What is scheduling?

Scheduling is a tool that enables you to do high-level time allocations for your entire team. 

Why is scheduling important?

You can’t be efficient without a good scheduling workflow. How do you know who’s going to work on what project and for how long? What if someone gets sick and you need to assign the project to someone else? Who’s available? Who’s going to be available in 4 days, 4 weeks, 4 months?

Scheduling answers all of these questions for you, and the important things about it are:

  • You know exactly who works on what and for how long

  • You can include sick leave, vacations, and off-time into your schedule

  • You can distribute the workload better and prevent burnout

  • You’ll have a report saying how many vacation/days off people spent

  • Time tracking becomes easier - every scheduled event automatically becomes a time tracking suggestion

  • You don’t need to use external tools (like Hub Planner or Float). Scheduling is now available in Productive at no additional cost.

  • Scheduling sets the ground for forecasting/prognosis we plan to add in the future, so you’ll know exactly how much revenue/profit you’ll have 3, 6, or 12 months in the future.

How can I schedule someone for a project?

First of all, you need to have the Manager or Admin role to manage Scheduling.

Go to the Time section and switch to the Scheduling tab. Here you’ll have a list of all your employees and contractors.

Simply click on the square where you want the schedule to start from and drag the line into the future for as long as you want.

You don’t have to be precise about the exact dates. You can always tweak the start and end date in the pop-out dialog. To save the booking, you’ll need to fill out two things: the project you're scheduling someone for, and a specific service on that project.

You can also select how would you like to allocate that person's time. You can select:

  • Hours per day

  • Percentage

  • Total hours

Hours per day means that the person's time will be distributed according to the value you've entered: e.g., a teammate has been scheduled to work on this project for two hours each day.

If you use percentages, that means that the person will be scheduled for the project relative to their total capacity. E.g., if they work eight hours a day and are scheduled to work 50%, they will be scheduled for 4 hours for that project.

Total hours will allocate their time to the project, but not per each day: e.g. if you schedule someone to work 10 hours during five days, it does not matter how many of those 10 hours will be used during one day.

If your project and budget don’t have any services yet - don’t worry. Productive automatically creates a new placeholder service called Open hours on any newly created budgets. This way you’ll always have something to schedule against.

To change something in the schedule, click on the booking and select an action you need from the menu.

Note though that you will not be able to change the allocation type from this menu (e.g. from h/day -> total hours). If you wish to do so, you will need to delete this booking and create a new one with the correct allocation type.

I understand that you can schedule someone on a project, but what is an event?

Events are company-defined off-times. It’s usually a vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity leave, sabbatical, unpaid leave, etc.

It’s important to include those in your schedule so you have 100% accurate availability information. For example, you schedule someone’s vacation 3 months in advance. Chances are you’ll forget about it in the next couple of weeks. But, you won’t be able to schedule this person on a project in that period because the slot is taken.

You’ll need to create all the events you want to track in the schedule. Go to your Time and resource management settings and find Time Off.

Scroll down to events and click + Add event

An event can either be paid (sick leave, vacation…) or unpaid (sabbatical, unpaid leave…). By “paid” here we mean - does the company pay the person for that time-off.

Put down everything that’s relevant to your company’s schedule on that list. Paid events automatically get “time tracked” so that all your cost reports are correct.

How is this going to reflect on time tracking?

Time tracking becomes much simpler and easier to use:

  • The user interface has been stripped to the bone, meaning you can be done with tracking your time in just three steps. Select a project you were working on and a service, put down some time and you’re done.

  • Every booking you make in the schedule automatically appears in My time as a suggestion. This means that you can track your time not in three steps, or two steps but in just one click of a button. Click on the booking you want to track time for and everything else will be prefilled for you - project, service, time - it all comes from Scheduling.

Check out this article to learn more about Adding Time Off.

Changing views

You can switch between several scheduling views:

  • Person

  • Projects

  • Category

You can also Zoom out if you want to have a clearer overview. 

Click on Settings to the very right to:

  • toggle Stack bookings,

  • show Project colors and logos,

  • show All holidays (Show holidays from all holiday calendars in this organization),

  • show Capacity Indicators - Heatmaps (red means the person is overbooked, green means underbooked or just right). Toggle Compact indicators to change the size of the heatmaps (default or compact), and

  • manage Placeholders.

Default indicators will give you a more detailed overview:

... and you can zoom in to show how much time is allocated per day:

If the project is private the Staff role will not see the details of that project - it will only show the name of the project, allocated hours, and a project manager.

The same goes for Time offs, it will only show Absence and allocated time, but not the Time off category.

Manage placeholders

When clicking on Manage placeholders the navigation takes you to Settings > Scheduling placeholders.

Here you can add a new Placeholder or edit the existing one. There is an option to change the color scheme of the Placeholder, rename it, change the cost rate or the working hours (capacity) and edit custom fields.

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