Resource allocation planning

Projects > Planning > Resources

Purpose of the tool
Ways of planning (by the project or by the resource)
Interface overview
Choosing the planning period
Comparing the plans and the facts
Planning unit
Planning scale
Data filters
Color indicators
Adding and removing projects and resources
Data input methods
Access rights
Time-off support

In order to allocate a resource, a user must user launch the  Scheduler which can be found in the Projects application.

Purpose of the tool

Increasing the utilization of resources
By increasing the density of the load, and excluding the gaps between the tasks, one can significantly increase the overall utilization of resources.

Avoiding planning conflicts
Resources may be involved in more than one project at the same time. While planning the allocation of resources between projects, one can eliminate various conflicts among them which require the very same resources during the same period in time.

Evaluating the demand on resources
Long-term planning allows for evaluation of the demand of employees, which can be useful during approval of time-off requests and when planning changes in personnel.

The planning shall not substitute the evaluation of project requirements (including its stages); it doesn’t allow creating a budget for a specific project, and such information shall not be considered as orders for resources. This is a tool for the resource manager, who doesn’t need to understand the details of the project but has to evaluate the situation from the point of view of required resources in general.

Ways of planning (by the project or by the resource)

There are two views: Resources and Projects.

  • Planning by resources is intended to reach the optimal level of resource allocation. In this mode, all planning lines are grouped by resources, while planned values have to be entered into the project lines.
  • Planning by the project is intended to reach the optimal level of project resources allocation per project. In this mode, all planning lines are grouped by projects, while planned values are entered into the resource lines.

Interface overview

The Scheduler is used in order to plan the allocation of resources.

The Scheduler contains the list of resources and the list of the project. The table part is used to input the planned resource allocation values:

(1) — The period of planning
(2) — Controlling the scheduler
(3) — Resources-projects or projects-resources hierarchy
(4) — Line commands
(4) — Allocation data

The resource lines (users) are equipped with an indicator showing the overall allocation level during the period.

Choosing the planning period

In order to switch between the period, the user has to click the following buttons: Previous period, Next period and Today.

  • ‘By day’ viewing mode shows the full month, while the user can switch between months
  • ‘By week’ viewing mode shows 15 weeks, while the user can switch between blocks of 4 weeks
  • ‘By month’ viewing mode shows one year, while the user can slide between months

Comparing the plans and the facts

The scheduler can be used to show various planned or actual data.

The actual data is used for contrastive analysis and can be only viewed.

Planning unit (percentage, hours or FTE)

The user is able to plan in hours, percent and FTE. The user is able to switch the planning method at any moment of time.

  • Hours — planning in absolute units of measurement
  • Percentage — the percentage share of a period is calculated from the available working time in the schedule of the user. For example, an employee has an 8-hour working day. If we allocate 50% for the day, 4 hours will be planned for allocation. Such a percentage approach is convenient when planning resource allocation, because it allows setting the required cumulative allocation level, e.g. 100% of working time.
  • FTE (Full-time equivalent) — in this mode one of the schedules is set as the basic one. Such a schedule is considered to be a «full-time» one. For example, let’s imagine that according to the basic schedule for a specific day, the length of the working day is 8 hours. 1 FTE for that day will be equal to 8 hours. Using FTE is convenient for project resource allocation, because such planning is usually performed on the scale of the man-work units, and FTE makes it possible to convert it into the universal unit (independent of the schedule of a specific user).
‘Percentage’ units are not available for the ‘By project’ planning type. The basic schedule that is used to adjust the planned time to FTE is the default schedule.

Planning scale

There are 3 scales in total:

  • By day
  • By week
  • By month

The user is able to switch between these scales at any moment of time. Allocation of larger values (e.g. from month to day) is made proportionally to the available working time in the schedule of the user.

Scheduler data filters

There are several filters available

  • By department (also supports adding all subordinated departments) — allows filtering resources by their inclusion in a specific department.
  • By using the «only active projects» indicator — allows including only projects in «Offered» and «Active» states.
  • By using the «only my projects» indicator — allows including only projects with the current user as the manager.

Color indicators

  • The blue color is used to show the percentage of the resource usage for the given period of time.
  • The red color indicates that the limit is exceeded, e.q., the allocation is more than 100%.
  • The hatching is used to indicate the lack of working hours in the period (i.e. shows non-workdays).

Adding and removing projects and resources

  • In Projects view, the user will see the entire team after expanding the project (there’s no information about departments, i.e. only users and roles).
  • In Resources view, the user will see all the projects allocated to the current resource.

Thus, the user is able to add or remove a project or a resource by changing the team of the project.

In order to make the process of team management more convenient, all actions can also be found in the Scheduler. Project view supports two commands:

The user and role adding dialog work similarly to the team member adding one — Project team.

Resources view supports the Add project command:

The user has to select a project and click the OK button:

In order to delete a resource from the project (or a project from the resource) the user can execute the Remove from the project team (or Remove project) action:

Data entry methods

In order to allocate a resource for a specific period, the user can use the planning interface by changing the value in the cell.

Furthermore, the user is able to allocate project resources for a selectable period. In order to allocate resources for the period the user has to use Set plan for the period. This command can be found in the resource or project line (it depends on the allocation type: ‘By project’ or ‘By resource’):

Choose parameters:

  • Period — the period for resource allocation.
  • Value — enter the number and the allocation method.
    • «hours each day» — the entered value will be added to each day in the period, but not exceeding the overall working time of the resource according to the schedule.
    • «%% each day» — the entered percentage value will be added to each day in the period.
    • «Hours for a period» — the indicated value will be allocated among all working days proportionally to the overall amount of the working time available.
    • «FTE over a period» — the indicated value will be allocated among all working days proportionally to the overall amount of the working time available.
    • «Daily FTE» — the entered value will be added to each day in the period, but not exceeding the overall working time of the resource according to the schedule.

Click ОК.

Access rights differentiation

All the information in the resource allocation planning interface is regulated by access rights.

  1. Resources are shown as the full list of resources without any limitations.
  2. Projects and planned data are shown in accordance with the ‘Resource allocation’ right of the Project management role.
  3. Factual information is shown in accordance with project access rights.

As a result, some information may be hidden, and some projects may be shown in ‘View only’ mode.

Time-off support

All time-offs (leaves, sick time, etc.) are shown in a separate line of the scheduler — «Time-off». It shows only total values without details.

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