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PPO calculates a resource's capacity by taking into account standard working hours, working days and public holidays and then compares this with the time an employee is expected to work on Tasks they are assigned to. The results of these calculations provide an overview of which resources are working over or under capacity.
The resource planning model of PPO uses information from the System Configuration, Employees entity, Projects entity and Tasks entity to determine resource capacity and the extent to which a resource is being utilised. This article will explore the various settings and their effects, as well as the end result which is detailed planning reports and dashboards.
PPO's system configuration shows a Planning Settings section. The standard working hours to be used across PPO is captured in this section. This will mean that, if not specified otherwise in a user's employee record, PPO can assume that the resource works an eight hour day (using the example below).
Thus, if a resource is planned to do one day's work, PPO will use eight hours in its resource planning calculations.
Exceptions can be captured within the Employees entity, discussed next.
Fields on the Employees entity that are required for resource planning calculations are grouped together in the Planning Information category.
These fields are used as follows:
- Include in Capacity: This field indicates whether the employee should be taken into account for resource planning. Users may want administrative or temporary staff to be excluded from resource planning calculations. This can be done by making the Include in Capacity field false for the employee's record.
- Standard Hours: This field allows users to capture an exception to the standard hours captured in the system configuration. For example, if this employee works four hours a day, instead of eight hours as in the system configuration, the four hours can be captured here on the employee record. If zero (0) is captured, PPO will use the standard working hours as defined in the System Configuration.
- Charge Out Rates: PPO includes a cost component to resource planning. This cost component allows users to specify a standard / normal charge out rate for employees, as well as two alternative charge-out rates (Charge-Out Rate 1 and Charge-Out Rate 2). These charge out rates are used on the Project Costing Report to determine the cost of the resources on the project. The project costing report looks at the Charge Out Rate set on the project level, and then uses the corresponding Charge Out Rate on the employee level to calculate the resource cost. For example if Ravi Naidoo, is working on the Northern Frontier Marketing project, for 1 hour, with the Rate to Use on the project set to the Standard Charge Out rate, and Ravi's Standard Charge Out rate on his employee record is $500, then Ravi's cost of the project is $500. For more information on the Project Costing Report, access the following knowledge base article.
Users can define per project, which charge-out rate should be used for all employees working on the project. This setting is captured in the Rate to Use field on the Project entity.
If the Standard Charge Out Rate is selected as the Rate to Use, PPO will use the Standard Charge Out Rate in all resource cost calculations for each employee working on the project.
The following fields on the Task entity are important with regards to resource capacity calculations:
These fields are used as follows:
- Planned duration. This is the time the task will take to complete from the day it is planned to start until the day it is planned to end. The value provided is in days but will be converted to hours based on the specified standard hours for the employee.
- Allocation %. Even though a task's duration may be, for example, 5 days, it does not necessarily mean the responsible person will spend all their working hours (effort) on the particular task. The allocation percentage field shows the amount of the resource's total time that will be devoted to the task. This can also be shown and imported from Microsoft Project (MSP).
This can be done by changing the units under the Resources tab on the Task Information.
- Generate planning. The generate planning field indicates whether a task must be taken into account for resource planning. It is assumed that tasks that are not assigned to an employee will not be taken into account for planning calculations, which is why task types Project Task, Summary Task, Milestone and Deliverable will by default not show True on the generate planning field. Tasks, where the task type is Task, will by default show True on the generate planning field.
The generate planning will also show when importing a project plan.