There's only one way to make sure a project pipeline exploding with tasks and deadlines can be handled successfully—and that’s with planning.
That's why many successful project managers and agencies use resource management software to organize their workflows. These tools are designed for a specific purpose: to make sure your team has enough time to complete the tasks on their to-do lists.
Resource management software helps you track your team’s calendars, capacity, responsibilities, and deadlines across the agency. And it helps you stay on top of deadlines by highlighting when someone’s calendar is too full (so you can reassign their tasks).
The best tools will track other important parts of a project too, like progress and budget, to help you land the plane safely.
A simple way of thinking about resource management software is that it gives agencies a 10,000-foot view of their entire project pipeline. Why is it so critical to have that view?
Survey data from a 2020 Limeade report found 75% of employees have felt over-worked or exhausted from their day-to-day duties. And even with the pandemic still impacting global workforces, younger employees won't stick around if burnout creeps in.
The same report found a staggering 58% of Gen Z employees have switched jobs because of burnout. Resource management is more important than ever to ensure everyone has their fair share of work – especially in an agency setting.
And even further, it's essential for leaders to provide teams with transparency into project deligation so everyone is accountable for their work.
Must-have features in resource management software
Unfortunately, not all resource management software is built the same, which means it can be challenging to find all the must-have features you want. So what kind of features should your agency consider?
Resource allocation and capacity tracking: Assign tasks to team members, track progress, and see when spots open on their calendars for more tasks.
Built-in scheduling and time tracking: Keep an eye on what everyone is working on and how much time they’re spending on tasks.
Collaboration tools: Get your team to work together seamlessly with a tool that allows @mentions, in-document collaboration features, simple document sharing/storing, and integrations into your existing tech stack.
File storage and organization: Ensure all projects live in one place. As your team collaborates on projects, give access to a centralized hub where every document or asset needed is within the resource management tool.
The good news?
We have done the hard work and found the best options out there for your agency. Let's take a look!
The 7 best resource management software picks for 2021
Teamwork is a cloud-based project and resource management tool that helps your team work together better.
What does it do?
Teamwork is a resource management software that’s overflowing with features perfect for agencies or both small and large teams.
Inside the platform, team leaders can create detailed task lists, upload project briefs, set deadlines, and assign tasks to team members—all in a couple of clicks. The dedicated task management tools allow you to break down projects and see every task and deadline, so it's easier to pivot workflows and avoid bottlenecks once work ramps up.
Let’s say you want your team working on a specific project, for a single client, and for no more than three hours a day. Using Teamwork, you can instantly see if anybody has a schedule with or has clocked in more than three hours on specific client tasks each day.
Spot bottlenecks and pivot easily by tracking all of your resources and capacity
Resource management templates allow team leaders to create project plans, new client onboarding checklists, and marketing campaigns quickly
Customizable dashboards help project managers track and reallocate tasks when needed
Tasks can be assigned to one (or multiple) team members and then given a start and end date
Integrate schedules to other tools in your tech stack like Google Calendar, Outlook, and Slack
Not ideal for teams looking for a free resource management option (with most of its best resource features in paid levels)
Granular settings and subtask options might not be for everyone.
You can use Teamwork for free with up to 5 users/2 projects/100 MB of storage. Larger teams can choose from different leveled plans that’ll fit their needs.
Interested in learning more about what Teamwork has to offer? If you want to take the software for a test run, sign up for a 30-day free trial here!
2. Hub Planner
Hub Planner is a resource management tool that combines resource scheduling, timesheets, and vacation requests in one place.
What does it do?
Aimed at Enterprise-level companies, Hub Planner is a resource management software that allows you to track your team's workloads easily. Using the dashboard, teams can move and reassign tasks quickly using a drag and drop tool if a deadline starts creeping up.
Hub Planner’s reporting features are also worth checking out. Thanks to a combination of real-time analytics, metric calculators, and even heat maps, team leaders can see exactly what their team is up to and spot any gaps in a workflow before bottlenecks develop.
Simple and easy-to-use interface that has a drag and drop tool
Integrated timesheets for billable hour projects
Team members can make vacation requests and block out their calendars
Reporting is complex to use
Can’t track the status of projects
Hub Planner’s pricing starts at $7/person/month.
Paymo is a task management app that has recently added features to help teams manage their resources.
What does it do?
Paymo helps teams control their schedules. Inside the tool's simple calendar, people and projects can be scheduled weekly or monthly, depending on capacity.
The app breaks down each team member's schedule based on what tasks are allocated to specific projects, and the added color-coding feature makes it easy to visualize workloads. Paymo can also estimate future resource demand based on current project pipelines and automatically set up ghost bookings to help you prepare for upcoming jobs.
Resource capacity tracking for people, tasks, and projects
Timesheets track estimated vs actual billable/non-billable hours
Drag and drop feature to quickly build schedules
No advanced task management features on the free plan
Can’t convert timesheets into invoices for clients
Paymo's paid plans start at $9.95/user/month.
Float is a simple resource management software used by teams like Metalab and BuzzFeed to manage their schedules.
What does it do?
Float is one of the only tools on our list that is exclusively a resource management tool. Even better, Float integrates fully with Teamwork!
In the tool's dashboard, tasks and projects can be tied to budgets and tracked automatically based on billable and non-billable hours. Project managers can also label tasks as tentative to block space on a team member's calendar and then confirm them once they know the project is going ahead.
Once a task is finished, team members can mark it as complete so project managers know exactly what work is getting done. Plus, schedules can be zoomed out and built 12 weeks ahead to help with forward planning.
Tasks can be moved around using a drag and drop tool and even split in half to make scheduling easier
Time logs that track scheduled and logged hours
Capacity management can be changed to match individual employee circumstances
Integrates with Teamwork
Strictly a resource management tool compared to some others
Time-tracking feature is an extra cost
Float’s pricing starts at $6/person/month.
Saviom is a resource management tool that's used by mega-corps like Fujitsu and Rabobank to organize their teams.
What does it do?
Saviom is a (slightly dated) resource management tool aimed at larger companies looking to make the jump from using spreadsheets.
Geared towards businesses in fields like accounting, law, and construction, Saviom can forecast capacity vs demand based on role, department, team, and even skill sets. This data allows project managers to predict future resource shortages and put a plan into place.
It also tracks billable and non-billable hours as well as the time your team spends on admin tasks and vacations to give you a realistic view of every person’s schedule.
Drag-and-drop, split and reallocate tasks on a schedule in a couple of clicks
Agencies can customize the tool to fit into existing workflows
Individual employee profiles (e.g. full-time, part-time, skillset) for more accurate planning
UI is super old school and not visually appealing
Pricing is not transparent (and it's expensive, according to some reviewers)
Saviom requires users to buy a license to access its software, and prices are only available by contacting the company.
Teamdeck helps businesses schedule resources, keep timesheets, and manage vacations all under one roof.
What does it do?
Teamdeck made our list for best resource management tools because it's responsive to a project manager's needs.
It's super easy to create project schedules and manage task deadlines, and team leaders get automatic notifications if someone's calendar is overloaded. It also tracks budgets, making it simple to compare estimates with actual costs once a project kicks off so you don't go over.
The leave management feature is also handy and saves paying for another tool as teams can view and manage vacations and sick leave. And for part-time or contracted employees, project managers can see daily and even hourly availability. This level of visibility can be a big help with future planning and estimates.
Timesheets and time tracking to log billable/non-billable hours accurately
Visualize and forecast employee availability down to days and hours
Integrates with tools like Slack and Podio as well as offering open API
Reports can’t be exported into PDF files
You can't tag certain hours as out-of-hours if someone is working outside a normal timeframe
No Enterprise plan for larger teams
Teamdeck costs $3.99/user/month.
Silverbucket is a resource management tool used by engineering, architecture, and IT teams to manage projects.
What does it do?
The last tool on our list is Silverbucket, a straightforward platform that gives detailed breakdowns of assigned tasks and availability.
Silverbucket uses a simple color-coded system so managers can figure out how full their team's schedules are. If the box is green, a person has space. If it's red—their calendar is already full. Other features like skill set filters and project risk management allow team leaders to create project timelines with confidence that they have enough people to deliver it on schedule.
Color-coded charts make resource management visually simple
Simple UI means less learning curve
Multiple API and integration options
Unlike other tools on our list, there is no mobile app
Lacks cost forecasting features
Silverbucket pricing starts at $9.65/user/month.
So, which resource management software will you choose?
There you have it—our top seven resource management picks for the year.
As with every tool, the right one for your business depends on your team size, feature needs, and the industry you're working in. And if you've got a remote or hybrid team, you need to think about what tools will work outside of a typical 9-to-5 workflow.
One thing is for sure—having the right resource management software can make every aspect of project scheduling easier, from tracking budgets and capacity planning.