How to handle resourcing for personnel with varying capacity

Sometimes things aren't as straightforward as we wish when it comes to resourcing personnel.

  • Some employees might work for more than one company at a time simultaneously and might not have as much time in their hands at some specific dates
  • A subcontractor works "now and then if they have time from other projects" for your company's projects
etc etc.

What this usually means from the project managers' point of view is that the person's capacity changes so much on a weekly basis that it is almost impossible to resource that person for even the nearest future which of course means harder predictability for that project.

We can solve this situation in Silverbucket by dividing the resourcing evenly for both parties: the person whose capacity varies & the project managers in Silverbucket.

  1. Make sure the person with varying capacity has an account in Silverbucket
  2. Create an absence project. This will be used as a "dummy project" for the user
  3. The person with varying capacity resources themselves as accurately as they can for the dummy project
  4. Silverbucket's project managers let the grid view do all the "heavy lifting"

In this article's example below we are going to use a test user called 'Mark Markington' who will have a busy summer - however, we could use his expertise on a project called 'Bridges'.

1) Make sure the user is created in the system

Make sure the user rights are fine for you. For subcontractors (external personnel) you can give the basic user rights to allow them to see only data regarding themselves:
While the employment type itself doesn't affect user rights it is useful to separate own personnel from external personnel from the statistics point of view in Silverbucket

2) Create an absence project which will work as a "dummy project"

Create a project which has the project type set as 'Absence' and make sure the user (Mark Markington in our example) is added to that project.

You can add a description for the project so everyone that stumbles upon it will understand to not resource themselves for it unless advised so

From here on out this project will work as a project for which the person with varying capacity will resource themselves according to their outside work / absences.

Once the project is created contact and we will allow anyone in the system to resource themselves for projects marked as Absence. This is explained further in section 2B in this article.

3) The person with varying capacity resources themselves as accurately as they can for the dummy project

As the user rights are configured in step #2 by us and the user logs into the system the varying capacity person can navigate themselves to the dummy project straight from their Person's Dashboard. In here they should resource themselves as accurately as possible for the dummy project. The main idea behind this concept is that the user lets others know when he will be unavailable for other projects - therefore it is called a "absence" / "dummy project".

In this example Mark would be available for use for 70% of his capacity in weeks 25-27. Weeks 28-30 he will not be available at all. Week 31 he is fully available and week 32 he is available only for 20% of his capacity.

4) Project managers let the grid view do the work for them

Once our varying capacity person has marked his unavailability hours it's time to use Silverbucket's grid view into its full extent.

In this scenario as a project manager I need Mark for all the possible summer time on the project called 'Bridges' as I know his expertise will be important in that specific project. Once I have added Mark into my project I can simply click on the grid view and see how he will be available for summer weeks 25-32:

Grid icon is indicated with the orange icon. Green icons indicate the available hours Mark can put into our project called 'Bridges'

Resourcing in grid view is swift and effortless: you can simply click/drag the resourcing plan for Mark and click 'Save changes' afterwards:

We're using Mark's time as much as we can for this project

After clicking 'Save Changes' we have a clear view about the resourcing situation for this project even though Mark's schedule seemed a little hard to get by initially before we started resourcing with Silverbucket:

How did we do with this article?