Spreadsheets for resource management (plus free templates)

resource management spreadsheet

Spreadsheets are a great choice if you are just getting started with resource management or have simple planning and reporting needs.

In this article we look at three resource management spreadsheet templates every team needs along with links to download the templates for free.

In addition, we also look at some of the pros and cons of using templates for resource management and explore other options for resource management if spreadsheets are not up to the job.

Table of contents

Resource capacity plan template

Use a resource capacity plan to forecast if you have enough resources to get your projects done and identify if you have any resource or skill shortfalls.

The plan assists in forecasting future resource demands, allowing you to anticipate potential bottlenecks or shortages and take proactive measures.

Free resource capacity planning template.

Download free resource capacity planning template

Resource plan template

Use a resource plan to allocate and plan people onto projects and work. It helps you ensure each project gets the resources it needs to succeed while ensuring that resources and teams are not overutilized.

Free resource plan template.

Download free resource planning template

Resource utilization report template

Use a resource utilization report to monitor and calculate the utilization of your resources. Resource utilization is a metric that shows how much of your resource’s time is being used or is available. Resource utilization reports can be summarized at resource, team, skill, department and organization level.

Free resource utilization report template.

Download free resource utilization report template

Kelloo's resource management tools

Resource planning, forecasting and reporting in one place. We help you get the most from your projects and people.

Pros and cons of using spreadsheets for resource management

Spreadsheets are a great way to dip your toe into resource management. However, they only work for some organizations. If you meet all the criteria below, they may work for you. Otherwise resource management software may be a better and more cost effective option. Read our reviews of the best resource management software solutions.

You have a very small pool of resources

If you have a small pool of resources (we think around 10 is about the upper limit), you will probably be ok handling your resource management in a spreadsheet. As your resource pool size grows the data maintenance headache grows.

You are managing a small number of projects and you don't share resources across projects

The major drawback with using spreadsheets for resource management is that you will eat up a lot of time updating them. Therefore, as you increase your number of projects the time spent keeping on top of your resource plans will grow exponentially. This can also lead to errors creeping in. Also, most organizations also share and plan resources across multiple projects. This adds another layer of complexity and also increases the data maintenance burden.

You only have one resource manager

Spreadsheets are not great tools for collaborative working. If you have more than one resource manager you really have two options:

  • Each resource manager maintains their own spreadsheet and you combine the data for reporting (hint – major headache).
  • Use a single spreadsheet. When you have multiple people updating the same spreadsheet you will have to work around version control issues and tracking changes.

You have simple reporting needs

Reporting is key to effective resource management. And the truth is spreadsheets are not reporting tools. Sure they will let you build graphs and pivot tables but you have to craft these by hand. Sharing the analysis is also difficult unless you email screenshots or spreadsheets.

You are a macro ace

Macros are used in tools like Excel or Google Sheets to automate repetitive tasks and data entry. And when using spreadsheets for resource management there will be a lot of repetitive tasks and data management. So you really need to understand how to build macros or you will spend a lot of time editing, manipulating and cross checking your data.

Visual representations are not important to you

When managing your resources you should be able to see at a glance which of your resources are available, their calculate their utilization and which are overbooked. Spreadsheets just don’t offer you that option. By their very nature, they are number based. Which makes it hard to make sense of how resources are allocated and where there are problems.

Alternatives to using resource management spreadsheets

If you think spreadsheets are not a great fit for resource management, there are other options and alternatives. Perhaps a dedicated resource management solution may be a better option? 

Solutions like Kelloo provide an easy to use, efficient and cost effective way to manage your resources. 

Here are some of the key differences between a tool like Kelloo and a resource management spreadsheet.

  • Visual representation of your resource allocations and availability.
  • Simply drag bars to plan resources.
  • Ready made reports and analysis.
  • Built in features for capacity planning, forecasting and what if analysis.
  • Report builder so you can create your own analysis.
  • Collaborate and share plans.
  • Supports both agile resource planning and waterfall planning.

As you plan in Kelloo you can see the impact on your resources and projects instantly. The heatmap provides a great way to spot resource constraints, conflicts or resources with too much or too little work.


All resource management in Kelloo is done through a shared workspace meaning collaborative planning is easy and reports and analysis can be shared with your team.

resource capacity graph

The Kelloo report builder is a great tool to help you unlock insights into your resources and help you more accurately plan future work and forecast resource needs.

Resource management report

So in conclusion, resource management templates, spreadsheets and resource allocation template spreadsheets may work for some folks if they have a simple resource management landscape. But for most organizations the trade off in wasted time, inaccurate data and poor analytic abilities make spreadsheets a poor choice.

If you are ready to look at resource management software try a free trial of our resource management software.

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