you an idea about the allocation of your team on projects, or as they say “…know what your company will do”. With Forecast you have a visual time schedule of you team and projects, with the 2 views, depending how you choose to work – having an overview of the projects and people allocated on them or having an overview of people, with projects allocated to them.
The tool is pretty easy to use once you see how it works but not necessary very intuitive. Considering that it is only a resource planner, for any other information – time tracking, reports, etc - you will need to use it together with Harvest.
- Visual overview
- Export of data to be imported in other apps
- Different colors for projects
- English only
- No reports or time tracking
- No bank holidays
It is more a project management app, that focuses on task of the projects and collaboration between team members. Without proper training I found it a bit hard to use, so the trial-and-error method never fails.
In the Main Table you can create boards deciding what you want to manage – clients, employees, budgets, task, etc, and then you populate the bords with “groups” consisting of task and people that are working on those tasks. The boards show you the same information in more than one view, as a dashboard, Kanban, Gantt, cards, lists.
It is not a resource management tool per se, but it could be helpful in managing the tasks you have on projects. If you are interested in forecasting, in having a bird eye view of the allocations of your team members, if you are interested in having one look and knowing on which resources you can count on for the future projects, Monday.com is not the tool that will help you with that, but you can try elapseit.
- Good team collaboration
- Good task tracking
- Confusing to get started
- No time off and bank holidays handling
- No detailed time tracking
Float is a tool that has a great visual, as some of their reviewers said, “visually appealing” and makes managing the teams on your project a lot easier. One of the best features I see in Float is the possibility to choose the availability of the resources to days of the week; also, when you make the allocation of tasks, you can select specific hours for that task.
What I see confusing is that the weekend days can be visible or not, depending on how the administrator of the account decides. But for me, as a project manager, if in the allocation of task calendar, the weekends are missing, being totally excluded from the view, is confusing, it very weird to jump from Friday to Monday, although the availability of each resource gives you the possibility to choose Saturday and Sunday as available working days.
Float can be a useful tool in managing your projects, but you will need a number of other tools, if you want to manage your resources because Float only covers the tasks part.
- Different colors for each project, which helps for the calendar view
- Possibility to save customized filters
- Simple to schedule tasks
- It is not very clear when a user is over allocated or under allocated
- Only in English
- For tracking the time, you need to pay extra
Trello is an eye-catching, colorful, and collaborative application that it is used for managing small projects, I would say personal projects. Trello will fit into the category of project management applications, but not on its own. More precisely you could manage a part of your project using it, and that is the part where you assign tasks to your team, and you follow their work – status, deadline. For any other data that you want to see you need to either upgrade to a premium pricing plan or to use “Power-Ups” (adds-on) which are also available depending on the pricing plan.
A full-featured project management tool means more than task management, it needs time-tracking and expense tracking to make sure the projects are on-time and in budgets, also it needs the reporting feature to help project managers in creating their status reports accurately, quickly, and regularly.
Trello is based on boards that are KanBan type of boards, where you assign people to tasks, you decide the workflow and check it to make sure your project is finished in time.
Unfortunately, you cannot be in control of your project budget only by using Trello, you will need to use other adds-on provided for calculation of rates, budgets, etc.
KanBan is the only view that Trello offers, if you want dashboards, timeline, calendar, for all of these you will need a Premium plan, add-on and/or integration with other tools.
- Easy to use for small teams and projects
- Good team collaboration
- Many features require adds-on, namely “Power-Ups” in Trello
- No time off and bank holidays visible
- Dashboards, reports other project managing information visible only for Premium plans
One of the best task management tools, Asana is wrongly listed in the tops of project management applications. It is important to clarify that project management is not only creating tasks and track them, but it also has a lot to do with budget and with resources. A project manager must deliver the final product, as discussed with the client, on time and within budget. Considering this, Asana only helps with the first part, creating a project plan and tracking the tasks, there is no budget tracking.
Although it is user friendly and easy to use, you track the same sets of data across different views (List, Board, Timeline, Calendar, etc.)
- Customizable dashboard charts
- Team collaboration
- Cannot track budget of money
- No access levels
- No time tracking
Wrike is a work management software, as they describe themselves, with focus on projects and tasks, while tracking the time spend on tasks. You can see all the created tasks for a project as a list, a KanBan board, a Gantt chart; you create dependencies among tasks, add more than 1 assignees per task, add subtasks and attach files relevant to the task.
For time tracking, although you can keep it on the platform, with the implemented timer, for an accurate timesheet that you can invoice your clients, you should integrate with a timesheet app, or buy a more expensive plan.
- Numerous customizations
- Easiness in tracking progress
- Easiness in setting up a task
- Need a training before start using the app
- Not the best at customer support
- Minimum of 5 licenses
It is more than just a project management application, because using it you will be able to track the tasks on your projects while also tracking the resources, human or equipment. Being a complex tool, if you decide to commit the time to learning how to use it, the benefit will worth it, especially if you have large teams and multiple projects.
There is a very simplistic time overview, where you can see who is completely allocated or who is still available for allocation on different projects, but the downside is that the resource itself needs to be aware of their availability and to be aware if managers are allocating her more hours than the availability, considering that the project managers can see the allocation of the resource only for their projects.
The timesheet is only available for the higher pricing plans, meaning that with a standard plan you can see the hours logged on tasks but not the hours worked by each resource.
And, as a great minus for project managers, in LP you cannot set milestones, so if you are used to setting milestones during your projects, you will need to find workarounds.
- Projects best and worst-case scenarios for projects and tasks
- Free plan for maximum 3 users and 10 projects
- In-app training material/ support on how to use the app or how to train others
- Not easy to use, for not experimented project managers
- Single assignee on a task
- Expensive for small companies
Resource Guru is a very simple to use resourcing planner. Basically, you have a calendar – Schedule – where you allocate your resources time, human and non-human. The resources can be allocated on projects, or you can just reserve the time, without any project.
Being an easy-to-use app, in the schedule, the allocations are added very simple, with click and drag, and you can move an allocation from one resource to another with drag and drop.
There is a feature that is named “clash management” that prevents overbookings, meaning that is a resource is allocated more than the available hours, the extra hours cane be added to a “waiting list” as an unconfirmed allocation, and resolved at a later date.
The reports are visual and clear, and you can export them in CSV and XLSX.
- Simple and easy to use
- Clash management for unintended overlap (waiting list)
- Customizable rights for access levels
- Cannot set milestones
- No copy/paste or clone/duplicate of allocations
- No custom rates per role on projects