Resourcing Tools: Float, Forecast and Resource Guru

So you need a tool to organise your resource…

There are so many great resourcing tools out there in the market, where do you begin? Before choosing a tool, it is important to ensure you understand your requirements.

  • What kind of resource do you want to display?
  • What data do you want to capture?
  • Do you want to show long range forecasting?
  • Can you obtain the metrics you need to measure against your production team?

We have recently been trialling resourcing tools, so I had a chance to play with Float, Forecast, and Resource Guru. I’ve put together a short summary comparing all three tools which is detailed below, but for now here is the scoring method I used, and how I drew my conclusions.

There are many examples of “Competitor Analysis” spreadsheets that can be easily found on the web. A heuristic spreadsheet will enable the user to input data which gives a metric to measure how good something is against. Once you have identified your requirements from a resource tool, think about the kind of questions you can ask of each tool – can it show you a long range forecast? Is there a dashboard?

The questions were measured against a numeric value between 1 – 5 with 1 being very bad and 5 being the perfect score. The questions were ordered according to priority 1 – 3 and therefore the number given as an answer will be multiplied by the given amount above each section to give adequate weighting.

Competitor analysis

Figure 1. Competitor Analysis Spreadsheet with questions

Once you have your calculations for each tool, there will be a numeric value which will identify the clear winners and the ones that come close. Within this data there will be key factors that explicitly say if a tool was good or not at a particular task which allows the analyst to make a clear decision on if the tool meets their requirements. Using this data you can draw up a list of pros and cons for each tool, helping you define your argument and final executive summary of your decision. Below is a list of questions that were asked of each tool to compare their capabilities:

Priority 1 – Multiply all your figures on the scale of 1 – 5 by 1.5

  • Does it show accurate utilisation stats %?
  • Can I give access to non-production team members or mark them as such in the tool (avoiding stats distortion)?
  • Can I see gaps easily?
  • Is it easy to add people to projects?
  • Is it easy to extend tasks for people?
  • Is it easy to split tasks for people?
  • Is it easy to move tasks from person A to person B?
  • Can I group people in a flexible way?

Priority 2 – Multiply all your figures on the scale of 1 – 5 by 1.25

  • Is it easy to add projects?
  • Can I see 3 weeks or more in the detail view?
  • Roadmap for upgrades?

Priority 3 – Multiply all your figures on the scale of 1 – 5 by 1

  • Can I put comments on tasks?
  • Is it easy to add people?

 

Float

First up we have float which boasts that it is “Team scheduling done right. Manage your teams workload without it feeling like work”. You can read up about all their key features here https://www.floatschedule.com/key-features/ but how do you know if it is the right tool for you?

The scores on the doors suggest that it was a close call between Float and Resource Guru. Here are some of great features of float that aligned with our company needs:

  • Excellent reporting function
  • Gaps can easily be identified with 3 weeks or more seen in some detail
  • Easy to add people to projects
  • Easy to extend tasks for people
  • Easy to move tasks from person to person
  • Easy to add projects and people
  • Easy to add comments to tasks
  • Good roadmap for upgrades – Continuous support and improvements to the application

 

Forecast

Those of you that are familiar with Harvest will recognise similarities in the branding of Forecast, this is the sister application from Harvest which claims to “Map out your plans and see them with clarity in Forecast. Know how busy or available your team is at a glance. Keep key dates on top of everyone’s minds as you push projects forward”.

We’ve been using this tool for a while now and although it offers some good functionality, it wasn’t the favourite to win. Find out more about the features here https://www.getharvest.com/forecast and see below for some of the pros for this tool.

    • Easy to extend tasks for individuals
    • Easy to add individuals to projects
    • People can be grouped in a flexible way
    • Easy to add projects
    • See three weeks in advance
    • Easy to add people
    • Easy to comment on tasks

 

Resource Guru

Finally we have Resource Guru, something we have been trailing alongside Forecast for a couple of months now and it’s message is “Resource scheduling, the easy way. The fast, simple way to schedule people, equipment and other resources online… finally!”.

Personally, I am a fan of the bright colour scheme but I am a little biased, my favourite colour is green. Find out more about specifics here http://resourceguruapp.com/resource-scheduling-software and check out the pros listed below.

  • Good reporting function – accurately see utilisation stats
  • Easy to add people to projects
  • Easy to extend tasks for individuals
  • Easy to split tasks
  • People can be grouped in a flexible way
  • Tasks can very easily be moved from person to person
  • Easy to add people
  • Easy to put comments on tasks
  • Projects can be added easily
  • 3 weeks or more can be seen in detail
  • There is a dashboard view

 

My executive summary is shared below for those of you who are interested in words rather than metrics determining a cold hard winner, it is clear that this is not a simple yes or no answer.

 

Forecast does not meet our current resourcing needs, no reporting function coupled with no plans for improvements on their features suggests that this service will not improve in a way that suits our requirements.

 

Resource Guru and Float come very close to our requirements, however, neither are perfect. What is promising with Float is that there are several new improvements being made and readily documented throughout their blog, Resource Guru last posted on webhook integrations in February and most encouragingly mention integrations with Slack being on their radar in the near future.

 

Resource Guru and Float both allow the potential for long range forecasting with detailed views and the ability to comment on tasks to offer supporting notes. Utilisation statistics are a major factor in improving production, Float offers a sophisticated break down of utilisation by project and individuals, however, it does not take into account if an individual joined half way through the year or started not working on a certain day of the week. Resource Guru allows you to take into account if an individuals working pattern changes at any point in the process without misrepresenting the figures. 

 

Adding projects and people to both Resource Guru and Float is a very easy task and swapping tasks between individuals can be done with a simple drag and drop. Extending an individual’s task can be done by selecting and dragging through the amount of time the task is extended to.

 

While both Resource Guru and Float score high in our requirements, Resource Guru has a dashboard, a sophisticated reporting function and are integrating the addition of making some members non-production so it will not affect the numbers which will be beneficial for HoP in terms of utilisation of production members with long range forecasting. Final scores for Float comes in at 68, Forecast 54.75 and Resource Guru 74.25.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*