Once the scope of a new project is agreed, it’s time to develop detailed estimates and plan the project. Innate’s resource planning interface makes this a straightforward exercise.
As new work profiles are added, the system shows straight away the resource capacity to take them on with colour coded cells highlighting bottlenecks and periods of under use.
Appropriate work breakdown structures (WBS) can be created to reflect the complexities of each project and project templates provide logical starting points for new estimates.
Should new projects of high priority create unacceptable bottlenecks, You can easily re-balance the workload. See the Demand Management page for more details.
Project templates provide a suitable starting point when preparing for the new project. For repeating projects, where the plans will be similar to others previously completed, the template can include the required Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for each resource assignment and be populated with time phased work estimates. A simple review of the resource estimates and their duration may be all that is required.
For projects that are more different to what’s gone before, the templates will be less populated and additional legs to the WBS may be required. At its simplest, the template may just be a list of tasks each with their generic resources (Roles, skills or disciplines) required to work on the project.
Template for a simple project
Estimate modules can also be used, so that detailed estimates for later phases can be added as the project progresses.
Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
Depending on the complexity of the project, a WBS may be required to break more complex projects down into manageable packages of work.
The lowest levels of the WBS will always be a generic resource assignment. By generic we mean the resource attribute that is the primary resource request field, which is typically an individual’s team, role, skill or discipline.
You can insert new sub tasks into the WBS structure, as shown in the video below
Individual legs of the WBS can be summarised and drilled down through, to show the estimated workload for each level of the WBS.
Timephased estimates can be entered in a number of ways. You can simply select the timescale granularity and units of work before typing in the numbers. Copy & paste and drag & drop speed up the process.
As each estimate is developed, a split table view shows the impact on the spare capacity of each generic resource type. You can filter this so that only the workload from committed projects is seen, or include other proposed projects.
Whenever additional work is added to the upper half of the screen, the Lower half highlights any overloads in red.
Alternatively, you can enter the total amount of work for an assignment and select a distribution profile to spread the work between start and finish dates. This is a quick way of providing front or back end loaded profiles, for example. A number of standard profiles are provided, which can be edited or added too.
Effective project planning focuses on the key deliverables, so that tasks show clearly how the work will be organized to achieve the delivery dates. Milestones are used to identify these key delivery dates so that, as the project gets underway, forecast dates can be compared with committed dates.
Milestone report that also shows target start and finish dates for each Task.
If you are struggling with spreadsheets for resource planning and estimating, then check out Innate’s resource management capabilities.