Resource management is key to project success. Forecast understands the importance of successful resource management and offers two distinct, company-level settings for managing projects. Depending on your working style, you can select how you allocate resources when configuring your account. The options are 'Allocate people to projects' and 'Assign people to tasks', each of which offer the option to customize Forecast to align with your existing working and project management styles enabling successful management of your resources and your projects.
In this article, we will cover
- Identifying your project management style and strategy
- Determining which resource management setting fits your working style
- Configuring your resource management setting
- Managing your resource management setting
Identifying your project management style and strategy
In order to successfully manage your resources, team members and projects, you must first identify your working style. Project Management typically offers two distinct styles of managing projects and resources depending on a variety of factors such as the industry/ies you work with, the type of team and resources you manage, your end client's needs and the deliverables defined in your projects and your pipeline.
While you may already know your project management style, there are a few questions to consider to ensure you select and implement the right resource management setting in Forecast. How you answer these questions will help determine which resource management setting to select.
- How do you define the scope of your projects? Do you create all project tasks in advance or do you allocate resources based on the anticipation of how long you expect it will take to complete the project?
- Do you work in sprints or follow scrum methodology?
- Are you project deliverables known or unknown?
- How do you manage time tracking for projects? Do you need team members to track time on specific tasks for reporting or invoicing?
- What current processes do you have in place for managing your team and your projects?
Determining which resource management setting fits your working style
The way in which you manage your projects directly correlates with how you manage your resources. Forecast offers two resource management settings, 'Allocate people to projects' and 'Assign people to tasks'. Your answers to the questions above will help you determine which setting best fits your needs, your existing process and your project management working style.
Allocate people to projects
The setting, 'Allocate people to projects' offers the most flexibility for managing your team of resources and can often be considered best for those who may not fully know the scope of a project in advance or who do not require team members to log time to specific tasks. This setting is often used by larger organizations with dedicated resource teams who work in sprints, or at times, may be considered 'agile'. Working in sprints is not a requirement for implementing this setting and even though resource time is allocated at the project level, you can still create and manage tasks within the project or for use in time tracking. Creating tasks will not, however, impact the utilization of your resources. Under this setting utilization is based entirely on time allocated at the project level.
Project allocation also enables you to select the type of allocation you need to book, depending on the needs of the project, which provides insight into upcoming project and resource demands. Use soft allocations to tentatively book resource time on projects that have not yet been won or hard allocations to indicate actual, assigned project time. Additionally, 'Allocate people to projects' gives you access to the features of Capacity Planning which provides the ability to incorporate Placeholders to help you see and manage the roles and resources needed across your project pipeline. To learn more about the setting Allocate people to projects, check out Allocating people to projects.
Assign people to tasks
The setting 'Assign people to tasks' is most valuable for organizations with a smaller pool of resources who require stricter time tracking requirements. This in no way means larger organizations cannot use this setting as the benefit of this setting derives from your overall working style and strategies.
In order to see accurate resource utilization, tasks must be created and assigned to specific roles or team members and, as such, there are two additional options that fall under this setting. These options control how the utilization heatmap displays and each provide insights into your tasks and projects.
When selecting 'Assign people to tasks' you must also select if you want to see resource utilization based the entire estimated time for a task or based on time registrations logged on tasks. The first will show the original task estimate for the duration of the project, while the latter will show the time remaining on a task, or the difference between the original estimate less any time registered against the task. Both are equally valuable depending on how you want to view your projects. To learn more about Assign people to tasks, check out Assigning people to tasks.
Configuring your resource management setting
The general resource management settings are configurable by administrators only.
To configure your Resource Management settings
- Click on Admin in the top navigation bar.
- Select Company Details from the dropdown.
- Under Resource management, select 'Allocate people to projects' or 'Assign people to tasks'.
Managing your resource management setting
Typically, you select your resource management setting when configuring your account. The setting is accessible only to Admin permission profile users and while it is not advisable to periodically switch between the options in the setting, you do have ability to change the setting if need arises.
For details on the impact of changing your resource management setting, please reach out to your Customer Success Consultant or Forecast Support.