Begin with Best Practices
When choosing any software solution, start with best practices and then drill into specific features: Resources (people), “must be fully utilized and focused on the highest priorities at any given time.” To do this, the PMO must first understand the organization’s objectives and align them with software capabilities.
In some cases, it is beneficial to allow the vendor to provide guidance based on their experience as they demonstrate how the software can be optimized. Much can be learned from the vendor and how they have built functionality out of the box, giving the PMO a jumpstart as they avoid a future restart from too much complexity and/or customization.
Evaluate Key Features
No matter the resource management software, there are three core features it must provide: 1. Visibility
The most important aspect of any resource management software solution is the visibility it provides. It must offer insight into capacity and demand, particularly the resources and skills in short supply. If the right mix of skills is not available or even present within the team, project delays will ensue.
Resource managers must also be able to see resource availability across a timeline based on a flexible set of attributes, such as role, skill, organization, location, cost center, and resource type. These types of details, plus any configurable attributes to allow for unique requirements, will ensure managers can plan, forecast, and assign the right resources to the right projects at the right time.
Managers also need dynamic views of resource utilization based on current work and assignments. Only then will they be able to determine over- and under-utilization, and whether their team members are being fully optimized. A “just right” amount of work goes a long way to keeping your people engaged and high-performing. 2. Planning and Prioritization
Any resource management software worth the investment must offer detailed planning and prioritization across shared resources. The software should allow them to evaluate and score potential resources to fulfill resource requests. The scoring system makes it quick and easy to see which resources are most suited for a particular project.
The software must be flexible, accommodating whatever view a particular stakeholder most wants to see. For instance, it should allow for hard and soft booking, as well as handling team versus individual assignments.