It’s Thursday afternoon and your client calls, and wants to know if their website design project is on budget. A moment of panic sets in. It’s been awhile since you last monitored the project. You pull up your Resource Allocation Dashboard and see that it’s over budget by 100 hours, and you still have another month to go on the project.
It’s a common, but preventable, scenario. Sometimes the “management” part slides once a project is up and running. But that’s when the real work begins: from shifting allocated hours to adding or removing staffers from a project. You can do these things with BigTime’s resource allocation.
Resource allocation is the process of managing your resources, like staffers and budgets. Software, like BigTime, makes that process easier, but it’s up to you to take advantage of the benefits it offers. There are three simple ways to use resource allocation effectively. Read on to learn more.
It’s tough to figure out which staffers should go on what project. Among many things, you consider team dynamics and available talent. Inevitably, you’ll have to make tradeoffs: you can’t have your star software engineer on every project. Once you make these decisions, keep a pulse on your staffing assignments to make sure you’ve made the right decisions. You may need to move some staffers around.
Use the “view by staff member” feature to see if your staffers are within their capacity.
Based on the image above, Jason’s capacity is 40 hours (in gray font next to his name). However, some weeks he’s over capacity (indicated by the red totals) and others he’s under capacity (indicated by the green totals).
At the same time, keep an eye on the Key Members graph found on the Resource Allocation Dashboard. It’s a quick way to see which staffers are over their budgeted hours. Hover over a bar graph to get the exact numbers.
Planning for future projects is a benefit of BigTime’s resource allocation. But, as any project manager can attest, change happens: you plan for a project to start in December and once December hits the deadlines have changed and so have deliverables.
Easily tweak project plans with “shift allocations.” It’s a simple feature with a powerful effect: when project changes occur, as they inevitably do, shift allocations to another date without re-entering all of your data. Put another way, there’s no need to fear changes. We know they happen, which is why it’s easy to make them with BigTime.
Details matter in project management, and the best way to know project details is to check them regularly. We make this quick and easy to do.
One place to check often is your Resource Allocation Dashboard, which is updated in real time. If your staffers’ “actual” hours look particularly low for a project, you may want to see if they’re logging time to their timesheets each day.
Another way to get the details you need is by creating weekly or monthly resource allocation reports. We have several pre-built reports to make the process seamless. With these reports, you’ll identify which staffers are over and under capacity. Or you’ll notice gaps in your planning. For example, maybe you forgot to allocate hours to a project over a holiday week.
Resource allocation is a powerful tool that takes the guesswork out of business planning. Use the above suggestions to get the most of this tool and your BigTime experience.