It’s no secret that the world of project management has changed dramatically in the last decade. Global trends toward decentralized teams, mobile workforces and cloud-based computing have fundamentally altered the way work gets done. While virtual meetings and teams with multiple offshore members were once the exception, they are now commonplace, especially at the enterprise level. The growing popularity of matrix-based organizational structures has added another layer of complexity, forcing project managers to develop new strategies for monitoring team assignments and workloads.
Fortunately, as quickly as new challenges emerge, new technological solutions become available to help project managers meet them. Organizations can now use a variety of project resource management tools to keep their team members on task and keep projects on track. Here’s a look at the types of resource management tools that enterprise-level companies are using today.
Enterprise Project Management Tools
Resource management begins with the project manager’s most important tool: project management software. Enterprise PM solutions like Clarizen include a wealth of project resource management features to help managers identify available resources, identify resource load issues and monitor workloads to ensure that project time is being spent wisely. Large organizations with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of concurrent projects can take advantage of Clarizen’s portfolio management capabilities, which allow managers to view project assignments and availability across the entire enterprise. Clarizen can even send automatic updates to team members any time a resource manager makes an update to their project assignments.
Employee and contractor work schedules are a critical component of any project plan. Workforce management tools have grown considerably more sophisticated in recent years, allowing managers to forecast resource demand and create detailed schedules months in advance. Project managers can often take advantage of integrations between a company’s time management software and project management software to track vacation requests and other scheduling items without the need for team members to record their schedules in multiple locations.
When team members can’t communicate effectively, no one can work productively. Good collaboration tools can eliminate silos between departments, and can help teams work around differences in time zones and geography. Collaboration is even more important when employees are engaged on multiple projects at once and can only devote a portion of their day or week to a specific project. Shared documents and well-organized project conversations provide a single source for current project details, allowing team members to jump in right away and get their work done without sifting through email inboxes or chasing down other team members for updates.
Searching for an innovative tool for project resource management? Clarizen’s suite of cloud-based project management tools have been helping organizations around the world improve their communication and increase their productivity since 2005.