Workload management software for a consultant team?
January 17, 2013 8:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm stepping into a new role at work in which I'll manage a team of consultants. Each consultant will work on a few projects at once, each with its own start date, duration, total number of hours, etc. Is there some software out there that can help me track their activity?

I'm looking for software that will:

* Allow me to track individuals and the team as a whole
* Create different types of projects with fixed durations (i.e. 6 months total) and number of hours (i.e. 100 hours for the entire project)
* Assign different projects to different consultants and track their progress (i.e. 20 hours worked to date over 10 days)
* Create a workload outlook for each consultant over the next month, 3 months, etc - how many hours do they have free? How many are overcommitted?
* Model different workload assignments for each consultant

Excel is the last resort. I started creating a frankenbeast of a spreadsheet and it's driving me crazy. How do other consultant teams manage this stuff?

Thanks in advance, AskMefi!
posted by donblood to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Try Trello!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:51 PM on January 17, 2013

Harvest can do the tracking part of this quite well. As far as I know it can't do the projecting.
posted by alms at 9:49 PM on January 17, 2013

Teamwork Project Management does this except not the modelling as far as I know. I would do that with a spreadsheet.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:45 PM on January 17, 2013

You need a project management tool that will let you do resource leveling. Your biggest failure point in here is looking up and realizing your best guy is booked out 150 hours in a week.

You need something like LiquidPlanner, and they wrote a good blog post about the hows/whys.

Trello, TeamworkPM and Harvest are good tools for straight on project management and individual time tracking, but if I was in this position, (as a manager) - I would go for my big gun and to me, my big gun looks like LiquidPlanner.
posted by msamye at 10:50 PM on January 17, 2013

Thanks for the answers so far! Great stuff.

To be clear, I'm not looking for a project planning tool or time tracking software; I want to track the activities of a group of people, each of whom is managing their own projects using something like Harvest or Trello or LiquidPlanner.

(Or even MSP. Gross. Or Excel. Even grosser.)

This feels like a flavor of ERP with a focus on consultant planning... anyone know how to efficiently put consultants into the field?
posted by donblood at 11:28 PM on January 17, 2013

Maybe ActiTime? They have a free trial so you can test-drive it. Excellent customer service, too.
posted by kamikazegopher at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

you may like .. free trial available.
posted by 3mendo at 8:11 PM on January 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone! ActiTime and are closest. Taking some spins now.
posted by donblood at 1:14 PM on January 24, 2013

Following up:

I decided on Toggl for its simplicity, elegance and willingness to disregard the entire miserable history of time tracking. After using it for a few days I discovered TeamWeek, a time/team management service from the same developers. Between the two I'm getting 90% of what I need to manage my projects and team, report to finance, justify new hires, etc.

So thanks for the suggestion 3mendo! It's working out great.
posted by donblood at 12:03 PM on February 28, 2013

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