Understanding Resource Management Software: Our Top Tips

How resource management software can improve project management

For project management staff, balancing the needs of a project with the skilled personnel required to work on it is a significant part of the job and one that needs ongoing refining.

Striking an ideal balance between having skills on hand to complete the project, but at the same time not having them under utilised or over stretched, is important for effective project implementation and good productivity.

It’s something sound resource management, ideally using software specific to the purpose, can help with.

What is resource management software?

It’s software that enables skill demands across several projects running concurrently to be balanced so that there are no shortages, or instances of relevant personnel being overstretched or under utilised.

How does it achieve this?

Projects are ‘layered’ on top of one another in an easy to decipher graphical fashion with comprehensive reporting to show the following:

  • Bottlenecks – where skills may be put under pressure when demand for their abilities peaks across different project demands
  • Underuse – shows where certain skills may be in less demand
  • Reporting – shows general demand across various skill sets

How can this information help me reschedule or alter projects to prevent overload?

Good resource management software enables various ‘what if?’ scenarios to be experimented with.

For example, if there’s a bottleneck coming up then you can virtually reschedule a project – such as extending its timeframe – to see if this would alleviate the increased skills demand further down the line.

Alternatively, if there’s a noticeable period where skills are going to be under utilised, then maybe speeding up one or more projects may rectify this.

The beauty with this function of the software is your ability to try out various ‘what ifs?’ without committing to anything until you feel the right solutions – or combinations – have been arrived at.

What’s the main benefit of resource management software?

Probably the ultimate benefit is in improved productivity; it’s the one main metric many businesses measure themselves by, and a fall off can have devastating effects on the bottom line. Indeed, UK business has suffered a general decline in productivity since the financial crisis of 2008.

Efficiently run projects completing to deadline with key personnel deployed, but not overstretched or under used, is a significant contributor to good productivity.

Can resource management software help me plan ahead for skills requirements?

Yes it can.

Looking ahead at future projects yet to come on stream, and analysing general trends to assess the type of skills your business will likely need in the future, is a key function of the software and enables you to plan ahead with systematic recruitment of the skilled people you’ll need.

It also means you can plan training for existing staff so they’re equipped with the skills needed to meet further demands.

You could call resource management software your ‘virtual crystal ball’ for looking into the future and enabling you to plan for it.

Can the software help with reporting?

Certainly – a range of management reports can be generated including costs, so they’re ideal for billing clients.

Tracking time spent by project personnel can be easily achieved with bespoke time sheets, and reports can be personalised so only relevant information is seen by specific people so preventing them having to wade through data not applicable to them.

Road testing resource management software

You may still wonder, despite the tips above, if resource management software is a good fit for your business. Vendors should offer some type of road test such as a proof of concept workshop to see if your project planning will benefit.

Networking Tips for College Graduates

If you just graduated from college and are struggling to figure out how to network, you have come to the right place. It’s important, but networking can also be seen as transactional and strategic which can be intimidating to anyone.

Network doesn’t have to be as difficult or scary as it seems to be, which is great news for anyone who’s trying to get their foot in the door. Below we have detailed some of our favorite networking tips for college grads. Take a look and see what you can do now that you’re on to the big wide world!

Show Passion

If you’re wanting to start networking with a specific company, you should know everything you can about the company before going in to a networking event or talking with the person you know works for them.

Make sure you know all there is to know about their competitors as well, as it shows that you did your research and are willing to go to them before their competitors. In addition, make sure you know the company’s strengths, weaknesses, mission, and vision. These are all great talking points to sell yourself: tell the company why they need your strengths to make their weaknesses disappear, to succeed at their mission or vision, or to simply reinforce the strength that they already have.

Show Interest

It’s important that you show interest in whoever you’re talking to. Recruiters really enjoy prospective employees who ask questions and are engaged in the conversation. Aim for a genuine conversation: listen attentively and ask questions.

Elevator Speech

Before going to a networking event, make sure that you prepare an elevator speech. An elevator speech is a quick 30 second speech that projects the personal brand that sets you apart from others.

Goals

You should always be clear about your long and short term goals. It’s one of the most important things for entry-level job seekers to be clear about where they want to end up and how long they plan on being in the job they’re networking for. A good formula is to state the position you want, the assets you have to add, and what you want out of it.

Start with who You Know

The first thing you should do is start with who you know. Your family, friends, professors, staff, colleagues, and coworkers should be the first people you go to when you’re starting to network. Typically, you can find a lot of networking within your first circle and some people even pick up jobs just from talking to family and friends.

Conclusion

Networking is a two-way street. You need to position yourself in a place that recruiters can get to but you should also be making an effort to reach out to people you know in high places and people you know that can get you where you need to go.

Don’t be scared of networking, it’s exactly what you need to do to get into the job field, and everyone is eager to welcome you in!

How to Schedule Meetings when you’re Traveling

If you are an on-the-go entrepreneur who arranges all their own meetings in other places, or need to travel a lot for what you need to do, then you know that it can be difficult to organize all your meetings and travel plans. We have done a lot of research into how we can make it better for you, and hope that we can offer some tips and tricks to make your traveling painless.

Travel Time

You should make sure to always factor in travel time when you’re in another country, state, or town. If you’re wanting to get breakfast in but your plane lands at 10AM, you don’t want to schedule a meeting for breakfast because you’ll be fresh off the plane and not at your best.

Additionally, allow yourself enough time to travel to and from the airport, and to and from your hotel.

Collect and then Distribute

If you know exactly who you’re meeting with, it would be best to collect all of your clientele’s available times and then organize them in a way that fits with everyone. This way, you aren’t forgetting about clients and you aren’t double booking. Additionally, you are looking at all the possible times for your days and you can still get back in time for a bubble bath!

Once you have finalized what you want your schedule to look like, send a quick email back to all the clientele and let them know when they’ll fit into your schedule. Make sure to leave adequate time to eat your meals, sleep, and take care of yourself.

Tourism

Who says your work trips have to only be work? You can incorporate some super fun activities and still get your work done. When scheduling for tourism time, make sure that you get all of your work events and travel on your calendar, and then allow time for sleep and self care. After that point, fill your calendar with all of the fun things you want to see and do!

Templates

If you’re struggling to get through all of the emails and the crazy scheduling, it might be good to invest in a template of some sort so that you can organize your thoughts and emails into one simple spreadsheet. That way, when you’re wanting to get everything scheduled, you can take a quick glance and easily manage your time.

Some of the best scheduling templates are on Google Sheets, Excel, and other applications like it. Take a look and see what would work best for you!

Conclusion

When you’re working in another place it can be hard to stay on top of your scheduling like you normally are; Don’t worry! If you’re keeping in mind all of the things we mentioned in this article, you can count on a good trip. You won’t have to stress about scheduling, and you can focus on getting your work done and then having some fun!

How to Improve Bad Business Credit

Bad Business credit isn’t something to be afraid of; It’s something that many businesses across the world face and something that we have experience with. Business credit is very similar to personal credit in that it offers you the opportunity to responsibly monitor and manage your business’ debt.

Lenders use this information to make sure that you are eligible for funding and they take a look at your small business loans, lines of credit, and company cards. Just like your personal credit, your business’ credit will benefit from looking good. You can convince investors and banks to give you funding with your good credit, and companies with a nice credit rate are more likely to get better benefits when they’re opening a new account.

A bad line of credit isn’t the best news for a business but don’t be intimidated by it. Business credit is determined by many things including: number of years in business, lines of business credit applied for and established, any collections or tax liens against the business, and payment history to credit accounts.

Brand new businesses might be struggling in these areas and have low to no credit. If this is the case, or if you’re a business owner who made a few credit mistakes along the way, there are solutions! Follow these simple steps to improve your credit.

Credit Cards

Business credit is easily built with a business credit card. Keep credit utilization relatively low in relation to the credit card limit and always make payments on time.

Lines of Credit

Lines of credit for your business are similar to business credit cards, but they often have higher credit limits and lower interest rates. Keep the same responsible spending when it comes to lines of credit and, as always, make sure to make payments on time.

Business Loan Management

If you have loans taken out for your business, pay them off early or on time to improve credit. In addition, adding another loan to your load might be good for your credit as well if you can keep up with payments and get accepted.

Don’t Mix Personal and Business

If you’re moving money from your own account into your business account and then taking money back out from your business account to supplement your personal, it can get confusing for the banks who are looking to lend you money or investors wanting to keep track of where their money is going.

Make sure that you aren’t mixing your personal finances with your business finances, as that can affect your credit for both accounts positively or negatively. Either way, it’s not a good idea and you shouldn’t do it!

Conclusion

Bad business credit can put a damper on your business but it’s not something to despair about. The good news is that bad credit is something you can solve. Responsibility when it comes to your credit cards and credit lines as well as your business loans is the most important thing you can do to help with the bad credit of your business.