No more “flying by the collective seat of your pants”: 11 people planners discuss the benefits of resource management

Resource management is a big deal. Learn why from ten of our customers who have seen its impact on their businesses.

Graphic illustrating resource article

Over the past 13 years at Float, we have seen an astounding number of customers stretched thin and managers struggling to track available resources, i.e. who can handle what work and when.

Being in the resource management business for this long, we’ve learned that good resource management practices are occasionally misunderstood, definitely under-explored, and often company-changing. And we also know that the more people deeply understand and start doing resource management correctly, the more they can go from “flying by the collective seat of their pants” (as one team lead put it!) to gaining back control of their projects and teams’ time. 

We interviewed some of our most successful customers to get first-hand accounts of the difference effective resource management has made to their businesses. They include an agency that tracked 10,000 hours of previously unnoticed work, a team that achieved an on-time delivery rate of 90%, and a firm in a high-pressure industry that reduced its team’s stress levels. In other words: these are people who know what they’re talking about—and according to them, resource management is important because it leads to:

  1. Optimized project costs and improved profitability
  2. Data-backed decision-making
  3. Strategic resource allocation
  4. Accurate resource forecasting
  5. Improved workload management and reduced employee stress
  6. Smarter hiring decisions
  7. Fewer missed deadlines and bottlenecks 
  8. Improved stakeholder communication and engagement
  9. Improved productivity and efficiency





📚 Since you’re here, you probably don’t need us to answer the “what is resource management?” question. But if you need a refresher or want to see our take on what makes resource management so key to your business, we have some additional reading for you:




1. Optimized project costs and improved profitability

Resource management helps you see when projects or tasks are taking longer—and costing more—than they should, so you can optimize pricing and project costs and stay in control of your growth. 

For example, some of our customers have discovered billable hours they didn’t know their team was working! Martin Mattli, Head of Operations and Quality Management at Apps With Love, tells us: “When I started, everyone had their own spreadsheet for tracking hours, which was inefficient. After we moved everything into Float’s resource management tool, we set up better processes and saw a 35% increase in tracked work hours.”

Float streamlines Martin’s resource management workflow

In large (100+ employee) organizations, one of the benefits of resource management is that it cuts the cost of outsourcing by maximizing the utilization of internal resources. Maike Jahnens, Head of Financial Operations and Capacity Management at Scholz & Friends, explains: “With an overview of our people [and their allocation], we can argue against needing freelance support when we have people who are not booked. This should be the first approach, using internal capacities. It’s not always a perfect skill match, but it’s a good start and it saves money.”

2. Data-backed decision-making 

A good resource management strategy gives you solid data to make informed choices about: 

  • Accepting new projects
  • Managing resource requirements
  • Hiring staff vs. seeking freelance help
  • Assigning team members to tasks
  • Setting deadlines

At digital agency novu, Managing Director Pascal Josephy uses metrics sourced from Float to make decisions: “If a client wants a website in two months, I check our team’s schedule and other projects to see if it’s doable. If it is, I set a timeline based on what we can handle.”

Similarly, Tilt + Creative Production uses data to decide whether to accept new projects based on current resource levels. Angela Faunce Leaf, Executive Producer, Integrated Production, told us the team recently declined a request for an augmented reality project. “We looked at what skills we have and what we’d need to learn or outsource. We realized that we’d have to outsource a large part of the project, so it wasn’t worth it.”

Angela previews skills in Float before taking on new projects

3. Strategic resource allocation

Your team’s time is finite, so you must allocate time to the most important and profitable projects—while also making sure the right resources (i.e. the right people) are on them. 

To do just that, the project managers and creative directors at Scholz & Friends hold weekly meetings to review resource allocation strategically. They look at existing allocations, project progress, and potential roadblocks, and jointly answer questions like “How much time can we allocate to tentative projects without blocking confirmed ones?” and “Who needs who on what projects?” 

Maike Jahnens from Scholz & Friends can easily see her team’s availability in Float 

Their capacity management team also encourages discussions about skill allocation to help avoid last-minute scrambles.

 “There are often debates with team members saying things like ‘I want this person on my team’ or ‘I need that person for my project.’ This meeting is crucial because we’re planning to allocate many creative people across numerous projects,” says Comfort Agemo, Freelance and Capacity Manager at Scholz & Friends.

To allocate resources proactively and effectively, the team also maintains a backlog of future project needs. “We use placeholders where people can schedule future resource requests even if they don’t know who they want to be allocated to the project,” Maike Jahnens explains. The system allows all projects and initiatives to be considered well in advance, ensuring there is sufficient time to find the best fit for each.

4. Accurate resource forecasting 

Effective resource management techniques help you gauge current and future team capacity, so you don’t optimistically bite off more than you can chew, find your plans derailed by unexpected changes in availability, or stare longingly at everything you could be doing.

So many fun ideas, so little time 🥲

At Scholz & Friends, the capacity management team doesn’t just use Float to allocate tasks—they also ongoingly track each team member’s status. They can: 

  • Review who is sick and on vacation 
  • See who is available to work, when, in real time
  • Verify the accuracy of each team member’s schedule 

During their weekly project planning meetings, they identify changes in resource capacity that might affect project timelines. These meetings are crucial, especially during seasons like autumn and winter when more people tend to fall ill.

The team proactively adjusts assignments based on who’s available, ensuring successful project delivery with minimal delays. This proactive approach also allows the team to justify hiring freelancers in advance to cover for any team members who are out.

Comfort Agemo uses Float to monitor resource availability at Scholz & Friends

Creative agency Flight Story also uses resource management data to set future project timelines. “We use it retroactively to see how long tasks actually took,“ explains Jason Fisher, CEO and Studio Director. “If a task was scheduled for a full day but only took six hours, this feedback adjusts future planning. That gives us a really strong understanding of utilization, who’s quicker at what, who maybe needs more support, who’s excelling in what area.”

Float lets you compare logged hours with scheduled hours in beautiful shades of teal and purple 😍

5. Improved workload management and reduced employee stress

According to Gallup, heavy workloads are one of the leading causes of burnout. Additionally, the World Health Organization identifies high workload as a top work-related stress hazard. Both sources are a few years old, but our ongoing customer conversations make us think the situation hasn’t really changed. 

For managers who want to keep their teams healthy, planning work according to the team’s capacity helps keep workloads balanced and manageable.

For example, consultancy firm Accounts and Legal uses weekly and daily meetings to adjust workloads. “We sit down once a month to plan the next month’s workload. We review deadlines, tax returns, account preparations, and other project requirements,” explains Clara Tooth, a manager at the firm.

This approach results in a less stressful work environment, allowing everyone to perform at their best. 

“I don’t worry about prioritizing or catching up anymore. My team knows exactly what to do, and everything gets done. Compared to other firms, our stress levels are much lower. I’ve never worked in a place where I and my team know exactly what I need to do on that day,” Tooth said.

6. Smarter hiring decisions

Resource management can help you hire strategically based on actual needs rather than just growth projections. 

For instance, Accounts and Legal uses allocation insight from Float for their hiring decisions. Tooth explains: “Whenever we are planning and notice an increasing number of clients and a tightening workload, we know it is time to start recruiting.”

These insights also help human resources ensure that their hiring plans target the specific skill sets and levels needed. “It’s useful to see pinch points where a particular skill level is at capacity, and that guides our hiring to address these critical gaps,” she added.

By tracking utilization levels in Float, you can easily spot when your team is overloaded

Effective resource management can also ensure you don’t lay the wrong people off. A few years ago, a Float customer (whose name we won’t mention for privacy reasons!) was very close to “having to let go quite a few of its [staff]. We just had no visibility to measure what impact they were making in the business.” COVID had been particularly tough in the industry, and the manager was getting close to going through a round of layoffs. “What really helped was using Float. We finally had a way to understand what everyone was doing and we didn’t have to let anyone go at a time when a lot of companies in [our industry] did.”

We love it when good resource management practices lead to a win-win for everybody involved! 😉 

7. Fewer missed deadlines and bottlenecks

Resource management helps you reduce bottlenecks by spotting potential problems early, planning effectively, and solving issues before they disrupt work.

Advertising agency Truus uses weekly resource planning meetings to ensure that the upcoming week’s schedule is clear of conflicts and that every project has enough team members working on it. “Every Thursday at noon, we review if next week is clear. We discuss any potential issues, like double bookings or resource needs, and resolve them collectively,” Truus founder Japie Stoppelenburg says. 

Similarly, Atlassian’s Creative Resource Manager, Emily Feliciano, actively tracks every task so she can pinpoint where delays are likely to occur. “We’ve been able to hit more deadlines now that we understand the underlying causes of delays, such as feedback cycles or last-minute deadline changes by stakeholders.”

Managing resources also helps with individual performance issues with individuals. “Extending deadlines due to the same individuals taking longer on tasks was common but unnoticed. Now, we track these patterns, reach out to the people involved, and address the root causes,” Feliciano adds.

After setting up better resource management processes, Emily Feliciano saw a reduction in missed deadlines and an uptick in delivery rates. 

💡 Curious about resource management as a career path? Emily shares her tips about the job of resource manager and the essential skills you’ll need to be successful in the role. 

8. Improved stakeholder communication and engagement

A robust resource management process provides valuable project information, helping keep stakeholders in the loop.

Software development agency Significa uses Float to pinpoint potential changes to project schedules, like a team member going on vacation, which might delay the deliverable. Thiago Duarte, Project Management Lead, explains: “If there are vacations incoming, I inform the client that our output might not be the same as before.” This proactive communication helps manage expectations and keeps clients happy

Additionally, when you need to prioritize something else or decline a stakeholder’s request, resource management can help you build a case for your decision, possibly even winning the client over to your side. “Color mapping our briefs in Float allows me to very quickly show someone why their work can’t be done on the day they want it. They take one look at our timeline and instantly understand the challenges we face, and together we’re able to work on a way forward rather than being stuck at an impasse,” explains Thomas Walters, Head of Studio at Movember. 

Float’s color-coded schedule makes it easy to see team allocations across projects

9. Improved productivity and efficiency

According to Asana’s 2022 Anatomy of Work Global Index, workers spend approximately 58% of their time on “work about work”—such as chasing information, looking for status updates, or switching between apps. To break it down, only 17 hours out of 40 are used for productive work. Ouch 🥲

Image source

While a resource management plan by itself can’t stop work about work (sorry), some of our customers have used resource management tools to pick the right projects, reduce wasted hours, and improve productivity across the entire project lifecycle. 

At creative agency STORM+SHELTER, everyone uses Float as the go-to source of truth and knows exactly what they need to do each day without having to wade through a bunch of messages. “What needs to happen and when is clear enough for people so they no longer need to start digging through lots of different messages to try and figure out what they need to do that day,” says Co-CEO Nick Patterson.

This clarity allows them to reallocate tasks if needed quickly. For instance, if someone is too busy, the team can see who is available to take over a task in Float, ensuring that work is distributed evenly and no time is lost.

“The team also clearly understands what’s going on, where, and when across the whole team, not necessarily just for themselves alone. They might realize, “Someone’s asked me to do something. I can’t do it because I am busy, but actually, it looks like so-and-so has got 3 hours today,” confirms Patterson.

Nick and his team stay in the loop using Float, always ready to shuffle tasks around when needed

Resource management can’t wait 

If you’re a team lead or manager reading this, the best time to start implementing resource management practices is now. 

We’re not suggesting you overhaul your entire business or department. It could be as simple as running a weekly capacity planning meeting, checking in on team members about their workload regularly, or ditching your Excel spreadsheet for resource planning software 🙃

The earlier you start, the faster you’ll see the benefits. 



The one thing all these pros had in common? Float.

Plan your team’s capacity, schedule work, and see the difference effective resource management can make for your business.

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Some FAQs about the importance of resource management

What are the consequences of poor resource management?

Poor resource management can lead to: 

  • Budget overruns 
  • Project delays due to untracked and mismanaged resources
  • Overloading or underutilization of team members
  • Increased employee turnover due to dissatisfaction
  • Reduced productivity 
  • Decrease in employee satisfaction 
  • Inefficient resource allocation
  • Missed due dates
  • Reduced operational efficiency and increased operational costs
  • Inability to meet project and client expectations consistently
What challenges are associated with resource management?

The most common challenges associated with resource management—or, more correctly, the challenges associated with the lack of a solid resource management approach, include: 

  • Lack of progress and workload visibility 
  • Difficulties in scheduling and capacity planning
  • Limited adaptability to project changes
  • Sub-optimal resource use
  • Cost overruns
  • Inaccurate forecasting 
  • Insufficient project resources
  • Poor resource utilization 
How can technology facilitate resource management?

Resource management software gives you real-time visibility into resource allocations and budget statuses, which in turn helps you make informed decisions about capacity planning and business direction quickly and efficiently. 

Robust, feature-rich resource management tools usually offer seamless integrations with other project management software, invoicing tools, and time-tracking apps, also reducing administrative overhead and eliminating duplicate work. The automation of repetitive tasks (like logging time sheets) can significantly reduce errors and decrease wasted time. Additionally, advanced resource scheduling features help you adapt to project changes (like someone being out sick or last-minute client requests).