Posts tagged 'Resource Planning'
While other antiquated office practices – faxing, sending documents by post, filing paper and smoking in the office – have become pretty much extinct, somehow the use of Excel spreadsheets in the resource planning world is still going strong. Bizarrely, in the digital age, many managers are attempting to do the important job of allocating their teams, equipment, and facilities using Excel, along with a haphazard combination of emails, wall charts, whiteboards, and notebooks. Either they are unaware that specialized resource planning tools exist, or they have a misconception that they are expensive, complex and hard to use. However, as Ganttic customers know, the benefits of using software that’s developed purely for resource planning and project portfolio management, are huge. Once you break the Excel habit, you will never want to go back.
Drag and drop scheduling is the act of creating resource schedules using a feature that allows you to start dragging a task where you want it to start on the timeline and release the click once you have reached the desired point ie where the task should be completed. Once you have released the click, you’ll have a task or a Gantt chart that starts and ends where you dragged and dropped it. The tools that feature drag’n’drop seem to be the shish in employee scheduling. When choosing between a resource planning software that has the drag'n'drop interface feature and one that does not, the first definitely has the upper hand. But there isn’t sweet without bitter. There’s always something to look out for. That’s a rule even a drag and drop scheduling software can’t outrun. If you are someone that’s just starting out planning with a tool like that or even if you are an experienced dragger and dropper, you can benefit from knowing the pros and cons of using it.
In Ab Ovo we had the opportunity to meet Edmond, Freek, and Jeroen. Freek is responsible for the business department and Jeroen is development manager in the same business unit. Edmond is a project manager in Ab Ovo and the one that introduced Ganttic to their team.
Do you know the feeling when you have found the perfect resource planning software and then you find out that the bastards that develop it haven’t added the Outlook Calendar sync and you REALLY need it? They even have Google Calendar sync but it’s not the same and you need to sync your resource plans to Outlook Calendar. You ask about it, and they say that the feature is in the pipeline. You wait. Nothing is happening. They dare to release other features. What the frick, right?! Definitely not the case with Ganttic. Oooooooor wait? It’s exactly what we have been putting you guys through.
"O tempora o mores" as said Cicero or “Oh time settings, oh resource plans” as we say here at Ganttic. No one in our office has actually ever said that. However, maybe it really should be a saying here since all the resource planning you do in Ganttic is based on time settings. As you already know, you can set general business days for your organization as well as resource specific business days for those that don’t work from Monday to Friday. Add custom business hours into the mix and you’ll have capacity utilization percentages that perfectly describe the workloads of your resources. Sprinkle some task timing options on top of that and you can drag and drop schedule tasks like no other. But you were missing some cherries on top, weren’t you? With this update, we’ll give you a couple of cherries. We’ll give you the option to turn off Mondays and enable lunch breaks so you’d have time to eat the resource planning cake you have baked.
If you have to plan resources on a daily basis, it can get a bit tedious. Making sure that the communication plan is being followed and the information you have is sufficient. Allocating resources and then reallocating them while trying to make the right decisions for your project portfolio. Everything according to the priorities. Taking every manager's needs into account. Some days, you daydream about a kind of a superhero. The most boring kind of superhero out there. The kind, that would do the annoying parts of it for you. The Resourceman? The Super Planning Woman? The Software? The last one sounds kind of cool, doesn’t it? So join me on a daydream. A daydream about a resource planning software that can do it all.
If you are using resource planning software to make schedules for your projects in an organization that has a common resource pool, you are used to seeing all kinds of different resources. Of course, in Ganttic you can schedule all kinds of resources like rooms, machinery or equipment. However, mostly you are dragging and dropping tasks for people. Now, you saw the title. Your resources as your friends? Well, Tim from accounting is my friend. What do you mean? Right? Tim is great. But let’s dehumanize him. Look at Tim as a row in your planner. Let’s forget that the resources are someone you know. Let’s forget that the resources are essentially your team. Think of the resources as rows. Now, imagine those rows are your friends. What kind of friends would they be?
Although the best way to plan resources is with Gantt charts and a software that’s flexible enough for all the data you have, on an individual level, Google Calendar is the royalty of making plans. You can be as detailed as you want. You can schedule tasks like “Take a power nap” without it making to the project status report. In addition to the bigger tasks, you can draw up a daily to-do list. You can see it from all of your devices. You can have many different calendars or morph all of them into one. Brand new information, huh? However, have you heard about a romance in the office that's been going on for a while now? Not the one about Pam and Jim. The one about Ganttic and Google Calendar sync. To be more precise, did you know you can sync plans made in Ganttic to Google Calendar? You can and you should. Resource planning software and Google Calendar are a good match that will make your life easier. And it's a romance you don't have to report to human resources department.
Managing a project portfolio is all about balance. You have a number of projects that all compete for scarce resources. You must manage interfaces between projects, prioritize resources and balance responsibilities against corporate objectives. All that to maximize the value of the portfolio, link the portfolio to the strategy, and balance the portfolio. A big part of that balance is scooped from how well each project is doing individually. Because successful projects in the project portfolio equal successful portfolio, right? It could be right but it doesn't have to be the case. There are still times when single-project success doesn't mean a thing to portfolio level success or can even hurt the latter. It's often caused by the fact that the projects in the portfolio are not prioritized, in line with the portfolio or there isn't enough valid information for the project portfolio manager to make the right decisions for the portfolio.
I’m going to be honest here. I would prefer a whiteboard over any software for planning anyday. Not because I don’t believe there is a software out there that is good enough for me. I know there is a lot of good planning tools out there whether you need something to create to do lists for yourself, need to make plans for a small team, manage a project portfolio or plan hundreds of resources. However, for me personally, nothing will beat the satisfaction of really physically crossing something off your to do list. And you can write a thing down that you didn’t have on you to do list just to cross it off. No meeting is as good as the one where you draw up a plan for the following week on an actual whiteboard. And you can draw a comic of your boss giving you too much sass in the corner of the whiteboard. Buuuuuut… All the resource planning in the world can not be done on a whiteboard. Not even on a really big whiteboard. That’s why there are so many different resource planning tools for different needs. I’m going to help you to decide whether you need to find one or not.
I stumbled upon a research paper by Zohar Laslo titled Project portfolio management: An integrated method for resource planning and scheduling to minimize planning/scheduling-dependent expenses. Of course, I was intrigued and had to read it. How couldn’t you if it’s a paper on PPM and resource planning and it’s about keeping your projects in the budget. The method that is suggested in the paper is an extension of the optimization model for job-shop with several machines and chance-constrained deliveries. It determines in advance the hiring and releasing points of experts that maximize economic gain using chance-constrained delivery commitments. Sounds too good to be true, right? A model that tells you exactly when you need your experts to step in and out in advance so that you wouldn’t have to make any redundant expenses? Well, you are going to have to have a look at it and try it out yourself. I’m going to give you some tips how your resource planning tool can help you out.
We glorify being busy. We glorify having a lot on our plates. Managing time (and doing it effectively) is becoming a topic that’s being discussed more and more. People are time-blocking their every action to scare away the horrible waste of time that is procrastination. There are hundreds and maybe thousands apps for do-to lists. We desire to be a superhuman that beats our core instinct to be a lazy baked potato. As a project manager, you have an edge. You know how to schedule resources. You know how to divide them across your project portfolio. You have drawn together a number of reports to analyze and perfect the way you are planning resources. Now, you are going to learn how to use that knowledge to plan your own time.
Employee burnout seems to be one of the biggest problems for managers to handle theses days. While burning out at your job can be affected by many factors that you as a manager can't change, there are still few things that you can do. Since resource planning dictates the schedules your employees, it's a huge part of your team's day. The first step of using resource planning as a tool for preventing employee burnout is knowing the reasons behind burning out and noticing the tendencies in your team. The second step is using the magic of a resource scheduling tool to vanish those tendencies.
Planning resources can often mean that you are building a pretty tight schedule for your employees. Even more so if you are planning concurrent tasks while adjusting the utilization of each of them. There are more tips for boosting productivity out there than one could count. But how does something as simple as scheduling resources with a resource planning tool affect productivity? How detailed should a schedule be so it wouldn’t kill productivity?
Although there are many different teams that use Ganttic, a number of the plans made in Ganttic are for something creative since they often need a flexible tool for project portfolio management. Whether it’s a mobile solution, web page, an event, an animation or a commercial - Ganttic is happy to be a part of the process that helps those creative minds come together. Isn't that the point of resource planning tools? To be a part of whatever you are doing in a way that will let the real heroes shine? Here's an overview how creative teams use Ganttic and the result of resources planned well.
There are many steps to creating the perfect project plan. One of which is definitely scheduling resources. Taking resource planning lightly and just dragging and dropping tasks in the resource management tool without actually thinking about it too much, can lead to numerous problems. Since you probably don't want a team that feels undervalued and is overworked to be working on a project that is behind schedule and over budget, you shouldn't be underestimating what resource planning with a good resource planning tool might do for you.
As we have discussed before, finding and assigning the right resource to the task you have is one of the crucial elements in resource planning. A right resource doesn’t mean a free resource. Right resource means that the resource actually has the right skill set for the task. Taking the time to find the perfect resource and task match will lead you to a more satisfied team. And a team that is happy, is a team that delivers.
Welcome to the starting point of your resource planning journey. We couldn’t be any prouder of you. Whether you started with planning resources with spreadsheets, some other resource planning software or you are a total newbie, we know that starting with anything new can be tricky. That’s why we are here for you.
There are hundreds of Gantt chart resource planning tools out there. We are sure that whatever your need are - you’ll find a software that will meet them. Ganttic isn’t right for everyone. There isn’t a tool in the project management or resource planning scenery that would be right for everyone. Nevertheless, Ganttic might just be the one for you. Our happy customers have had their say in what they like about our resource scheduling tool. Of all of the features mentioned, we drew up a list with top 10 reasons that have lead to managers choosing Ganttic for resource planning.
Since it’s that magical time of the year, we thought we'd go over our favorite employer, Santa Claus. We came up with 5 reasons it seems like he, as a large employer, should be using resource planning software. However, since Santa has been keeping his business pretty secretive, it's all based on assumptions.
The holidays are ahead of us, which means you are going to have a long weekend with your family at home. Since that can be a little bit too much as it always is, we are going to get you through it using a language you can understand. We are going to teach you how to plan the perfect (or a bearable) Thanksgiving dinner using resource planning software. That way you know when to keep away from the kitchen, and at what time your aunt and your dad will argue about the freshly elected president.
Estimating tasks’ duration can be a huge factor when estimating projects’ course. Tasks are essentially what make a project what it is. So if you are estimating how long a project might take to complete, estimating tasks' length might be the right place to start.
That may seem strange, but even the trip to the store and managing of 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.
If you came across this article, you are probably on the lookout for a Gantt chart software. Since it’s going to be a long ride for you I’m going to start with a fun fact. Gantt charts weren’t actually invented by Henry Gantt but a polish man named Karol Adamiecki. They are called what the are today because Gantt made them famous in western countries. I personally am quite sad about it. I think it would be extremely fun calling the Adamiecki's charts or Karol’s charts. But anyway - back to the point. Gantt chart tools. And how to pick the right one for your needs. Firstly, I think it would be wise to go over what a Gantt chart is. In addition to the fact that it was invented by a dude named Karol, it’s a little magic maker for planning. Actually - you will be the magic maker when you are using it. If I would have to be as brief as possible, I would say that Gantt charts are bar charts you can use for tracking schedules, reporting or budgeting. Gantt charts are usually really straightforward and self-explanatory. Setting up your plans might be a bit tricky in the beginning, but once you get used to them, and have all your planning preferences set, they will make your life easier. Although planning might be tricky at first, there’s nothing complicated in understanding the plans made with a Gantt chart tool. Which means it takes a bit more effort for you as a project manager but is a no-brainer for your team.
The longer you use Ganttic, the more data you will accumulate in your planner. The lists of your resources, views, reports, projects, and tasks fill up as the days go by. Ganttic’s aim is to promote efficiency and allow you to achieve what you want in the shortest time possible. With Ganttic’s Filters feature, you can find a needle in the haystack.
Once a project is completed, documents are cleared away into files and put into boxes in the store room. This ensures that the successful or finished project details are within reach for any future references. Moreover, completed projects don’t end up piling up and cluttering your workspace. The same could be said with Ganttic. The archiving feature allows users to ‘store away’ projects that are no longer active or needed to be used frequently.
For the times when it’s time to stop planning and start doing, reports are generated and brought out on the table. It could be for archive filing purposes, for presenting to a board of investors, for briefing your team or informing the finance department to issue out paycheques according to the hours that your team has worked.
When it comes to collaboration and teamwork, your planner’s accessibility could make or break your plans. In Ganttic, it goes beyond providing access to users. What Ganttic also offers is the chance to customise each user’s default view, their reach and rights to view, edit or add each resource. For example, you can let your intern view and add his or her resource row only, while letting your staff view, edit and add all resources for management purposes.
Custom data field is a core feature of Ganttic's. It is applicable for resources, tasks and projects. This gives you great flexibility to customise your plan inside out. It is also a feature that requires basic scheduling set-up to be available. Once you have created a resource, a task or a project, you will automatically have the ability to dive in further and give your data the customisation it needs.
One of the major issues that managers and corporations face is not having a clear idea of how much their staffs are working. Are you overworking them? Are they mostly unoccupied? Keeping track of your resource capacity utilisation percentage will allow you allocate your tasks with balance. This post will explain how Ganttic’s utilisation feature works and the best methods to use it.
One of Ganttic’s most celebrated features is resource grouping. Resource grouping is just as its name suggests - grouping resources. When you have a list of staff, equipments or vehicles to schedule, it can get quite complex when you need to scroll through all the names just to locate a particular resource. It wastes even more time when you are trying to locate a group of resources that is scattered across the list.
A. A. Milne once said, “Organising is what you do before you do something so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” This fundamental and foolproof method of working is not unheard of but it’s easier said than done. It seems that while the majority of the workforce follow this rule, there is still a significant portion of issues that are reflected in statistics.
The Expectations of Human ResourcesThe human resources department has the priorities of all employees and the company at heart. Of various responsibilities, human resources leaders are known to have a clear understanding of the ins and outs of a company, ensure that all employees have the right balance of workload and that employees have the right skills for the job. However, research shows that regardless of job titles, 71% of employees manage projects and 50% of these employees do not have the term ‘project management’ as part of their job title or job description.
This infographic shows important project failure statistics. 75% of IT project leaders believe their projects are “doomed from the start”. 70% of companies report having at least one failed project in the last year. 64% of projects meet their goals. Before we go on, it’s important to know that there is absolutely no reason to put in millions of dollars just to end up a failing project. With proper tools for resource planning and project planning, you can eliminate the 17% of large IT projects going so badly that they threaten the existence of the company.
It is important to change up the obsolete to a current solution if managers are serious about avoiding project failure at all cost. In resource planning, many have used spreadsheets to manage resources and plan projects, but is that the cheapest, fastest and easiest way to do it in this era?
For the communication, ease-of-use, integrations and accessibilities, you are not only taking better care of your business but also taking better care of your employees. The best part is that it doesn’t stop here, with the constant development of technology, you are looking at more and more issues being addressed by your trusted resource planner.
Tying in to the project success rates in small and large projects, we will answer the following questions in this post: What is resource planning? Why is resource planning useful? Why do big companies plan their resources? Do small companies need to resource management too? What’s the best resource management software that is free?
PMhut graciously published our article on solving multi-PM limitations with resource planning. It can be seen on the homepage today!
As UX (user experience) design progresses, web designers and web developers’ responsibilities extend to planning, testing and making sure that what they built are user-friendly and can be easily predicted, understood and used by their target users.
Faced with cash and accounting, client management, administration and time constraints, juggling daily operational tasks have proved to be time-consuming.
A resource planning tool revolves around resources, on contrary to a project management tool, which focuses on projects. And while resource planning isn't project management, project management resource planning definitely is something.
Resource planning is overwhelming, we get it.
Always finding yourself buried under stacks of resource data waiting to be sorted, planned and scheduled? Read on.
Aren’t we all glad that spreadsheets were invented? What would work be like if producers, managers or CEOs had to plan and schedule resources on paper!
We often get asked, what's the cheapest plan you have to offer. Our cheapest plan costs nothing.
Traditional project planning techniques have been around for a while and in many cases they still work fine. Still not all organisations having project based operations don't use them. Why?
Scheduling resources is an important task and mustn’t, under any circumstance, be taken lightly. Scheduling elves is just as important.
At one point I strongly believed the focus
of Ganttic should be focused on ‘project’ management, rather than ‘resource’
management. I was wrong.
I’m going to show you how to utilize your production lines (or any other resource) to the max by using the features already available in Ganttic. Naturally, I’m talking about the utilization feature.
If you need to schedule office staff, it’s easy if you have done it before or you have a scheduling template to guide you. Starting from scratch, however, can be a bit tricky.
As we’ve pointed out in our previous posts, planning and managing resources is common sense, but then there are several different approaches to do it.
When choosing a tool to manage your resources, it’s important to keep in mind a few things before making a final choice.
Are you a person who’s responsible for keeping an eye on work processes? Making sure deliveries are met on time, nothing is double booked and the organization runs like a clockwork? If so, here’s something for you.
When people talk about resources, resource management and resource allocation, they often talk about machinery, equipment and management of inanimate objects. In fact, people can be resources too.
Planning is easy when you know what you’re doing and it does help a lot to know what the ‘bigger picture’ is. Many tools, however, do not offer this.
Drag and drop scheduling is something we, for example, take for granted as well as do so many of our clients, but as it would seem this is not as common of a feature you might think.
It’s quite common to think, that everything is nowadays done online, even though there are still people who do not trust the ‘online’. If you’re one of these people, here’s something for you.
If you are an event manager you probably see yourself as more of a project manager, not a resource planner, right? Let me prove you wrong.
When planning a vacation for yourself or any of your team member and using a digital application to do so, one should take into consideration these five things in order to get things done effortlessly: accessibility, collaboration, scaling, the possibility to modify existing data and comfort.
Proper resource planning and scheduling can save your business a big amount of money and time. Starting with it does not require thousands of dollars neither weeks of complicated software implementation.
Most companies manage projects one way or another. For some it might be their main activity, for others an occasional thing.
I read an article* recently and that got me
thinking about the role various resource management softwares and other tools play in modern day businesses
and the lives of its employees.
Most business owners consider ERP systems to be worth a lot. After all, these systems can manage all of your information and make sure that everyone in your organization has access to it! These systems are designed to make your life a whole lot easier, because they can completely streamline your work day.
Hundreds of users benefit from Ganttic's easy drag&drop task management. Now we have added a feature which makes task entry and later editing even faster.
It’s estimated that, by 2013, more than 11 million people will use their smartphones and tablets to manage their business assets remotely. Specifically, they’ll use some kind of special mobile resource management app. Here's why you should join them...
Nobody likes an emergency situation. Whether you’re dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or some other major disaster, you’ve got to be able to kick your resource management plans into high-gear. But why is resource management so crucial during these emergency periods?
OK, so you’ve figured out that resource management is important. But why is Ganttic’s software the right solution for your resource management responsibilities? Because when you work with Ganttic, you:
The end result of your project is only as good as the planning that goes into it. With the right resource planning tools and strategies, you can avoid resource conflicts, reduce resource related spending, and deliver projects as planned. That’s why any organization can benefit from these 3 resource planning tips:
Even though you don’t like to think of the worst-case scenario, you have to. After all, the way you respond to emergencies that affect your company can have long-lasting effects!
Unfortunately, all non-profit organizations lack two very
important things -- money and time. You
don't have the money to hire extra people, to foot the bills when things go
past the scheduled completed date, or to deal with surprises. You also don't have time to waste. After all, the more time you lose, the less
good you can do!
When you're in the business world, you hear all kinds of
fancy terms getting thrown around. However,
"resource management" isn't just something that entrepreneurial-types
say to make themselves sound smart at cocktail parties. This term actually has a big impact on how
your business functions and whether or not it succeeds.
Resource scheduling can work with any kind of project -- whether you're building a giant commercial retail complex or planning a small awards banquet.
The best-laid plans might not actually BE the best plans when you take them into the trenches. As your project moves along, you've got to assess your plans and make sure they don't need any tweaking.
Some of us are visual by nature and some of us need to hear things in order to really retain information. However, in the world of project management, visual usually wins out. Charts, graphs, reports, percentages, and presentation slides abound everywhere you look and every meeting you attend. And status reporting and meetings…. Well, there are resource usage reports that highlight areas where your resources are overextended.
Visual planning software is easy to set up on your entire
network, so all of your employees will know exactly what's going on.
More importantly, they'll be able to see that you're looking out for
them -- both in terms of time and responsibilities...
Being able to see the big picture (your resources, projects, team, etc) with the touch of a button… It doesn't get any more practical than that for your business...
Managing your employees means doing a whole lot more than just hiring people and writing them a paycheck every couple of weeks. If you want to be an effective manager, you have to be able to motivate people. You have to have compassion. You have to understand that your employees aren't robots. They have families, hobbies, and needs that you have to think about.
"Resource planning"… It sounds so fancy. But, honestly, it's a simple concept to understand -- and it's absolutely vital for your business.
Poor resource management takes more time and money away from your projects than you might think...
Let's make it really short: resource management is the process of using a organizations resources in the most efficient way possible.
This is a guest post from Brad Egeland - IT/PM & Business Strategy Consultant & professional PM & Technology author ( www.bradegeland.com )Simple project scheduling is helping to succeed with PM and your everyday business processes.
Are you ready to make 2012 your best year yet?...
Working smarter (and more profitably) requires better planning and scheduling of the most valuable elements of your business: Resources
Why should you care and learn about it? Everyone understands the importance of planning. For planning your personal stuff there are a wide variety of tools available: Outlook calendar, paper calendars, a bunch of web-based calendar apps. All work well for personal planning.
Ganttic is good for scheduling many kinds of resources like people, facilities, vehicles, jobs, equipment, and projects. We're struggling here to find a good definition what Ganttic really is. One is sure - Ganttic is a hell of a good RESOURCE CALENDAR.Why should anyone need a resource calendar?
No business uses software just because it is cool. We all want to solve something what's bothering us. The idea of Ganttic is to solve certain problems in business management. Here's complete list.
This blog post is a short version of Brad Egeland's article at PMTips.net. You can read the original here: http://pmtips.net/components-project-plan/ It is a good read about must-have parts of project management and gives a good overview of the process.
The market for planning tools is huge. Most businesses plan operations and/or projects and schedule their resources in-house, yet the choice of tools for this task is fairly limited. Ganttic has created a scheduling software to ensure that the necessary tools are in place for businesses that want the planning to be easily done, but not overly simplistic.To draw a parallel with cutting the forest - while most still do it with an ax and few can afford modern forest harvesting robots, Ganttic has just invented the chainsaw.
Many people who have been
trying to stay organized using either Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Project have
ended up frustrated by the seemingly Herculean proportions of the task. Microsoft Excel has an excellent
database format, but as it is not a tool designed specifically for scheduling,
using it to coordinate projects can prove awkward and unreliable.
Most of the businesses use resource scheduling in their everyday life, but most common tools for it are still e-mails, paper wall charts, notebooks and Excel spreadsheets. Specialized tools are expensive, complicated and hard to implement. So we saw the gap in the market and created just a right product to fill this gap.
Well, that has been our main question from the very beginning. When you create software you have to think about it. No one will use software what does everything from project planning to file sharing. Ours has a purpose.
Resource planning is definitely no fun. It is work and as we all know, all kind of work should be avoided. Unless it's a must. Believe me, resource and project planning is.