Using Resource Planning Views to Better Manage Large Workforces
You know the phrase “less is more”? Incorrect math aside, you can rest assured that no PM in history has ever uttered those words. It’s always better to have more resources, more time, more money to get those projects off the ground and completed.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some problems that come from managing a large workforce. Far from it!
Double booking resources, making sure you scheduled Tom R. for the client’s meeting instead of Tom K., and the need to monitor hundreds, even thousands of resources and tasks simultaneously. This is all part of a day’s work when you're scheduling a large team.
Finding a way to manage and break up all these pieces of information can be the answer to many of these issues. And the way to do this is through a software feature called “Views.”
In this article we’ll explain in detail what these Views are, what you can use them for, and how beneficial they are to planning a large, oftentimes dispersed workforce. We’ll also go through step-by-step on how you can create and share these Views, which will make it easier for you and your workforce.
Did you know that in Ganttic you can create an unlimited number of Views concerning your project? To read more about how this feature works, check out our other articles on the topic: creating more powerful views and planning resource projects with views.
Challenges of managing a large workforce
When you work with a lot of resources, it also means you have to inevitably deal with a lot of conflict. On a daily basis, PMs who manage a large workforce have to confront:
Project conflicts - making sure you have enough team members to finish certain things at the right time.
Resource over and underutilization - making sure you schedule the right amount of work for your workforce.
The inability to see specific parts of the big-picture - too many simultaneous projects can sometimes mean you can’t properly monitor how individual tasks and projects are performing.
And so many more. But one guaranteed hack that will solve all these problems and more is utilizing a proper resource planning tool and taking advantage of the Views feature available.
What are Views in resource planning software?
Views work just like snapshots, and from one big project, you are able to weed out and filter specific bits and zero in on what exactly you need to see.
For example, you can create a View of all the project managers located in the Eastern Time Zone. Or a view of all your equipment in need of repair. In both cases, you and anyone you share these views with, is able to see one piece of the planning puzzle. And as the PM, you can choose exactly what this piece looks like.
Why create Views?
Views help break up a large amount of information into more manageable pieces. Instead of seeing every component involved in your project, you just see a fragment. Because of this, there are a few instances where this can come in particularly handy.
Use Views when:
You are working with a large resource pool and you need to make it easier to hone in on certain resources. For example, you can create a view of all your resources in Singapore and another of those in Dallas, Texas. Then compare and contrast. Check on progress and analyze results. And see how your projects and resources are running without stepping out of the office.
You want to schedule a new project, but need to understand the exact availability of your resources. So create a view based upon your unassigned resources. You can even filter those more to take a look at your specific resources with specific skill sets. For example, only those who speak Spanish, who are located in your organization’s main branch, or have experience with welding. You can also do this with unassigned tasks.
- You want to share specific project points with specific people. Perhaps it doesn’t make much sense for your IT department to know what’s going on in customer service. So instead of bogging down your departments with information overload, just share with them relevant information. Create a view of specific teams which they can share and refer to. And depending on your planning strategy, you can edit permissions to allow the teams the ability to edit the plans themselves.
In Ganttic we have clients who use less than 10 resources. And we have those who manage more than a thousand at one time. In both cases, Views are the ideal way to break up your project and take a helpful and more manageable approach to resource planning.
So we'll show you how it's done!
How to create a View in Ganttic
This will open up a drop-down menu
2. Select “View”
Your new View will open in a new tab.
3. Name your View
Enter a name and hit “save.” This will close the view settings window and allow you to look at your new View.
You now have a shiny new View. In the next steps we will show you how to customize your view to par down on some of the resources you see. And demonstrate some ways you can use views if you are working with a large workforce or managing a globally distributed team.
All the Views you create in Ganttic start off as private. You can easily customize and create views that are both public and which are available to only certain users. Just click on “View permissions” in the upper right corner of your view.
Once you open “View permissions” you have the option to create a public view or select the users you wish to have access. You can also choose to “lock” this View, preventing others from making changes.
Creating a View of team leads in a specific branch1. First enter in some custom data fields. In our example, we have a text type data field about whether the resource is a team lead, and also a list-type data field about the location of the resources. You can see an examples in the screenshot below.
2. Once you’ve created your new View following the above 3 steps, we can get to customizing it by filtering out specific data fields.
3. Go to the Filter Icon and choose resource data fields, since this is the information you want to see.
4. Choose the parameters you want, in this case we want to see team leads in India. So once we select that, we have a View showing us exactly what we want.
You can see in the gif below how simple and quick it is to make this view.
Now using this information we can make better decisions regarding who we want to schedule for certain tasks or allocate to another team in need of support.
The way you design your View is limited only by your imagination. You can filter your views with the data you inputted. Meaning you can see your data, in any way you need it. Use views to see resources with specific skills. Or create one of and for your marketing department. Or see what resources are available in March of 2021 for a pipeline project.
You can also create a vVew based upon: grouping, sorting, coloring, filters, and default time period.
Still have questions about Views? Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions. Or you’re welcome to sign-up for a free 1-1 demo anytime.
Benefits of using ViewsLimit the noise - using different parameters means you see only what you need to see. This goes for the PM planning the next project and the resources on your team who need to see exactly what they need to do.
Secure - as opposed to Excel, which you can never be certain if it was changed or not, in Ganttic you can “lock” your View so only the administrator has the power to change the plans.
Fast - creating a new View takes seconds. But the insights it gives you are immeasurable. And also means you don’t have to spend time searching for the right resource. Just initiate the parameters you want and bing, bang, boom, you have the info you need.
Plus, by limiting what you share, your team can see exactly what they need to do without wasting time scouring the plans.
Mo’ Resources, Less ProblemsWhether you’re managing a dozen or even thousands of resources, virtual resource management software like Ganttic can help you trim the fat. And hone in on the aspects of planning you want to focus on. Views are an ideal way to better manage a large workforce, by giving you the insight you need to get the job done.
And the best part? In Ganttic, not only are the amount of Views you can create free, but so are the number of users that you share them with. That means, there’s no limit to the amount of work you can complete.