Bottom-Up Capacity Planning - Creating Staffing Requests from Tasks

Note: This feature is in controlled availability, and will be released for general availability soon. To gain early access, contact your Customer Success Manager.

What's New

Extended Resources and Placeholders

Previously, Project Managers would do initial planning using predefined placeholder resources, since the names of the resources who were going to work on a project were not yet known. These placeholder resources would be assigned to Tasks and Projects, to see the impact of the planned work on resource capacity, and to establish financial estimates for cost and revenue purposes.

The introduction of Bottom-Up Planning allows Project Managers to add Job Titles and Groups at the Task or Project level, removing the need to set up and use placeholder resources.

Job Title and Group assignments show up as Load in the Resource Load, Resource Planning, and Capacity Planning modules. Cost and Billing rates from these assignments are used in Financial calculations on Tasks and Projects, as well as within the Financial Planning module.

Note: It is not necessary for Primary Groups to be set up to use these capabilities; however, this will be necessary to use Capacity Planning (and Staffing Requests if required). 

Creating Staffing Requests from Tasks

Clarizen One's Capacity Planning lifecycle begins with the Project Manager adding requests for resources, and continues with the Resource Manager approving requests, and assigning named resources.

Until now, to add staffing requests at the Task level (bottom-up), the Project Manager would manually calculate the required hours per request and generate a staffing request. Now it's possible to automatically generate a staffing request at the Task level for named resources or placeholders (job titles or group members) assigned to Tasks.

How it Works

The Project Manager can now add in the Work Plan group members and job titles as resource placeholders on the Task, in addition to named resources. Then in the Staffing Requests panel, those resources can be converted into staffing requests with a click of a button. 

In the Capacity Planning module, the Resource Manager can approve requests and assign named resources on the Project as before. Then the Project Manager can replace the Tasks' placeholders with the corresponding named resources, which are approved and assigned to the Project.

Let's take a closer look

1. Activating Bottom-Up Planning

  1. Before you begin, enable Bottom-up Planning in System Settings under Resource Management.
    Note: After enabling this setting, you will not be able to disable it.
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  2. On activating Bottom-Up Planning, you will be presented with instructions to update installed apps and review existing Configurations that may require modifications. This will ensure your rules continue to run only on relevant items and not encounter errors, once the new Bottom-Up Planning feature is enabled. Click here to learn more about modifying Configurations.
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2. Working with Bottom-Up Planning

  1. As a Project Manager, open the Work Plan (WBS) and add a resource to a Task. The new Show drop-down list lets you view All resources, People (named resources - default setting), Groups, or Job Titles
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  2. Select the resources you want for the Task.
    Note: Only Job Titles associated with members in resourcing groups will be displayed in the list. These Job Titles will appear with their corresponding Resourcing Group in the Groups column, to assist with selecting Job Titles from the right group.
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    Tip: Use the Show only resources from Resourcing Groups filter to display named resources and group members from resourcing groups only.
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  3. Once resources are selected and assigned to tasks, Job Titles (if assigned) will appear with their corresponding Resourcing Groups in square brackets.
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    Note: You cannot set a project assignment for a resource or placeholder (Job Title or Group) directly if the Staffing Request Required option is enabled for the corresponding resourcing group.
  4. Once project planning is complete, and all required resources or placeholders (Job Titles or Groups) are assigned to Tasks, go to the Staffing Requests panel and click Create Staffing Requests from Tasks.
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  5. The system will automatically calculate the total amount of current Task Assignments per named resource or placeholder (Job Title or Group member) in each time period (based on a daily resolution). From the resulting amount, it will then subtract the total existing Project Assignments and Staffing Requests (if any) per resource/placeholder per period. If there is a positive difference, a staffing request will be created for a corresponding resource/placeholder.
    Note: As staffing requests cannot be applied to past periods, the allotted durations for staffing requests will be relative to the remaining portion of the time period. For example, if the request is for 180 hours in the current month, and only half of the month remains, 90 hours will be allotted to the current month.
  6. Since the number of Tasks and resources in a project can be quite large, the Staffing Requests’ creation process can take a while. Click Notify me to receive an update by email once the process has completed, or wait until the process is done.
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    Staffing requests will be created in Draft state.
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  7. From this point, the rest of the Capacity Planning workflow is without change:
  8. Once the Staffing Requests are approved and named resources are assigned to the project, the Project Manager can replace the placeholders on the Tasks with the corresponding approved named resources using the Replace Resource action.
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Notes

  • Staffing requests are created only for users in groups defined as Staffing Request required.
  • For every update to a resource/placeholder's hours in the Work Plan, a new Staffing Request (row) is created after clicking Create Staffing Requests from Tasks.
  • Between the time you assign a named resource to a Project, and the time you replace the corresponding placeholder on the Task with the assigned named resource, the following interface limitations take effect:
    • Every time you click Apply as Staffing Request, an additional (unnecessary) staffing request is created for the placeholder, even though the request has been granted. 
    • Both the Task assignment for a placeholder and the Project assignment for the corresponding assigned named resource appear in the Resources panel at the Project level.

We recommend adding the Job Title column to the Project Assignment panel, to make it easier to find the placeholders to replace.

Changes to Related Interface and Configuration/API Names

Since adding groups and Job Titles as resource entities or placeholders (in addition to named resources), we made some changes to relations/references (API names) in Configurations, to facilitate the changes. We renamed existing relations, and added new relations.

These changes are effective immediately, whether or not you activated Bottom-up Planning in System settings. 

Examples of the new names

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All Relations/References (API Names) in Configurations mceclip0.png

Backward compatibility

  • Your previous configurations will continue to work, however, going forward you will see the new and replaced items only.
  • Some custom API implementations / ETLs, which depend on extracting meta-data from Clarizen (for example, using the Data Warehouse application), may require updates following the change in the API names of the relations described above.

Resource Planning View Updates

As a result of the enhancements above, the Resource Planning view has been updated.

  • Groups and Users, previously called People are now Resources since they now include Job Titles
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  • Job Titles appear as members of groups, as in Developer [R&D] in the image below
  • The capacity for the Job Title is zero because it’s a placeholder, and not a named resource.
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