Capacity planning, resource management, and what-if analysis have always posed challenges for most organizations — and this only becomes worse during times of business disruption. ProSymmetry’s Tempus Resource is the ultimate purpose-built resource forecasting and capacity planning tool aimed at mid-sized to large organizations.
According to Gartner, resource management remains one of the top four challenges companies face. Many organizations struggle under normal scenarios to get a solid handle on the resources available to them during the planning process; worse, they are completely unprepared when unforeseen circumstances impact resourcing. Changes often throw their schedules, budgets, and project timelines into a tailspin.
During COVID-19, this has become a common reality for hospitals, care centers, retailers, medical suppliers, logistics companies, banks, and many other essential businesses. The larger the business, the worse the impact seemed.
Let’s face it, for simplifying resource data capture and delivering value rapidly, MS Excel has its purposes – but capacity planning, resource allocation and management, and on-the-fly real-time scenario planning are not on that list. Why? Excel can become unstable and often breaks when that one person who created that oh-so convoluted multi-sheet calculation workbook leaves the company. And when it comes to making changes in complex Excel spreadsheets — well, most know it’s a nightmare. Most resource management experts and project managers will agree — Excel is simply too unreliable and unstable to use for project resourcing. To be fair to Excel, it wasn’t designed to do that!
What is Tempus Resource?
Named a Cool Vendor by Garner, and also appearing in Garner’s 2016 – 2019 Hype Cycle-Resource Planning —Tempus Resource by ProSymmetry has helped numerous clients finally shed those cumbersome, messy Excel spreadsheets in favor of a robust purpose-built tool. Tempus is a generation Resource Portfolio Management solution that is available in the cloud or on-premises as a standalone resource planning tool. It replaces spreadsheets or is integrated with other systems. Tempus provides executives, Project Management Offices (PMOs), and resource managers with actionable intelligence through real-time modeling and what-if simulation capabilities.
Tempus Resource doesn’t claim to be an all-encompassing project management tool. ProSymmetry created Tempus with a specific goal in mind — to help organizations revolutionize resource management by using an intelligent platform that breaks down complex project plans and data sets. Tempus’ simulations analyze your data so that you can make informed decisions with very little effort.
I’ve sat in more than my share of meetings and listened to executives asking for “what-if” analysis only to hear project managers and resource management specialists say, “I’ll take a look at it and get back to you.” Tempus removes this unnecessary step and time lag by giving resource managers the power to provide vital in-the-moment resourcing information for faster decision-making.
This tool has helped organizations around the world completely replace Excel as a resource planning and management solution. It makes light work of capacity planning, resource management, and that fun task of running “what-if” analysis on-demand — and in real-time.
Tempus supports clients with 50 to 50,000 resources across many industries, including:
- Information Technology
- Public sector
Aside from saving companies countless hours of inputting data, duplication of effort, error tracing in spreadsheets, complex calculations, and unending frustration, Tempus offers organizations four key benefits:
- Enabling portfolio resource capacity planning
- Enabling improved project resource allocation
- Enabling capacity planning for better employee engagement
- Closing the gap between strategic planning and effective strategy execution
Reducing the man-hours spent on these activities can translate into significant time and financial savings for any size of business from all stages of projects and operations from planning through to execution.
Companies can create a “what-if” analysis in the planning stage to identify the resources they have available, where to best deploy these, when projects or tasks can start, and what happens if they shift resources, tasks, timelines, and much more — long before execution, where there’s much more at risk.
Tempus offers many features that would make any resource manager sing its praises. From key features like capacity planning and “what-if” analysis capabilities to resource requesting, allocation and management, and other optional modules – including project management. This excel replacement resourcing tool is up for your resourcing challenges.
Getting data into Tempus is easy using either the Excel import functionality or direct data input if you want to use it as a standalone resource management solution. All data is housed and maintained within the central catalog. If importing from Excel, there are import templates available that automatically structure your data into a project view. Getting up and running is quick and easy.
Capacity planning and resource forecasting
Tempus helps your organization forecast your project resources during capacity planning — well before resource managers are forced to contend with sudden resourcing changes.
The resources views include grid, graph, heat map, cool map, and delta. Heat maps and cool maps offer a quick visual display of trouble spots as well as potential opportunities. The top section of the page allows you to simply drag any project timeline left or right to adjust the duration.
Resource managers can see how and where resources are impacted during the planning phase and during execution by altering variables. Resource managers can quickly see how things are progressing by project or by resource. They can easily drill-down on any overallocated resource to see which projects they are working on and where they are spending most of their time, by hours or allocation percentage.
Once your projects are live, resource managers can easily request resources from functional groups and build-out, manage, and adjust their schedules and resources. For complex projects that require numerous people, projects, and resources managed using Tempus’ Bulk Project and Bulk Resource Capacities modules is a time-saver.
Resource managers can easily add and filter resources by role, name, project, whether they are full-time or part-time, availability, and more. Information can be exported to Excel or PDF, emailed, or shared using permission management. This is an extremely robust resource management tool that can meet the needs of a project of any size or complexity.
Internal and external changes are constant and always impact your resources. Tempus scenario planning allows you to run “what-if” analysis before and after projects are launched. This enables strategic decision-making from the planning stage and through-out project execution to reduce unnecessary risks.
Similar to the capabilities in capacity planning, each what-if scenario can be done by dragging project timelines or adjusting the number, hours, or allocation of resources to see where resourcing and budgets are over or under-allocated. This can be done with minimal effort without impacting live data — and can run on-the-fly to provide answers in seconds to reduce delays.
Virtually any user can create reports using the click-and-drag report management tool. Reports can be created using pivot grids, pivot charts, resource allocation reports (RAR), or charts. Customized dashboards can be created for each individual. Resource managers can also drill-down on any of these reports and charts to interrogate detailed data. Tempus makes it easy for any user to create the types of reports they need without having any coding knowledge. Any of the reports and charts can be shared with other users by providing a snapshot or link to send or through email.
Although Tempus doesn’t claim to be a project management solution and is focused on capacity planning and resource management, it does offer clients the ability to take advantage of other features, including timesheets for easy reporting and a project management tool that bridges resource management with popular PPM tools for convenience.
Purpose-built for resource managers and not an “all-or-nothing” project management solution, Tempus offers an application protocol interface (API) to help organizations connect their other applications and platforms for ease of use and full flexibility.
Contact ProSymmetry for pricing.
Overall rating 4.5 out of 5
After spending some time looking at and navigating Tempus, its benefits quickly became clear. I started thinking about how valuable this tool could have been to those organizations that relied on Excel to handle their capacity planning and resource management during COVID-19.
Going forward, those organizations will likely seek to shed their Excel spreadsheets for capacity planning, resource management, and “what-if” analysis tools to help them get a better grasp of resourcing — particularly in essential service organizations. ProSymmetrys’ Tempus Resource is an impressive option for organizations looking to replace Excel for their complex resource management needs but isn’t necessarily looking for an ‘all-or-nothing’ solution for project management. The features seem endless — making it a robust solution for resource managers large complex projects.
Tempus by ProSymmetry removes the typical heavy-lifting in capacity planning, resource management, and what-if scenario analysis and helps to reduce risk.
Moira Alexander, PMP, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, is a recognized project management influencer, thought leader, a regular correspondent for PMI’s Projectified podcast, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PMWorld 360 Magazine, Founder of Lead-Her-Ship Group, and author of “LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership”. Moira has over 25 years of experience in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada and has been quoted in various publications including Forbes. She writes thought leadership content for top-tier publications and business blogs and oversees or writes sponsored content and software reviews on PMWorld 360 Magazine.