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Do You Need Resource Management or Workload Management?

What level of resource visibility do you need to make decisions and execute projects?

Do You Need Resource Management or Workload Management?

Whether you are managing day-to-day projects in a 20-person company or managing 20+ projects per year in a highly evolved enterprise, you know it’s essential to understand resource commitments and work across projects. But do you need resource management or workload management

Depending on your organization’s size, project portfolio complexity, number of projects, and needs, there are different solutions that can help you and your team execute on projects and achieve strategic objectives. This blog will quickly explain the difference between workload management offered in project collaboration tools, like Projectplace, and portfolio and resource management solutions, like Planview Enterprise.

As you can see in this table, workload management is for those who just need to know how busy their team members are so they can get projects done. Resource management is for those who need more quantifiable data, such as what percentage their resources are utilized.

Workload Management Resource Management
Provides qualitative data into the commitments across projects for all project members over time so you can easily answer:

  • Who is working on what?
  • What is the current workload of the people on my team(s)?
  • Who might be overloaded and who is available for additional work?
Provides quantitative data with precision for analysis so you can manage:

  • Ongoing assignment of personnel to planned and unplanned activities
  • The selection and identification of resources by skill, type, cost center, etc.
  • Initiatives, resource data, rates and cost
Used by: Small and large teams and the “accidental” project manager Used by: Large PMOs and project managers
Workload Management Resource Management
43% of project managers express an overarching need to have an all-in-one online solution.

Figure 1: Modern teams want one online workspace (2015); Source: North America Survey of 200 business project collaborators conducted by Appleseed Partners and commissioned by Planview

Workload Management for the Accidental Project Manager is High Level and Qualitative

Compared to most certified, full-time project managers, many “accidental project managers” have two jobs – their day job and their incidental role managing projects ad hoc. These professionals need to quickly develop project plans and bring the team together – they manage on the fly, committing just 30 to 45 minutes per day to project management tools. For them, workload management capabilities mean they can adapt to change and determine who is available for work quickly (Figure 1).

Resource Management for Project Managers and PMOs is Analytical and Quantitative

Certified project managers must ensure they have the right people based on a variety of factors such as skill sets, availability, license to work, ability to communicate…whatever the project requires. They need a dynamic view into all resources across project teams, departments, the enterprise, geographies, and internal vs. external pools. In addition, project type is an issue, including whether it is collaborative, agile, or structured. The project managers must consider every permutation to make the best decision for each project. For this level of project complexity, resource management capabilities are ideal.

Resource management capabilities deliver an in-depth precision that supplies a quantitative view of resources. As a result project owners gain a unique visibility into all resources and capacity across the enterprise.

Scaling Your Organizational Maturity

For many groups, obtaining workload visibility is the jumping off point. There is always room to scale your organizational maturity. As the business grows, project leaders will begin juggling more projects, more people, and more moving parts – resulting in the need to integrate these capabilities to better optimize resources and work with a view into a single portfolio.

Based on the information I provided, do you need resource management or workload management? Share your use case for each by leaving a comment below.

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Jason Morio
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In the span of his 18 year career in the technology space, Jason’s experience has run the gamut from roles in Fortune 1000 companies all the way to the “four dudes, a dog and a garage” level of startups. Jason isn’t just a spokesperson for project collaboration and the notion of “virtual teams”, he lived it in true fashion having run a software development group in Romania from his bedroom desk in Austin. He now works with several multi-faceted virtual teams that span between Austin, Stockholm and Bangalore in his current role at Planview, where he helps companies large and small to overcome the challenges they face with the ever-changing nature of collaborative projects. @JMProjCollab (Jason Morio on Twitter)