Project Manager vs. Resource Manager: Understanding the Differences

People often assume or misinterpret the roles of resource manager (RM) and project manager (PM), but their roles and responsibilities vary widely across an organization.

PM and RM play a key role in achieving this goal if the company is to deliver the project on time and within budget. Both functions are essential for the successful completion of the task.

PM works on specific projects while RM works at the business unit level. The project manager ensures that the project is completed within the specified time frame and budget, and the RM ensures that the appropriate resources are allocated to the projects.

The work of the RM begins after the organization receives the contract. RM ensures the investment of adequate resources, and when it is finished, it is moved on to another project.

The task of the project manager is to manage these resources and deliver the project in terms of scope and SLA (Service Level Agreement).

It is important to note that without adequate resources the project cannot start, so in every business sector the roles of RM and PM go hand in hand.

Role of the Project Manager (PM)

The Project Manager is responsible for end-to-end project delivery and handling one or more projects. The PM’s primary task is to achieve project milestones according to a specified SLA (service level agreement) and, importantly, within budget.

The PM’s role is project specific and focused on project implementation in terms of scope and schedule with the help of the project team. In short, project managers are project owners and their job is to ensure that the project is completed to a satisfactory level, in line with company goals and user expectations.

Responsibilities of the project manager

  • Planning, monitoring and development of project management plans and communication between stakeholders and management.
  • Budgeting and ensuring cost-effective implementation of projects without compromising standards.
  • SLA (service level agreement) monitoring to track project performance.
  • Project delivery within budget and scope.
  • Risk Management – Identify risks and create a risk mitigation plan.
  • Work on CSI (Continuous Service Improvement) for soft and hard dollar services.
  • Responsible for SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), mileage records and other documentation.
  • Responsible for CSAT (customer satisfaction assessment) – continuation, improvement and closure.
  • Responsible for project evaluation and quality process as Six Sigma.
  • People management – team motivation, evaluations, promotion, career structuring, etc.

Resource Manager (RM) role

The primary role of RM is to provide project managers with sufficient resources to implement the project. The PM operates at the project level and the RM operates at the business unit (BU) level to ensure that the BU has sufficient resources to meet its responsibilities.

RM is not tied to any specific project, but in fact their role is temporary for a specific project, and after filling the resources, they move on to another project.

Resource Manager Responsibilities

  • Understand the project budget and allocate the appropriate resource to the project
  • Availability Plan: The RM must ensure that the workplace is always occupied with adequate resources and should be aware of projects in the pipeline.
  • Scan and filter resources by experience, skills and availability
  • Coordination with the project manager to locate over- and under-utilization of workers and appropriately qualified people are tailored to the projects.
  • The RM may also work with project managers to reallocate resources, align requirements, and flag critical resource requirements for outsourcing.
  • From time to time, the RM liaises with project managers to learn more about upcoming projects and understand resource requirements.
  • In some cases, the RM may contact the appropriate department to discuss employee performance, training, resource development, etc.
  • Collaborate with the Business Development team to assess resource needs
  • RM must liaise with external suppliers to temporarily replenish resources in case of urgent needs.
  • Always up to date with the latest regulations on work, process documentation, record keeping, etc.

Difference Between Project Manager (PM) and Resource Manager (RM)

The roles of PM and RM are different from each other, but both must work together to successfully complete the project.


The project manager’s goal is to deliver projects without violating the SLA (Service Level Agreement), within the scope and budget. They apply best practices such as ITIL, Six Sigma, etc. and implement projects with team resources. They are designed to generate profits and achieve customer satisfaction.

RM manages resources effectively. Their goal is to provide adequate resources for the project and ensure a high level of employee satisfaction and the achievement of their career goals.

Delivery method

Once the company is awarded the contract, the project manager determines the scope of the project and presents the resource estimate to the resource manager. RM begins to include resources from internal channels such as the bench, resources freed from other projects, etc. In some scenarios, they may indicate to engage resources from external sources such as recruiting or contract base.


RM tracks resource utilization using tools such as PeopleSoft or other tools. They constantly check for over-utilization, under-utilization, billing, non-billing, etc., then adjust the plan and discuss it with the project manager.

If RM cannot deliver resources on time, there is a high probability of escalation, fines and even in some cases loss of projects.

The project manager analyzes the risks of the project and, if he foresees the risks, prepares a risk minimization plan. In addition, they regularly evaluate the success of the project. To achieve this, they use milestones. The Project Manager ensures that the project is completed on schedule and on budget without downtime, escalation or SLA violations.

Skill set required for PM and RM

As a project manager, he has a number of responsibilities and should have several basic skills, including:

  • Adaptability
  • Project management
  • Responsibility
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to think outside the box
  • Knowledge and when to delegate
  • Forecasting
  • Management
  • Troubleshooting
  • Strategic thinking

A Resource Manager needs the following specific skill sets to successfully fulfill their role.

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Technological awareness
  • Outstanding negotiation skills
  • Flexibility
  • You make decisions quickly
  • Involvement
  • Analysis and forecasting
  • Presentation skills

Tools used by the Project Manager (PM) and Resource Manager (RM)

The Project Manager has a multifaceted role in working with the team, schedules, management, costs, reporting and scope. It is difficult to perform all these actions manually with precise accuracy, so special tools and software are available to managers.

Project management tools are a great asset for project managers to effectively organize and manage projects and tasks. These tools can be adapted to different sizes and other uses according to project requirements.

Let’s see what tools the project manager uses to implement the project

# 1. Monday

Monday is a comprehensive cloud-based project management tool. Project managers can use this tool to plan, track and update project status.

It has more than 200 built-in templates to help you create workflows and manage team activities.

The visually appealing user interface is easy to use without training, and drag-and-drop functionality helps you customize items and sub-items and update your workflow in real-time.

Its unique data display allows the project manager to present the project workflow using a Gantt chart. The Kanban framework allows team members to monitor the current status of their work at any time.

The software comes in three editions – Basic, Standard and Pro, priced at $8, $10 and $16 / site / month. There is even a business version that supports custom features and highly complex environments.

# 2. Wrike

Wrike software ensures smooth implementation of projects. The tool helps project managers manage, monitor and prevent delays in the implementation of project activities.

The tool gives you complete project visibility to easily manage resources, tasks and help you stay on schedule.

Time tracking software, custom Kanban boards, enterprise-grade security and workflow automation give you complete control and visibility of your project.

Regardless of your industry or industry, this tool relentlessly gets the job done for the project manager. The tool can be used by various sectors such as IT, digital marketing, product and project management, consulting projects, professional services, business operations, etc.

More project management tools can be found here.

Tools used by the resource manager

Resource managers use tools and templates to get work done efficiently.

Depending on the size of the project or the profile of the team and company, resource managers can choose from a variety of resource management tools available in the market today.


Teamdeck is an efficient and complete cloud-based asset management software. The software has advantages in terms of resource scheduling, time tracking, availability checking and customized reporting.

A flexible resource management console gives you full details of the resources assigned to your projects and an overview of your current and future workload.

Whether they are permanent, temporary or even independent, all resources can be tracked and their time sheets can be maintained.

One of its best customizability is that it provides API software integration with other tools like Slack, Zapier, etc. Built-in templates that can be further customized can be used for reporting.

The software is free to try for seven days at $3.99 per team member per month.

Some of the more popular HR SaaS tools are explained below.

Application 👩‍🏫

Project managers and resource managers are two important benchmarks for successful task execution. The use of tools that facilitate and automate their work will significantly speed up daily duties, strengthen well-organized communication and, most importantly, enable budget and cost control.

The selection of specific tools is based on needs, design and company. Therefore, at the beginning, I suggest you to run a trial period of the tool, check its feasibility, and then make a final decision.

You may also be interested in Best Open Source Project Management Software

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