Scheduling is the ability to make sure that tasks are done in the right order, at the right time, and by the relevant people. The purpose of our scheduling tool is to help you maximise utilization, meaning that resources are efficiently managed, so that deadlines, budget and scope are met.
On a high level, the project scheduling view - which you can find under the PROJECTS tab in scheduling - shows you all your projects, both in planning and running. You can expand each project to see its milestones, the people working on it and how many hours they've been allocated to it. The bars showing the project and milestones, allows you to see if there are enough resources allocated to fill the estimated work.
On a more granular level, the people scheduling - found under the PEOPLE tab - displays all of your team members and what they're working on.
First we'll describe the difference between allocations and assignments, in order to understand how people are matched with work in Forecast.
Allocations are bookings on a project level
Allocations allow you to macro plan your organisation’s work. You can allocate a resource into a project for a period of time, and specify what fraction of their daily available time to invest in that project. The allocation view of your people scheduling can be found on the toolbar at the top right corner of the timeline.
Allocating resources to a project:
- Shows on which projects you intend a resource to spend time.
- Lets you plan in two ways: your resource work on a few projects at a time (e.g. on a part time basis - maybe only available for a project on mondays or alternatively 20% of their time overall), or your resource allocate all of their time and energy to one project.
- Allocations are what sets the capacity in sprints (for agile planning).
- Very usable for macro-planning, e.g. make sure you have enough resources to deliver your pipeline in a +2 months horizon.
- In overall terms you can use it to ensure that there are enough resources allocated to a project.
Assignments are placing people into cards.
When a project has been scoped and you have cards (i.e. tasks, stories, tickets) and have assigned a particular resource to a particular card, then you have assigned work to the person.
Assigning resources to cards:
- Is what will maximise your utilization.
- Cards are actual work. Where they are placed on the timeline cascades throughout the system.
- Cards close to a deadline appear in the user’s “upcoming work”-page, and also in their Google Calendar/iCal/Outlook on the given day.
- Will help you plan ad-hoc tasks like support tickets, etc.
- Is where you fine-tune plans and make sure that your ressources have enough real work on their plate within a foreseeable future (e.g. two weeks).
- Where you can spot possible organisational bottlenecks.
Not all organisations will need to work with both at the same time, it highly depends on the dynamics of your company.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some examples on how to properly schedule your team.