Organizational management is changing. Rapid shifts due to the pandemic and the advancement of AI technology are leaving companies racing to catch up. As a result, many executives and business leaders are finding themselves looking at specialty resource management software for their organization for the first time.
It used to be that knowing what your people are doing, what they're really good at, and how they work together best, was a conversation. But today, businesses are unlocking the true capabilities of their teams by using modern resource management software to break down organizational silos. Meaningfully connecting the workforce to work together as one cohesive team is finally within reach, and new levels of efficiency and profitability are being realized.
What does resource management software do?
If you’re considering buying resource management software, you might wonder whether it’s worth the investment. In this article, we’ll examine what resource management software does, its impact, and why it’s become so popular.
Resource management is part of a broader category of workforce management, which includes a lot of different tools. Let’s take a moment to consider what resource management helps organizations accomplish. Here are the top five functions of resource management software:
- Resource Planning
Schedule projects around the actual availability/capacity of your people and manage scheduling conflicts.
- Resource Allocation
Assign the right people to the right projects based on their skills, availability, or other criteria.
- Capacity Planning
Optimize your organization around work backlog and capacity for different roles.
- Time Management
Track and manage time budgets to understand how time is being spent.
- Workforce Intelligence
Reporting and analytics provide insights to optimize resource productivity, utilization, and headcount.
What are the benefits?
To understand why you need special-purpose resource management software that you may not have paid for before, let's consider how the software can benefit your company. Here are the top ten benefits of resource management software:
- Better Visibility Into Your People
Anyone can easily see who’s working on what and when.
- Optimize Resource Scheduling
Adjust people and project schedules to get work done more efficiently and balance workload.
- Reduce Scope Creep
Monitor scope creep to prevent financial loss on projects.
- Accurately Forecast Workload
Forecast work based on the backlog and plan for the future confidently.
- Maximize Utilization
Keep employees off the bench and focused on billable/high-value work.
- Find and Be Found
Teams that need help can get it and offer to work on projects when available.
- Assemble Teams Quickly and Easily
Match the right people with the right skills to suitable projects.
- Manage Skills, Training, and Mentoring
Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your people and up-skill accordingly.
- Right-size Your Organization
Hire for roles based on demand and work on projects that impact the bottom line.
- Prevent Turnover
Engagement results in increasing retention and reduced training costs due to attrition.
Resource management software clearly offers many benefits, but why haven't you tried it before? Considering how consequential the benefits are, why hasn’t resource management software been given the attention it deserves?
If you’re like most, your organization has probably gotten by for the last 20 years with a hodgepodge process of spreadsheets, your ERP, and internal tools. What’s changed over the past few years that you need specialty purpose resource management software now? To answer this, we’ll need to take a short trip back to the 1970s, where it all started.
With the advent of the PC in the 1970s and 80s, spreadsheets were a core starter tool, just as they are today, perfect for creating processes. In the late 80s and 90s, these sheets were converted into specialty-purpose software for things like financial, project, and resource management. While seeking efficiency in the mid to late 90s, they were combined — largely through acquisitions — into one program, ERP — aka, Enterprise Resource Planning software.
In combining the tools into one single platform, the complexity of the software grew exponentially. Each feature added rigidity and complexity to the ERP, ultimately restricting its innovation ability. External software companies could not address the market's needs without ways to easily integrate into ERPs.
The way you’re managing people is no longer working
As requirements expanded yearly, companies were forced to build in-house tools to meet their resource management needs. Ultimately, they created a disparate workflow involving spreadsheets, custom tools, and their ERP. Today resource management processes require a lot more complexity, and how things have been done for the last twenty years is no longer working.
As we detailed in our article Buying vs. Building, managing people has become increasingly complex, so building internal resource management tools is no longer feasible. It would be like making your own gas-powered car today in the era of driverless electric vehicles. The technology that could be built in-house would be only a small fraction of the features offered by modern software. And without the latest AI and enterprise-grade integrations, it would be obsolete before you could even start.
The world is now flatter
Thanks to a pandemic, the world received mandatory remote collaboration training. As a result, people can now efficiently work together across offices, regions, and even countries, unlocking the workforce and forever changing resource management. But the biggest expense to your organization and your most valuable resource is being managed inefficiently due to poor visibility at the organizational level.
As a result, people who can help on projects are on the bench, while others are burning out. The resulting turnover is rampant. New tools are now required to seamlessly connect the workforce, and resource management software takes center stage. Resource management is the core driver of efficiency, and an effective process can dramatically affect any organization's profitability.
The good thing is that it’s an area that organizations can easily and quickly improve, and doing it right can change everything about your business.