There are many parts to juggle in a single project. At any given time, project managers are posed with difficult challenges that can delay or derail the success of a project. But when each part is moving together and working in harmony, projects can be delivered on time, within budget, and up to expectations.

Manage Projects Like a Champ

While there is not a magic trick that can completely ensure the success of a project, there are numerous ways project managers can work smarter, not necessarily harder, to lead their team to victory. Fine-tune processes and deliver remarkable results by following Resource Hero’s top recommendations to improve project management.

1. Know the Project Inside and Out

The project manager serves as the ring leader of the project for their team. They need to serve as an expert when it comes to understanding the project as a whole. What are the goals of the project? When are the due dates and deadlines? What are the team’s benchmarks? Who is involved and what are their roles? Make sure to ask clients and stakeholders appropriate questions needed to be able to answer these questions for your team.

Without structure and clear direction from the ring leader, the entire project becomes a circus. Provide your team with the framework they need to execute their individual roles well and contribute to the overall success of the project.

2. Identify the Project Requirements

What skill sets and how many resources are needed to complete the project? What additional resources will contribute to the success of the project? How much time and budget is required to see the project through? The answers to all these questions are critical to determine before the kickoff of the project.

As the liaison between the stakeholders and internal resources, the project manager needs to set clear expectations around what will be delivered, by when, and at what cost. If there are any discrepancies, projects become unmanageable and unprofitable. After evaluating all information, project managers must determine how resources will be used to execute the project. Create detailed task plans to serve as a road map for success. The more organization there is at the start of the project, the easier it will be to stay focused and hold team members accountable throughout the entirety of the project.

3. Communicate Effectively

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but we will remind you once more—communication is key! Communication is never perfected, but rather a skill that can always be improved. Project managers must understand what to communicate, to whom, at what time, and through which platform. Throughout the duration of the project, effective communication could be the difference between missing and meeting a deadline. Projects are constantly evolving and it’s imperative to keep everyone on the same page.

Communication also goes well beyond just talking at people. It is just as important to actively listen to others and create an environment where team members and stakeholders are comfortable enough to voice their thoughts. As the project goes on, some team members might have new and improved ideas that should be shared and encouraged.

4. Remain Flexible

Uncertainty is a fact of life. When you have multiple human resources working on a project, there is a level of unpredictability that must be factored into the project. Team members get sick, go on vacation, or simply have an off day and it all can contribute to the outcome of the project. The structure is a necessity but teams must remain agile to recover from any unexpected shifts in a project’s scope or demand.

Always look for potential threats at the start of a project and prepare for them. Give your team some flexibility or build in “buffer time” for each deadline in order to help improve the quality of the final product as well as ensure timely delivery.

5. Accountability and Time Management

“You’re only as strong as your weakest link.” If one of your team members drops the ball or falls behind, the whole project can shift. Empowering each team member to hold themselves accountable for their part in the project is the best way to ensure project completion and quality assurance.

Time management is essential in the workplace. Understanding how to organize and make the best use of your time on a daily basis helps to boost efficiency and productivity across the entire team. Implementing a time tracking system in your organization produces data that allows project managers to better forecast resources for projects and empowers team members to make the best use of their time.

6. Use a Resource Management Tool

Technology makes life easier. Platforms, like Resource Hero, simplify tasks and automate processes. There’s an endless amount of software to choose from so finding the best solution for your team should be a top priority.

As a project manager, you juggle multiple responsibilities on any given day. Resource management tools allow you to optimize workflows with ease and evaluate the progression of the project. The status of a project is no longer a guessing game. Software, like Resource Hero, offers easy-to-use solutions that integrate all key aspects of project and resource management into one platform in order to take your business to the next level.

With a strong project management process in place, your team will be able to grow and scale like never before. Take a look at all aspects of the project manager role and identify areas of improvement—each plays an important role. If you take the time to implement any of these tips effectively, you are well on your way to creating something powerful.


You’ve heard the saying, “there are not enough hours in the day.” However, maybe the real issue isn’t that there are not enough hours in the day, but rather there are not enough resources on your team. Personnel is your most precious resource when it comes to effective project management. The challenges that come from not properly utilizing these resources could be devastating to the overall success of a project.

What is Resource Planning?

Resource planning and management are special talents that every project manager shares. A project requires specific tools as well as team members working in harmony to be successful. Therefore, those resources must be identified and assigned appropriately. This planning involves allocating the right resources—to the right projects—at the right time. But if only it were that simple!

As you plan which resources to allocate to certain projects, there are a variety of different factors to consider, including:

  • Utilization Rates
  • Efficiency
  • Profitability
  • Availability

Project managers often face many challenges ranging from poor resource planning to conflicting resource priorities and inadequate information on which resources are available. Some of these challenges can significantly impact your business’s ability to get projects completed correctly, on time, and within budget.

Resource Hero gives project and production managers a way to easily track projects that are upcoming, in-flight, and on deck, along with the people assigned to them. Below is an example production dashboard to help managers see the current state of their resourcing and workload.

Screenshot - Dashboard

Challenges to Avoid with Resource Planning

Resources are limited; therefore project managers must plan appropriately. When it comes to managing personnel, there are many outside factors to juggle that make projects even more unpredictable. These are the most common challenges project managers face while planning resources.

1. Lack of Communication

Communication is key. Ineffective communication between team members can lead to issues that will ultimately affect your bottom line. If goals and expectations are not clear and progress is not communicated, team members may not be working towards the same goals, and their skill sets will not be used to their fullest potential.

Effective communication in the workplace not only strengthens relationships among team members but also helps to complete projects that generate positive results efficiently. Projects rarely go as planned. Teams must remain flexible and clearly communicate with one another. Establishing a solid foundation from the start will eliminate the likelihood of miscommunications throughout the entirety of the project.

2. Risks are Not Assessed

A risk is an uncertain event or condition that might affect your project. Project managers must be able to identify potential risks that can cause friction for your project, analyze how likely these problems are to occur, and strategically plan to prevent the risks that are avoidable and minimize the ones that are not. Risk assessment associated with processes, technology, and unforeseen events is beneficial to every business to avoid potential conflict. But what about risk assessment with your resources?

Smooth sailing on a project is never guaranteed, especially when it comes to your human resources. The more disciplined your process is for identifying and managing risks, the better prepared your team will be to navigate through challenges that arise when allocating specific resources.

3. Shortage of Appropriately Allocated Resources

Your various projects should not be competing for resources. Take into consideration each of your resources—understand their skill sets, efficiency, and availability. Are your resources being spread too thin?  If the workload is too heavy for your resources, project managers will experience:

  • Decrease in the quality of projects
  • Missed deadlines
  • Increase in frustration and stress with employees
  • Higher turnover

So, how do you properly allocate which resources go to certain projects when most teams rarely have sufficient resources to distribute among projects? It’s important to strictly allocate appropriate time frames for each resource. Understand the scope of the project without over-promising and plan accordingly to complete projects on time and within budget.

4. Skills are Underutilized

Are your resources being used to their fullest potential? As the to-do list continues to grow for your team members, it is important to align projects and skillsets. If not, your team is left focusing on busywork rather than tasks that will help meet organizational goals. When skills are being underutilized, resources are not being used their fullest potential and team members can become bored and feel undervalued because the work is not challenging.

It’s all about understanding strengths and weaknesses. Team members are the most valuable resources and must be utilized accordingly. Prioritize tasks based on skill sets. By allocating the proper resources to certain tasks based on expertise, the team will remain productive and become motivated by their work.

5. Deadlines are Unrealistic

Unrealistic or tight deadlines are a recipe for disaster. Think back to a time you promised to deliver something entirely too soon. Why did you do it? Oftentimes, it’s not because project managers do not understand the scope of work. Perhaps you did not factor in time for potential risks, or you were just trying to please the stakeholders. Whatever the reason, your resources will be rushed, and performance will deteriorate because of the added pressure.

Deadlines exist to remain productive and to ensure quality work! Make sure to set attainable deadlines during each stage of the project and check in with all resources as the project progresses. By placing realistic time frames right from the start, you will earn credibility with the project stakeholders and your team members.

6. Poor Documentation

Knowledge is power! Documenting resource allocation and utilization while managing projects is crucial for an organization. When project managers fail to properly document, they are not able to measure the success or efficiency of a project.

Whether it’s done manually or with software, accurate and timely documentation of resource allocation and utilization will help immensely with project management. Have all your resource documentation in a commonplace, so it’s easily accessible for the team to see the big picture. Information like resource availability projected hours and tracked hours allow project managers to measure productivity and billable utilization to confidently allocate resources for future projects.

7. Transitioning Resources

Employees commonly juggle multiple projects or responsibilities at one time—and sometimes, it’s without any given notice that more projects are added to our workload. Without an adequate transition process, the different projects run the risk of being muddled together and resources may become less productive.

With a clear direction and a firm understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each project, team members will have all of the information needed to be successful in their project. In order for the transition to be nearly effortless, project managers must equip their resources with all appropriate details.

Resources are your most valuable contributions when it comes to the success of your projects. As project managers, it is your responsibility to distribute the appropriate resources for each project to achieve goals and meet deadlines. Understanding the challenges associated with resource management can help prevent their misuse.

Can we serve as a resource to your team? Resource Hero helps project managers better plan and manage their resources. If you’d like to learn more about how Resource Hero can help manage your projects, call us or schedule a demo to learn more.


Proper resource planning allows managers to make better decisions on how to manage workloads while meeting business objectives. Forecasting helps prepare organizations be prepared for:

  • Workload balancing
  • Staffing needs
  • Cashflow management
  • Equipment needs
  • And other resources


Download a printable PDF version.



Messy minds oftentimes exude creativity. While many creatives are thought to always have their head in the clouds, agencies have a lot to keep in order. From pitches and proposals to client projects and invoicing, staying organized is critical in any functional creative environment. Simplifying and streamlining processes within a single solution takes the frustration out of day-to-day project management and allows teams to concentrate on their main offering: their creativity. After all, the best ideas come from a mind that is inspired and stress-free.

Managing Projects in a Creative Space

The truth is all clients are needy. If clients didn’t have a need or desire, there would be no use for your agency. Instead, they seek out the best of the best to create magic for their brand. Your time is best used developing and executing creative campaigns to deliver the magic clients are seeking. With the right project management processes in place, you alleviate the mundane organizational tasks and guarantee goals are met within allocated time frames and reasonable budgets.

project management

Agencies Fail When…

The more projects a team is responsible for, the harder it becomes to stay organized and remain profitable. Oftentimes, teams are using a variety of platforms to manage projects, and the search for a simple, cohesive solution is difficult. Without the appropriate tools, these areas may suffer:

Focus & Direction

Without a clearly defined goal, the vision of the team may not be cohesive throughout the duration of the project. Agencies are at their strongest when all members of the team are working towards the same goal.

Leadership within a project is important to keep the team motivated, create an environment of collaboration and inspiration, and empower each member to be accountable for their role in the overall outcome. Providing direction and emphasizing the benefits of achieving goals as a team is signs of good project leadership.


Projects can become messy. When the project isn’t managed properly, the organization will ultimately suffer and the project could spiral out of control. To work in an agency, you must be able to juggle multiple acts—keeping all projects balanced and delivering all work on time.

When projects are organized from the top-down, team members better understand their part in the overall success of the project. It eliminates hostile work environments and encourages teams to work in harmony because it takes the guessing game out of understanding where the project stands.

Time Management

When team members have to constantly bounce from one platform to another during a project, it has a serious impact on how well they are able to focus on their tasks. No real progress is made when hopping around from project to project and mistakes are made.

With clearly defined roles and tasks, team members can plan their daily, weekly, and monthly schedules accordingly. Implementing time tracking procedures for your team will help measure their efficiency, uncover any workload issues, and establish necessary data to identify trends and patterns to strengthen forecasting project requirements in the future.


From missed deadlines to unsuccessful campaigns, weak processes can make a business crumble. Without processes, your team is not set up for success. Your clients will not see the value in your work because they simply do not understand what is being accomplished.

It all starts with documenting! Business processes will always be a work in progress if you are committed to improving. Continuously analyze and strengthen each process with every new phase of your business’s growth.

Choosing a Project Management Platform for Your Agency

Allocating the proper resources to complete projects on time and within budget is the foundation of any successful partnership. Agencies with multiple clients and countless projects rely on this organization to remain diligent with time and budget. A good project management software will keep projects moving forward in a single, integrated, and collaborative platform.

Agencies will benefit most from a project management software that offers:

  • Task management
  • Time tracking
  • Budget management
  • Quoting & invoicing
  • Reporting dashboards

Reinvest in your team’s time for creativity and allow project management software, like Resource Hero, to streamline your business processes and accelerate your agency’s growth.



“Give an inch, take a mile.” It may not always be done in a malicious way, but our society has come to want more and more and more. When it comes to managing projects, it is no different.

As project managers, we see it all the time. Perhaps it’s multiple “small” tasks adding up or unrealistic expectations well beyond what was originally agreed upon. At the launch of a project, the scope of work is clearly defined—or at least should be in order to manage expectations and combat scope creep.

What is Scope Creep?

Scope creep refers to the changing of deliverables and demands over the course of the project. It’s often caused by stakeholders lack of clarity. Changing requirements throughout the course of the project, due to miscommunications or internal disagreements, causes:

  • missed deadlines
  • burn through budget
  • deliverables not completed
  • strained relationships
  • overworked or stressed team

When requests and additions are being asked of your team, it’s easy to be a people pleaser. But in the end, it will only hurt your team.

What Causes Scope Creep?

Change is a way of life. While some change can be expected, and is oftentimes productive, altering the overall scope of the project can be detrimental. Know how to identify scope creep, so you can plan for it and nip it in the bud early. Below are some of the most notable reasons scope creep becomes an issue for teams.


It is important to be clear on deliverables from the start. Not clearly defining goals and deliverables early on will affect agreed-upon timelines, budgets, and expectations. Be sure to have a thorough agreement that outlines everything that is expected from your team. This agreement will serve as the scope of work, giving project managers more leverage when pitching new budgets and timelines for anything outside of the original scope.

Lack of Leadership

Leadership is vital to every project, but most importantly, in keeping the project moving forward as expected. As a project manager, it is your duty to address scope creep as it happens. By managing expectations in real-time, teams will be able to discuss and negotiate scope terms as changes occur.

Too Many Opinions

Are there too many cooks in the kitchen? Teams need to be clear on the direction of the project and come to a consensus on an outcome before delegating new tasks. If too many people are involved, it becomes difficult to make decisions and move forward productively. By having a main point of contact between stakeholders and the team executing the project, finalizing all decisions will be easier and the project will remain organized.

Poor Communication

A lack of communication at any point in a project can be detrimental to the overall scope of work. When stakeholders are not able to clearly define their expectations and those expectations are not delivered to the team properly, the project will suffer. Not only that, but many people will also avoid confrontation and provide delayed feedback which will derail the project. Keep a consistent line of communication and set benchmarks in order to remain focused and on track.

Battling Scope Creep

Keep an eye open for each of these causes of scope creep and speak up early. It’s easier to stop a slow/small leak, and it can be impossible or damaging to try to patch up a large gash. Your best defense will be to be vigilantly observant and diligent about talking about anything that puts your team’s workload, timeline, and profits at risk.


Group of people in a warehouse setting

New projects present a fresh start to explore, create, collaborate, and most importantly, win. Motivation and excitement are at their peak at the launch of every project. But in order to succeed, the team must start off on the right foot.

Proper forecasting and resource allocation set the tone at the beginning of each project. Project managers must integrate employees into their roles with ease, maintain motivation, and set their team up for success.

Communicate Goals and Expectations

Employees stay motivated when they have a purpose. Before assigning tasks to individuals, teams should be clear on the overall mission of the project. If the team is unclear about goals and misinterpret their roles, the project will ultimately fail. Poor communication and a lack of details from the start will cause chaos throughout the entire project.

When the team believes in the end goal, each member will work hard to execute their role to contribute to its success. Consistent communication throughout different phases of the project will keep team members focused and on the right track to completing projects on time, within budget, and to expectations.

Set Deadlines and Track Time

Setting deadlines and time estimates will take the guesswork out of delivery expectations. Employees typically have a full to-do list any given week, working on a variety of different projects. Without clear deadlines, employees can not be expected to manage their time accordingly. Missed deadlines derail the remainder of the project. Timelines become crunched, resources become overwhelmed, and quality begins to dwindle.

Deadlines hold team members accountable for their responsibilities. When employees track their time, project managers can see how effectively they are working and measure the overall health of the project. Time tracking also allows team members to build data to make better estimates for consistent tasks in future projects.

Benchmarking and Reporting

Creating benchmarks and establishing check-in points with team members helps to track the progression of the project. If teams only meet at the start and do not collaborate with one another throughout the remainder of the project, it’s not uncommon for tasks to be overlooked and mistakes to be made. Without monitoring progression and identifying any issues in real-time, hiccups down the road may deter the scope of the project.

Set benchmarks based on time or deliverables. Some teams prefer to touch base on a weekly basis to keep in the know and track the status of the project while other teams prefer to meet when important deliverables are completed. Determine what is best for your team. KPI dashboards are a great way to give visibility to the team outside scheduled meetings.

Using Project Management Software to Centralize Information

Projects require many resources moving together in harmony time to achieve success. The more people working on a project, the messier it can get. Spreadsheets or pen and paper expose your team to a number of opportunities for error and miscommunication. If things fall through the cracks, the entire team could be set back.

Using project management software, like Resource Hero, guarantees accurate data-based documentation and consistent communication. When important information on the project is stored in one, centralized place, it’s quicker to access and understand the current status. Project management software organizes:

  • Project resources
  • Benchmarks and deadlines, both past and future
  • Planned and completed tasks with details and notes
  • Progression of the project

Knowing how to access all of this information helps when integrating new team members to projects after the initial.



Most organizations have to create annual budgets to plan for expenditures in the upcoming year. Properly forecasting your resources is a key factor in establishing an accurate budget. If you over-forecast and request more money than you actually need, your request may be denied or you might end up with a surplus budget that might affect your future budgeting. Likewise, if you under-forecast, you might find yourself scrambling to make ends meet which could put stress on you and your team and affect your team’s productivity. Creating an annual budget should involve different levels of management to ensure their team is well-prepared for the years’ projects.

Creating an Annual Budget


Businesses need to grow annual revenue to cover yearly expenses and continuously monitor it throughout the course of the year in order to track performance. Is your earning relative to your spending? Businesses should always track how much money they’re bringing in compared to how much money they are spending, but that’s no secret!

Before creating your annual budget, there are a few important questions you should have the answers to:

What are the direct costs of sales?

This is your COGS (cost of goods sold). COGS is the direct cost attributed to the production of whatever it is you’re selling. This includes the costs of all your resources used in the production process— i.e. labor and cost of materials used.

What are your fixed costs and overheads?

Your fixed costs and overheads are the expenses your business endures in order to operate. This includes subscriptions to software or CRM systems as well as building rent/mortgage, utilities, and employee salary.

What are your projected sales?

Projected sales are also important to determine. They give you an estimation of your year’s revenue, which plays a huge role in measuring the health of your organization and establishing a budget. If your projected sales are low, you’ll need to make up the difference or you’ll develop debt.

Struggles with Budgeting

Justifying an annual budget requires more than just saying “please”. Companies’ budgets are often limited, so to build a solid case for your requested budget, there needs to be a sufficient amount of data to justify costs. The more data you can provide to show proof of relevance, the better off you will be. This data might include past profit margin growth, case studies that support expenditures, or continuously demonstrated team growth—any of these would offer a solid foundation for your budget request. Companies put a lot of merit behind indisputable data. They like to see consistent growth and recognize the need for more budget if it is undeniably justified. Your team must show proof that budgets will be utilized to their fullest potential and produce results that justify the expense.

With that, however, you must set realistic goals and timeframes for these budget requests. You cannot promise unrealistic goals just to look confident. The most confident teams know their own capacity and their own limits. Setting practical goals and timelines and attaining them is far more impressive than setting notable goals that aren’t achievable.

How Resource Forecasting Influences Budgets

Budgeting clearly outlines how you plan to spend your money in the upcoming year. Without forecasting resources and their expenses, your budget will have no legs to stand on. To make sure your budget can go the distance, be sure to:

Gain insight into managing current expenses and projecting future expenses

Your budget providers want to know how you will be managing your gifted budget. Do you have a confident understanding of your current expenses? What about your future expenses? Decision-makers want to know that you are going to utilize your budget efficiently and effectively.

Provide a clear roadmap for the year

Outlining your year financially will provide sound reasoning behind your budget request. If you are able to clearly outline your projects and forecasted revenue for the year, you will be providing a solid argument for your request.

Increase accountability of departments and team members

Forecasting resources is a tricky skill that project managers have to be good at. Knowing your team’s growth pattern and being able to accurately forecast individual growth will help when allocating projected workload for forecasted projects. When workloads are catered to the individual’s skill set, team members are empowered to pull their share.

Track forecasts vs actuals

Tracking and comparing forecasted data against actual data will help you tighten up your forecasting practices for the future. If you notice your forecasted results are close or exact to your actuals, you’re in good shape. However, if you are noticing huge differences, especially with over-forecasting, that is something you will need to address before requesting yearly budgets. You’ll want to aim for a forecast that is as close to accurate as possible.



Relationship Between Data and Budgets

Analyzing data from previous years will help organizations make better-informed decisions for the future. Using past data to forecast resources, time, and budget allows for accuracy, consistency, and accountability. Reflecting on past data can help set realistic and attainable goals and benchmarks to measure progress. Through detailed reporting, you can identify strengths and weaknesses within your team that can help build new processes, and tighten up existing processes so that they become more efficient.

For example, maybe you’re a seasonal business, like a tax accountant or landscape architect. Sure, you have business year-round, but there is a clear influx at a certain time of year, and you try to prepare for it as best you can. By identifying these influxes, you’ll be able to determine if that’s the time you will need to bring on additional team members to reallocate work.


Establishing patterns in your reporting and addressing the needed processes will help keep your workload organized for everyone on your team.

Data analysis is not only good for workload, but it can help with overhead cost reduction as well (which will benefit your budget requests!) Finding areas in which to cut costs isn’t always easy, but when you have clear reporting of resource use and allocation, you may identify areas that you can live without.

How Resource Hero can Help with Budget Justifications

Resource Hero is a simple resource management and time tracking application that helps to more accurately forecast revenue and resource expenses. Resource Hero comes with a number of helpful features that will push your team towards productivity.

Forecasting Resources: Being able to forecast accurately will play a hand in budgeting by estimating projects’ yearly profit. Forecasting can help improve issues like misaligned objectives or inappropriately allocated resources. When you can better forecast your resources, your processes will tighten up and your team will perform more efficiently.

Resource Management: The data you collect from documenting the management of your resources, most specifically your team members, is important to forecast expenses and budgets more accurately. Understanding team members’ workload and their individual ability to handle their workload capacity will help when forecasting projects.

Time Tracking: How much time is your team spending on projects? Understanding their time allocation will help forecast resources needed to complete projects and workloads. When you can better estimate profitability on projects, you can strengthen your budget requests. Knowing where your team members are spending their time is critical to many facets of your business. Without accurate time tracking metrics, you won’t be able to accurately forecast production workload or possess the insight you need to create efficient business workflows.

Creating an annual budget and justifying the needs is easy with the right tools. Having a resource management tool that delivers hard, indisputable data will not only clarify your budget needs but support them as well. Properly forecasting your resources will aid your budget request and solidify your processes, making your team more efficient and profitable.