Resource planning

Resource planning

 

Index

 

Introduction

The main purpose of the resource management area is to give full access users an integrated overview that combines:

  • all resources needed on projects and their underlying tasks
  • the capacity of those resources.

Since the two views can show conflicts between the demand asked for by project managers and the availability of resources, the resource management area also offers the project intelligence to address those problems:

  • Total demand needed for a project. You can drill down to each task and professional profile to see the detail you need.
  • Available capacity for each profile. You can drill down to individual resources.
  • Gaps between demand and allocated resources are marked in red for easy identification
  • Underallocations of a professional category or individual resource are marked in green, to identify resources with high availability

 

Resource planning for project managers

There are two ways project managers can assign team members to the project and its tasks:

 

  • In the team control section of the project area

Team Control: Task function

 

 

  • In the team section of a task, for each individual task.

Task Screen: Team assignments

 

Team control view

It can occur that a project manager assigns a task to a team member who is on holiday during the duration of the task.

To identify these cases, the sign   is shown next to the resource. This is shown for each individual task, since each task has its own duration.

Team control: Indications of holidays of team members

To see if the holidays of the team member cause any capacity problem for a task, the project manager can go to the estimated effort view of the team control. Any estimated effort marked in orange/red indicate an overallocation of the resource for that task. By hovering the mouse over the estimated effort, the project manager can check the exact available capacity in the period.

Team control: Indication of over assignments on tasks of team members

The team control is used to assign individual team members, but in certain cases instead of assigning individual resources, a project manager will want to plan the tasks by professional categories, for example by specifying the need for a senior analyst or technical architect. For this purpose, they use the effort subsection of a task.

In this screen, the upper section shows the assigned and unassigned effort for each professional category, while the lower section shows the estimated effort per assigned team member.

Task Screen: Efforts per professional category and team member

 

Resource planning for program and portfolio managers

While the above methods are enough for project managers, they lack an overview over all projects at the organization level. Whenever a team member is available to work full time on a task of one project manager, if another project manager is assigning the same team member on another task, a conflict may ensue.

Full access users, typically PMOs, program and portfolio managers, can leverage more powerful resource planning. To facilitate the resolution of these conflicts, the resource management area gives the full overview of demand and capacity over all projects:

  • The demand on a project or task represents the total effort planned by the project manager as in the team control section or task area, including both assigned and unassigned efforts
  • The capacity of a professional category and its underlying individual resources is the sum of their working hours in the period
  • The allocated hours are the sum of all estimated efforts already assigned by the project managers in the team control or task screen.

Note: The calculation of the capacity per professional category already takes into account the holidays of all individual resources.

The resource management screen is divided in three sections:

  • period selection/filter
  • demand section
  • resource allocation section

Note: The upper and lower level panel are designed to display the same period.

Note: By using the horizontal scroll bar, both panels will scroll horizontally. This allows you to always have an integrated view of the project demand and allocated resource capacity in the same period.

 

Selecting a period

The top of the screen includes the filters to set the range of the date you want to view on the resources screen. The demand and capacity can be viewed in four different intervals: day, week, month and quarter.

Note: The maximum number of intervals is 31 for days, weeks and months and 8 for quarters.

By selecting the start date  you set at which day the first interval should start. To apply these settings, click the Apply button.

The Underallocation % field  allows to set the threshold that will highlight in green the underallocation of resources in the below panel of the screen.

Example: If the total capacity of a resource in a period is 100 hours and 60 hours have been allocated, they will have a 40 percent underallocation. By setting the “Underallocation %” field to 35, the availability will be highlighted in green.

Finally, the field on the far right is used to set the number of rows you wish to display in each section.

Resource Management: Selection of period and filter

 

Demand Overview

Just below the header of the section in the first column, the percentage, total demand, total allocated and the total gap for the selected period are shown:

  • The percentage shows the amount of demand already allocated to resources
  • The total demand refers to the total number of hours needed in the period
  • The total allocated refers to the total number of hours allocated in the period
  • The total gap is the difference between total demand and total allocated in the period

The percentage above each period interval column  shows the amount of demand already allocated to resources in that interval. Within the column, demand, allocated hours and gap for each project, task and professional category are shown.

Resource Management: Column header with main indicators

When loading the resource management screen, most of the information is collapsed: the demand section shows all projects and services with demand in that period.

Note: The preceding icons C, K and S indicate a Classical Project, a Kanban Project or a Service.

Demand Overview: View with projects collapsed

Each project can be expanded by clicking the preceding arrow, which will drill the project down to the underlying tasks. By clicking the arrow that precedes the task, you will further drill down to see each professional category that is needed/assigned to the task.

Demand Overview: Expanded project 

 

Projects or tasks that have a gap, meaning that the number of allocated hours is less than the demand, are marked in red numbers with a light orange background when the gap is less than 10 hours, or in red numbers with a dark yellow background when the gap is more than 10 hours.

Demand Overview: Gaps

 

There are various methods to resolve gaps:

  • Go to the professional category (or categories) that cause the gap and assign more hours of already assigned resources. See the Resource Allocation paragraph of this article for more detail. In the demand section, you can click on the professional category with the gap to jump to that professional category in the resource allocation section.
  • Reduce demand. As the demand was determined by the project manager you may want to agree it with them.
  • Change the duration of the task. This can be done in the menu in the pop-up for the task.
  • Add additional resources of the same professional categories. You can do this by clicking on the tools wheel right to the task and then click on add resources. When you add a resource to as task, it will show in the resource allocation section with 0 hours, where you can assign the corresponding hours. If needed, the system will add the necessary professional category to the task.

Note: The team member needs to be assigned to the project if you want to assign him to a task.

Trick: Assign the team member to a project quickly by clicking on the tools wheel right to the project.

Assign resources through project settings

 

Trick: When a team member has been assigned to the project, you can assign him to the task with the corresponding tools wheel

Assign resources through task settings

 

Resource allocation

As with the demand section, the resource allocation view is collapsed by default. It shows all resources that have allocated hours in the period, grouped by their professional categories.

Resource allocation section: Project details

 

The resource allocation section only shows resources that have assigned hours in the selected period. If you add a resource to a task from the demand section, it will show in the resource allocation with 0 hours in each column.

Note: If you save the screen without assigning hours to a resource just added, it will disappear from the resource allocation section.

Trick: Add a placeholder hour estimation to keep the resource. We recommend adding just 1 hour.

The resource allocation section shows the following information:

  • Capacity: The total number of hours that either all assigned resources of a professional category or an individual team member are available, based on their working hours and calendar in the period
  • Allocated: The total number of hours that all assigned resources of a professional category or an individual team member have been assigned to a project or individual task
  • Availability: The difference between the capacity and allocated hours. If it is marked in yellow/red , it indicates an overallocation of the professional category or individual team member. A green highlight  indicates an underallocation with the threshold that is set in the filter.

When expanded, the above information can be seen at four different levels:

  • The total of all assigned resources of a professional category
  • The total of all hours of an individual team member on all the projects they are assigned to 
  • The total of all hours on an individual project for an individual team member
  • An individual task for an individual team member 

Note: The only field that can be edited is the allocation of an individual task of an individual team member.

Note: Capacity values cannot be edited, as they depend on the working hours and calendar of a resource.

Note: The availability cannot be edited either, as it’s a calculated value.

When you increase the number of allocated hours of a resource, two things can happen regarding the corresponding demand:

  • The total demand for the corresponding category for the task exceeds the total allocation. As a result, the overall gap on project demand will decrease. Example: The demand on the task is 4:00 h. The assigned effort is 1:00 h (so the gap is 3:00 h). If we increase the allocated hours from 1:00 to 3:00 the gap will decrease and will be 1:00 h.
  • The total demand for the corresponding category for the task is less than the total allocation: the demand will be increased to make the gap exactly zero. Example: The demand on the task is 4:00, and the assigned effort is 1:00 (so the gap is 3:00 h). If we increase the allocated hours from 1:00 to 5:00 the gap will decrease and will be 0:00 h.

Resource allocation section

Reporting hours

Reporting hours

There are various ways to report hours in ITM Platform:

  1. Through the timesheet
  2. Through the task list
  3. Through Slack

Alternatively, it is also possible to integrate a third-party system with ITM Platform’s time report through the API (Integration Interface). This is useful when an organization already uses another system, but wants to analyze effort and cost information from within ITM Platform.

Timesheet

It contains all tasks and activities assigned to a user during a given period, and allows reporting of hours per day, adding comments for each time entry and, if you are responsible for the task or activity, you can also add a progress report.

This module offers a series of visual information aids that allow the user to have better control over it and be more productive.

Period Control

In a predetermined way, the timesheet offers a weekly view, although a different range of between 1 and 30 days can be chosen.

Control bar

Contains actions that facilitate the visualization of tasks and periods.

Shows or hides, at the bottom, all comments made during the period
   Shows or hides non-working days. If shown, these are always marked in a distinctive color
   Displays one or more rows for task names. If you only display one line and the text exceeds this length, hovering the mouse pointer over will show the full name
   Shows or hides completed tasks
   Deploys or collapses projects or services, showing or hiding work items
   Shows or hides the accumulated calculations. The left-hand accumulated summary sums up the hours before the period, and the right-hand adds to the latter the current period
   Shows or hides the header, where a summary of the reported and working hours of the period is shown
   Maximizes or maintains a fixed size for the timesheet

Reporting hours and commenting

When you click on one of the available boxes to enter data, you can perform two different actions: enter hours and enter comments. A red corner indicates that hours have been entered, but not yet recorded, and a comment symbol will indicate a comment on that day for that work item.

A button will give you the option to write or edit an existing comment. These comments will not be visible by the rest of the team, only by the person who introduced it, and the project manager.

Actions per task

On the right hand side of the timesheet, a number of options are offered which affect the entire task.

   Allows you to mass enter hours that will be repeated for that work item throughout the period shown
   Add a comment in the work item, which will be shared in the panel with all the members of that task team
   If you are responsible for the work item, you can add progress report.

 Footer

At the bottom you will find a summary per day of the hours reported, compared with the working hours of each day.

A color coding shows a difference of +-20% over the daily working hours, gray indicates that they have not been reached, and red that they have been exceeded.

All reviews of the period

If you choose on the control bar to show all comments made in the period, they will be displayed at the bottom of the screen, grouped by date or by work item, as you have opted with the pivot button.

Project managers and portfolio managers will be able to access all comments from the “time” report type.

Report from the Task list

Reporting hours from the task list, allows you to not only enter hours, but also the start and end time.

It also allows you to report the same hours to a range of dates, in case you do the same routine all those days.

 

Hours report

Hours report

Each member of a team can complete the time dedicated to their assigned tasks in two ways: weekly or within a date range.

Click on My timesheet from MY DESKTOP 1 and assign the time dedicated in the box corresponding to each day of the week 2:

Or otherwise assign hours to regular daily tasks within a date range from the section My Tasks 3. Click on the Time entry icon 4, select the dates and include the hours dedicated to the task.

Why I can’t remove users from projects?

Why I can’t remove users from projects?

ITM Platform doesn’t allow you to remove project members, since they are already part of its structure. This happens when the user had reported hours and this costs are automatically connected to this project’s costs.

Assign efforts to tasks

Assign efforts to tasks

An effort is the quantity of hours estimated for a task. Each task may have a specific duration in days, but an effort estimate of several hours.

From the MANAGEMENT menu, select the project and then the task to which to assign the effort 1.

Assign the efforts (in other words the time dedicated to the task, specified in hours and minutes):

  • To a particular professional category 2 if, for example, you need 120 hours for an engineer profile but do not yet know the individual who will perform this task.
  • To a team member 3 directly.

 

ITM Platform analyzes those resources which have an excessive workload when hours are assigned and if this occurs it displays the edit box in orange and flags up an alert icon.

To discover the reason for the excess workload, click on the icon to access the resource occupation window and evaluate the workload of that team member and the others.