Searching for Excel resource management templates is often the first step project managers take when trying to get a hold on resources. Rather than just asking around the office to see who’s free, Excel resource management templates let you visualize who is available to work, how many hours they have free, and make it less likely that you’ll over or under-allocate work to specific employees.
Few of the major PPM tools, like Microsoft Project or Smartsheet, offer truly comprehensive resource management capabilities. Project managers tend to use Excel resource management spreadsheets, mistaking this as a solution to the problem.
But this leaves many project managers frustrated with Excel resource management. Excel is a powerful tool, but it’s not a resource management platform. It doesn’t let you connect to your existing PPM tool, it’s highly inflexible and requires extensive training to do any of the things resource managers really want to do – like modelling and forecasting, or ‘what if’ scenario analysis.
Let’s see why Excel resource management might be holding your organization back – and what you can do instead.
Excel spreadsheets are amazing tools. But they were never designed with resource portfolio management in mind. Let’s see why:
- Any modelling requires extensive input
One essential resource portfolio management activity is scenario analysis. This aims to discover if there are better ways you could deploy resources, or to help prepare for unforeseen changes in resource availability. However, in Excel resource management, this is practically impossible for anyone but the most skilled spreadsheet maestro. And, even if you do have the knowledge to build scenario planning into your spreadsheets, models can break easily.
- Poor or no integration with PPM tools
Excel resource management means all your resource calculations happen in a silo, separate from the rest of your project plans. The limits of this approach are immediately obvious: every time the project plan changes, you need to go and change resource allocation in your spreadsheet. In the same way, if one of your resources leaves the job, this will have an impact on your project deadlines while you seek to replace them. However, none of these changes filter through from one tool to the other – meaning you must remember to make the changes manually.
- Unsophisticated reporting
You need to be able to justify spend at every stage of your project – project and resource managers are required to be more accountable than ever. However, Excel resource management gives you only the most basic reporting capabilities. Every time you want to create a report, you need to spend a lot of time working with your spreadsheet to create basic charts. These often offer little insight, and, as outlined above, are not in any way tied to your other project reports.
- No rapid, real-time analysis
When deciding how to deploy your resources, you need to be able to make decisions fast and confidently. But once again, Excel resource management lets you down on this front. Especially on larger projects, getting a quick and clear overview of how many resources you have, how under-or over-allocated you are and preparing for any upsets is incredibly difficult. Very often, you find yourself staring at row after row of incomprehensible numbers which make it hard to analyze what’s going on in your projects and why.
If Excel resource management isn’t cutting it for your organization, you need something more powerful. Tempus Resource is recognized by Gartner as a leader in the new field of resource portfolio management solutions.
Why is Tempus Resource right for resource managers? Besides having been built by passionate resource management experts with years of experience in the world of PPM, it also offers the key features you need to manage resources, which Excel cannot offer:
- Easy-to-use interface
Tempus Resource makes it easy to enter information on resources, cost, skillset and availability. Whether you want to enter your data manually, import it from Excel, or from your existing PPM tool, you can build out your resource capability in moments. We’ve focused on making the platform as intuitive as possible – with easy-to-use drag and drop, scroll and data entry. Our heat and cool maps also help you make decisions fast.
- Integration with major PPM tools
Tempus Resource integrates with all major PPM tools. This means that your project timelines and your resource allocations are always in step, avoiding the silos typical of Excel resource management. Tempus Resource currently integrates with Microsoft Project Server and Project Online, Planview, Smartsheet, CA Clarity, ServiceNow, and more.
- Powerful, interactive reports
With Tempus Resource, you can quickly create valuable, interactive reports which demonstrate cost per resource, helping you understand productivity.
- Scenario analysis
What would happen to your timelines and your resources if a project is delayed? What happens if you pause one project? What would happen if you moved all resources to a different project? Tempus Resource’s ‘what-if’ analysis allows you to ask all these questions and more – to ensure you have the best possible resource availability.