Capacity Planning is the ability to forecast the time needed for your users to complete a set of tasks that are required for client Jobs, over a selected time period. The report then compares the time needed to the time available for these users.
- The weekly hours and the leave dates are recorded for the users who are assigned to the tasks. This calculates the time Available.
- The set of tasks the users do are set up in FYI Automation Processes. When the Capacity Planning Report is run, this looks at these tasks, and taking into consideration the start and end dates of the Jobs, calculates the time needed to complete the tasks that are to be done on each day. The Process also holds the reference to the user who has been assigned to each task, which can be set up as relative to each client. This calculates the Allocated time for each of the assigned users.
- The report that is produced then gives the Capacity of time that is still available as the difference between the Available and Allocated hours (either as a plus or minus number of hours) and so highlights where there are un-allocated and over-allocated resources.
More than one Process can be used to run the report and the time allocations from these are combined. This also allows different selections of Jobs to be combined as relevant. For example, you can have two Processes that calculate the time for tasks needed for tax returns during a quarter. One Process holds the tasks for individual clients and this is run for the Jobs for the quarter for individuals. Another Process holds the tasks for companies and this is run for the Jobs for the quarter for clients that are companies. The Capacity Report will combine the time allocated for the assigned users in both the Processes.
You can use the report to see where adjustments are needed, for example, changing the user who is assigned to certain Jobs or changing the start date of certain jobs. When changes have been made to the Jobs, you can refresh the Capacity Planning Report to update the underlying data and see the effect of these changes, without re-running the report.
Important Note: It is important to note that the tasks in the Processes, and any tasks for documents created in the Processes (such as creating documents, meetings etc) are analysed hypothetically. When running Processes with the Capacity Planning Report it does not create any tasks or documents in FYI.
A Capacity Planning Report can only be run by an FYI Admin, or a user in a User Group that has Permissions enabled for Create Report (refer to Managing User Groups).
Setup and Preparation for Capacity Planning Reports
The following is an overview of what needs to be setup and what is used in FYI to run the Capacity Planning Report.
For more details, and for what needs to be considered in the preparation when setting up Capacity Planning Reports, refer to Setup and Preparation for Capacity Planning - Beta.
When running the report, a Template is selected. This is an Excel Spreadsheet Template.
Click here to download the Capacity planning report template.xlsx (or download the file from the bottom of this article).
The information in two of the worksheets in the Template needs to be maintained by your practice. This is:
The Employee worksheet in the Template holds the weekly hours of each of the users that are assigned to the tasks in any Processes that will be used to run the report.
The Leave worksheet in the template holds the information about any Leave dates for these users.
Dates of any public holidays, or any other dates where all users are not available, also need to be recorded in the Leave worksheet.
The weekly hours and the leave dates is used to calculate the time Available for the assigned users.
Important Note: Apart from the Employee details and Leave date details, all other settings in the Template must be left unchanged. The spreadsheet for the Template uses advanced Excel functions (such as Pivot Tables). If any other changes are made to the spreadsheet Templates that have been provided by FYI, this can alter the way in which the Capacity Planning is calculated and displayed. The FYI Support team may not be able to assist you if changes made to the Template cause the Capacity Planning function to give incorrect results, or that stop the feature running correctly.
For each Process that will be used in the Capacity Planning, a Job View needs to be set up and saved. The Job View determines the client Jobs that trigger each Process for Capacity Planning. For example, to run a Capacity Planning report for Jobs that are due in the next quarter, you would use a Job View that has the filter set for the Job Start Date between the dates that relate to the next quarter.
A Job View is selected as the Filter in the Process, which is offered as the default when running the Capacity Planning Report. You can select a different Job View to use a different View to the one that is set as the default. For example, if the default View is set to run the Process for a certain division for the next quarter, you can run the Capacity Planning on a View for Jobs with Start Dates further in the future, or for Jobs that relate to a different division. This allows you to run the report without having to make any changes to the Process which is also useful if the Process is also used outside of Capacity Planning.
Automation Custom Processes
One or more Automation Custom Processes need to be set up by your practice that holds the steps for the tasks. This can also have tasks for any steps that create documents (such as sending an email or creating a document, creating a meeting).
A step in the Process will only be used for the Capacity Planning Report calculations where there is a Task. The reason for this is that an Assignee is needed to allocate the time.
Also, each step needs to include a Default Time for the allocation. It is the Time allocations that are used when generating the Capacity Planning Report.
Note: It is likely you already have certain Processes set up that can be used for Capacity Planning. The only changes that would be needed for these Processes to use them in Capacity Planning would be to add the Default Time Allocation for any of the tasks in the Process.
Default Time Allocation in Process Steps
When Capacity Planning is enabled for your practice, the Process Steps that create a stand-alone Task, or that create a Task as part of a document (such as Create Email, Word, Phone Call, File Note or Meeting) include the option to add the Time.
This Time allocation is used in the Capacity Planning Report to calculate the Allocated time for the tasks for each of the assigned users.
The Time can be set to be calculated as a "Fixed" time for the task or "Relative" to the total estimated hours for each Job. Refer to Setting the Default Time Allocation in Process Steps in Setup and Preparation for Capacity Planning - Beta.
Job Start Date and Job Estimated Hours in Client Jobs
The Job start date and Job estimated hours options are used when running Capacity Planning Reports.
- The start date of a Job determines if the Job and the task are relevant for the dates that the Capacity Planning Report is being run for.
- The estimated hours for a Job can be used to calculate a Relative allocation of time based on the estimated total of the Job so that, for a large client, the Task would take longer, and for a small client the Task would take less time.
These are initially set as the standard fields "Start Date" and "Estimated" to use the values held in Xero Practice Manager.
If required, a Custom Field can be used for the Job Start Date and the Job Estimated Hours. The start date and estimated total hours can then be added using the Custom Fields directly in FYI.
When these are set, the Capacity Planning reports will use the values held in the selected Custom Fields instead of the Start Date and Estimated Hours that are held in Xero Practice Manager. This allows these values to be entered directly as separate values specifically for the Capacity Planning instead of having to maintain the values in Xero Practice Manager.
To set up the Custom Fields for Job start date and Job estimated hours:
- An FYI Admin sets up the Custom Fields to use for your practice in Practice Settings - General - Custom Fields. Refer to Managing Custom Fields.
- The relevant Custom Fields are then selected for your practice in Practice Settings - Jobs - Mappings. Refer to Managing Mappings.
- When the Custom Fields have been selected for these in the Practice Settings - Jobs - Mappings, the Job Start Date and the Job Estimated Hours are then entered in FYI for each Job. Refer to Job Custom Fields.
Running a Capacity Planning Report
Once the relevant components are set up, users can run the Capacity Planning Report by clicking the + button in the menu bar and selecting Report from the list of document types.