This article explains the purpose of the Advanced Resource Allocation Model and steps for setting up this optional functionality in Flux Capacity.
Definition of Concepts
Generally speaking, resource allocation is the process of setting aside a resource’s time to work on one or more projects across a defined period of time.
Flux Capacity Standard Resource Allocation
Flux Capacity’s standard approach to resource allocation looks at all open TaskRay Tasks assigned to a resource as the basis for setting aside a resource’s time. For example, if a resource has 10 open Tasks assigned across 2 Projects, the resource is allocated to those 2 Projects based on the dates and estimated hours of the 10 Tasks.
In this model, it is very important that a complete set of Tasks are put in place up-front (typically by using TaskRay Templates as shown in the example below) and that dates and estimated hours for open Tasks are kept as accurate as possible at all times.
Flux Capacity Advanced Resource Allocation Model
The advanced resource allocation model is an alternative approach whereby two distinct task types are established in TaskRay:
- Allocation Tasks: These serve as a high-level way to lock in a Resource on a project for a specific date range and block of hours, such as an 80-hour Task with 6-week duration.
- Allocation Tasks are designated where Allocation (checkbox field) = true.
- Work Tasks: These represent the granular work items assigned to a resource, such as sending a welcome email, developing a feature, making a presentation, etc.
- Work Tasks are designated where Allocation (checkbox field) = false.
In this model, you have the flexibility to define resource allocation for the entire duration of a project without needing to fully build out the work plan up-front. As you can see in the example below, resource allocation is established for the 4 resource types needed for the 6-week project, but work tasks are still being defined (or not yet created) for Sprints 2 and 3.
How Do I Know Which Model is Best For Me?
Standard Resource Allocation is best for companies with one or more of the following characteristics:
- Have a consistent, repeatable process
- Use templates to plan work up-front
- Are committed to keeping a larger volume of granular open Task dates and estimated hours accurate
Advanced Resource Allocation is best for companies with one or more of the following characteristics:
- Tend to work in agile sprints
- Perform limited planning of granular work items up-front
- Are committed to keeping a potentially lower volume of high-level allocation tasks accurate across all projects
- Are interested in comparing resource work items to project allocation (ex. Resource is allocated to a Project for 20 hours next week but only has 10 hours of work tasks assigned)
Still not sure? Not to worry, we’re always here to help. Please get in touch with your CSM to talk through options or submit a case to engage our support team.
Steps to Set Up the Advanced Resource Allocation Model
In addition to completing the instructions in our Installation and Setup Guide, the Advanced Resource Allocation model requires you to follow the below steps:
- Assign Permission Sets
- Assign the Flux Allocation Manager permission set to any user that will be creating Allocation Tasks. This permission grants Edit access to the Allocation checkbox field on the TaskRay Task object. All other Flux Capacity users will only have View access to the Allocation checkbox field on the TaskRay Task object.
- Update your TaskRay Task object page layout(s)
- Add the Allocation checkbox field to your TaskRay Task object page layouts so users can differentiate between Allocation and Work Tasks.
- Add Allocation Tasks to your Projects
- As a best practice, we recommend you go “all-in” with this model by establishing Allocation Tasks on all in-flight projects. If a resource is doing any work on a Project, there should be an Allocation Task in place to reflect that. A hybrid approach (ie. some Projects have Allocation Tasks while others do not) is not recommended because you will struggle to get a clear forecast of resource utilization when some Projects have Allocation Tasks and others only have Work Tasks.
- You should also consider any changes to your project creation workflow and automation to align with this best practice. Who is responsible for creating Allocation Tasks? How and when do those Tasks get created?
- Once you have Allocation Tasks in place on your in-flight Projects, you are ready to start taking advantage of the Advanced Resource Allocation Model!
- Enable Allocation filters in the Flux Planner
- Go to the Flux Capacity Global custom setting and check the Enable Allocation in Planner setting. This setting will give you the ability to filter Allocation and Work Tasks in the Flux Planner. By filtering on Allocation Tasks in the Flux Planner, you’ll be able to accurately summarize resource allocation in the capacity planning tool.
- Advanced Allocation Dashboard
- The Flux Capacity reporting package (version 1.13 and higher) includes a Dashboard labeled Flux Forecast - Advanced Allocation for use with the Advanced Resource Allocation Model. This Dashboard gives you granular visibility into future Allocation and Work Task levels. You can read more about forecast dashboards here.
Considerations for Existing Customers (those with installations prior to October 9, 2021)
If you are an existing customer and wish to begin using the Advanced Resource Allocation Model, we highly recommend that you upgrade from the Flux Capacity Assignment Component to the Flux Planner Contextual Component.
The legacy Flux Capacity Assignment Component is not compatible with the new Advanced Resource Allocation Model because there is not an option to filter Allocation and Work Tasks. As a result, forecasted utilization is calculated based on all Tasks which may skew your stats in this UI. A warning message will indicate this and recommend you upgrade to the new Flux Planner Contextual Component if you are using the Advanced Resource Allocation Model.
Depending on your implementation, this “upgrade” may involve the following:
- Replace the Lightning Components on your Project and Task Lightning Detail Pages
- Replace the Lightning Components in your TaskRay Onboarding Flow
- Remove references to the Flux Capacity Assignment Tool in the TaskRay Global Settings custom setting’s Project and Task Modal Custom Tabs; simply delete the URL in those settings.
As of the 2021 Fall release, TaskRay adds the Flux Planner modal tab on Projects and Tasks inside the TaskRay app without any additional setup.
If using the Advanced Resource Allocation Model, you should consider any reporting impacts in your current implementation. This will likely consist of adding filter criteria to your existing forecast reports to filter based on the Allocation checkbox field on the TaskRay Task object.
You may also wish to create new reports to compare project-level resource allocation to work assigned to determine over/under-use of Flux Resources and Teams on specific Projects and broadly across all Projects.
Have questions or not sure how to proceed? We’re here to help. Please get in touch with your CSM or submit a case to engage our support team.
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