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People Allocations Management

This feature provides the possibility to plan people allocations on projects, taking into account their current and planned allocations, and see if any conflicts may happen. It allows the user to specify what people - teams and individuals - are required for a project, how long they will be needed, and what % of their total working hours they can be available, and therefore visualize and manage possible over- or under-allocations.

Here we talk only about a possibility to plan people allocations on projects, not taking into account how much work people may currently have or will have to complete in every project.

Project Planning

With a new project, which we need to plan activities for, we assume how many and what people - teams and individuals - we need for this project, so that we can plan people allocations, specifying  how long we will need each person and team and what % of their total work time they should be available on our project.
On a timeline view where project is selected as lanes and user allocations and team allocations are selected as cards, we create the required allocations using a quick add option.

To create a team or user allocation:

  1. Click '+' button
  2. Select a team or user allocation in the menu
  3. Specify the period of time this team or a user is needed on the project
  4. Specify the required % of availability
  5. Click 'Add' button

When an allocation is created for a person who is not assigned to a project, then a person will be assigned to a project with their default role automatically.

When creating a team or user allocation, the available slots for time for this team or a person are shown in the Possible Date Ranges drop-down list. Simply select the required period and it will be reflected in the start/end allocation dates fields.

When there no explicit dates are specified (as 10/10/2015 - 10/10/2016 for example), those allocations dates will be linked to project dates. That means that, if project dates are updated, then allocation dates will be updated appropriately.

There can't be more than one simultaneous allocation for a user or a team created on the same project.

For example, on the image below you can see that two teams - Alaska and Utah - are required for 100% for the whole project duration, we need a project manager for only 50%, and we need a designer for 80% in the beginning of the project and only for 25% after that for the Chocolate Factory project.

Thus, once we have started planning people allocations on a project we can easily see if the newly created allocation is in conflict with existing allocations this person or team may have. In our example we can clearly see that Alaska and Utah teams will be overloaded during a period of time if we start projects as planned. To see the details of the overload, hover mouse over the overloaded area.

Here we have a choice to either look for other people/teams to work on our project or shift the project's time periods to avoid conflicts.

Allocations can be updated straight from this view via context menu. Right click to open a context menu and click Edit to update an allocation. Here you can modify allocation dates and % of allocation.

To see all the allocations of a team or a person, simply double click a card and a list of allocations will be shown on the Allocations tab of a team or a user view.

Right click an allocation in the list to update it via a context menu.

Allocations and Project Dates relations

Allocations start and end dates have to correlate to project dates. Allocations start and end dates must be:

  1. between project planned start date and project planned end date, when a project is not started yet.
  2. between project start date and project anticipated end date, when a project is started.

As soon a project is completed, all the allocations which are in progress or planned for the future on this project (there are parts which are after the project end date) are not taken into account anymore when people load needs to be calculated.

Allocations are updated automatically on the projects which are not started yet in the following cases:

  1. project planned start or/and end dates are updated
  2. project start date appears (project has been started)

As soon as a project has been started, allocations start and end dates are never updated automatically any more.

Let's take a closer look at how allocations are updated in the cases described above:

Project planned start or/and end dates are updated

When a new allocation is created on a project, its dates can be either explicitly specified (as 10/10/2015 - 10/10/2016) or can be linked to project dates.

If allocation dates are specified explicitly and project dates are updated, then all the people allocations inside will be scaled according to a project duration update. For example, let's imagine that a project initially was planned for 3 months and Utah team was planned for 1 month for this project.

Later if a project duration is updated to 6 month (doubled), then a Utah team allocation duration will be changed to 2 months (doubled) accordingly.

This allows to keep the planned people allocations dates and duration corresponding to project dates, when project planned dates are updated.

Project start date appears (project has been started)

When a project is started and a project start date is different from a project planned start date, then all the people allocations on this project have to be updated accordingly to fit the real project start date. In this situation all the allocations on a project will be shifted to a 'project start date - project planned start date' delta.

A new Anticipated End Date will be calculated for a project. An anticipated end date shows when a project is planned to be completed considering the real project start date. It's calculated as 'project start date + project planned duration (i.e. project planned end date - project planned start date)'.

As soon as a project is started, a project start date and anticipated end date will be shown on a timeline, where projects are selected as lanes. All the allocations, which have been linked to a project planned end date, start being linked to a project anticipated end date.

Hovering mouse over the Anticipated End date you can see the exact date and how it is calculated:

As soon as 10% of work has been completed on a project and a project Forecasted End Date can be calculated according to the following formula:

Forecasted End Date = Start Date + (Today - Start Date)*100 / Progress

It will also be shown on a timeline. All the allocations, which have been linked to a project anticipated end date, start being linked to the latest of a project forecasted end date and a project anticipated end date, so that we can see if people can become overloaded due to a project delay.

The information about people overloads can also be visible on a timeline view, where projects are selected as cards. Whenever you plan a project in time or if a project is delayed and it leads to people being overloaded, you’ll see the conflicting areas highlighted.

People Availability

Very often we need to answer the question "Whom can I invite to work on my next project?" or "Who may become available at a given moment of time?". We could answer this question by creating a visualization where our people - teams or individuals - are selected as lanes and people allocations are selected as cards in those lanes. The smallest zoom level allows to visually see for which % people are busy and available for any period of time.

Here we can easily see if someone is accidentally overloaded or might be overloaded soon, as well as get an understanding who will become available soon for working on a new project. On the example above we can see that Alaska Team has conflicting allocations in the beginning of 2017 and is loaded for 130% in total. Utah Team is 100% available starting from May 2017 though, so we can allocate them to a new project.

Vacations

Tracking vacation and day-off time is not implemented in People Allocations so far. As a workaround you're welcome to split personal allocations into parts and create gaps with zero allocation percentage for vacation periods.

Configure views for People Allocations

It is possible to install a bunch of helpful views from Solution Gallery.

Click + Create > Browse Solutions Gallery in the left menu.

browse-solutions-gallery

Then in Portfolio Management folder, open People Allocation Management solution. Views can be installed from the solution.

people-allocations-management-solution

  • Bethan Evans

    Hi, Why can’t we have user allocations of one day or less? We have many projects where people are only needed for a day, but when I try to add allocation for a day I get the following error “Allocation can’t be less than one day.”

  • Alex

    @bethanevans:disqus this limitation was designed in the first release of this feature. I agree that it may happen that single-day allocation is needed. I think we haven’t thought about such use case. We now gather feedback and learn something new from our users – whether this feature fits their needs or should be changed. Most likely when the team returns to this feature in order to improve it, we’ll consider missing capabilities and remove redundant limitations. In order not to forget to do it I’ve added this missing thing to our public backlog: https://tp3.uservoice.com/foru… and also informed our team about this use case.

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