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What do you stand to gain by adding such software to your arsenal of tools for controlling projects and resources? And why is next quarter the best time to do it?
Keep on reading to discover the value of project and resource management software to an IT company like yours.
Why use project and resource management software in the first place?
Let’s start with some introspection. Here are a few questions for you to answer:
- Are all of your projects as profitable as you need them to be?
- Does any team member have too much work and constantly end up working overtime?
- What do your project budget burnout and progress look like?
- Can you book your next project relaxed, or do you need to scramble and hire new people as fast as possible?
When you're juggling spreadsheets and keep information spread across different systems, answering all of these questions with confidence isn’t an option.
And as your company expands, getting the right data to crunch will become increasingly complex if you stick to your current way of organizing work and resources.
Quality project and resource management software can save you.
Here’s what you get by implementing a solution that matches your needs:
- You will have fewer communication exchanges that become confusing and start requiring a meeting just for arranging simple logistics.
- Your team will get a single source of truth that boosts teamwork and reduces overbooking,
- Resource management and allocation will become more efficient,
- Smarter project management thanks to business intelligence insights,
- Ensuring the profitability of your project at the level you require,
- Lower chances of double booking or overbooking resources,
- Resource allocation visualizations will help you get a better understanding of staff workloads.
How to tell if it’s time to get project and resource management software?
A small IT service firm can gain a lot by implementing this type of software.
How come? Because sooner or later, the sheer scale of your business will force you to do something about it. Adding a new solution under pressure isn’t ideal.
So, when it comes to implementing project resource management software, earlier is better than later - but later is better than never.
How can you tell that your business is ripe for this kind of solution?
Here are a few telltale signs to look out for:
- You and your coworkers spend a significant amount of time in logistics meetings or conversations. And it’s not like you’re creatively brainstorming. These meetings are all about determining who will work on which project, when, and for how long. I'm sure you have more important things to accomplish with your time than allocate resources manually.
- You don't have a bird's eye view of what's going on in the business. People ask you questions, and you have to go through your spreadsheets every time that happens to get the answers. This is taking up too much of your time and keeping you from concentrating on what really important.
- You don't have any information on project profitability. You have no idea how your project's resources are being used. Are you using up all of your allotted time? Or are you wildly off the mark with your estimation? It's impossible to tell.
- You have no idea what the utilization rate of your employees is. Is there anyone who works too much overtime? This may quickly escalate into a larger issue, such as a loss of motivation that leads to a drop in service quality.
- Your spreadsheets are incomprehensible to no one. They're not user-friendly. It takes an eternity for them to load. People assault you with questions because you're the only one who understands how to navigate them.
- Because of the misunderstanding around their assignments, your team members waste time on overlapping or duplicating tasks.
If at least one of the above statements applies to your company, it's time to start exploring project resource management software.
If you don't solve these issues before growing your business, life will become extremely difficult for everyone involved.
But for this software to truly transform your business, what characteristics does it need to have?
In the following section, I'll go through these critical features in detail.
What features can you expect from project resource management software?
1. Cloud-based SaaS vs. On-Premises solution
Many businesses are concerned about data security and privacy in the cloud.
But cloud-based solutions are still a fantastic choice:
- They're updated in real-time at no additional fees to you.
- The cost of new features is included in the pricing.
- You can rely on data backups since the software is quick and efficient.
On the other hand, on-premises solutions provide higher security and customization (because of an owned data center). However, on-premises software has a few significant drawbacks:
- You're in charge of setting up and maintaining your servers and application.
- You will not get automatic updates (or need to pay extra for them),
- In case of a disaster, your business continuity is at risk.
If you choose a cloud-based SaaS solution, make sure that:
- It has excellent customer support,
- Follows regulations like GDPR,
- Allows singing DPA, SLA, and MSA for full security,
- It comes with data backups and the option to export data from the system,
- Includes SSO (relevant if you use Google or Azure Active Directory services).
At Primetric, we made sure that our solution included all of the above.
2. Customization, flexibility, and scalability
It's pointless to invest in a solution that forces you to modify your working style. You've been doing this for a long and have a foolproof system in place. The tool you use should be adaptable enough to meet your requirements.
For example, at Primetric, we constantly tailor our solution to each client's specific needs, and we always do a comprehensive investigation to get there.
This is how we ensure that our platform is fully aligned with the way their business operates - and that it can support any future changes.
3. Integration with other systems or APIs
You're probably already utilizing a variety of tools to manage your project.
Investing in a project management tool that effortlessly integrates with your environment is a wise decision.
Integrations speed up the implementation process and help you gain team buy-in by not having to move to new technology.
4. Different authorization options
One of the reasons why managers like you implement a project resource management solution is because they don't want to continue answering the same questions:
- How long will this developer work on that project?
- Will this specialist be available in two weeks to start working on my project?
- When will a project with that retail client begin?
To solve this, you need to create a single source of truth for all people, including project managers, HR staff, and even technical team members.
At the same time, you don't want every single piece of information to be visible to everyone - think of your team member’s hourly rates. That's why having a tool with a variety of access choices is critical.
Project managers can easily plan and gather information in Primetric. But developers will only see their allocations and not financial insights into the project’s profitability.
5. Resource allocation and project planning
This is about more than just assigning individuals to tasks within particular time limits.
You need to be able to conduct simulations of various scenarios to evaluate how your choices will affect the project's profit margin.
Top resource management solutions on the market allow you to anticipate project completion rates, resource availability, and the number of vacancies in a project.
You need this long-term vision to make the best decisions for your business.
6. Solid reporting features
How else can you understand the health of your business if you don't have reporting features?
Reporting is most effective when it includes data about your projects rather than data about your team members.
And when I say data, I mean everything from financial information to employee utilization rates. The process of getting insights from data can be accelerated by a lot, thanks to smart features like data visualization. We can quickly get insights from data that way - that's how human brains work.
7. Ability to forecast accurately
You can learn a lot about your projects by looking at past data. But we’re in the business of innovation - and this means paying attention to the future.
A decent solution should let you anticipate a variety of parameters, such as resource allocation, employee utilization rates, project profitability, and so on.
This is how you may make precise and realistic plans - so you don't get caught off guard later!
In Primetric, you can also compare your plans to reality to determine where your estimates were incorrect. You'll never make this mistake again, and your planning skills will improve with time.
Speaking of time...
8. Keeping track of working time
If you want to get better at anticipating how long a project will take and how to evaluate it, you need to combine time tracking and project management features.
The best solutions give you time tracking and timesheets, but also a dashboard where you can see predictive timesheets displaying the tasks that people should be working on.
You can also easily check the costs and revenue generated by your team members per project, client, or specific date range.
9. Financial insights and Business Intelligence
Finally, your project management solution should let you take a deep dive into the project’s (and your business’s) financials.
By analyzing this data in a Business Intelligence module, you’ll be able to tell whether the project is going to be profitable, by how much, and if it’s not - come up with what you can do today to change that future outcome.
Implementing project and resource management software is your smartest move
Thanks to Primetric, summarizing the quarter will be more insightful than ever - sign up for the demo.