Increase Staff Productivity with BigTime’s Utilization Dashboard

  • Sep 04,2018

Are your staffers being used to their capacity? Are they logging billable hours? What’s their billable productivity rate? These are important questions that project managers had trouble answering—until now.

Know where your staffers stand with BigTime’s Utilization Dashboard.* It takes the guesswork out of staffer productivity and performance. This customizable Dashboard shows staffer utilization based on allocated hours, inputted hours, and billable hours for specific projects. Plus, you can see these details based on department and/or various cost centers.

This post explains how to find the Dashboard and highlights several features on it, so you can get the most from your staff.

Access and Customize Your Dashboard

Click Reports….Utilization Dashboard to access the Dashboard.

Customize your Dashboard by using the filters on the gray sidebar. You’ve got many filters to choose from, and you can use them in any combination. Let’s explore your options, starting at the top with “Date Range.”

Date Range

Enter the time period that you want to get utilization details for, such as the past quarter or year. The date range filter can select full months. In the image above, we selected two month time period, April and May. (Even though the date range says April 1 to May 1, BigTime is pulling data for all of April and all of May.)

Click on the textbox under “Date Range” to enter your desired date range. Two calendars will populate, and you’ll select a month and year. Then, click “Apply” to apply your changes.

Project and Staff Cost Centers

Add filters to project or staff cost centers. The cost center sections allow you to add filters for staff role, service offering, or N/A. Staffer department is another filter option for staff cost centers.

Cost centers are extra, customizable fields that firms use as they like. Some firms use them to refer to the department responsible for a cost. If an engineer purchases a new computer, the cost will be allocated to the engineering department. Make cost centers useful to your firm by changing the name of a cost center (My Company…My Company…Lexicon).

To add one or more field to each filter, click on the white triangle under the desired header and check the box(es) next to the field(s) you want to add.

Notice the three boxes at the bottom of the sidebar. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Show Non-Billable Projects means you want to see projects used to track non-billable hours, like vacation time.
  • Select Projects and Select Staffers allow you to select the specific projects and staffers, respectively, including inactive ones. Check the box next to one or both options and a picklist will populate, so you can make your selection(s).

Filter changes made in this gray sidebar will impact the data that populates to the Dashboard itself, which we’ll explore next.

Use Your Utilization Dashboard

The Dashboard gives you more detail than you can imagine! We’ll walk through a simple example to highlight some of the details you can glean.

Notice we’ve set the date range filter (on the gray sidebar) from April 1 to May 1, so our Dashboard will populate with details during that time period.

We’re viewing the Dashboard from the “Staff Role” view. (See the top-right button. We’ll explain how to change the view later in the article.) Staffers who’ve logged time during the selected date range are hyperlinked, as you can see in the image above.

When we click on Ben’s hyperlinked name, we can see all of the projects he’s logged hours to (they’re listed below his name), along with many more details that we’ll explain next.

Here are some key points to keep in mind, moving left to right across the tabs in the image above:

  • Capacity: Ben’s work capacity is 352 hours. So there were 352 hours available for him to work during our selected date range. This number is based on the capacity you set for the staffer on their Staffer Dashboard.
  • Allocated/Budgeted: We allocated 312 hours to Ben over six projects. BigTime automatically calculates his utilization rate (312 / 352), which is 89%. Notice that BigTime calculates the utilization for each project, too. Get a detailed view of allocated hours by clicking on a hyperlinked number under the “Hours” column. A new window will open to the resource allocation editor if you need to make changes.
  • Input Hours: The number of hours Ben has logged during the selected date range is reflected in the 209 number. See a breakdown of Ben’s inputted hours and his input utilization rate for each project under the “Hours” and “UTIL” columns, respectively.
  • Billable Hours: The number of billable hours Ben has logged is reflected in the number 209. See a breakdown of Ben’s billable hours and his billable utilization rate for each project under the “Hours” and “UTIL” columns, respectively.
  • The bottom of the Utilization Dashboard reveals the grand totals for each of the columns explained above.

    Change Dashboard Views

    Let’s move to the top of your Dashboard and explore some more customizable features.

    Modify how your Dashboard looks and organize the data with one of these filters:

    • None: You don’t want to organize your Dashboard in a specific way. Instead, your staffers will be listed in alphabetical order.
    • Department: The department, such as engineering, a staffer is assigned to.
    • Staff Role: The role (function) of your staffer, like a designer.
    • Service Offering: A broad categorization of your staffers, like engineering or sales.
    • N/A: Some firms use the N/A field for their different company locations, like Boston and New York.

    Note that the bottom three options are cost centers and can be changed based on your firm’s needs.

    Graphs on the Utilization Dashboard

    Visualize your data with the donut and bar graphs at the top of the Dashboard. You can customize your data here, too.

    Click the red triangle under the donut graph to change your view: allocated utilization, input utilization, or billable utilization. Easily toggle among the three options.

    Keep in mind that our date range is for this Dashboard is April 1 to May 1. We checked the box under “4/1/2018” to get details from the start of our date range. When we made this change, the donut graph also updated as did the numbers on the Dashboard itself. Hover over the bar graph for more detail on allocated, inputted, and billable hours.

    To reset your chart, click Reset Chart at the top of your window and everything will be restored.

    There’s nothing worse when staffer talent goes wasted or you over-allocate hours to certain staffers, unintentionally overworking them. These situations can be avoided with the Utilization Dashboard. It’s the latest way to get the most from your staffers and your BigTime experience.

    *The Utilization Dashboard is available to Premier users. Are you interested in an upgrade? Learn more about Premier or email us at: [email protected].