Why use resource planning software
It may seem strange, but even a trip to the store and managing a great corporation have something in common. Every business has a goal, and achieving this goal requires certain resources: time, money, people and their specific tasks. Controlling the resources is a crucial aspect for your success. And some specialized software can really help.
You may wonder if there is a real need for resource planning software. Is it possible to manage your job without it? The answer is obvious: it is possible. Anyone can make paper schedules or record a plan in a diary. But is it really normal in our digital world? Each variation of “homemade” tools leads to greater risk of human error, redundant work, file overwrites, multiple versioning etc. Several years ago people measured the mileage of morning jogs and heart rate themselves. However, most of us now use those gadgets, apps and programs. It's convenient, it saves time and effort, and it helps you think and act structurally. The same can be said about any progressive software – including resource planning software.
Here are the main advantages for using resource planning software.
Even the smallest project includes a huge amount of resources, because when we say “resources” we mean a lot of: time, material, facility, food, tech, equipment, IT assets and people of course (full time employees, freelancers, subcontractors). If you’re working in the event industry, for example, you also need the help of many creative persons – artists, performers, photographers and more (whom you can find at EventCV.com). And all of them must be under your control. That’s why utilizing resources effectively requires strategic planning by means of specialized software because it lets you see the whole picture.
Visualization is very important. The human brain can’t keep in mind every piece of the puzzle without visualization. But when you see everything on the screen, when everything is grouped according to time, when you see the workload of each person in the team, it is much easier to control the process and make the right decisions.
Resources are limited: you can give each person only one task at a time keeping in mind his or her unique set of skills. Using resource planning software makes it easier to see who has less of a workload, who has time to fix this or that problem right now and so on. Therefore resource planning software solves the specific challenge of knowing your people are deployed in the right places to meet client needs and achieve business objectives.
Common resource planning software capabilities include not only planning of individual roles and workload, it also includes scheduling, utilization reporting, resource availability forecasting, resource auditing and discovery. Resource planning keeps utilization rates at a profitable level, reducing the non-billable time your resources spend on projects. In addition, resource planning software helps you scale predictably. When a project doubles in size or you win a new client, resource planning software shows where you can pull resources to achieve the necessary tasks. Some resource planning applications also incorporate financial information.
Some resource planning tools have one useful option which we can call a “what-if scenario”. You can put in some variations (illnesses, logistical collapses and so on) and the software will predict the outcome. Once you’ve seen the data, you can decide how to best allocate resources to yield results instead of wasted money. And even more: professionals from the event industry know pretty well that every project is associated with forced changes which can often occur right on the day of the event. So as soon as you define your ideal levels, you can expect them to change. And making complex adjustments manually in real time can be painstaking, if not impossible. Meanwhile good software gives you quick flexibility: you can change anything and put all the relevant stakeholders on notice of those changes with a few clicks.