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 in this feature.
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, 50 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 the budgeted amount. 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 enter information months or years into 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 select the tabs you prefer.
Now, let’s talk about these views and the information you can glean from each.
Staff view lists your staffers and the tasks they’re assigned to in a list. It looks something 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 Charlie.
- A capacity of 160. This number is located next to Charlie'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).
- 93 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 30 for the month of January, 33 for February, and 30 in March. This information is located on the bottom line next to TOTALS. Given this information, we’ll want to give Charlie more projects to increase his hours and keep him engaged.
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 specific roles you’ll need to fill.
To access role-based options, click on the gray arrow under the task name. Role-based options are at the end of the picklist under “Roles.” It’ll look something like this:
Save Your Work
Have BigTime save your changes automatically by turning on “auto-save” on your resource allocation editor window.
However, a manual save is helpful when you want your allocations to also update your task assignments and/or hourly budgets, which you indicate. Follow the steps below to manually save and sync your changes.
Click SAVE, near the bottom-right of your resource allocation editor window and BigTime will direct you to a new window with several options:
Choose to update task assignments and/or hourly budgets. Doing so will overwrite the original budgets and/or assignments you created in the task editor. Plus, you can also choose to allocate revenue by period by using the revenue recognition model. Click on the red triangle and a picklist will populate, and you can choose hourly or fixed fee allocations. Or choose NONE to skip it.
Click SAVE near the bottom-right corner of the window.
BigTime will direct you to a series of graphs where you’ll get additional information about your projects.
TIP: Use Hotkeys in Resource Allocation Editor
Save yourself some mouse clicks and use the keyboard to navigate easily through the Resource Allocation Editor.