What is Planning Management Software?
Planning software is a computer tool that is used to manage the schedules common to a team. It allows organizing the working hours of each person and the resources of the company.
Planning software offers important collaborative functionalities allowing to take into account unforeseen events and new constraints as soon as they occur. They can also be integrated into the employee's agenda as well as with third-party payroll, project management, or accounting tools.
The main functionalities of planning software
The planning management tools cover functionalities ranging from shared calendars to the analysis of key HR performance indicators:
- Consideration of constraints: unavailability, illness, personal constraints, employee skills, etc.
- Consideration of rules: collective agreements, types of contracts, working hours, labor code, holidays, and other legal rules
- Proposal of the best schedule for the team
- Interaction management: requests for replacements, vacations, or unavailability
- Leave and absence management: paid leave, illness, etc.
- Synchronization of data (time, contacts, location) with cell phones
- Management of salary costs and profitability
- HR dashboard (KPIs relating to absences, costs, revenues, occupancy rate, etc.).
- Synchronization with an online calendar (shared and individual) such as Google Calendar
- Hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly planning
Why use planning software?
Planning software has almost only advantages. If you opt for an online tool you will certainly have a free trial period to test the solution in real conditions which limits the risks enormously.
- Optimization of overtime
- Optimization of working time
- Employee comfort (respect for their constraints and preferences)
- Ability to access your calendar in real-time from your cell phone
- Productivity improvement: optimized work time management
- Allows you to eliminate obsolete Excel schedules. Excel spreadsheets are very counterproductive compared to a tool dedicated to this problem.
- The anticipation of workloads and resource requirements
- Improved profitability of services
- Improved responsiveness of services
- Some tools are not intuitive, ergonomic, and collaborative enough.
- Too few software are in SaaS mode (online)
How to choose the right planning and organization tool?
It is very important to choose the right time, schedule, and resource management tool. Here are a few points of vigilance to take into account in order to make the right choice:
- Generalist or specialized: most tools are generalist but a specialized planning tool can be a paying choice. The specificities of your profession are effectively all integrated into it.
- The price: the price ranges from 0$ (free for Open Source solutions) for simple tools such as shared calendars and other Open Source solutions to several hundred dollars per month for solutions integrating human services
- Functionalities: sometimes a shared agenda is enough to coordinate teams. Sometimes you have to integrate a lot of rules and constraints to make a really efficient schedule.
- Customer service and support: it is essential to check with the publisher of the solution that you will be able to benefit from assistance, help with configuration, backup of your data, etc.
- The access mode: it is preferable to choose an online planning tool because you will always have the latest version, it will be better integrated with third-party software and will allow interesting collaborative uses (see above).
Planning software (Open Source and paid)
Few solutions are exclusively reserved for schedule management. Most of them are associated with project management or Human Resources management. Here are the main tools reserved exclusively for the management of team schedules:
- Planning Team Pro
Free planning tools are often limited in terms of usage, either by the number of users or the number of projects. However, free versions of software remain a good way to test them.
Here is a list of the most popular free planning software:
Complementary solutions of Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Business Process Management (BPM)
Field Service Management
Environment, Health and Safety (EHS)
PIM and PXM
Supply Chain Management
Business Performance Management (BPM)
Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC)
Barcode & Label Management
Professional Services Automation (PSA)
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Material Resource Planning (MRP)
Event Check In