BigPicture is now on ! Enjoy enterprise-grade Program & Portfolio Management, now fully integrated with monday.com boards and workspaces.  Try it now
March 18, 2024

#BigTip: BigPicture tips and tricks – Scope, Reports, and Resources modules

Reporting
Resource Management
Scope

In the previous article, we covered practical tips and tricks to help you become a Gantt module power user. Today, you’ll learn more useful ways to work with BigPicture more efficiently, but this time in the Scope, Reports, and Resources modules.

Scope module

The scope module is one extensive list of all the project components, including tasks and epics. It’s your project WBS, like in the Gantt module, but without a timeline. The Scope module, therefore, gives you more space to work on the scope of your project. But there’s more to it.

#1. Viewing Jira issue details directly in BigPicture

In other modules, to see issue details, you need to click the issue to open it on a separate Jira page. 

In the Scope module, you no longer need to do that

The Detail View panel lets you see all the Jira issue details beside your task list. Just select the task you want to inspect and open the Detail View.

The Detail View panel in the Scope module showing details for a specific Jira issue.

 

The panel shows the same data that you would see on a Jira issue details page. So, if you have Skills and WBS widgets enabled and BigTemplate added, you’ll also find them in the Detail View. This panel is available to on-prem (data center) users.

Reports module

Project reports help you communicate the status to your stakeholders, sponsors, and team. You can generate unlimited reports you can customize and add to your report dashboard. In particular, the Task report that supports JQL lets you get the granular data you need.

#2. Getting more insights on tasks with JQL

Task report provides comprehensive data related to your project tasks. You can build your report according to many parameters, like counting or summing formulas, Jira and BigPicture fields, date filters, and date ranges.

You can also filter the report with JQL statements so the results get as detailed as you need. For example, you might want to focus your report on high-priority tasks assigned to a specific person or team.

Custom task report narrowed down with JQL.

#3. Smarter resource utilization with capacity report

Capacity report helps with real-time capacity management and long-term capacity planning. The report compares resource capacity with the assigned workload.

Capacity report configuration options.

 

If the workload exceeds capacity, you don’t have enough resources or skills in your project within a selected timeframe.

Resources module

While discussing resources, we can’t forget about the Resources module that helps you manage people’s workload, absences, and task assignments. It also offers many interesting ways to help you get things done faster.

#4. Laying the groundwork for resource management

The pillars of the Resource module are the workload and holiday plans you define for your people. 

A holiday plan covers holidays and days off observed in your country and organization. The workload plan tells what days are the business days and how long a business day takes. (You can also create separate workload plans for, e.g., part-time contractors.)

The Administration page is where you manage workload plans, holiday plans, and skills (roles) for all your resources.

 

Keeping those two pillars current will also make your assignments more accurate since you will know who is off and when. You’ll also see how many more hours (or story points) someone can still take on in a given period.

#5. Adding an absence on the fly

You manage absences on the Administration page. But there’s an ultra-fast way to add an absence to any person.

In the Resources module, right-click on the person to prompt a tiny “Add absence” modal. It will let you provide details for an absence, including the type of absence dates, and leave a comment (optional). You can also select half-day if the person doesn’t want to go for the entire work day.

Click the capacity bar on a specific day or week to add an absence. The same modal will pop up. But the difference is that the absence dates will be already defined. For this method, you’ll need to adjust the “Time period” and “Aggregation” to make the timeline display the proper period.

#6. Finding a perfect assignee with just one click 

In seconds, you can find the perfect person to assign to a task based on their skills and capacity. How? The Find the perfect match feature matches up to three suitable people you can assign to a selected task.

Click on the blue icon to see the list of the most suitable assignees to complete this task.

 

The best part is that you don’t need to fiddle with task dates to squeeze it into somebody’s workload, look up who has what skills, or dig into individual resource capacities. The app does the research for you (based on the workload, holiday plans, skills, and tasks you have defined and assigned earlier).    

#7. Resource capacity details at your fingertips

Color-coded capacity bars tell you, by default, when someone has too much (red), just about (orange), or too little work (green) on their plate. The numbers on those bars indicate a person’s maximum workload in a given period.

But you might need more than those quick-glance details.

To find out more, first, switch to the Daily aggregation and enable Capacity in the “View” (upper menu). Next, left-click the capacity bar in the “Capacity” swimlane – the “Capacity details” modal will pop up. It will show details of the person’s workload plan and team memberships.

Capacity details for a selected person. This modal is available in the daily aggregation.

#8. Quick task assignment and management

In the Resources module, you can see capacity and workload bars and taskbars (which you enable under the ‘View” in the upper-left menu). Similarly to the taskbars on the Gantt chart, they stretch along the timeline based on their start and end dates or strong dependencies.

A modal with comprehensive task details will pop up if you left-click a taskbar. You can read from it such information as start/end dates, assignee, original estimate, scheduling mode, etc.

But here’s a kicker – you can inline edit most of those details!

You can re-assign the task and change its dates, estimates, workload contouring, status, etc., on that single modal. Double-click on the field you want to edit and adjust as you see fit. 

For example, you can re-assign the task or change its dates when you notice that the current assignee’s capacity bar is red (overallocation).

Task details modal where you can change task assignee.

 

If the modal is too tiny, drag the lower corner to resize it.

#9. Filtering remaining tasks to be done

The view might get busy because you can see all the project tasks on the resource grid (in addition to the staple capacity and workload bars). So, you can create a quick filter that will show you tasks according to some specific condition.

For example, status != “To Do”  will hide tasks with the status “Done” and show you only those tasks that are not complete yet.

Quick filters support JQL, which lets you narrow down the view in several modules in BigPicture, including Resources.

#10. Aggregating data by timeboxes

If you work in Agile and have already defined timeboxes for your project (sub-boxes like PIs and iterations), you can display them on the resource grid. This will allow you to aggregate data by individual timeboxes instead of periods (like months or weeks).

When you enable timeboxes on the resources grid, the app will aggregate your resources’ workload and capacity per iteration/Sprint/PI, etc.

Sign up to try BigPicture for free

BigPicture helps you plan, build, and manage complex projects and portfolios. It’s robust but flexible enough to let you achieve what you need, often in just a few steps. There are many convenient shortcuts and clever tricks you can apply to make working with the project scope, reports, and resources more efficient. 

Sign up for a 30-day free trial to see how BigPicture streamlines projects — no matter how big, complex, or unique they are. We also encourage you to join our live demo webinar to see why more than 20,000 PPMs and their teams trust our software to build their amazing products.