Resource Allocation in BigTime

Resource Allocation Editor

  

Manage existing projects and plan for future ones with the resource allocation editor. This article will explain the data you can enter and the information you can glean from this editor. You’ll learn how to:

  • Assign staffers to tasks,
  • Allocate hours to staffers,
  • Use the staff and task views,
  • Choose role-based or staff based assignments, and
  • Save your work.

This article assumes that you’ve used the task editor to create a project budget, and that you know how to access resource allocation.

Assign Staffers and Allocate Hours

Information you’ve entered into the task editor—such as tasks, due dates, and budgeted hours—will be visible in your resource allocation editor. Once you’re in the allocation editor, you can add more information: assign staffers to a task and allocate hours to them, which we’ll discuss next.

Assign staffers to a task by clicking on the red triangle under the task name. A picklist with all of your staffers will populate, as in the example below.

Allocate hours to staffers by entering numerical values in the boxes next to the staffer’s name. Use hotkeys to easily move among cells.

The resource allocation editor gives you a lot of information. Here’s what to look for:

  • Budgeted task hours. The number of hours previously budgeted to the task are next to the task title. In this case, 40 hours were budgeted to “Design 3: Concepts.” Keep this number in mind when allocating hours to your staffers, so you don’t go over budget!
  • Allocated hours. BigTime calculates the number of hours allocated to a task, so you’ll know if you’re over or under budget. The total number of allocated hours is located on the far right side of the task.

    If the allocated hours exceeds the budgeted hours, the allocated number will turn red, as in the image above. This phrase would be green if the task was at or below the budgeted number of hours.
  • Visual indicator for due date. The red line in the image above is a visual indicator of the task deadline.
  • Due date. The date this task is due is displayed next to the task hour budget.

Tip: Plan months or years into the future

Use the arrow keys, near the top of the resource allocation window, to plan projects months or years in the future. Or use the arrows to go back in time to get past information about your staffers and tasks.


 

Staff vs Task View

View the resource allocation editor by a staff or task-level view. You can also go back-and-forth between the views. Just move the red dot to the view you prefer.

Now, let’s talk about these views and the information you can obtain from each.

Staff View

Staff view lists your staffers and the tasks they’re assigned to in a list. It looks like this:

Consider the following questions with this view:

  • Are hours distributed evenly among staffers?
  • Do you have the right staffers assigned to each task?
  • Do you have the staff capacity to take on more work?

Answer these questions by analyzing the data associated with each employee within the editor. In the image below, we can get a lot of information about Jason.

Jason has:

  • A capacity of 160. This number is located next to Jason’s name, and refers to the number of hours he can work each month. Full-time staffers usually work 160 hours each month (40 hours each week for four weeks each month).
  • 103 total allocated hours of work. This number is found in green on the top-right. Since this is below his capacity of 160, you may want to allocate more work to him.
  • Low monthly totals. Jason has a monthly total of 65 for the month of June, 33 for July, and 5 in August. This information is located on the bottom line next to "Totals." Given this information, we’ll want to give Jason more projects to increase his hours and keep him engaged.

Task View

Task view means all of the tasks associated with a project are listed, along with the staffers associated with each one. It looks like this:

You’ll see who’s allocated to which task, and who’s being over or under utilized. Plus, you’ll see the hour totals at the bottom of each task in green. BigTime totals the number of hours for all employees assigned to each task for every month.

Role-Based vs Staff Based Assignments

Assign staffers or roles, like project manager or creative director, to tasks. Role-based assignments are helpful when you’re projecting several months into the future: you aren’t sure who will work on a task, but you know the roles you’ll need to fill.

To access role-based options, click on the red triangle under the task name. Role-based options are at the end of the picklist under Roles. It’ll look like this:

Save Your Work

Click Next, near the bottom-right corner of your window to begin the saving process.

BigTime will direct you to a new window with two options:

You can choose to check one or both boxes. Check the boxes if you want to overwrite the original budgets and/or assignments you created in the task editor. Then, click Save near the bottom-right corner of the window, once you’ve made your selection.

BigTime will direct you to a series of graphs where you’ll get additional information about your projects. Click here to read more.

Tip: Use Hotkeys in Resource Allocation Editor

Save yourself some mouse clicks and use the keyboard to navigate easily through the resource allocation editor. Click here to learn more.


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