Hi there! I’m a resourcer on the Project Management team here at Futureheads Recruitment and after attending a recent Resource Managers event, I was inspired to write this blog piece on the changing role of the Resource Manager.

We now live in a fast-changing digital world, where standing still is the same as going backwards

Historically, the Resource Manager was solely in charge of resource, to coordinate and ensure on-time and orderly flow of all projects from job initiation to delivery. However, this is no longer the case. We now live in a fast-changing digital world, where standing still is the same as going backwards. In this landscape – and with the traditional agencies moving to online – the role of Resource Manager has expanded and evolved to include a range of skills that previously fell under the remit of a Producer, including substantial technical knowledge.

Now that digital is calling the shots alongside print, Resource Managers are having to become much more digitally-focused. They now need to be aware of everything that is going on within their agency and manage a much bigger agency picture. Recently the role has grown further, with some Resource Managers doing job billing estimates and tracking responsibilities, as well as overseeing freelancers, and managing relationships with stakeholders and third parties. As such, the need to be financially savvy across all costs per project is more pressing than ever.

Resource Managers often have to leave the safety and security of the studio to report at an operational level in (gulp) weekly board meetings. Due to the changing and developing nature of the role, it is more important than ever for Resource Managers to keep up-to-date with the latest tech demands and required skills.

Here is a snapshot of some traffic management and tracking tools that can help Resource Managers be a champ when it comes to day-to-day trafficking:

Resource Guru

Resource Guru is a resource management software with a great visual calendar style interface. Want to know what everyone is working on? It clearly displays availability so you can maximise utilisation with ease. Another great plus about this system is that is allows Project Managers to make bookings at the same time which means the dreaded clashes are avoided! Yet another positive is that each staff member gets their own resource dashboard so they can log in and know exactly what they should be working on – helping to avoid the Resource Manager taking sole responsibility.

Traffic Live

Traffic Live is an online studio management system with a very neat-looking interface and an easy to use scheduling functionality. Using all kinds of technical wizardry, the system knows automatically who the right person for the job is, based on their availability and client suitability. That’s not even the best thing about Traffic Live. The best part is that it allows you to split tasks and defer them until later, and you can also drag tasks onto someone else (it’s the simple things, right?). Another great thing about this software is that it integrates well with lots of other systems including Jira, Outlook and Mailchimp.

Workfront

Workfront is a project management software which particularly excels at brief management. It has the kind of user-friendly interface that just makes life easier, lots of features and can be customised (almost) to your every need. Tasking is handled with ease, and you can also track what everyone is working on, and how projects are coming along. You can also see the list of the projects and due dates you’re assigned to at a glance on the ‘My Work’ view. It integrates with more or less everything, and with its customisability, it really can be all things to all Resource Managers.

Projector

Projector is a quick and easy to use app (why can’t they all be like this?). All teams can use it, and it’s great at pulling capacity reports out. It’s also excellent at tracking projects against budget. You can even enter timesheets through a web portal which is very simple to use – no excuses for late timesheets anymore! The software comes into its own when it comes to seeing who is booked, and what hours are available each week. Sadly, there is a downside: the software isn’t good at splitting someone’s day and you also have to be careful of the dreaded double-booked resource!

If you’re passionate about Resource Management, know any other great tools to use, or disagree with any of my opinions, then please get in touch with me at catherine@wearefutureheads.co.uk.

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