PMO's reviewing capacity flow chart

Choosing the right resource capacity management software for your PMO

Running a project management office (PMO) requires the right toolbox. One tool you’re going to need is resource capacity management software.

Gone are the days of creating charts and hand-designing colour-coded sheets to visualise your project. The software to manage your projects has developed immensely, allowing you to look after your resources more effectively.

Not all resource capacity management is the same, however. We’re going to look at:

  • How using new resource capacity management software can help your PMO
  • What makes a good resource capacity management software tool
  • Some tools for you to consider introducing to your PMO

To help you choose the right resource capacity management software for your PMO.  

Why should I be looking at resource capacity management software for my PMO?

In an existing PMO, you’re already going to have software in place that helps you manage your resources. It’s useful to evaluate whether that software is still up to date.

Using a legacy system has benefits in that everyone is familiar with it and you’ve got it set how you want it. However, it can also not be fit for purpose if it’s too old or if you’re overhauling your PMO practices, for example moving from waterfall to agile project management.

In a new PMO, you’re going to be picking your resource capacity management software from scratch. Futureproofing your decision is going to be tough – you need to dig down into what it is you really need in your software.

Some of the key benefits of getting an up-to-date and adaptable piece of software include:

  • Improving your and your project managers’ planning
  • Maximising the value in your human and other resources
  • Better management of your people and their skills and needs
  • Time zone management, which is vital in an international business

What should I be looking for in a good resource capacity management tool?

As a manager of a PMO, you’ll know what it’s like to gather project requirements and see a long wish list from your client. It’s time for you and PMO leadership to outline your dream piece of software.

Depending on the style and strategic aims of your PMO, you’re going to have a range of needs. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

What resources do you need to manage?

If you’re projects are very human resource focussed, the software you’ll need will be different from a PMO that has lots of office space and hardware to manage.

How many users will you need?

Some resource capacity management software is only needed by the PMO team. Other packages will need to be rolled out to your project managers, whilst other styles will need to be available to every project member.

What are your implementation and long-term budgets?

Your budget will be a big factor in how many people will finally use the tool. Other elements that can affect the budget include how new the software is and whether they have per person or per company pricing. How easy the tool is to use will be the difference between a moderate and large training budget.

What are your in-house skills?

It’s perfectly feasible to design your own resource capacity management tool. A software development company will have the skills on board, and designing your own software can reduce maintenance costs in the long-term. Even having a very capable Excel coder could get you what you need.

What are some options for resources capacity management software for a PMO?

Be sure to match your business needs to the software that you choose. Some options include:

  • Excel – the go to tool for many as this is available as part of Microsoft Project and can be used to create templates that have in-built calculations and graphs.
  • Meisterplan – designed for PMOs specifically, you can manage budgets, people, and tasks with good reporting tools. You can choose cloud-based options for multi-site companies too.
  • Hub Planner – focussed on your human resources, you get tools for budgeting, absence management, split tasks, and filtering. Your company can request and sponsor bespoke tools, too.
  • Our in-house toolsincluded with PM Majik’s toolbox are standard forms and other resources to aid your resource capacity management planning such as the PMO Template Framework and the PMO Recruitment Framework.

The take home

Investing time in choosing your resource capacity management for your PMO is going to keep you on budget and make your team happy. Be sure to understand your requirements and work with tools that will scale with you over time.