How To Best Manage Resources In Project Management

The general features of a project management software include scheduling, costing, budgeting, controlling, management and communication. However an important function of any project management solution is resource management. This covers all types of resources including human, equipment, materials and costs.

Nowadays businesses can work efficiently only by managing resources. With materials and costs things are pretty easy: you buy a stock and it is yours. Human resource management is not the same. You can not just own a human resource, but need to retain one. With the help of a resource management software, project managers can make sure that the right human resources are working on the right tasks and following a real-time project timeline. This is achieved based on several factors like employee’s skills, experience, and availability.

Resource planning software – must have features

In today’s global economy, when projects are spread across multiple regions or even countries it only makes sense that the right resources should make up a project team, regardless of their physical location. Even more project managers need to have powerful project planning tools capable of managing multiple projects with shared resources. At any moment in time they need to view resource availability and utilization even across multiple projects.

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What Is A Project Portfolio Management Software

By | February 25th, 2011|Project Management Software, Project Portfolio Management|Comments Off on What Is A Project Portfolio Management Software

Manage multiple projects with shared resources within your company

PPM, short for Project Portfolio Management, is a term used by project managers and project management organizations (or PMOs), to describe methods that enables corporate and business users to organize a set of projects into a single portfolio. Project portfolio management software refers to a software product that allows users, usually management or executives within a company, to easily organize and prioritize the projects. It will allow them to review the portfolio and will assist them in making key financial and business decisions for the projects.

A closer look

But project portfolio management is about more than managing multiple projects. Each portfolio of projects must be treated as a whole and needs to be evaluated by its business value and adherence to strategy. As each project must reach its goal and produce its final deliverable in the same way a portfolio should be designed to achieve a specific business objective or benefit. Bob Buttrick summarized it like this: “Directing the individual project correctly will ensure it is done right. Directing ‘all the projects’ successfully will ensure we are doing the right projects.”

A growing number of vendors offer project portfolio management software, which has dramatically simplified the process of building a portfolio. But the first step is for companies to prioritize their business strategies. Portfolios can then be assembled and assessed based on how they meet those strategic needs. Once companies determine the business priorities they want their projects to meet, they need to break down the portfolios. Teams are assigned to different business units, and each of those teams handles a separate portfolio.

Previously, projects were approved and then managed independently. They were evaluated as a whole at the executive level only when it came time to put together annual reports. Nowadays with the latest project management software solutions project managers can better handle the portfolio using executive dashboards and other such tools. Working at portfolio level is about working with summary or key data and as less details as possible. It is important to avoid information overload. The detail of each project should be kept at the project team level, managed by the individual project managers.

The recent trend toward improved resource tracking and leveling functionality in PM software is a great boon to the portfolio manager. Actually, without the possibility of knowing what each human resource in the pool of project personnel is capable of and when they will be available to work, you cannot say that you are managing a portfolio. You need such a work management software in order to keep your project’s work balanced and avoid supplementary costs introduced by overtime working rates.
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Advantages and Benefits of Project Management Software

By | February 8th, 2011|Project Management Software|Comments Off on Advantages and Benefits of Project Management Software

Some time ago project management was represented by three things: a pencil, a piece of paper and a methodology. But the time flies and the technology evolves… so why stop here? Why not use the technology? Software industry has evolved so much and can do wonders. With the introduction of project management software a few years back, the tools a project manager has at their disposal has been greatly increased.

The new project management tools

There are many different versions and variations to what is available on the market, having many cost ranges including programs for small businesses and all the way up to programs capable of keeping a corporation in business. Managing a business is no easy task, however, and keeping track of everything is often the hardest part of owning a business. These software solutions can make it easier for businesses to communicate with employees, clients, share files and track the status of projects and assignments.

Project management software can be a lifesaver for busy business owners looking for a better way to manage their business. But just having this sort of software program in place won’t help project managers be more effective. It will only allow them to have access to more data, which may in turn make them more efficient. They still need to know how to communicate to the project head and be clearly able to delegate responsibilities to the project team members.

Project management software has a simple goal: to help those involved in managing projects to achieve their objectives. For individual projects, the objective is to deliver the expected output from the project on time, within budget and to the expected quality. However, for those that manage multiple projects, project management software must do a lot more and it often has a different label, such as project portfolio management software, or resource management software.

So how can project management software deliver such benefits?

Some businesspeople may wonder what project management software can offer that the old tried-and-true cannot. It is quite simple: project management software achieves its objectives by providing pertinent and reliable information that the project stakeholders have confidence in. So the starting point is to look at how credible information can be delivered from such a system.
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Resource Leveling – Manual or Automatic?

By | December 22nd, 2010|Project Management Software, RationalPlan, Resource Management|2 Comments

Many clients contact us and ask if our RationalPlan suite has the capability to level resources. The short answer is YES. But it seems that for many project managers this short answer is not enough and the discussion continues over the type of resource leveling mechanism.

We all know that there are two possible ways to do it using a project management software: manually and automatically. And from here it starts a very long debate that appears from time to time on various places over the Internet. One such debate that I read these days happened on The Project Manager Network a LinkedIn group for project managers.

The arguments are on both sides but to me it is more than clear that the only really useful method is the manual resource leveling. It is just impossible for an application to take into account all the possible conditions and restrictions from the real world projects in order to produce good results through an automatic leveling. It is true that in certain simpler cases the results can be satisfactory but this is just good luck. No matter what project management application you use and what method you choose the project managers must always check by hand the results of a resource leveling action.

These being said and based on the answers of other project managers that I have read it seems that automatic resource leveling is not helping to much and for this reason it is not used. The preferred solution is to do it manually.