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Tool Review: Hub Planner – resource scheduling, time tracking & project management software

By 07/12/2016General, Reviews
Hub Planner resource scheduling time tracking project management

Hub Planner is one of the tools featured on our list of resource management tools. It’s a powerful and robust resource and team scheduling software tool designed from the ground up to meet a wide range of needs for agencies and studios around resource scheduling, resource planning, time tracking, reporting and analytics.

In the world of digital, each agency tends to evolve its own strange vernacular to describe staff, meetings and reports so helpfully Hub Planner’s custom fields enable you to easily replicate your own business terminology. It’s this kind of flexibility, along with their customer service, that makes Hub Planner unique – it really is a bespoke agency project management tool, configurable to your needs. Hub Planner offers a generous 60-day free trial, so if you’re looking for a new tool, they give you a generous two months to test drive it and really refine your workflow before paying anything.

Hub Planner simplifies resource scheduling & resource planning

Check out this overview of Hub Planner’s resource scheduling made simple.

How Hub Planner help project managers

Hub Planner provides the bigger picture of where your team’s focus is and helps provide transparency within the plan. Here’s how Hub Planner helps makes life as a project manager that little bit easier:

  1. Clear team activity & capacity overview
  2. Transparency within team planning
  3. Easy budget tracking
  4. Dynamic reporting & project analytics
  5. Plan and adjust your project on the go
  6. Plan and manage your project pipeline
  7. Team inclusion

Clear team activity & capacity overview

Managing and planning multiple (often conflicting) projects is part of a project manager’s day-to-day challenge. So knowing who is available to schedule is an important part of making finalising a project
plan. Hub Planner’s scheduler helps project managers to keep their projects under control by being able to easily view what team members are currently working on as well as understanding what their availability and capacity looks like right not only right now, but also down the pipeline.

Having a clear resource availability view is an invaluable help in avoiding booking conflicts, which can be quickly and painlessly resolved within the scheduler. To make things even more simple, Hub Planner provides visual aids in a heat map style to allow you to quickly identify the availability of your project team.

Hub Planner resource scheduleMore transparency within team planning

Taking the mystery out of who is doing what and when brings more transparency within your team. With Hub Planner, you can involve your entire team with the plan and yet control who make changes and edit, by simply adjusting the role settings. This way project managers and CEO’s can gain full insight into how their team is progressing on projects and how their resources are being utilized.

Resource utilization views gives a project manager clear information about where potential gaps in the planning process may be and indicate what steps should be taken. It could be that by using this tool you discover all of a project’s developers are completely overbooked and you need to hire new ones in order to successfully deliver your project.

Hub Planner resource booking

Easy budget tracking

With Hub Planner you can have a firm control of your project budget. You can set a budget for a project in either hours or dollars. Alternatively, you can go for both if you wish to. Visually seeing budgets when planning is a huge advantage. It encourages project managers to stay in budget and supports planning within the project limits.

Budgets are updated real-time, so you can see changes instantly and keep track at all times. On top of all that, you can create rate cards and have varying rates for each employee on each project which is a huge advantage if you bill differently per resource or client.

Hub Planner budget tracking

Dynamic reporting & project analytics

Dynamic reporting is one of the most powerful features Hub Planner has ever created. It provides you with helpful analytical insights, which is important in reconciling project budgets and is a great tool to provide rapid, up to date insights in meetings. Analytics can be accessed in the visual dashboard which gives you a quick glimpse of the schedule, utilization, availability and upcoming events. Here you can truly deep dive into the data reports!

Hub Planner also allows you to export and print your reports in several different formats so you can impress others by your data loaded presentation even at a no laptop meeting.

Hub Planner reportingPlan and adjust your project on the go

The mobile friendly version of the Hub Planner’s resource scheduler makes it possible for project managers to make important decisions and keep the planning processes rolling even on the go. It has never been easier to make a booking at any point of time! Simply tap in your phone, check for a resource availability and assign them to a project. It’s simple, clean in design and very intuitive to navigate through. The mobile scheduling alternative is enhancing the user experience and increasing transparency between project managers and their team members. It is therefore yet another advantage, making managers more flexible and faster in taking appropriate actions independent of their location.

Hub Planner on the go

Plan and manage your project pipeline

If you have projects in your pipeline, with Hub Planner you can start planning them ahead of time. Hub Planner allows you to add upcoming projects into your pipeline at different levels of granularity so that you can adjust to your planning horizon. Depending on the level of detail you’re aware of, it’s possible to plan ahead in hours, days, weeks, months or even years. So if your project doesn’t need to start just yet, start the planning process already now, even if you are not sure who will work on it. You can start by specifying the date estimates and skills that will be required for the job and create this way a demand on your company and the resource pool. This is an excellent way not to fall behind and stay on top of things!

So if your project doesn’t need to start just yet, you can start the planning process, even if you are not sure who will work on it. You start by specifying the dates, estimates and skills that will be required for the job, and in doing so, indicate the potential resource demand. This is an excellent way not to fall behind and stay on top of things!

Hub Planner resource bookingTeam inclusion & time tracking

Hub Planner’s features enable team members to gain more transparency and enhance collaboration between the team. Every team member can view their own scheduler and get a glimpse of how their own week looks like, seeing what they are working on and when. Teams can also gain additional transparency through the iCal feature. Via the iCal function, everyone can receive real-time notifications and stay this way fully up to date and informed of any change or a new booking.

To be able to track their actual time they worked on specific projects, teams can use timesheets where they can also very simply report their time. As for project managers, they can set time approval workflow extension in the timesheets, where they can manage the submitted time. This allows them to understand more the context their teams are reporting time on and have a complete overview.

Hub Planner timesheetsGet started today – Hub Planner offers an amazing 60 Day Free Trial.

This post was made possible by the kind support of Hub Planner.

Ben Aston

About Ben Aston

I’m Ben Aston, a digital project manager and VP of Client Services at FCV, a full service digital agency in Vancouver, Canada. I've been in the industry for more than 10 years working in the UK at London’s top digital agencies including Dare, Wunderman, Lowe and DDB. I’ve delivered everything from video virals to CMS’, flash games to banner ads and eCRM to eCommerce sites. I’ve been fortunate enough to work across a wide range of great clients; automotive brands including Land Rover, Volkswagen and Honda; Utility brands including BT, British Gas and Exxon, FMCG brands such as Unilever, and consumer electronics brands including Sony.

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