What kind of Resource Management Tool would help my company?
January 24, 2014 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm a Project Manager at a web company that makes websites, apps, etc. We are pretty small so any solution needs to be affordable and easy to use. There are so many project management tools out there and we have evaluated many. I have a short list of things I'm looking for which I'll outline inside but mainly there seems to be a lack of resource management at an hourly level. So, either that is too high level for the price/ease of the tools we are looking at, or people are managing that some other way. Data and management geeks, please help!!

So, the basic idea is, we charge hourly for our work. One tool we like a lot, Wrike, has a task assignment tool which allows you to put a date range in which shows up on a Gantt chart style calendar. This is pretty darn good. However, we'd love to associate hours. Example:
  • Diane is doing backend development on the project, she has 4 working weeks to complete her work. However, she has been assigned 80 billable hours for the task.
  • 4 weeks x 40 hours/week = 160 total working hours available
  • 80 billable hours = 50% utilization
That last part, in bold, that's the data we want to see represented in the tool but it seems elusive. What can we do to create this data easily using standard tools? I'm pretty good with excel but my noodling around trying to make this yielded a whole mess of not much.

Bonus question -- we are looking for these top features in a PM tool so if you have a favorite, please recommend!
  1. Task creation and tracking
  2. Gantt view for schedules
  3. Decent reports
  4. Interested in tying in with Git
  5. And: resource management at an hourly level
posted by amanda to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can you explain what you want re: #4?

Do you want to see the numbers in a calendar/separate report or do you want the project's Gantt to reflect the overall burden of the developer doing each piece? E.g. Diane's tasks in the project are green if she's at 80% or less during that period, yellow if 80-100%, etc.
posted by michaelh at 8:37 AM on January 24, 2014

Response by poster: #4 - the developers would like their Git commit comments to tie in with a task deliverable. They'd like to do their work and have that reflected back out. Unfuddle is an example of a PM tool that has this built in and that part of it looks pretty cool. However, it doesn't have the scheduling view that would make it valuable to us PMs.

It would be great if a Gantt-like calendar could show overall burden at the same time it is showing timeline. However, a utilization report would not be a bad runner up. In Wrike, it would just be great if we could put the hours in to the task -- Task Duration - 14 days, Task Hours - 10. Wrike also has a time-tracking feature but no apparent way to limit it. (So, if we do use Wrike we likely won't use the time-tracking.)
posted by amanda at 8:51 AM on January 24, 2014

Have you checked out Omniplan? I've since changed to a different tool that does more resource management/planning/allocation and ties into the company budgeting, but I think it has a lot of what you're looking for. Not sure about the ability to connect with Git, though.
posted by MyFrozenYear at 9:54 AM on January 24, 2014

We are using Resource Guru
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:48 PM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Basecamp is good and pretty cheap

Jira is also good, cheap also
posted by mattoxic at 3:43 PM on January 24, 2014

As someone who has had to put hourly time into things .. don't use Jira. It will make everyone hate you.
posted by dame at 3:58 PM on January 24, 2014

Have to agree that Jira isn't right for your needs. It's not a project management solution (though I believe it has plugins that could be said to help manage projects) -- it's an issue tracker.
posted by MyFrozenYear at 8:12 AM on January 25, 2014

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