Tips & Resources

Why Your Business Needs a Resource Calendar

Jessica Day
By Jessica True
27 October, 2023

A resource calendar has multiple benefits for a business. Join us as we delve into what it can do for your business and why you should be investing in one.

timify calendar in a graphic representation showing the web-app calendar version

It’s important for a business to stay up-to-date with resource management. If they don’t, it can be difficult to keep on top of what resources are available and when. This may cause setbacks or costly delays.

Resource management can be a saving grace for businesses that require more guidance in the project management process. Using a resource management tool can stop people getting overbooked with work and help manage the team more effectively.

Let’s find out more about what a resource calendar can do for your business and why you should be investing in one.

What is a resource calendar?

A resource calendar is a visual representation or schedule that displays the availability, allocation, and utilization of key resources within a business or organization. 

It provides an overall view of when and how resources, such as employees, meeting rooms, equipment, or any other critical assets, are allocated or reserved over a specific period of time.

It’ll usually include information such as the resource name, availability or working hours, booked or scheduled time slots for calls, and any associated details or constraints. It’s useful because it allows managers and team members to see at a glance which resources are available, when they are available, and when they are already committed to other tasks or projects.

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How can a resource calendar be used for projects?

resource calendar can be really beneficial for project management. It provides essential information to help in effective resource allocation. For example, a resource calendar helps project managers identify the availability of key resources, such as team members, equipment, or specialized skills. 

By viewing the calendar, colleagues can determine if the required resources are available during the desired project timeline. This allows for realistic project planning and makes it possible for the necessary resources to be accessible when needed.

What’s more, it also means people can assign resources to projects without overbooking or double-booking them. This ensures that resources are utilized efficiently and prevents conflicts or resource shortages that can impact project timelines and outcomes. 

Team members can view each other's availability on the calendar, facilitating communication and enabling them to plan their work accordingly. 

In turn, projects can be created and managed more effectively. Project milestones, tasks, and deadlines can be synchronized with the resource calendar to make sure that the necessary resources are allocated appropriately (and often automatically) throughout the project lifecycle.

If a resource is already allocated to multiple projects or tasks, managers can make informed decisions to prioritize or adjust project timelines to accommodate the constraints, ensuring that each project proceeds smoothly.

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What should a resource calendar include?

A resource calendar should include information such as resource availability, allocation, and scheduling within a business or organization. While the specific details can vary based on the nature of the resources and the needs of the business, here are some key elements that a resource calendar should include:

  • Resource names - Clearly identify the resources for which the calendar is being created. This could include employees, team members, meeting rooms, equipment, or any other critical assets relevant to the organization.
  • Availability - Specify the working hours or availability of each resource. It will help in determining when the resource can be allocated or scheduled for tasks or projects.
  • Time slots - Display the time slots or intervals for each day, such as hourly or daily increments, depending on the level of detail required. 
  • Booked or scheduled time - Indicate the periods or time slots when a resource is already allocated, booked, or committed to specific projects, tasks, or events. Perhaps the most useful element to avoid conflicts and ensure that resources are not double-booked.
  • Project or task details - Provide relevant project or task information associated with each allocated time slot. It could include the project name, task description, team members involved, and any additional notes or details that help in understanding the resource allocation.
  • Color coding or categorization - Consider using color coding or categorization to visually differentiate between different types of resources, projects, or tasks. This helps in quickly identifying and distinguishing between different allocations and resource types. It can also just break up the text-heavy appearance of a schedule and make it more aesthetically pleasing!
  • Duration and timelines - If necessary, display the duration or timelines associated with each allocation or task. This provides a better understanding of how long a resource is assigned to a particular project or task. You may even choose to explicitly schedule for breaks, admin or clean-ups between these tasks.
  • Accessibility and sharing - Ensure that the resource calendar is easily accessible and shareable with relevant stakeholders, including project managers, team members, and other personnel involved in resource allocation and scheduling.
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What are the benefits of a resource calendar?

A resource calendar offers numerous benefits for businesses and organizations. Let’s look at some key advantages of implementing a resource calendar.

Effective planning and scheduling

With a resource calendar, businesses can plan and schedule projects, calls (including international conference calls), tasks, and events more effectively. Managers can assess resource availability and identify potential bottlenecks or constraints in advance. This enables better project planning and keeps the business on-track to complete important client projects.

Resource coordination and collaboration

A resource calendar promotes better coordination and collaboration among teams and individuals. Employees can view each other's availability and plan their work accordingly. It facilitates communication, reduces conflicts, and fosters a culture of teamwork and cooperation which may improve employee satisfaction.

Prioritization and decision-making

It helps businesses prioritize projects and make informed decisions. By assessing resource availability and commitments, managers can align resource allocation with strategic objectives. This ensures that resources are allocated to the most important or time-sensitive projects, maximizing efficiency and outcomes.

Enhanced customer service and satisfaction

For businesses offering services or client-based projects, a resource calendar helps manage customer expectations. Realistic (or even real-time) timelines can be provided to clients based on resource availability, reducing the risk of missed deadlines. Meeting client expectations consistently can enhance satisfaction and strengthen those relationships.

Resource optimization and cost efficiency

Effective resource management through a resource calendar helps identify underutilized resources, enabling businesses to redistribute them and minimize idle time. By optimizing resource allocation, businesses can reduce unnecessary expenses associated with overstaffing.

Visibility and transparency

A resource calendar provides visibility into resource availability and allocation throughout the organization, even across multiple locations or brands. It promotes transparency by allowing stakeholders to view the status of resources and their commitments. This transparency aids in better decision-making, effective communication, and improved overall coordination.

Tracking and reporting

It serves as a tracking and reporting tool for resource management. It allows businesses to analyze resource usage, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. This information can be used for performance evaluation, resource optimization, and continuous improvement.

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Scalability and flexibility

It can be scaled and adapted to accommodate changes in resource availability or project demands. It provides flexibility to adjust resource allocations based on changing priorities or unforeseen circumstances.

Streamlined operations

By providing a centralized view of resource allocation, a resource calendar streamlines operations within an organization. It reduces the time and effort spent on manual coordination, minimizes errors and promotes efficiency in resource management processes.

How to create a resource calendar

There are a few ways to make your own resource calendar. Some prefer to use a spreadsheet, while others opt for using a software tool that does the hard work for you. 

1.   Using software

  • Choose a resource management tool - Select a software or online tool specifically designed for resource management and scheduling. There are various options available, such as Trello, Asana, or dedicated resource management software like TIMIFY.
  • Set up resources - Enter the names or identifiers for the resources you want to manage in the system.
  • Define availability - Specify the working hours or availability for each resource in the tool.
  • Allocate resources - Assign resources to projects, tasks, or events within the software. Use the tool's interface to indicate the time slots or duration for each allocation.
  • Customize and share - Customize the display and settings as per your requirements. Share the calendar with relevant team members or stakeholders to ensure collaboration and visibility.

For particularly complex, large-scale projects, resource planning and allocation can grow particularly convoluted. For example, software developers creating an enterprise application will have extensive hardware and software necessities, as well as niche considerations such as the microservices design patterns being used. Expertise needs to be meticulously aligned in order to make sure that the right resources are supporting the right areas.

In cases like these, using an advanced software to create your resource calendar is critical for accommodating the complexities of your project. 

2.   Create a spreadsheet

  • Create columns - Label the columns with the necessary information, such as resource names, availability, and time slots.
  • Set up time intervals - Determine the time intervals for the calendar and create rows for each interval. This can be hourly, daily, or any other relevant time frame.
  • Populate the calendar - Fill in the cells with resource availability and allocated time slots. Use different colors or formatting options to differentiate between resources or projects.
  • Add details and notes - Include additional columns or cells to capture relevant project or task details, constraints, or special instructions.
  • Share and collaborate - Save the spreadsheet and share it with the intended stakeholders using cloud storage or collaboration platforms. When many employees are working remotely from around the world, you may need to take steps to ensure that updates are shown in real-time to avoid scheduling clashes. Shop around for the best VoIP app to ensure that remote colleagues can collaborate effectively.
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Get started with a resource calendar

Resource management is a critical aspect of achieving success and maintaining a sustainable operation when it comes to business. A calendar offers numerous benefits which can improve the smooth running of the organization and keep staff and customers happy. 

By implementing a resource calendar, businesses can optimize their resource utilization, streamline operations, and achieve their strategic objectives more effectively. It’s a valuable tool that empowers businesses to maximize their potential and stay ahead in a competitive business environment.

Jessica Day

About the author

Jessica True

Jessica True is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy and Operations at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. Here is her LinkedIn.

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