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Planning Project Demand in BigTime Foresight

Overview
How To Create a Demand in Foresight
Can I edit a demand once it has been created?
What’s the difference between ASSIGNMENT and DEMAND settings?
How do I find the right person who meets a demand's requirements?
I know who I want to assign to a task/project. Do I need to create a demand?
How can I check whether a given person's assignment covers the entire demand?
I want to assign several people to one demand. How do I do that?
What is Demand Capacity?
What will happen to a demand filled by someone who takes a vacation or leaves their job?
Can I connect demand to an existing assignment?

Overview

Before assigning specific people to tasks, it’s important to define everyone's precise roles and responsibilities. To define roles effectively, you should take each staffer’s competencies and experience into account to figure out which tasks they’re best suited for. This helps you avoid chaos, establish a clear project structure, and optimize resource usage. Information about required roles makes things run more smoothly when you transfer a project from sales teams to resource managers. Planning project demands, and roles ahead allow you to avoid misunderstandings, precisely assign specialists, and identify staff shortages. That’s why we provide you with a demand feature in BigTime Foresight. This feature allows you to add required roles to projects without assigning people. 

NOTE: Here, we use the terms "people" and "employees" to refer to what we call "staffers" in BigTime. To see a full list of Foresight-specific terminology and definitions, look at the Foresight Glossary.

How To Create a Demand in Foresight

To add a demand to a project, go to the PROJECTS section and click on your desired project. At the bottom, you will find the DEMAND section and the ADD DEMAND button. 

Clicking this button will open a pop-up window to choose a role(s) associated with your new demand. Once you have chosen a role(s), click the CREATE button to save your addition.

Can I edit a demand once it has been created? 

Yes! Go to the DEMAND section and click the PENCIL icon located on the right side of the table. You can follow these steps to edit either a brand-new demand or an old demand if its previous requirements have changed.

What’s the difference between ASSIGNMENT and DEMAND settings?

Similar to the settings for an assignment, you can enter data to predict project profitability in the settings screen for demands. In demand settings, you can enter dates, utilization details, and bill rate(s). 

Revenue Forecasting in Demand Form
General Section Utilization Bill Rate
What is the duration of your project? How many hours will a staffer work on your project? How much revenue do you predict your project will generate?

In the screenshot below, you will see the most essential difference between demands and assignments:

As you can see, demands do not allow you to select a type of bill rate. In the forecasting stage, assigning bill rates specific to certain staffers may limit our forecasting and planning capabilities and the demand of one employee. 

How do I find the right person who meets a demand's requirements?

To find the right person for a given demand, ensure you have completed its requirements correctly. You can create an assignment for a person in two ways: immediately after creating the demand or by clicking the ASSIGN EMPLOYEE button.

When looking for the right employee, you can use additional filters that allow you to make an even more accurate choice:

  • Availability
  • Certificate
  • Default Role
  • Education
  • "Has pending time off"
  • Person skill
  • Seniority
  • Staff Member

I know who I want to assign to a task/project. Do I need to create a demand?

If you know who you want to assign to the project, you don't need to create a demand. To skip this step, open the project and click the SEARCH FOR TEAM MEMBERS button under the TEAM tab.

If you are unsure whether a given person will work on a project, there is an alternative: soft booking. To “soft book” someone on a project in Foresight, you can add an assignment with a DRAFT or RESERVED status. If a given person cannot cover the draft or reserved assignment, you will see a notification about that person's OVERBOOKING.

How can I check whether a given person's assignment covers the entire demand?

There may be a situation where a project’s demand will not be filled to 100 percent. If this happens, Foresight will show you this information. You’ll see it in the  DEMAND CALENDAR tab on the project’s profile. It is presented in a graph with bars filling the demand coverage. In the graphic below, you'll see that the Bookkeeper demand has been filled (purple bar), while the rest of the role still requires people to be assigned.

I want to assign several people to one demand. How do I do that? 

Bulk scheduling is an option that allows you to assign multiple people to a demand all at once. After clicking the SEARCH FOR TEAM MEMBERS button, click the BULK SCHEDULING button to select several people for one assignment. 

What is Demand Capacity?

When creating a demand, you also complete time data. DEMAND CAPACITY is set by default to eight hours daily from Monday through Friday for the entire project duration. It is reduced by any Holidays occurring during that week, so long as those holidays aren’t already assigned to a cost center in BigTime.

What will happen to a demand filled by someone who takes a vacation or leaves their job?

Let’s say we’re planning work for our staffer, Inaaya Warren. The contract we’ve made with a client states that we must meet the demand of 500 total hours of project work.

When planning an Inaaya for a full 500 hours of work, it is important to remember that this is the maximum number of hours she can work. However, there is a risk that fulfilling this demand may be disrupted due to vacations or departures.

For example, if Inaaya Warren takes a 14-day vacation (resulting in her unavailability for that period and an 80-hour shortfall), we will need to take appropriate steps to continue meeting our commitments to the client. In such a situation, we’d need to quickly adjust the work schedule to make up for those 80 hours at a different time or with the assistance of other employees.

You can check changes in demand coverage in real time using the DEMAND CALENDAR section.

To fill a demand with another employee, search for that employee by following the same steps for creating a new demand.

It's important to emphasize that monitoring the current state of demand concerning employee availability is key for managing situations like the one described. This allows you to react to any changes or threats to contract fulfillment while maintaining consistency and quality of service.

Remember: because Foresight is intended for future resource planning and predictions, it will only pull select historical data logs from January 2023 onward to the present day. These data logs will include customer, staff, project, and client details. Any data before January 2023 will not be pulled into Foresight, regardless of inflight or active project status.

Can I connect demand to an existing assignment?

Yes, you can. The article below explains how to connect a demand to an existing or multiple assignments: FAQ: How To Connect Demand To An Existing Assignment.


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