BigPicture allows us to assign multiple Workload and Holiday Plans to a single user. Thanks to this functionality, we are able to predefine a day in which a working scheme changes for an employee (part / full time), or the day when they join or leave the company. Thanks to this feature planning a workload becomes more handy and precise.
In order for you to easily manage Workload and Holiday Plans assigned to your Resources, BigPicture has now a dedicated section - a Resource Manager which allows you to take even more control over your resource - workload planning.
The Resource Manager can be accessed by selecting Administration - Resource Manager (on the left hand side) from the 'BigPicture' dropdown menu on the top.
Resource List View
First view in the Resource Manager section is a complete view of all your resources.
As we can see, it allows us to display all Resources in the company and their Workload / Holiday Plans / Absence plans.
Besides that, it allows us to add new Resources (from the list of JIRA users) in a very convenient way. When adding new Resources, we can assign users the Workload and Holiday Plans to them right away.
New Resources are being loaded to the list automatically by scrolling down the Resource View wi-1-dow.
Single Resource's Detailed View
From the Resource List View it is easy to access yet another view in the Resource Manager - Resource's Detailed View. What you need to do is to click on the name (Full Name) of the selected Resource.
Below we can see an example of a Detailed View for one of employees:
As we can see, the view is divided into four separate sections:
- Workload Plans
- Holiday Plans
Resource Workload Plan Section
What is Resource Wokload Plan?
If it is hard to imagine the above correlation, it is probably due to the fact that Albingo (employee from the previous screenshot) has only a single plan assigned to his Resource Workload Plan. We will add another one and it will all be clear.
Before we do that, let's take a look at the only item in Wayne's plan. It holds the following information:
- Wayne is assigned to "Half-Time Workload Plan", which means he works as a part-timer in our company.
- Thank to Start Date column, we know that Wayne works in this timely manner since the 1st of July 2017.
- Thanks to the infinity symbol in the End Date column, we know that Wayne does not plan to leave our company and is employed as a part-timer on a permanent employment contract.
Let's assume now that at the beginning of 2018 Wayne will move to the full-time contract. How can we add this information to our BigPicture?
The answer is: by adding to Wayne's Resource Workload Plan a new position (item).
Adding a New Item
In the row above the first item:
- Select Workload Plan, to which you want to assign a new employee.
- Determine the Start Date when they should be assigned / added to that plan.
- Press the "Assign Plan" button.
How did it work out in Wayne's case?
Let's add to his Workload Plan an item called: "Full-Time Workload Plan" and set the Start Date to the 1st of January 2018.
What changes can we distinct in in Wayne's Plan?
- Now his Plan consists of two items.
- Newly added item is displayed second on the list. It is located there because (as we've already mentioned) items on the list are sorted chronologically by their Start Date.
- Our new item has an 'infinity' for the end date.
- End Date of the previous item has switched from 'infinity' to the 25th of June 2019.
Few words about the last paragraph. As you've probably already noticed, when adding a new item in the Resource Workload Plan, we did not define its End Date. That's because every item in the plan has an open End Date by the default. It has fixed Start Date, yet the End Date is either open (is infinite) or it is automatically recalculated by BigPicture based on other items present in the Plan.
- If Item A's successor is the Item B, then End Date of Item A will automatically be Start Date of the Item B minus 1.
- In case Item A is the last item on the list, then its End Date will be the 'infinity', which means its End Date is undetermined.
In order to make it easier to distinguish BigPicture's automatic calculation from Dates predefined by a user, all these recalculations are written in grey font.
Thanks to the fact that BigPicture makes sure that all values in the End Date are properly populated, no items in a plan will ever overlap with each other. Thanks to this functionality you can rest assured that for each day, each Resource will be assigned to only one Workload Plan!
Adding New Item to the beginning or in between other plans
In the previous example we've added a new item to Wayne's Resource Workload Plan, yet it landed at the end of this Plan, since it was supposed to start later than the item which was already present.
What happens if we wish to add an item which we'd like to be in between other plans in our plan? Maybe due to an oversight in our HR department, we missed the information that Wayne was on his internship in our company for the first month of employment and he was a full-time employee then. Will BigPicture allow us to alter this information?
While performing such operation we must be aware of one condition. That every single item in the Plan must start on a different day. BigPicture will not allow to add an item if its Start Date would clash with a Start Date of a different item. Just as mentioned before: For each day, each Resource can be assigned to only one Workload Plan!
The only thing we need to add is an item linked to Wayne's "4day plan" that starts on the 25th of June 2017. This is what we will receive:
Beside adding, we can obviously modify any existing item. We can edit Workload Plan and Start Date in every item. While editing Start Date, End Dates of all contiguous items will be automatically recalculated by the BigPicture.Editing an Existing Item
Deleting an Existing Item
Of course we can also delete any item which we do not wish to use anymore and BigPicture will automatically recalculate End Date of an item which is predecessor to that deleted item.
Adding an Item with Defined End Date
The fact that all items have an open End Date makes it very easy to manage our Resource Workload Plan. Though, at times, it may create some inconveniences. How would we describe in BigPicture that one of our Resources works on a time-limited contract? Or that the person leaves our company on a fixed date?
I.e. how would we present it in our Workload Plan that Albingo leaves the company on the last day of July 2019?
We can achieve it by adding to the Albingo's plan an item marked as 'unavailability'. This item can be added like all other items that we've mentioned, with one exception. From the list of available Workload Plans we select a special item called: Unavailability, which to be honest is not much different from other items and acts as any other 'regular' item.
As you can see, thanks to 'Unavailability' item we've made a record in Albinogo's Resource Workload Plan which states that on 31st of June 2019 his contract is ceased and he no longer works for our company. As the times does not have an End Date, it means that we are not currently planning to re-employ Wayne.
It is worth mentioning that you may add as many 'Unavailability' items to your plan, as you wish and they can be added in between other items.
I.e. if Albingo decides to come back to our company at the end of year 2019, then we can add a new item to his Resource Workload Plan which will automatically set an End Date to the 'Unavailability' item and will allow him to continue with his activities.
That's all about Workload Plan functionalities. To summarise, we have to remember that:
All items in our Plan start with only Start Date as a defined value (which means they have an open End Date) and their End Dates are recalculated by the plugin based on Start Dates of their contiguous items in the Plan.
Resource Holiday Plan Section
How to include the planned and unplanned absences? It is very simple! Again, it work almost the same as the Workload and Holiday Plans with one exception - there is an additional "comment field".
There are four types of absences:
- Leave at request
- Maternity leave
- Sick leave
Concepts of Skills, Workload and Holiday Plans were implemented in BigPicture with version: 6.8.0 and later. What about data of clients who used earlier version of our plugin? How will these plans be migrated? Migration of Existing Data in the Resource Skills, Workload and Holiday Plans.