Best Resource Management Software of 2023 (Free & Paid)

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Resource management software helps project managers keep track of the human resources, raw materials and equipment needed to complete a project. Before we look at a number of tools that claim to be the best resource management software, let’s define the key features a resource management software should provide. Then we’ll get to the best resource management software rankings of 2023.

What Features Make the Best Resource Management Software?

Resource management is all about getting the materials, supplies, equipment and people you need to execute a project. It involves how you plan, schedule, allocate and manage those resources to best serve the project.

Therefore, resource management software should include resource planning, resource forecasting and resource allocation features to make sure teams have what they need when they need it. It’s through resource management tools that projects keep to their budgets and stay on schedule.

  • Resource forecasting tools: Using too many resources can be costly and using too few will affect your project schedule and budget. Fortunately, resource forecasting tools can help you gauge your resource requirements so you can determine which resources are truly needed.
  • Resource planning tools: Resource planning tools help you ensure your resources are used effectively. That means working with vendors, subcontractors and your own teams, coordinating their work and making sure that your resource utilization aligns with your project plan.
  • Resource scheduling tools: Once you know what resources are needed for each task, you’ll need resource scheduling tools to create a resource schedule and a timeline for the procurement and allocation of resources.
  • Resource allocation tools: Resource allocation tools help project managers assign specific resources to project tasks, such as assigning tasks to a team member or indicating the equipment that’ll be needed for a particular project activity.
  • Workload management tools: Workload management tools help project managers measure the amount of work that’s assigned to their team members so they can better reallocate project resources.

The following are a handful of the best resource management software currently available. One of them should meet your resource management needs.

2023 Best Resource Management Software Rankings

1. ProjectManagerProjectManager, the best resource management softwareProjectManager, the best resource management software

  • Best project resource management software for project management
  • Built-in time tracking that’s easy to use
  • Excels at real-time collaboration

ProjectManager is a comprehensive project and work management software that tops our list of best resource management software because it manages and tracks your project resources with the ease of use that competitors lack. This resource management software organizes resources, tasks, projects and teams allowing you to plan, schedule and reallocate resources as needed. Live data gives users greater visibility into their resource schedule, tracking labor costs, workload and task progress in real time. No other software helps you plan and schedule resources better.

Live data gives teams greater visibility into their resources, so they can track labor costs, workload and task progress in real time. That means you have the most current information to better plan and schedule resources.

Schedule & Track Resources With Gantt Charts

Resource planning is one of the more challenging aspects of managing a project. Fortunately, ProjectManager makes it easy to identify and categorize teams, supplies, equipment and other resources for easy planning and scheduling on the Gantt chart. More than that, the Gantt chart schedules resources based on their availability and skillset. Then, monitor costs and workload in real time to keep to your budget and avoid burning out your team. In fact, this resource management software is great for tracking project variance once you set the baseline helping you monitor progress in real time to stay on schedule.

A Gantt chart with resource assignments in ProjectManager, a resource management softwareA Gantt chart with resource assignments in ProjectManager, a resource management software

Set Availability and Balance Workload

Teams are your most valuable resource and you need a resource management tool that knows how busy they are without getting in their way. A color-coded workload chart gives managers transparency into how many or how few tasks are assigned to their team. You can then balance the workload right from that page. When you reallocate resources, though, you need to know your team’s availability, especially if they’re hybrid or remote.

ProjectManager is a great resource scheduling software because it lets you define working days, holidays and planned hours, blocking days and setting parameters to help with task management and project scheduling. You can even filter by project, team or month if you’re using the tool for project portfolio management or program management.

Projectmanager's workload features help with resource managementProjectmanager's workload features help with resource management

Monitor and Track Resources in Real Time

Resource management isn’t just about planning and scheduling; it’s also about tracking resource utilization. ProjectManager has live dashboards, unlike other tools that require time-consuming setup, and one-click reporting for in-depth tracking of workload, availability, timesheets and tasks. Secure timesheets track how long your team is spending on tasks. Plus, when teams update their status, that resource utilization data is shared across the software instantly.

live dashboard from ProjectManager, a resource management softwarelive dashboard from ProjectManager, a resource management software

With these features and others like a sheet view, kanban and more, no software does resource management better than ProjectManager. The best part? You can get started for free right away. Start your free trial of ProjectManager by clicking here. 


  • Team: $13 user/month
  • Business: $24 user/month


  • Does ProjectManager offer a free trial? Yes, ProjectManager has a 30-day free trial
  • Does ProjectManager have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

2. Floatfloat, one of the best resource management softwarefloat, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for portfolio management
  • Strong capacity management and demand forecasting
  • Offers many integrations

Float is a resource management software that’s used by agencies, studios and firms for tracking who is working on what and when. It can manage more than one project at a time, so you can see all your projects and their competing milestones in a single view, which helps with planning and scheduling. You can monitor your budgets in real time and forecast hours, which helps prevent overspending. The resource management software integrates with Slack, Google Calendar and other apps, which fills in some holes. It excels at capacity management, demand forecasting and skills tracking.

resource management software, floatresource management software, float

A problem with this resource management software is that if more than one person is using it, things like task names and job descriptions aren’t centrally controlled and can vary as people edit them. While it can help organize resources, it’s missing some vital resource planning features, such as a decent search and a well-designed dashboard. Resource utilization reports are complicated and not visual, which would make them easier to digest at a glance. However, the fact that it can work with multiple projects makes it a good bet for project portfolio or program management.


  • Resource Planning: $6 user/month
  • Resource Planning + Time Tracking: $10 user/month


  • Does Float offer a free trial? Yes, Float has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Float have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

3. Resource Gururesource guru, one of the best resource management softwareresource guru, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for team resource visibility
  • Good for keeping your team on schedule
  • Strong visual reports

Resource Guru is designed for resource managers and project managers. It’s a project scheduling and resource management software. Adding, editing, moving or deleting items in your schedule is fast and simple. You get visibility into resource utilization on its calendar view and a staff time tracker helps you stay updated on vacations, sick days, maternity leave, etc. The calendar syncs to a resource planning dashboard so everyone in the project is on the same page, and visual reports give you data on resource allocation.

resource management software, resource gururesource management software, resource guru

Beyond that, this resource management software has limited features. For example, there aren’t alerts or appointment scheduling. There’s also little automation, which would help streamline the process greatly. The reporting feature could be better, and while there are integration workarounds, it’d be nice to have everything working under one roof. But the fact that it keeps your teams on schedule is a resource management win.


  • Grasshopper: $4.16 user/month
  • Blackbelt: $6.65 user/month
  • Master: $10 user/month


  • Does Resource Guru offer a free trial? Yes, Resource Guru has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Resource Guru have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

4. Kantata kantata, one of the best resource management softwarekantata, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource planning software for reporting
  • Intuitive and easy to use
  • Resource utilization dashboards

Kantata is the merger of Mavenlink and Kimble Applications. It aims to help users staff teams, respond to changes in their projects and deliver better operational performance. It offers project management and resource management features for small, medium and large businesses in IT services, engineering and other industries. It’s an easy-to-use, intuitive tool with good reporting features.

resource management software, kantata, a merger of mavenlink and Kimbleresource management software, kantata, a merger of mavenlink and Kimble

However, it can be complicated when trying to navigate integrations. The integration tool is poorly designed. While Kantata does have resource management tools that are fairly good at what they do, the price tag isn’t cheap. If your business is operating on a tight budget, then you might want to look elsewhere. On top of that, setup is a problem and will likely send users to customer support for assistance.


  • Premier plan $59/user.


  • Does Kantata offer a free trial? Yes, Kantata has a 10-day free trial
  • Does Kantata have a mobile project management app? No

5., one of the best resource management, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource planning software for task management
  • Multiple workflow views
  • Excels at tracking financial data is known more as a task management app but has a resource management template that helps you plan your asset allocation. There are many workflow views and you can use Gantt charts and kanban boards to import the template. A map view allows you to locate assets and displays the status of your resources in a dashboard-like setting, including financial data.

resource management software, monday.comresource management software,

But, as noted, is primarily used for task management and that’s where it excels—not as resource management software. There’s also the pricing structure, which keeps the resource management features you want behind a higher subscription rate. Tracking time and expenses aren’t easy and the mobile app is limited in terms of what it can do. Add integration problems and suddenly looks like the worst day of the week.


  • Basic: $8 user/month
  • Standard: $10 user/month
  • Pro: $16 user/month


  • Does offer a free trial? Yes, has a 14-day free trial
  • Does have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

6. Runn runn, one of the best resource management softwarerunn, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for forecasting
  • Strong capacity management
  • Flexible and intuitive

Runn is resource management software that helps with forecasting and assigning human resources. It’s a flexible and intuitive app that helps users integrate project information from your CRM and financial systems. You get an overview of what people are doing and their capacity, the projects they’re working on and their availability. You can reallocate overtasked resources and see the financial impact of that action.

resource management software, runnresource management software, runn

However, this is strictly a resource management software. If you’re looking for task management or other project management features, then you’re going to have to use Runn in conjunction with other project management tools. In terms of resource management, it can be frustrating, especially if you’re not estimating for projects beforehand. Also, because of the extensive modeling and planning features, setup is time-consuming.


  • Pro: $10 user/month
  • Enterprise: Contact sales


  • Does Runn offer a free trial? Yes, Runn has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Runn have a mobile project management app? No

7. Wrike wrike, one of the best resource management softwarewrike, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for risk management
  • Customizable dashboards
  • Strong collaboration features

Wrike has advanced resource management features, but only in its most expensive plans. It lets you create and customize multiple dashboards that can then be shared with teams. There are nice risk features that help you predict and manage them if they show up in a project. Also, the tool has a lot of collaborative features, allowing teams to stay in contact with automated responses.

resource management software, wrikeresource management software, wrike

Of course, a lot of these advantages aren’t related to resource management, which as we wrote, can only be accessed for a substantial investment in the resource management software. This can be a no-sale for mid-sized companies, especially as there are less expensive alternatives available. Also, integrations were slow to deliver alerts, such as Outlook, which is a problem.


  • Professional plan: $9.80 user/month
  • Business plan: $24.80 user/month


  • Does Wrike offer a free trial? Yes, Wrike has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Wrike have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

8. Smartsheet smartsheet, one of the best resource management softwaresmartsheet, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for spreadsheet users
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Highly customizable

Smartsheet is software that takes the spreadsheet and supersizes it. The software is relatively inexpensive and there’s a free forever plan. The tool is also highly customizable, with powerful analytics and reporting tools. There are a lot of templates to get you started, including ones for human resources. It features collaborative tools, automation and real-time reporting.

resource management software, smartsheetresource management software, smartsheet

What it doesn’t have, unless you pay for add-ons, is time tracking and resource management software. Maybe you’d be willing to pay extra, but the software even at its simplest is hard to use. There’s a steep learning curve to clear just to get any advantage out of it. Plus, pages don’t update in real time, which can mean you’re working on outdated data.


  • Pro plan: $7 user/month
  • Business plan: $25 user/month


  • Does Smartsheet offer a free trial? Yes, Smartsheet has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Smartsheet have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

9. SilverbucketSilverbucket, one of the best resource management softwareSilverbucket, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for capacity planning
  • Integrates with many project management apps
  • User-friendly interface

Silverbucket is a resource planning tool for projects that is user-friendly and helps to plan and allocate resources. It allows you to avoid conflicts and manage loads and capacity. Projects, people and capacity planning all are monitored within a single view, so resource scheduling decisions are based on hard data, which leads to greater profitability. There’s a filtered search, which is helpful, and skill tracking for team members. Plus, it integrates with many other project management apps.

resource management software, silverbucketresource management software, silverbucket

Some issues include that the resource management software doesn’t have drag-and-drop functionality, which can make it a bit clunky to use. The resource planning dashboard is less than ideal, and you have to click to get data on team members’ allocation. Resource utilization reporting is problematic, too, and leaves a big hole in the software that hopefully will get filled in one day. For all its shortcomings, we did appreciate the ease with which it integrated with other project management apps.


  • Resource Planning: 8.2€ user/month
  • Resource Planning + Time Tracking: 10.1€ user/month


  • Does Silverbucket offer a free trial? Yes, Silverbucket has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Silverbucket have a mobile project management app? No

10. Birdview PSA by Easy ProjectsBirdview PSA, one of the best resource management softwareBirdview PSA, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management for service delivery teams
  • Workload automation
  • Ideal for visual resource planning

Birdview PSA is a resource management software for midsize to enterprise-level teams. It’s used in projects ranging from marketing, IT, operations and software development to professional services. A big plus here is that this software automates your workflows, which saves time. Teams can automatically create template-driven projects or tasks based on available resources and incoming requests. Birdview PSA by Easy Projects offers a more visual resource planning and project reporting user interface. It has team collaboration tools, Gantt charts and kanban boards, making it more of a full project planning solution.

resource management software, birdview psaresource management software, birdview psa

However, Birdview PSA might not be the best project management software for team communication or collaboration. For example, if two people are working on a task and one finishes because they still receive notifications until the other completes the assignment. There have been issues with resource allocation reporting, as well, as project stakeholders don’t get the full Gantt chart view unless they have a license. While there were some dings, the overall visual style was very appealing and made using this project resource management software fun and functional.


  • Team: $24 user/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing


  • Does Birdview PSA by Easy Projects offer a free trial? Yes, Easy Projects has a 30-day free trial
  • Does Birdview PSA by Easy Projects have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

11. PaymoPaymo, one of the best resource management software alternativesPaymo, one of the best resource management software alternatives

  • Best resource management software for payment and invoicing
  • Automatic ghost bookings
  • Track planned vs. actual data

Paymo is a resource management app that helps to align teams and keep them engaged. Its resource scheduling works with features on project planning, time tracking and invoicing. There are task management tools for managing team capacity, workload and availability and automatic ghost bookings based on task dates that were already added to the project plan. Other key features include Gantt charts and timesheets that track planned vs. actual work time.

resource management software - paymoresource management software - paymo

Users have complained about the steep learning curve of using this resource management app. But even if you take the time and put in the effort to learn how to use it, there are limits that might have you seeking more robust resource management tools. For example, the dashboard is more geared for invoicing than resource management. There’s a web task timer, which is great for managing remote workers, only it doesn’t detect idle time or automatically shut off when left running, which can cause some discrepancies with your team.


  • Free: limited features for a maximum of 10 users
  • Small Office: $11.95 user/month
  • Business: $18.95 user/month
  • Enterprise: custom pricing


  • Does Paymo offer a free trial? Yes, Paymo has a 15-day free trial
  • Does Paymo have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

12. ForecastForecast, one of the best resource management softwareForecast, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for AI automation
  • Ideal for enterprise teams
  • Resource scheduling through AI

Forecast is a resource management software used throughout the world mostly in the professional services, agency, consulting and software sectors. Some of its benefits include the fact that it offers real-time data that can help companies with enterprise resource planning and improve KPIs. It’s one of the new crops of tools that applies AI to help with resource scheduling and selecting team members who are most suited to working on a particular task or project.

resource management software, forecastresource management software, forecast

As with many of the options on our 2023 best resource management software list, Forecast can be difficult to use. One of the major deficits is the lack of reporting tools, which means poor tracking and difficulty learning from the lessons of past projects. Some users praise it as a forecasting tool but criticize the project visualization that gets confusing when dealing with larger teams in bigger organizations. Finally, the software is suited for more traditional ways of working with resource management and those creative industries or teams who work in an agile project management methodology tend to be frustrated by the tool.


  • Light: $29 user/month
  • Pro: $49 user/month
  • Plus: Custom pricing


  • Does Forecast offer a free trial? Yes, Forecast has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Forecast have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

13. Hubstaff TasksHubstaff tasks, one of the best resource management softwareHubstaff tasks, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource management software for agile teams
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable workflows

Hubstaff Tasks is a resource management software designed for agile project management. In fact, the whole tool is based on an agile methodology to foster team collaboration and communication. Its visual user interface is certainly going to attract the agile crowd, and kanban features will keep them happy. It’s easy to use and has multiple task management features, including Gantt charts, for resource planning. Customizable workflows help teams know that all their tasks are being worked on.

resource management software, hubstaffresource management software, hubstaff

The problem with this resource management app that targets agile users is that its kanban boards have no work-in-progress (WIP) limits, swimlanes, custom fields or image previews in the board view. This is sure to turn off agile enthusiasts. Another fault of the software is its lack of integrations. Most organizations want their resource management tool to seamlessly integrate with other project management apps that they use. Not having this function or a very limited one might be a deal-breaker.


  • Free: limited features for up to five users
  • Premium: $5 user/month


  • Does Hubstaff Tasks offer a free trial? Yes, Hubstaff Tasks has a 14-day free trial
  • Does Hubstaff Tasks have a mobile project management app? Yes, it’s available for Android and iOS

14. GantticGanttic, one of the best resource management softwareGanttic, one of the best resource management software

  • Best resource planning software for Gantt charts
  • Visualizes tasks
  • Strong portfolio optimization

Ganttic is an online resource management software that is ideal for portfolio management. Ganttic visualizes tasks in a matrix, which gives users a fully customized view of the project. Not only can you brainstorm, plan and allocate tasks to your team, but also track resource utilization on your dashboard. While excelling at workload and resource management, it also has portfolio optimization and can help you pick the right resources for the job along with the right projects for your organization.

resource management software, Gantticresource management software, Ganttic

That’s a lot of resource management features, but it takes a lot of time to get there. Setup is long due to all the personalizing of unique client data required. It’s also not the easiest resource management software to use. For example, there’s no click-and-drag punctuality to move an allocated block of time around the timeline. It can also be problematic on some web browsers, such as Chrome. You can’t create a draft that is private until published, which might turn off some potential users. Some users complained about the complexity of its time-tracking and task-management tools. There are still some bugs in the user interface, but that’s par for the course and shouldn’t deter those who like the portfolio features.


  • Free: Up to 10 resources
  • Pro 20: $1.25 resource/month, maximum 20 resources
  • Pro 50: $1.18 resource/month, maximum 50 resources
  • Pro 150: .99 cents resource/month, maximum 150 resources
  • Pro 250: .92 cents resource/month, maximum 250 resources
  • Pro 500: .76 cents resource/month, maximum 500 resources
  • Pro 1000: .50 cents resource/month, maximum 1,000 resources


  • Does Ganttic offer a free trial? Yes, Ganttic has a 10-day free trial
  • Does Ganttic have a mobile project management app? Sort of, it’s available for premier users

What’s the Best Resource Management Software for You?

There are many resource management software choices. The right one for you depends on what you’re looking for in a resource management tool. Some projects aren’t going to be as resource-rich, but most projects require a lot of resources and that means a lot of management.

Getting a resource management tool that helps you plan, schedule and allocate is crucial. Having one that’s online and provides you with real-time data to track your resources is even more important, especially in the 2023 working environment. Whether you use it now or grow into it, you won’t regret the investment.

ProjectManager is the one-stop shop for all your project management needs. Its online software has the most up-to-date data possible, so your resource management is in real-time. ProjectManager’s resource management is part of a larger project management suite of tools that control your entire project from planning to monitoring and reporting. See how it can manage resources on your next project by taking this free 30-day trial today.

Related Posts

What Is an Operating Budget? Key Components & Template Included

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An operating budget is a tool that helps business owners and project managers alike to look at the long-term financial needs of their organization or project. It’s instrumental in forecasting the budget needed to run your business or project.

That alone should make you want to understand the definition and reasons to use an operating budget. We’ll explain that and go into what should be included in your operating budget. As an added bonus, we’ll also throw in a free operating budget template for Excel.

What Is an Operating Budget?

An operating budget is a tool that allows you to estimate the revenue and expenses you expect to have for the coming year. It provides a more detailed and accurate estimate by breaking down your expenses. This process is usually done at the fourth quarter or year’s end to have a picture of what to expect financially in the next year.

Forecasting your revenue and expenses does more than help create an accurate budget for the new year, as important as that is. It’s also used to set goals for companies so they have realistic expectations and targets. This makes it possible to hit the goals and still achieve profitability. For project managers, an operating budget is a great tool to track financial progress to stay on budget by ensuring their actual costs match their planned costs.

An operating budget doesn’t have to be an annual endeavor. As used in project management, it can be reviewed monthly and businesses have been known to do quarterly reports. Reviewing and revising the operating budget is important, too, as there will always be unexpected expenses that impact the forecast. Being able to use the operating budget as a living document means that businesses and projects can respond to market pressure and changes in scope and adjust accordingly to avoid overspending.

To review and revise your operating budget you need project management software. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software with real-time dashboards that give you a high-level overview of your project. Our live dashboard automatically collects data on costs and other metrics, which are then displayed in easy-to-read graphs and charts. You can get a look at your budget anytime and, best of all, there’s no time-consuming configuration required as with lightweight alternatives. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's dashboardProjectManager's dashboard
ProjectManager has real-time dashboards to help you track costs in your project. Learn more

Why Should You Use an Operating Budget?

Operating budgets are used by everyone from businesspeople to project managers to estimate future revenue and expenses. But they’re also a great tool, as we’ve noted, to capture if you’re keeping to that budget. They can help track day-to-day operations to stick you to your budget as you review your actual spending compared to what you expected to spend over a given period.

The use of operating budgets is also critical in making your company or project financially accountable. By tracking your revenue and expenses, you can more easily uncover areas in your budget that are wasteful and can be reduced to increase profitability. Beyond the important cost efficiency that this provides, an operating budget is a great asset for planning and managing your resources on a project. You can see how much you can spend over the coming year and plan accordingly.

When you’re planning your next operating budget, the prior operating budget is valuable. It provides you with historical data to better understand where your money went, which allows you to make more informed decisions when planning your new operating budget. Using that old operating budget with the knowledge you have of how the year actually panned out allows you to edit your operating budget to adjust for those issues. As you continue to make adjustments, your operating budget becomes more accurate.

What Should Be Included in an Operating Budget?

An operating budget helps you strategize and is part of what makes a business profitable or a project successful. It sets up your business or project for the year ahead and gives you the data you need to track whether you’re keeping to your budget.

This requires that you make a detailed operating budget. There are a number of sections that allow you to both estimate revenue and expenses for the coming year and be able to track them to keep to your budget. These sections include the sales budget, costs, operating expenses and unexpected expenses.

Related: Free Project Estimate Template for Excel

Sales Budget

If you’re making a project or a service, you need to start with a sales budget. This is a monthly estimate of how many products or services you’ll sell and what revenue those sales will bring into the business. By doing this monthly, you can better adjust for seasonal changes.

In order to make an accurate estimate of your sales budget, you need to list those products or services, including any variations, such as size, color, etc., that you might also be producing over the year. You’ll want to review last year’s sales as past financial data helps you create a more accurate sales budget.

Some things to think about when determining what your sales budget will include are what your monthly sales usually look like, if your product or service is impacted by seasonality, whether there’s going to be a new product or service launch for the coming year and how marketing will affect sales.


Costs are direct expenses from selling your product or service. These direct costs can include any materials that you use to make your product. The cost of labor involved in making your product or service is also part of your budget cost, even if you outsource your labor. Any merchandise you resell should also be added to your budget costs.

All these costs that are related to your product or service over the year will amount to your budget costs. You’ll want to figure out how much the cost per unit is and then multiply it by how many units you’ve sold, which is the total cost. This amount is determined for each line item on the budget costs and should be added to get the total cost for the month.

Operating Expenses

Here you’ll want to list all your expenses, including variable costs and fixed costs. For example, variable costs are those that change from month to month, such as marketing costs, a one-time software purchase, hourly wages, shipping costs, supplies and more. Fixed costs are then those that are unchanged from month to month, which include rent, software subscriptions, salaries, insurance and so forth. You’ll add each of these as a line item and then add both fixed and variable costs together for a monthly total.

Unexpected Expenses

The last part of your operating budget is the unexpected expenses. There will always be something that comes up that impacts your budget. To not get sidetracked by these unexpected expenses, you need to provide a bit of a cushion in your budget to absorb them. There are two ways you can prepare for unexpected expenses; one is to set aside funds that you think will cover those expenses and, two is to increase your monthly expenses by a percentage, maybe 10 percent.

This data helps determine your net income by following this equation:

Revenue – Costs – Expenses – Unexpected Expenses = Net Income

Operating Budget Example

All this information may be hard to process, which is why we have an operating budget example. In it, we’ve filled in a few examples with the generic widget, adding prices for sales, cost, operating expenses and unexpected expenses. You can see it all on our free operating budget template for Excel, which you can download and use for your next operating budget. It’s one of dozens of free project management templates for Excel and Word that you can use to help you estimate, plan and manage your projects.

Operating budget template screenshot in ProjectManagerOperating budget template screenshot in ProjectManager

ProjectManager Helps You Track Operating Budgets

An operating budget template can help you figure out your budget, but it’s not going to let you manage it easily. Project management software gives you the tools you need to keep track of your expenses and make sure you’re not overspending. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that helps you plan, manage and track your budget in real time.

Plan and Manage Budgets With Robust Gantt Charts

Once you have a budget, add it to our software and organize those costs on our Gantt chart. You can assign costs to resources and tasks and filter for the critical path to see which of those tasks are essential to delivering your project. Then set a baseline to capture your plan and track your planned costs against your actual costs to identify any over expenditures and resolve them before they negatively impact your budget.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart
Track Resources With Workload Charts and Timesheets

Resources, such as labor, materials, etc., need to be managed. Our resource management features help you keep track of all your resources in real time. The Gantt chart tracks human and non-human resources, but that’s just the starting point. Toggle over to the color-coded workload chart to see who is overallocated and balance your team’s resources right from that chart to keep them working at capacity. Another way to track costs is with our secure timesheets, which automatically update to show the logged hours of each team member.

ProjectManager's timesheetProjectManager's timesheet

If you want more information, use our reporting tools. Each report is customizable so you can filter the results to show only what you want to see for timesheets, workload, project status and more. The reports can also be shared in a variety of formats to keep your stakeholders informed. Our software helps you keep your budget from getting out of control.

ProjectManager is online project management software that helps you create realistic budgets and manage them so you don’t overspend. Use our task management features to keep teams productive and our risk management tools to avoid potentially damaging issues from taking you off budget. Join teams at Avis, Nestle and Siemens who are using our software to deliver success. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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What Is Resource Optimization? Techniques & Best Practices

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Resource optimization is key to delivering a successful project. Resources, of course, are anything used to execute the project, including human resources and non-human resources. Resource management techniques keep a project on schedule.

To have the right resources at the right time, project managers need to understand resource optimization techniques. Let’s look at how resource optimization benefits the overall discipline of project management, including some best practices when managing your project and project portfolio.

What Is Resource Optimization?

Resource optimization is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of methods that are employed in project management to match project resources to the project schedule. It’s involved in the allocation and management of resources in as efficient a manner as possible. These resources can be anything from materials and equipment to labor.

For any organization to be successful and stay competitive in its industry, resource optimization is critical as it helps businesses and projects run smoothly. Knowing the available resources and scheduling them efficiently is essential for any organization to meet its strategic goals within a timeframe and budget.

Some of the ways that resource optimization works are by managing the workload of human resources by aligning project tasks with deadlines and the resources available. This is one way that an organization can stay within budget. Other resource optimization techniques include resource leveling, resource smoothing and reverse resource allocation.

Project management software helps you get the most out of your resources and manage them so resources are available when you need them. ProjectManager is award-winning project management software with resource management features that help you match your resources to your project schedule. When onboarding your team, set their availability, including PTO, vacations and global holidays, to make assigning simple. Then toggle to the color-coded workload chart and easily see who’s overallocated. Balance the workload right from that chart to keep teams working more productively. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

ProjectManager's workload chart with assignment popupProjectManager's workload chart with assignment popup
ProjectManager has resource management features to help you work more efficiently. Learn more

Why Is Resource Optimization Important In Project Management?

Resource optimization is important in project management because it helps projects increase productivity and performance. That means that project schedules can be met and project budgets are kept to. Stakeholders are always looking at progress to make sure you’re meeting their expectations for the project, which includes meeting milestones and not overspending.

Another issue in project management is team morale. If your team is unhappy, they’re not going to work well together or be as productive as possible, which will negatively impact your timeline and budget. One way to keep teams happy is not overworking them, but keeping them allocated to capacity. This allows project managers to get the most out of their team without burning them out, which not only affects the project but employee retention.

When planning a project, project managers will look for the critical path to know which tasks must be completed in order to deliver the project successfully. Knowing the critical path leads to better task prioritization. Resource optimization helps project managers ensure they have the resources needed to complete these critical tasks without having to make adjustments to their schedule or budget.

Resource Optimization Techniques

We’ve already mentioned three of the more common resource optimization techniques: resource leveling, resource smoothing and reverse resource allocation. Each is important and worth defining and providing more detail to understand how they work.

Resource Leveling

Resource leveling is when the start date and finish date are adjusted to allow a project to finish with the resources it has. This helps to find a balance between the demand and availability of a resource and avoids burning out your team. Project managers use this to allocate tasks with the proper resources, such as a team member who’s qualified to do that particular job.

This helps with resource usage and reduces deficits while increasing the efficiency of a project’s resources. It can help avoid over-allocation and helps to deliver quality outputs. However, it can result in delaying other projects, overspending your budget and may require that you allocate extra resources.

Resource Smoothing

Resource smoothing is used when dealing with time constraints. Also called time-constrained scheduling, resource smoothing keeps requirements within the budget and avoids using more resources than allocated for the project. To do this, one must have access to the workload of human resources. This helps with delivering on time in a cost-effective manner but requires prioritizing some tasks and delaying others.

Reverse Resource Allocation

Reverse resource allocation starts with your last or most critical task and works backward from your schedule, which is where it gets its name. You’ll want to use this resource optimization technique when there’s a fixed deadline or critical tasks must happen on a particular date. This allows you to determine the start dates for the resources needed.

Related: 15 Excel Spreadsheet Templates for Tracking Tasks, Costs and Time

Benefits of Effective Resource Optimization

Managing resources is always preferable to not doing so, but there are specific benefits associated with effective resource optimization. For one, it helps with resource scheduling so you have resources with the right skill sets for the tasks. It also helps with demand forecasting by responding quickly to changing customer demand.

Effective resource optimization helps project managers better schedule their human resources. Not only can this process be streamlined, but it ensures that you have the right coverage, which prevents eroding morale and reducing productivity.

There are also cost savings by balancing workload and identifying and removing resources that you’re not using. Plus, the better you know your resources, the better you can plan for future projects, schedules and budgets. Most importantly, you get transparency across your projects, which builds trust, better understanding, and, in so doing, greater success.

You’ll also get visibility into your team’s skills. Software tools such as ProjectManager provide an overview of your team’s skill sets as well as their availability. This allows project managers to preview potential team members and select those with the skill sets that’ll align with the project work ahead.

Resource Optimization Best Practices

To gain efficiency in your organization, no matter the industry you work in, you’ll want to take advantage of resource optimization. Here are a few things to consider to deliver a successful resource optimization strategy.

1. Measure Your Resource Capacity

To properly schedule resources you first need to identify them. The allocation process has to begin with knowing the resources that are available to be allocated and then making sure that none of them are over-allocated beyond their capacity. This requires making an accurate estimate of your resources prior to the project. Then, if necessary, the project manager can request further resources to fill in the holes in their resource plan or prepare for possible shortages or excesses.

2. Track Resource Utilization

Resource optimization is only the first step. To maintain resource utilization, you need to monitor your resources, preferably in real time. This can be done with a variety of project management tools, such as dashboards, reports and other resource management features. They capture resource use and give project managers a view into their actual performance, which they can then compare to their planned performance.

3. Use Resource Management Software

Most of these best practices for resource optimization require the use of resource management software. You’ll want an online one that can deliver real-time data to help you make more insightful decisions as you manage your resources. It should also have reporting capabilities that show you workload, variance and more, as well as a dashboard to provide a high-level view of progress and performance when you need it.

How ProjectManager Helps With Resource Optimization

ProjectManager is award-winning project management software that provides project managers with real-time data and connects teams across departments or time zones. Our software has resource management features that help you onboard teams and track their workload in real time. You can also monitor workload, cost, time and more on real-time dashboards that illustrate these metrics in easy-to-read graphs and charts whenever you need a high-level view of the project. There’s no time-consuming configuration as with lightweight tools. It’s plug-and-play.

Measure Labor Costs With Timesheets

Managing your team’s timesheets can help you track labor costs. Teams can log hours anywhere, either with an internet connection or our mobile app. As those hours are updated throughout the software, the timesheets automatically update. You can add tasks from different projects, copy the timesheet from the week before if you’re doing the same tasks and even auto-fill timesheets as needed. Our timesheets are secure and, once submitted to an admin for approval, are locked and cannot be changed. You can generate a timesheet report to see what percentage of the team member’s tasks are completed to know if the project is on track.

ProjectManager's timehsheetProjectManager's timehsheet
Schedule Resources With Multiple Planning Views

Of course, before you can monitor your labor costs you have to plan them. Our software has multiple project views, which means you can schedule your project on powerful Gantt charts that link all four task dependencies to avoid delays and even filter for the critical path. Once you have your tasks, costs and resources planned, set a baseline to track project variance in real time. The Gantt plan can be easily shared and used across multiple project views. Teams have the option of executing their work on kanban boards, task lists, calendars or a sheet view to have the tools that are more suited for their jobs.

ProjectManager's Gantt chartProjectManager's Gantt chart

Our software lets you plan, manage and track your resources in real time, whether they’re human resources or non-human resources. But that’s only one aspect of what our tool can do. We have task management and risk management features that help you stay productive and avoid costly delays that can take you off schedule.

ProjectManager is online project management software that helps you plan, manage and track your projects in real time. Our collaborative platform allows you to share files, comments and more anywhere and at any time. Join teams at Avis, Siemens and Nestle who already use our tool to successfully manage their projects. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.

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