In the previous article about Planless, you could learn how Planless approaches project planning, and how automation available in Planless help to alleviate the burden of constant planning, re-planning, and trying to figure out the order of tasks based on dependencies, priority, and resource availability. The last part regarding resource optimization – is worth going into more detail.
The problem with the resource management complexity
Managing resources in a project is way more complex than it seems on the surface.
When creating a project plan, you need not only to predict how many resources you need to deliver the project (and to be precise: how many resources you need at each specific moment in time!), but also what kind of resources you need at a specific moment in time.
You do have enough people to deliver the project? ⇒ Too bad if they do not have exactly the skills that you need.
You have people with skills, but not at the right time? ⇒ The project gets delayed.
Creating an initial plan considering all the restraints and dependencies is hard enough. But then anything goes wrong, like a delay in the project, an additional task that has to be delivered, and whole planning and resource allocation have to be done from the scratch.
It is not only very time-consuming, but also prone to error – Project Managers who have to delay their project, often try to do everything to change it as little as possible, even if objectively it is not the best thing to do, and may cause bigger problems down the line.
Planless – resource optimization
Similarly to automated task scheduling, Planless also offers automated resource management. Let’s have a look, at how it is done.
To perform resource assignments, Planless needs to have information on who has the competencies to deliver each task. This is done with the use of the skills – all the tasks have assigned information about the skill, that is required to deliver this task.
On the other end, users also have skills assigned to them.
Based on this information, Planless understands, who can do each task.
It seems pretty simple, but Planless builds on top of this simple concept, adding more advanced features.
Skills – an important part of the resource optimization
Users may have skills on different levels – from 1 to 10, the default value being 5. In reality, tasks estimated for 1 day, will not always be considered by Planless as 1 day of work – it will be the case only for users with skill level 5. According to Planless, users with a higher level of needed skills will have less time to deliver the task, and ones with lower levels will take longer.
The assumption is that someone with skill level 10 will deliver tasks in half of the original time, and a user with skill level 1 will take twice as long, as the original estimate indicates.
This makes it possible for Planless to pick the best user for the task so that it is done on time. It might pick user with higher skill level for tasks that are urgent and for the less important task – user that is not as good at a particular area.
On top of defining all users and the skills assigned to them, you can set availability for each user. You can decide what days and how many hours per day the user is working. If needed, extra work hours (e.g. additional work on weekends during release) or days off can also be set. This resource availability is also taken into consideration when assigning users to tasks.
With all that information, the assignment done by Planless is meant to maximize the use of resources that are available. Planless allows us to see what is the assignment of all users on the timeline, what task specifically contributes to the use of each resource in a given moment of time, and potentially, which resources are under-allocated (either by not having skills that are in demand or by too little work being identified).
All the resource allocation is done by Planless with each change – new user in the team, new task identified, or new skill assigned to the user? Planless will adapt the plan right away without the need to manually check what changed, and how to optimally adapt to this change, saving a lot of time in the process.
Wait, there is more!
Planless offers really innovative approach to project planning and management, that would benefit a lot of teams.
Features described in this and the previous article are just a slice of what Planless offers, and more articles are to come!
We hope it got you interested in the tool, and it might address some of the headaches that you are facing during your planning process.
If you can’t wait to see it in action, schedule a free demo with us. We will show you the capabilities of the tool and answer any questions you may have.
We are an accredited partner of Planless, and as such, we can also:
- offer better pricing for Planless licenses,
- assist you in the implementation process,
- train your users so that you can get the most out of this amazing tool.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We are waiting to meet you and help you find the best project management solutions for your company!