% Allocation

EdLEdL
edited 12/09/19 in Using Smartsheet
10/11/18 Edited 12/09/19

As a new user, I found that the % Allocation column does not respond to input from the Duration column, as seems intuitive to me.

After reviewing community comments, I find that the % Allocation functionality in Smartsheet does not actually work.  One of the reasons I bought Smartsheet is the advertised resource allocation functionality, i.e., overload alarms.

I need to know if Smartsheet plans to fix this soon.  If not, I will have to abandon Smartsheet and move on to a different product.

Can anyone tell me if a fix is scheduled, and when it will be made available?

EdL

Comments

  • Andrée StaråAndrée Starå ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hi EdL,

    I'm curious, how would you want that to work?

    Please submit an Enhancement Request when you have a moment.

    Best,

    Andrée Starå

    Workflow Consultant @ Get Done Consulting

    SMARTSHEET PARTNER & CONSULTANT / EXPERT

    Andrée Starå | Workflow Consultant / CEO @ WORK BOLD

    W: www.workbold.com | E: [email protected] | P: +46 (0) - 72 - 510 99 35

    Feel free to contact me about help with Smartsheet, integrations, general workflow advice, or something else entirely.

  • Jeff SJeff S Employee

    Hi EdL,

    I'm not entirely sure if I understand the situation, but based on what you wrote, it sounds like you're possibly expecting the "% Allocated" column automatically update to reflect how much a given resource is allocated, based on the tasks (and their durations) assigned to them? If this is the case, then it could just be a misunderstanding of how resource management in Smartsheet works.

    The "% allocation" column is provided as a way to set how much of a person's time will be dedicated to the task during its duration. For example, if the task will take place over a week, but the person or resource will only spend half of their time on that task, then you should set "% Allocation" to 50%. If you expect the person to use all of their time over the duration, then you should set "% Allocation" to 100%. 

    If a resource is over-allocated, a red icon will appear on the left side of the sheet, under the Row Action Indicators (the italicized "i") column for that row. You can click on the icon to view additional details of when the resource is over-allocated. You can also view resource allocation from the Home Tab in smartsheet under "Resource Views," where you can create views of your various resources and see their allocation status.

    In summary: The "% Allocated" column is provided for you to configure how much time a resource will spend on that task. You can view the current allocations for a given resource by clicking on the red icon if they are over-allocated, or otherwise through Resource Views in the home tab.

    See also: 

    https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/1346969-resource-management-allocation-team-enterprise-only-

    https://help.smartsheet.com/articles/1346971-resource-views

     

  • I don't believe Smartsheet manages EFFORT. Instead, if manages DURATION. if SS did manage EFFORT the %ALLOCATION column would adjust the planned start/finish dates. For example, if there was a task with a 5-day effort and the resource was expected to be 100% allocated to that task you would expect SS to show a duration of 5 days. However, if you changed the %ALLOCATION to 50% on that task you would expect the duration to be 10 days.

    But since SS doesn't manage "effort" it is a mute point. i think the only value this %ALLOCATION column adds is if you want to manage "over-allocation" where certain tasks show that little red man to the left of the task name. this is much more of a tedious way of managing.

    I'd like to see two improvements to SS:

    1. at the resource level allow me to indicate who is full time (i.e., 100% allocated) and who is part time (i.e., 50% allocated for example). This covers the part-time resources on my project across ALL tasks assigned to that individual.
    2. at the task level allow me to indicate EFFORT instead of DURATION. SS would then divide effort by %ALLOCATION and adjust the planned finish date
  • I agree with Dan's improvement requests. I was expecting this:

    I have two task that I've entered. Each has a 2 day duration (effort). I will be working on those in parallel (same start date) of April 13. The end date is autocalculated to be April 14. This causes an overallocation if my %Allocation is set to 100%. I realize I can't reasonably do these two things LITERALLY at the same time, but because they are similar tasks, I get a benefit by doing some of task A and then duplicating that effort on task B, on the same day.

    To resolve my overallocation, I would like to change my %Allocation on both tasks to 50%. When I alter my %Allocation, I expected my duration to adjust accordingly by extending the end date. Thus, my duration for each task will actually be stretched over 4 days rather than 2 because I'm splitting my allocation for each task in half.

  • Another customer in agreement with Dan and Elishia. Duration or effort should be a fixed amount of time. For example, it takes me 1 hour to mow the yard. That's how people think and plan work breakdown structures.

    Starting time for mowing the yard would be 9am or could be dependent on my finishing my morning coffee at 8am. If i'm allocated to mowing the yard at 100% the finish time would be 10am. Like Dan said if I'm only allocated 50% to mowing my yard the task finish time would PUSH out to 11am.

    This deficiency appears to be the 1 missing key functionality to your work flow. Right now your work flow is 100% "manual" on resource allocation and leaves users like us exposed to mistakes in complex projects.

    Please help - Rob

  • Indeed, the Duration should be a "calculable" field.

    Right now, here's my turnaround. I have a calculated Duration column based on the allocation. When there's a discrepency between that field and the Smartsheet Duration column, I get flagged and I have a report with only those fields. I then manually update all the Smartsheet Duration values with the Calculated value. I also have a workflow that sends me an email if I forgot to adjust the Durations.

    Copy-Paste availability for that field would be nice though....

  • Anthony BarthelemyAnthony Barthelemy ✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree as well. Much Like MS Project.

  • I have started a trial project to see iff Smartsheet would satisfy that same requirement. I understand now by reading this post that I cannot manage effort. Sad.

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