5 Resource Scheduling Tips That Will Save You Time
The goal of resource scheduling is to use the resources as effectively as possible. Often, it's contradicting to how time-consuming the scheduling process itself can be. The resource plan is an everchanging document. You'll naturally spend hours allocating, reallocating, optimizing, and reoptimizing.
However, if you are feeling you might be spending too much time on scheduling, we have 5 tips for you on how to make the process more effective and less time-consuming.
1. Drag and drop for resource scheduling
If you are scheduling resources and aren't using drag and drop, we have a simple suggestion for you. Ditch Excel spreadsheets or the clunky planning software you are using and find a tool that is featuring drag-and-drop scheduling.There are PROs and CONs to using a drag and drop scheduling software. Learn what they are here.
It's the feature that allows you to schedule a task by placing the cursor on the timeline and dragging until you reach the desired end time. It's faster than writing the jobs down as a list, and it's easier than merging and coloring cells in a spreadsheet.
As a bonus, you'll get a quick visual overview of the resource allocation that's easy to grasp. You'll also save time on optimizing resource utilization and solving resource conflicts. That's because you can see the tasks you have planned among others right away and will make fewer mistakes in the first place.
2. Use multi-resource tasks
When scheduling one assignment, think about all the resources that might be working on it. If there indeed is more than one resource, use the same task to allocate all of them at once.
Learn more about multi-resource tasks.
For example, if two consultants are working on the same client, use multi-resource tasks. If you need to schedule equipment and the engineer responsible, use multi-resource tasks. If you need the whole project team to be present for a status meeting, use multi-resource tasks. The list goes on. You'll save time on both dragging and dropping and adding information to the task.
As you can see from the example below, it's an easy step to learn.
I used the example of two consultants working on the same client. One is named Yevette. The other is Eddie. They are supposed to be performing an audit for a client from the start of November until the end of December. I used drag-and-drop to schedule the task to Yevette's timeline and clicked the + to allocate Eddie to the same assignment.
3. Create & use project templates
More often than not, scheduling projects gets repetitive. Some projects have the same milestones, the identical sets of tasks, and sometimes even the very same resources work on them. Sure, you must reallocate, optimize, and make other smaller changes as the project folds open. However, during the initial planning, you could be all set and ready to go with a simple copy and paste.
If that case seems familiar to you, listen up. Before scheduling one more project like this, make your way to the templates section in Ganttic. Fill in the custom data, schedule the tasks, and save. You can choose if you want to allocate the resources or if you want to schedule tasks that are not assigned. If you choose the latter, you will see the tasks listed in the unassigned category.
Learn how to create a project template.
Once you save the template, you can use it whenever you need to schedule that type of project again without the need to start from scratch.
Your next steps depend on whether you chose to assign the resources or not. If the work is already assigned, check the timeline for resource conflicts. You can adjust the utilization and task duration if the tasks are overlapping. You can also reallocate the assignment to a new resource or shift the overlapping task further on the timeline.
If the tasks are not assigned, start dragging and dropping the tasks to allocate resources.
4. Schedule resources using views
This one is one of the fundamentals of Ganttic. Always schedule resources using views.Learn how to create a view.
When scheduling hundreds of resources, it's difficult to get a comprehensive overview of what's going on without dividing the data into manageable bits that make sense. That's why Ganttic introduced the views feature.
It allows you to display the resources in a meaningful way and dive back in whenever you need to. You can choose how to group and sort the resources, filter out data, pick the coloring you want to use, adjust the timeline settings, etc.
For example, let's say the company you work for has offices in multiple countries: Mexico, New Zealand, and Germany. However, you are only scheduling the resources in New Zealand. Without creating a view, you have to filter or scroll every time you needed to find your resources. After creating a view, you can have it open and waiting for you every time you sign in to Ganttic.
5. Automate the reporting process
The last one is for anyone that finds reporting useful, but also as tedious as it can get. Do I mean everyone on this planet? I guess so.
You can go without reporting, but never should. Thus, instead of torturing yourself with monthly summaries of resource allocation and project progress, automate the reporting progress.
Learn more about automating reports.
Once you have drafted the report and saved it, add the people that should receive it in the automation section. You can also choose how often you want Ganttic to generate the report and send it to those you have listed.
When selecting the format of the report, think about what the person who is getting it, is going to do with it. If they only need to have a glance, HTML might be the best choice. If they want to download and save it, choose PDF. If they are going to analyze the report further, choose CSV.