If you spend a lot of time speaking to resource and project managers, you will notice that they often complain about how much of their time is taken up finding available staff and booking them. They will spend time going back and forth, through their excel sheets, and liaising with other managers and staff, trying to figure out who is available, when they’re available and whether they fit all the working criteria. Furthermore, if a staff member decides to take some time off, or falls sick half way through a work assignment, then the resource manager will have to spend time again trying to find another staff member who fits the criteria and availability.

Thus something that is important for all managers who need to book staff on projects and tasks, is using a dynamic yet easy to use booking chart. This can be found in any proper resource management software.

Some basic functionalities all booking charts must have are:

• A list of all the resources with their bookings and utilisation clearly visible.
• Bookings specified with a project profile, work dates, managers on the job and location of the job.
• Booking and approval mechanisms through relevant authorisation processes.
• Search and booking mechanisms that allows managers to easily search the right employee for the job and book them instantly.

Nevertheless, are basic functionalities enough? In this day and age – definitely not. Software has become very sophisticated, and can provide functions that make an application a lot more intuitive and simpler to use. Hence some other functionalities that are recommended as a part of resource management software within booking applications are:

• An interactive drag and drop functionality for booking individuals onto projects – instead of having to key in dates and manually fill in calendars for a job.
• Bookings should be colour coded based on jobs or type of jobs.
• Size of the booking should be visible, with the height of the booking representing the utilisation, and the length of the booking reflecting the duration.
• Bookings should be easily modifiable – so that bookings can be extended, contracted, transferred or split simply by dragging the bar displaying the booking.
• One should be able to attach files to bookings to provide workers with other relevant information for the job.

Booking staff on projects isn’t the most fun job in the world and can become quite painstaking and tedious. Hence to reduce the stress and monotony of your resource manager, and to enhance the efficiency by reducing the time wasted on making the correct bookings, resource management software is a worthwhile investment. Especially if your company has over fifty staff, be it within your locality or worldwide, using effective booking charts and resource management software makes a lot of sense.

Finally make sure that such software can be accessed by all the managers and staff, so that managers can share their staff and staff can access their bookings. This avoids everyone having to send one another a plethora of emails, and spending time in confusion or uncertainty on what is happening with their work bookings.

SAVIOM Resource Management Software is great for dynamic yet functional booking capabilities. It has visually stimulating screens and powerful drag and drop functionalities that makes staff bookings an easy and enjoyable task.

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