Top 7 Workforce Planning Tools and Software for Professional Services

An agency’s most valuable resource is its people. That’s why you need to invest in the right workforce planning software to make sure you’re getting the most out of your teams.

Workforce management software not only helps boost your company’s profitability and growth but also retains your talent by simplifying workload management and team collaboration. The benefits of the right workforce planning software can be truly significant, but how do you know which option is the best for you?

In this article, we’ll help you decide which workforce scheduling tool to invest in by providing a short introduction to workforce planning. Then, we’ll cover the top 7 workforce planning products available today, with listed features, benefits, and downsides, so you can compare them and make an informed decision for your agency.

What Is a Workforce Planning Tool?

Workforce planning software refers to solutions tailored to support the management of employees in a company. A term adjacent to workforce planning is resource planning. Although there are similarities between the two, the main difference is that resource planning considers the totality of an agency’s resources, including financials, equipment, premises, etc., whereas workforce planning is focused solely on human resource management. Workforce planning is usually carried out by a project manager or resource manager. Among others, it can include the following processes:

  • Determining your current workforce in its totality, including skills, seniority, hours, and labor costs, in order to forecast talent gaps and maintain a balanced agency utilization rate.
  • Managing workloads by monitoring utilization across various project teams and individual employees and reallocating work when necessary.
  • Monitoring project financials by tracking employee billable and nonbillable hours and analyzing overall profitability in order to drive future improvements.

Workforce planning software makes the above much simpler by providing automated processes that support the organization of large amounts of data, thus eliminating the very real potential for human error. Without further ado, let’s go into our list of the top workforce planning software available on the market today.

1. Productive – The All-in-one Workforce Planning Software for Agencies

Productive is a PSA automation software solution that helps agencies of all shapes and sizes handle performance management and meet their business goals by making informed decisions.

Productive combines a suite of solutions on one platform, including time tracking, budgeting and billing, project management, resource planning, project reporting, sales, and collaborative documentation.

Let’s cover what each of these features can do for your business.

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Key Features Include:

Time Tracking

Implementing time tracking into your employee’s workflows is the first step to optimizing your workforce planning process. Employees sometimes dislike the practice of tracking time because it adds another layer of administrative work to their workloads. Thankfully, with agency tools such as Productive, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Productive lets people handle their time tracking in the way they prefer, either by tracking time directly from tasks, which automatically logs in all relevant information, or by entering it manually at the end of the day or work week.


Additionally, agencies with highly structured workflows can benefit from scheduled time tracking, where a manager sets employee tasks and times in advance, which pulls all hours automatically for time tracking.

See also: Best Agency Time Tracking Software


According to research, 55% of project managers cite budget overruns as a reason for project failure (PM World Journal).

This is why Productive’s Budgeting helps managers maintain full control of their project budgets: forecast your spending and get warnings for budget overruns. Productive gives you the flexibility to build your budgets, whether fixed price, hourly, or mixed. For complex projects with multiple phases, you can define separate budgets under the same project to break down your expense management.

When it’s time for billing, Productive streamlines the task by pulling information on billable hours from the platform if you’re on an hourly model, or the remaining amount of your budget for fixed-price projects.


Resource Planning

Check your employee performance and get actionable insights into workflow scheduling with Productive’s Resource Planning. Manage your talent pool by team, skills, seniority, and more, and view your resource utilization across each category. Get real-time resource management by tracking all key metrics across your workforce, including billable and non-billable hours, cost per service, and time off requests, to get the full picture of your project planning.


Productive also allows managers to account for future staffing in their high-level workforce scheduling with placeholders. Another key function of resource planning is to balance workloads across people to minimize the chance of burnout. Efficient resource planning is one of the most essential processes for ensuring agency growth and project success, and Productive simplifies it.


With Productive, get real-time insights into your workforce planning analytics. Productive’s Reporting pulls data from the entire platform, so the more you use Productive, the more powerful your insights will be. Check your agency utilization rate and profitability, and use financial forecasting to drive improvements for your current and future projects.

Build reports with 50+ pre-made templates that can be customized, filtered, and downloaded; with custom fields, you can even add external data to further enrich your reports. Organize key charts on dashboards that you can share with your team to help them make data-driven decisions in their day-to-day work.

Project Management

One part of managing your workforce is working on increasing employee engagement. Although the metric has reached a record high in 2022, with 23% reporting that they feel engaged in their workplace (Gallup), this number is still extremely low. One way to improve how engaged your employees feel is to provide them with a centralized platform where they can view project progress and get a handle on their agency’s business strategies.


Productive’s project boards with multiple views provide a space for improved collaboration (for example in creative projects management), where managers and their teams can keep up with the project thanks to task updates, easy-to-manage dependencies, and automated notifications.

Additionally, with Productive’s Docs, you can ensure that all information is stored in one place. The benefits of an open project space extend to clients, as you can easily keep them in the loop by inviting them to your project dashboards, with full or limited access rights.

Additional features include: Sales, Integrations.

Integrations include: Xero, QuickBooks, HubSpot, Zapier, Slack, Jira, and more.


  • Plans start with the Essential plan at $9 per user per month, which includes essential features such as budgeting, project & task management, docs, time tracking, expense management, reporting, and time off management.
  • The Professional plan includes custom fields, recurring budgets, advanced reports, billable time approvals, and many more for $24 per user per month.
  • The Ultimate plan has everything that the Essential plan and Professional plan offer, along with the HubSpot integration, advanced forecasting, advanced custom fields, overhead calculations, and more for a custom price.
  • You can also check out the Enterprise Plan with custom pricing for companies that would include more than 50 active users per month.

Productive offers a 14-day free trial, so you can check out if it’s the right workforce management software for your business.

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2. ClickUp – A Good Software Solution for Project Planning 

ClickUp is a comprehensive platform that provides a range of essential project management features, including task management, time tracking, customizable dashboards, and key metrics for project progress. A user on Capterra states that ClickUp meets all “basic needs for tracking tasks”. Other reviewers also praise ClickUp for being flexible and customizable.

Key features:

  • Time tracking and customizable project views
  • Real-time collaboration with ClickUp Docs
  • Project reporting dashboards with visual widgets
  • Project goals and milestones to organize workforce plans


Although ClickUp is a good choice for a project management platform, with all of the basic features that help boost employee productivity and simplify employee management, agencies that are interested in more robust financial management might find that some features such as financial forecasting and profitability insights could be better developed.

Managers who are interested in digging deeper into their operational planning might want to invest in alternatives to ClickUp with more robust analysis capabilities.

3. Hubstaff – A Fine Workforce Planning Option for Performance Management

Hubstaff is an operational workforce planning tool that offers solutions for time tracking, boosting employee productivity with performance management, key data for confident decisions, and more effective workforce management.

Key features:

  • Native time tracking with automated time sheets
  • Real-time data management for detailed workforce planning
  • Milestone and progress tracking across teams or individuals
  • Simplified budgeting and invoicing


Overall, users are satisfied with Hubstaff’s software for maintaining employee schedules. Some reviewers mentioned that the platform is simple and straightforward to use, but could be more visually appealing to increase user-friendliness. Other users have also mentioned that they dislike Hubstaff’s level of surveillance with automatic screenshots and screen-sensitive time tracking and that they feel it decreases their productivity and engagement.

4. Workday – A Solid Workforce Planning Tool for Various Industries

Workday is a platform that offers a suite of solutions that help agencies achieve their business objectives, from expense management for finance teams, human resources management and workforce planning, to supply chain management. Users usually praise Workday’s workforce planning tool, Workday Adaptive Planning, for its budgeting and financial forecasting capabilities.

Key features:

  • Talent needs forecasting and workforce analysis
  • Streamlined resource planning to meet business demands
  • Automated reporting and analytics dashboards

source: WORKDAY

As for the downsides, users on G2 have mentioned that Workday doesn’t scale easily and that customization requires extensive knowledge. Additionally, some have reported that the learning resources for Workday aren’t developed enough in order to allow users to get the most out of the operational workforce planning platform. All in all, Workday is a good option for agencies that can invest enough time and resources into customizing and learning the ins and outs of the platform. Otherwise, picking all-in-one agency management software might be a better option.

5. Deel – A Business Planning Tool with Payroll Scheduling

Deel is a powerful workforce planning platform that provides hiring, workforce management, and payroll support. Users state that: “What I find most appealing about Deel is its exceptionally user-friendly interface and its commitment to streamlining complex processes” (Source: G2).

Key features:

  • Dedicated employee onboarding and platform training
  • International compliance standards support
  • Global payrolls with localized contracts and documents
  • Integrations with HR and productivity tools

source: DEEL

Deel is a highly specialized software solution for managing your workforce, with robust payroll features for global agencies that need administrative support for their remote teams. As such, it’s a good addition to a more generalized resource planning and project management tool. For agencies with less complex financials, investing in an all-in-one workforce planning tool might be a better option.

6. Paycom – A Specialized Platform for HR and Workforce Planning

Paycom is an HR payroll platform that supports businesses of all sizes, from a wide range of industries, with their employee performance management and payroll data. Payroll provides a single software solution that integrates all essential features, so you have access to all your business operations on one platform.

Key features:

  • Automated payrolls with employee self-service
  • Time and Attendance tracking software
  • Automated hiring and staff management
  • Document management system

source: PAYCOM

Paycom is a highly specialized scheduling software solution with robust payroll features and additional functionalities that are sure to meet the requirements of your management team. As the main downside of the platform, users mention that it could be more intuitive, as implementation and team training requires a “pretty heavy time investment” (Source: Capterra). As with Deel, users who are looking for a comprehensive solution that combines workforce management with project management might want to look for different types of software that contain payroll integrations.

7. Anaplan – A Robust Platform for Strategic and Workforce Planning

Anaplan is a connected planning platform that provides strategic, financial, and operation planning to businesses in the financial and business services, consumer goods, manufacturing, retail, technology, and media spheres.

Key features:

  • Real-time insights and financial forecasting
  • Multi-dimensional scenario planning
  • Streamlined collaboration with real-time notifications
  • One platform for consistent data sharing across stakeholders

source: ANAPLAN

While users generally agree that Anaplan provides extensive features, a frequently mentioned downside is the somewhat unintuitive interface that will require an expert in order to set up your workspace. Additionally, some reviewers have issues with the pricing model, stating that the cost scales significantly for agencies with extensive business needs.

Takeaway: The Best Workforce Planning Tools

There are many facets to workforce planning software, whether it’s forecasting talent gaps, handling your team across projects, or managing their payrolls.

Your best software solution will depend upon the needs of your business. Niche software can help you polish one particular area of your business operations, but investing in an all-in-one solution is always a good choice; you can profit from a wide range of features contained on one platform, with the potential for integrating more robust HR or administrative tools for specialized needs.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one agency management software that can serve as a single source of truth for optimizing your workforce planning process, book a demo with Productive.


What tools can be used for workforce planning?

Workforce planning is the term used to describe the process of managing your agency’s human resources. It includes a variety of strategies, from high-level operations such as scenario planning, tracking key metrics and employee data with resource allocation and staffing forecasting, to administrative concerns such as billing and employee payrolls. Therefore, there’s a variety of workforce planning tools available that target different areas of this complex process. Some software might be comprehensive, all-in-one platforms that combine project management with employee scheduling and utilization rates, such as Productive, while other software, such as Deel, specialize in compliance and payroll management. Your best choice will depend on your industry and your business requirements.

What is an example of workforce planning?

An example of workforce planning for a client-facing business might look like this: During the project planning phase, a manager will put together a resource plan, i.e. an in-depth view of the agency’s human resources across project milestones and tasks. Depending on the employees’ skills, seniority, scheduled hours, etc., the manager will determine the agency’s current workforce capabilities, and decide how to handle resource allocation for the project. This process helps map out a project strategy by anticipating staffing demand and overall project budgeting capabilities. It might also be applied during the project initiation phase, where managers can spot gaps in their talent and make a resource request to hire additional staff or contractors before moving on to the next phase of the project life cycle.

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Lucija Bakić

Content Specialist

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