The Planner is the recommended tool for granular resource planning. It’s the perfect solution for teams where one person centrally plans everyone’s daily work. With the Planner, it’s easy to distribute and schedule tasks across the team based on each team member’s capacity, and keep track of everyone's workload. Everything you add to the Planner is automatically reflected in each team member’s timesheet, giving them a good overview of how much time they should spend on each task on any given day.
1. How to set up team capacity for the Planner
The Planner calculates each team member’s availability based on the working schedule set up under the Availability setting. Whenever you add a new team member to your site, Scoro automatically assumes they have the standard 8-hour working day and fills in the schedule for you. So if everyone on your team works 8 hours a day from Monday to Friday, you’re all set. You can simply skip to section to learn how to start using the Planner.
However, if your team’s schedule is a bit more complex or you have any team members working with reduced capacity, follow the steps below to set up the expected workload for everyone before you start using the Planner.
- Go to Settings > Work and projects > Availability to add working hours for each user.
- Click on + New to enter a new schedule or open an existing one to view the details or modify.
- Set working hours for each user separately or set the same working hours for all users in any given user group. Setting up working hours is a flexible system. You can always create a new availability rule for special cases like Christmas time or during the vacation period when people have different working hours.
2. How to read and filter the Planner
The Planner is divided into two different blocks.
On the left-hand side, you see a panel with all the tasks that waiting to be scheduled. At the very top of that panel, you can find the filters that allow you to filter out specific tasks – for example, tasks assigned to a certain team member(s), tasks from a specific project, etc. This way you can easily focus on either one person or project at a time when scheduling work.
On the right-hand side, you see your team members’ schedules. You get an overview of all the events and time entries each person already has scheduled for the given day, week or month. You can also see how much availability they still have left for that given period. This block also has its own filters at top that make it easy to filter out specific team members, user groups or skill sets.
Filters and viewing options
Now that you understand how the Planner view is divided up, let’s dive deeper into the various filtering and view options.
You can view the Planner either on a day, week or month level. The views differ visually, depending on the granularity.
When operating in the day view, you can easily distinguish events from time entries at a glance – time-bound events have the start time next to the event name, whereas time entries do not. This allows you to plan the time reasonably around events.
If you wish to plan longer assignments related to longer projects, use the month view.
You can stretch out or compress your Planner grid by using height options compact, medium, high or extended.
No matter which grid height you choose, you always see each team member's remaining availability in hours. The progress circle around their profile photo also gives you an indication of their current availability. The Planner also lets you know whenever someone gets booked with overtime.
The filters on top of the schedule box let you customize your view by filtering out certain users, user groups or projects.
Tip! With the help of user tags, you can even filter out users with specific skills when planning different jobs for your team.
You can also filter by projects or choose a specific project to plan the related tasks.
Teams with a more flexible work schedule can also add weekends to their Planner. Choose Show weekends under View options.
If you plan tasks in the month view, you can remove the project colors to make the Planner less colorful by simply unticking the respective option under the View options.
The striped area in the Planner indicates limited working hours. For example, if most of the team members work eight hours a day, but one team member has four-hour work days on Thursdays and Fridays, the schedule for that team member shows a striped area. Thanks to that, you can tell just by looking at their schedule that their working hours are limited. The same goes for workdays that are shortened or days that are marked as national holidays.
The panel on the left shows you all the tasks that are still waiting to be scheduled. You can filter out any tasks by assignees, projects, activity types, deadlines, priorities, or some other criteria. We’ll dive further into that panel in the How to distribute and schedule tasks section below.
3. How to distribute and schedule tasks in the Planner
If you wish to schedule a task, simply drag it from the left-side panel into the Planner.
You can use either automatic scheduling or manual split for longer tasks.
When manually splitting tasks, drag and drop the task on a suitable day in the Planner and use one of the three options:
- Fill in the available time slots in the schedule with the task.
- Distribute the task between the selected dates without creating overtime. Either optimize and plan longer parts of the task on days with more availability, or split the task equally.
- Squeeze in a more critical task that needs to be taken care of before everything else already planned. This will prioritize the task and postpone everything else in the schedule, with the exception of calendar events. Allow overtime will let you plan the task on one single day, most probably creating over hours for the task assignee.
Now the task becomes planned and respective time entries are created under the task in the task detailed view.
If you want to control the agendas for the day on a more granular level and plan out which order the tasks should be tackled in, you can re-order any events and time entries within a single day with a simple drag and drop.
If you want to unplan a time entry, you can simply drag and drop it back to the task panel on the left-hand side.
You can access more detailed unplanning options if you click on the bin icon next to the time entry when you hover over it. Here you can unplan either this particular time entry or unplan (and unassign) the whole task, either for one person or for everyone involved. If you unplan the task or the time entry, the task moves back to the menu on the left, where you can easily filter it out and re-assign it later.
- When dragging and dropping a user’s time entry from the planning side back to the left-hand menu, the user is removed from the task (if they don’t have any other scheduled for the future or done time entries under that task).
- When using the bin icon to unplan a time entry from the Planner, the entry is removed from the task, but the user remains a task assignee. The current logic for the bin icon:
- This time entry – time entry is unplanned for this particular team member, but they remain an assignee.
- Whole task for this user – the whole task is unplanned only for this particular team member. If you tick the Unassign task box, the team member is also removed from the task. If the task has several assignees, the others are not affected.
- Whole task for everyone – the whole task is unplanned for the whole team. If you tick the Unassign task box, they are is also removed from the task.
The filters in the left-hand panel affect the tasks that are not yet planned. Once you plan a task by dragging and dropping it into the Planner, it becomes a scheduled time entry that is visible in the task list of the assignee.
You can also easily filter out unfinished tasks (or tasks without a planned duration) that have been fully planned, in case you and your team need to contribute some extra time to them.
Note! If there's a grey triangle in the upper right corner of an unplanned task, it indicates that this task has a set deadline. A red triangle indicates that the deadline of the task has already passed. A blue one shows that the task deadline is today or tomorrow. Just hover on it to see the exact deadline or the days over the deadline.
To add a new task directly from the Planner view, click on the +New button on the left-hand panel.
To edit an unplanned task, click on the priority tick in front of the task name.
To edit an already planned time entry, just hover over it and click on the pencil icon.
The diamonds in the Planner view indicate project deadlines.
Note! Personal events are not visible in the Planner.