Resource Allocation: Tasks assigned to employees and displayed in a time-based bar chart.
Consider this "Part 2" of the Employee Availability video. This video expands upon the concepts of scheduling projects and tasks so that employees have steady work into the future. That is really the definition of Project Resource Allocation. The concept seeks to allocate task work to employees so they have something to work on. Of course G&A projects and planned time off have their place in the mix as well. It's not all just project work. Consider this one of the many project management features in addition to our timesheet, expenses, invoicing, and PTO accruals.
The basis of resource allocation is projects and tasks. Either the project, or the tasks under it, must be set up to allocate hours to employees. Traditionally, this has been purely a project task duty, but our product also allows projects with no tasks to serve as sources of allocated hours. That simplifies things.
Assuming you are using project tasks to check resource allocation, you will need to enter an estimated duration of hours for each task, at a minimum. Adding a starting and due dates help define the exact time when you expect employees to work on tasks, but they are optional because you may not know those dates or the dates may change too frequently for micro-management. Simply add some tasks to a project, assign them to employees, and enter a duration, and you have all you need to view the effect in the Resource Allocation window.
The graph you see deals chiefly with task remaining hours. So, even though you entered hours into the duration field, it is really the number of remaining hours, after subtracting actual timesheet hours, that are plotted on the graph. Why? Because those are the only hours relevant to future work. In other words, employees will apply themselves to what remains of their tasks. So all we care to see in the graph is what remains to be done.
If you can envision a graph showing tasks allocated by time period, you instantly realize that employees are expected to work a certain number of hours during those periods. You also begin to see that an inverted chart represents employee availability. For example, if a person is allocated to work on 10 hours in a certain week, they would have another 30 hours available for new work. So whereas the resource allocation chart would show a bar for 10 hours, the availability chart would show 30. The two work hand-in-hand to help you visualize future working hours.