Schedule-Based Allocation

Modified on Mon, 20 Nov 2023 at 05:53 PM

As explained in the Resource Forecasting article, an alternative approach to role-based allocation is schedule-based allocation. This approach consists in using the project schedule to forecast and track resource's allocations. Resources are allocated directly to schedule tasks, with the allocation detailed down to the number of hours expected to complete each task. This allows for a clear and detailed view of which resources are engaged in specific tasks and when their involvement is needed. 

Schedule-Based Allocation offers a distinctive solution for projects where aligning resources with specific tasks is essential. It enables project managers to precisely match resource allocation accurately with the task-driven demands of the project. This method significantly enhances the visibility of resource utilisation throughout the project schedule, leading to a more targeted planning and effective tracking.

How To Allocate Resources Using the Project Schedule

Using Schedule-Based Scheduling is simple. If the feature is turned on on your instance, you can set the allocated hours for each task by using the schedule task dialog, the quick edit entry or the schedule bulk edit functionality. 

Setting resource allocation using the schedule dialog

Use the Flex Work area within the schedule dialog to set resource allocation. Input the anticipated work hours for the resource in the Allocated Hours field. Use the Line of Business field to specify the business area associated with the work. 

Setting resource allocation using Hours column quick edit entry

If you have multiple tasks to update, you may prefer to record the resource allocation using the quick entry functionality. The Hours value can be directly edited from the Gantt page. 

If the Hours column is not visible, access the Gantt column settings dialog to enable this column.

Setting resource allocation using Schedule Bulk Edit

Alternatively, you can use the Schedule Bulk Edit functionality to set or update the allocation hours and the associated line of business. You can learn more about Schedule Bulk Edit here.

Managing a Schedule Plan with Resource Allocation

When managing schedule with resource allocation, it's important to be aware of several key factors: 

  • The resource allocation applies exclusively to the resource assigned to the task.
  • In the case of tasks that have multiple assignees, the resource allocation is distributed evenly among them.
  • The schedule dialog does not provide an indication if a resource is over-allocated. To check for overallocation, use tools like the project community plan or the resource dashboard.
  • If using Flex Work (allocated hours) for recording user allocation, editing the percentage completion of the task is not possible; it will be automatically calculated based on the hours booked for that task.
  • The task status for tasks with resource allocation will change from 'Not Started' to 'In Progress' as soon as the resource begins booking time. However, marking the task as 'Completed' is the responsibility of the project manager.

Forecasting Project Total Resource Allocation and Cost from Schedule

Once the hours have been allocated to schedule tasks, the application will use the number of hours per day and the number of days per month set in the resource's rate card to calculate the corresponding monthly headcount allocation as well as the financial forecast.

If later on you re-adjust the schedule - whether you are changing the start or end dates of a task or the allocated hours - the application will automatically recalculate the new monthly headcount allocation and financial forecast.

In the below example, Chris Bown's task was updated to start in January instead of December and the headcount allocation and financial forecast are now posted to January as a result.

Recording Time Spent on Schedule tasks

Resources assigned to scheduled tasks can record the time they spent on each individual task using timesheets. These tasks will be listed in the timesheets for the weeks that align with the task's timeframe. The financial actuals related to the time spent on each task are determined using the resource's rate card.

Project managers have then multiple ways to track the allocated time vs. actuals time. The project workspace will display the total allocated and booked hours per assignee. 

The schedule dialog or the financial exports can be used to see the breakdown of booked hours per task.

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