Because it displays so much data, getting started with the Planning Board might feel daunting. But once you understand how it works, it can actually make your resource allocation efforts a lot less complicated. This article will walk you through each piece of the Planning Board so you can begin to use it for your firm.
A Tour of Your Planning Board
The Planning Board has a lot of moving parts, so let’s break it down into individual pieces. We’ll first take a look at the main Planning Board table. This is where all your future allocation data lives.
By default, this table will show you a list of all your staffers, their respective capacities, and their hourly allocations for a selected time frame. There are six columns under the HOURS header, each one correlating to either a weekly or monthly allocation amount. Whether these columns are displayed in weekly or monthly format depends on how you configure your Planning Board's time frames, which we'll discuss later in this article. At the very bottom of your Planning Board table, you'll see a row labeled TOTALS. This row will display the total allocations for all your displayed staffers per column.
If you’ve created future allocations for a specific staffer, their name will appear as a hyperlink in this table. You can click on their hyperlinked name to see a breakdown of their allocations for each project they’re assigned to. Each project name will also be hyperlinked, and clicking on one of these hyperlinks will take you to the ALLOCATION WIZARD window for that specific project, allowing you to make edits as needed.
You’ll notice the cells in your HOURS columns are color coded. These colors reflect whether your staffer is under, over, or exactly allocated for the time period in question. If a cell is red, that indicates your staffer is over allocated for that period. Yellow means that your staffer has been under allocated for that time frame. If a cell is white, that means your staffer’s allocation for that time frame exactly matches their capacity.
You can change the time periods shown on your Planning Board table by toggling between the MONTH and WEEK buttons to the left side of your window. You can also click into the DATE field to open a calendar where you can choose different date ranges for your Planning Board table.
Below your DATE field, there's an option to change your Planning Board table values from HOURS to PERCENTAGES (%). You can toggle back and forth between these two buttons to change the way data is displayed on your table. In the percentage view, you'll see what percentage of their capacity each staffer is allocated at. If a staffer's allocation matches their capacity, that percentage will be 100%.
To the right of your date range settings, you’ll see two donut charts labeled UNDER ALLOCATED and OVER ALLOCATED. Each of these charts displays the percentage of your staffers that are either under or over allocated in relation to their capacity. To learn more about these charts and how their percentages are calculated, take a look at this article.
To the left side of your window, you’ll see a sidebar with a variety of filtering options. Each of these filters are grouped into either the PROJECT FILTERS or STAFF FILTERS sections. If you want to learn more about each filter option in this sidebar, read this article.
Moving to the top right side of your window, you’ll see a button labeled EXPORT TO PDF, which will allow you to do just that. When you click this button, your planning board will be downloaded to your computer as a PDF file.
Finally, to the right of the EXPORT TO PDF button, you’ll see another button where you can adjust the groupings on your planning board. Clicking the GRAY ARROW on this button will open a picklist where you can make your grouping selections. There’s a separate article on Planning Board groupings and how they work, which you can read here.
Now that you’re familiar with the individual pieces on the Planning Board, you’re ready to start using it for your firm. If you still have questions, these articles can help answer them: