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Title: Benefits of TBD Planning Resource Licenses and How to Use Them

Brief description:

This quick topic outlines the benefits of TBD planning resources (UnaSource Only) and how to set up and use TBD resources in Unanet. Also covered are the reports that can be generated using TBDs. 

Project Portfolio Plus is the Licensed Product. The type of resources available in Project Portfolio Plus are Project Portfolio (Full) resources and UnaSource Only (Planning Only) resources. You can view your license type by clicking My Account > About (upper right menu) in your Unanet instance. 

A Planning Only resource may either be an actual human being OR a placeholder (TBD). If the resource is designated as a TBD, the resource may be excluded from certain reporting values, e.g., capacity on the Headcount report.

TBDs are typically placeholders until a human being can be found to complete the work.  

What’s covered in this document:


Project Portfolio Customers who want to use resources for planning only have the option of adding resources with a lower per-resource cost. This is achieved by upgrading to Project Portfolio Plus.

Planning Only Resources are a significantly lower cost than full Portfolio users, and priced on their own volume discount schedule, i.e., the number of Portfolio resources is independent of the pricing for Planning Only Resources.

The Planning Only Resource capability is implemented via UnaSource role counting. First the system allocates UnaSource Only roles to the Portfolio Plus resource count. Once the Planning Only resource account is achieved, additional Planning Only users are counted against the Portfolio license.


Plans and proposals can be created with TBD/UnaSource Only licenses then assigned to full license users in Unanet once the project is approved/won without having to recreate the plans.

Projects can also be planned with resources that have not yet been hired or known in Unanet when a proposal is generated.


Administrators will set up a TBD resource in Unanet by creating a resource and ONLY assigning the  on the Roles tab of the person's record. If that check box is selected, the system will not allow the administrator to select any of the remaining roles. The system will automatically select the UnaSource User (Planning Only) role. Selecting the Designate... check box allows you to List and Report on all or none of these TBD users.

Note that you may set up TBD users to represent labor categories. 

Navigate to People > List > +Person link > Roles tab.

Here are the best practices for creating TBDs:

  1. Create an Organization called TBD. 
  2. Next create the types of TBDs that are required by putting TBD in the Last Name, and the Labor Category in the First Name.
  3. Be sure to associate the TBDs with the appropriate Labor Category under the Time tab of their person profile.

You cannot log in with TBD license credentials even if you assign a password for the user.

TBD users will not show up in a People search list unless Include TBD Planning Resources is selected on the Search tab.

Sample naming conventions

  • Licenses naming convention:
    • TBD Licenses for each job type:
      • TBD - Designer (one license) - can represent a single FTE or any number of FTEs that fill that role.
      • TBD - Video Technician (one license) - same as above.
      • TBD - Graphic Designer (one license) - same as above.

---- or ----

    • TBD Licenses for each firm/contract company used by major job description. This may be beneficial if you work with different subcontractor companies and would like to differentiate between them, e.g., Contractor ABC Company (example below requires three licenses minimum for one subcontract firm).
      • TBD - ABC Designer (one license) - can represent a single FTE or any number of FTEs that fill that role.
      • TBD - ABC Video Technician (one license) - same as above.
      • TBD - ABC Graphic Designer (one license) - same as above.

Labor categories can be defined (at the Master or Project level) to assign another indicator for each of those users, e.g., Designer II or Video Technician III, and those can represent different billing or cost rates. When each TBD user is planned, they can be planned on separate Projects and/or Tasks and each Task (or Project) can have a different rate and labor category. This saves on licenses since you don't need to use three licenses for Designer I, Designer II, Designer III. Instead, you have one license called TBD - Designer, and plan that license at the labor categories of Designer I, Designer II, Designer III.

Planning TBD Resources

TBD resources are then planned in the Project profile planning grid or in the Forecast planning grid. TBD resources may be planned by anyone who has the Resource Planner role with Organization Access (person type) to the TBD organization.

Assigning TBD Plans to Licensed Users

Once TBD's have been planned, Resource Planners/Assigners could then swap/plan/assign the TBD's with real people.

Navigate to Forecast > People Planner > Plan tab. 

Once the project is approved/won, the TBD users can be switched to real people by simply double-clicking on a TBD row and using the dropdown menu to select a real person.

The dropdown menu allows the planner to select a full license resource (real person) to take the place of the TBD license.


Reports titled headcount or resource allocation can be generated and include TBD resources licenses in the results.

The TBD PLANNING RESOURCES selection criteria can be used to indicate whether those users having the TBD Planning Resources designation are to be included in the report capacity calculations.  

You will also have the option to indicate whether the resulting output will include Plans or Budgets for the TBD Planning Resources.

The following Headcount Chart shows that we have people available to work on all Projects from October through December. Since the Plans (Demand) are above the Capacity (Supply) from January through September, we will need to considering hiring someone during these months to perform the work.

Additional Information

KC - FAQ - What are UnaSource-Only or Planning-Only licenses?

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