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Title: Basic Labor Planning in the Grid

Brief description:

There are a number of ways to plan resources on projects using the tools provided by Unanet. This section focuses on one method for planning resources: the grid planner. The grid planner is an Excel-like method to select resources on projects and associate those resource with costs and bill amounts. Reports can be run against planned resources to view total costs and bill amount. Customers use the grid planner for bid and proposal work, budgeting, and project forecasting.

What’s covered in this document:

Planning on One Project

Select and configure the Grid Planner

Edit the project in which you would like to plan People resources, and select People Plans, Plan with Grid. 

Configure the following required criteria on the Search tab:

  1. Plan Set: If plan sets are being used, specify the desired plan set. For example, if using corporate budgeting, the plan set may be for the next fiscal year.
  2. Plan View: you can plan at project level or task level. If the project has "Manage at Task level" enforced, and you intend to create assignments from plans, choose to plan at task level.
  3. Task (if you are planning at task level)
  4. Planning Periods, period type: days, calendar periods, fiscal periods, or period of performance. If planning period of performance, the plan dates will link to project/task dates. Best practice: choose a time period that best suits your planning periods, and use consistently for all planning grids in the system.
  5. Number of Periods: the number of periods will vary based on the budgeting or forecasting period planned. Choose the number of periods you would like to plan, up to 65.
  6. Start Date: choose the begin date for your planning grid.
  7. Budget in Hours or FTE: FTE uses a standard 8 hours per business day (Monday – Friday) as the basis of calculation, and does not consider Saturday, Sunday, Holidays or any other "Hours in Business Day" configured in Admin > Setup > People > Business Weeks.
  8. People to Plan: filter by last name or Person Organization code, labor category, location, and/or skills. At least one planning field must be selected.

Navigate: Proj > List > List > Edit Pencil Icon > People Plans > Plan with Grid.

Configure the following options, if desired:

  1. Display Options: view subtotal, dates and/or hours detail in the grid contents.
  2. Data Options: include or exclude existing or unnecessary planning data.
  3. Resource Utilization: set the percentages and colors to create a view meaningful to your planning process. Choose the Planning grid’s color thresholds to display how booked a resource is on all projects in the system for a given period (i.e. under 100% = yellow; 100% = white; over 100% = red).
  4. Limit Resources according to existing utilization and plans.
  5. Plans in Booked Percentage from Other Projects: specify which plan set to look at on other project plans when viewing booked percentages.

Navigate: Proj > List > List > Edit Pencil Icon > People Plans > Plan with Grid.

You can save your search criteria, and easily return to it.

Plan Resources

The criteria entered on the Search tab governs the look and feel of the planning grid displayed below.  

  • Click on Plan Tab on the top. 
  • You will notice your selected people on the left margin and, in this case, the selected 12 months across the top. 
  • Notice the number of business hours per planning period are identified in the headers for each month. Also note the summary of planned hours at the bottom of each column.

You can begin planning by entering your monthly hours in each of the cells: 

Navigate: Proj > List > List > Edit Pencil Icon > People Plans > Plan with Grid > Plan.

Alternatively, you can double click on the person’s name to quickly set hours/FTE for the entire row. A pop-up window will be displayed. From the pop-up window click on the Enable Budget field for updates and enter the hours/FTE per month to display in the grid.

The pop-up screen also provides a mechanism to change default values for a planned person. These default values can be overridden by explicitly setting fields on this screen. Fields that can be overridden are listed below.

  1. Labor Category.
  2. Cost Element.
  3. Location.
  4. Person Bill Rate.
  5. Person Cost Rate.

In this example, note that plan hours of 40 are chosen. The total bill amount will be derived from the labor category and the cost will be derived from the person’s profile. Once the attributes are appropriately set, select the Save button.

Note that the plan grid cells are now filled out with hours or FTE based on the hours/FTE amount specified in the popup window. You can click into any cell and revise the number of hours/FTE for a particular period.

Planning on Multiple Projects

You can also plan resources on multiple projects using the Forecast > People Planner grid. Note that you will always be planning into the Active plan set when creating plans this way.

Select the projects you want to plan in the filter criteria, along with the other planning options noted in the Project level planning grid section above. 

The resulting planning grid lists the selected projects separately, with the selected users listed beneath each project:

Navigate: Forecast > People Planner > Plan.

You can manually enter hours/FTE into each cell, or you can double click on the person’s name to open the pop up window to quickly set hours/FTE for the entire row, following the same process detailed above. 

Note the following differences in the Search tab criteria display options:

  1. As grid planning via the Forecast People Planner grid will always plan into the active plan set, you will not see an option for choosing a plan set.
  2. The Projects to Plan criteria (below) offers the option to Display in Matrix projects only, tasks only, or projects and tasks.
  3. The Resource Utilization display options do not include the feature "Plans in Booked Percentage from Other Projects." (That feature offers the ability to look at other plan sets.)

Saving your Labor Planning Dashboard

Unanet allows you to save the search criteria that you configured to display your planning grid. The criteria are saved as a link on your dashboard enabling the grid to be recalled with a single click. From the planning grid, click on the Search tab and select the Save Criteria option.

A pop-up window will be displayed. From the pop-up window, enter the name you would like to assign to the planning grid, e.g. “People Planner Q2 2016” and select the Forecast dashboard. 

Additional Information

Help Docs - Project People Plans

Help Docs - Project Plan Sets

KC - Quick Topic - Color Coded Utilization Display in Planning/Assigning Grids

KC - Quick Topic - Basic Labor Assigning in the Grid

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