With the release of BigPicture 6.13.0 and BigGantt 3.11.0 we have introduced a completely new addition to the Gantt module in both add-ons. It is a Resource View in Gantt. This functionality is not as complicated as it might seem at the first sight and should not be a mystery especially to BigPicture users, as the Resources module is one of core features of the plugin.
The Resource View Panel
Resources view is there to display data of an individual Resource in a Program. For each Task's assignee there are two values which are crucial: one is the Resource's Capacity, the other is its Allocation. Thanks to the Resource View, you can easily see whether a single Resource is over/underallocated. As we've already mentioned the view is present there for an individual resource, though in the future we will implement a team based view.
Under the list of our resources assigned to tasks, we've added the Unassigned row, in order to have an insight into workflow which hasn't been allocated yet.
Numbers which are displayed for each resource is the aggregated allocation of all tasks assigned to that resource (depending on the scale which we've decided to go with on our Gantt chart).
For now, as our tasks' effort we only take the Original Estimate into consideration. This feature does not support any other effort modes yet, so we have to wait a little longer before the view takes the Remaining Estimate or Story Points into account. Though, it's a merely temporary solution and with each update the Resource View will intercept more and more capabilities that are currently present in BigPicture's Resources module.
The Allocation, the Capacity, the Display and Filters
In the Resource View on Gantt, numbers and colours change as per the same scheme used in the BigPicture's Resource module:
- Allocation > Capacity is displayed in Red colour (Overallocation)
- Capacity >= Allocation >= 75% * Capacity is displayed in Orange colour (Moderate Allocation)
- Allocation < 75% * Capacity is manifested in Green colour (Under-allocation)
This makes the Resource View in Gantt a most basic display form of Resource View in the Resource module in BigPicture. It views Individual-centric view with picked Original Estimate.
Resources View on Gantt displays allocation of all Tasks* which are in a Program's Scope and which fall under conditions set by Quick Filters which are currently enabled.
This means few things
- If a user decides to 'Collapse' one of WBS Trees and if Tasks that fall under it will no longer be visible (neither on WBS nor on the Gantt chart), the Resource View still takes them into account in terms of recalculating an allocation and capacity. It will still add an effort of these tasks to their allocation.
The more we think about it, it is an intuitive behaviour of the Resource View, as expanding and Collapsing WBS Trees only changes the display of tasks in BigGantt or BigPicture's Gantt module, while using Quick Filters changes the Scope of the Program.
- As we already know, Quick Filters reduce the scope of Tasks in our Program. This means that both: a scope of both: the Gantt and Resources is narrowed down. Therefore after activating a Quick Filter we can see only the allocation of Tasks which fall under that filter's rules. I.e. after enabling filter 'Epics Only', we will see only the allocation of epics in that Program.
* At some point we've mentioned that "Resources View on the Gantt Chart displays allocation of all Tasks which are in Program's Scope". This may not always be the case, as there's a limitation to it. This limitation is the parameter: 'Max Number of Issues Loaded' which can be found in the Jira Administration → Add-ons → (BIGPICTURE / BIGGANTT) → Gantt Configuration.
What does it mean?
- If our Program has 600 Tasks in its Scope and the maximum parameter is 500, then Resources View will only take first 500 into account.
The only workaround for such situations is (as mentioned above) to use Quick Filters to reduce number of issues which we are interested in. I.e. to view Parent Tasks only. Let's imagine that this way we can reduce the number of issues in the displayed scope from 600 to 400. Then Resources will be able to recalculate capacity and allocation and display them correctly.
- We can also use the 'Load more' button visible at the bottom-right of the screen
Taking the above, there's a set of rules which need to be considered when using Resources View in Gantt.
What happens if?
Let's imagine a situation in which the 'Max Number of Issues Loaded' is set to 50 and our WBS (along with the Gantt chart) consists of 20 Parent Tasks with 3 Children each. This gives us 80 Tasks in WBS and the Gantt chart in total. Now, despite of our WBS Tree being collapsed or expanded, the Resource View on Gantt will always treat first 50 Tasks as its basis for re-calculation. The WBS and the Gantt chart on the other hand will prioritise whatever is visible, meaning that all hidden (collapsed) Issues will be ignored.
Last but not least, a word of explanation on the new Administration Panel visible under BigGantt dropdown menu. This also shouldn't be anything new to BigPicture users. This menu introduces us to Workload and Holiday Plans which have been present in BigPicture for awhile. It is good to note that Resources Grid in the Resources module shares its Workload and Holiday Plans with Resources View in Gantt. For BigGantt users we are required to set them up in order to use our new functionality more efficiently. All required information on Workload and Holiday Plans setup and configuration can be found in the article which refers to our Resource Manager.