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Liquid and Balanced Workload Modes

Liquid and Balanced Workload Modes

ActivityTimeline provides a possibility to observe the resource’s workload with the help of the workload indicator. It’s quite useful as it allows to distribute work among teams properly and avoid under or overloading your people. The workload indicator is displayed in the Dashboard below each person’s name and shows the amount of work scheduled for that person for a specific period of time.

The workload indicator view depends on a current calendar view, users’ involvement, and work hours in a day. If the scope is changed from a default one-week scope view to Two Weeks, Month – Weekly, then a different view will load:

It simple in use: red hours – a person is overloaded, yellow – underloaded, green ones – everything is fine.


Workload Calculation 

The calculated workload is based on the estimated hours for specific tickets scheduled on a person’s timeline.

It’s possible to configure a global full-time capacity for most employees, but it’s also possible to create separate involvement plans for part-time workers or simply for people that work different hours.

  • in case of full-time involvement let’s take for example an 8-hour working day. It means that a manager can schedule JIRA tickets with total Remaining Time Estimate = 8 hours. If the total remaining time estimate for all scheduled tickets exceeds 8 hours, the person is overloaded and a manager should fix his/her workload.

  • for part-time involvement, the workload should correspond to the number of working hours specified in Configuration settings. If a person is a contractor with 4 hours workload, his or her manager should not schedule JIRA tickets with a total remaining time estimate of more than 4 hours per day.


Workload Modes: Liquid and Balanced

There are two ways of how a workload can be calculated:

Balance mode equally distributes hours for a set period. This is a default calculation mode.

If a task is estimated for 10 hours, and a manager schedules it for 2 days, the system will automatically schedule 5 hours per each day for that task.

Suits for: this way is great for individuals who have different types of tasks that they need to track on a constant basis. e.g. someone launched an email campaign and needs to devote 2 hours a day to this task. Set the proper estimate and this task will be evenly distributed.

Liquid mode –  If a task is estimated for 10 hours, and a manager schedules it for 2 days, the system will automatically put all hours upfront:

  • for a full-time worker a task will be scheduled for 8h for the first day, but still appear stretched to 4 days in a timeline

  • for a part-time worker a task will be scheduled for 4h for the first two days, but still appear stretched for 4 days in a timeline

Suits for: it’s good option for those whose workflow is going evenly and people start to complete a new task just if they’ve finished the previous one and it is no need to keep an eye on a couple of the ongoing tasks.

The only concern is that if you’re not attentive enough, a specific amount of hours will go on the last day of the task and the person can be overloaded. For example, if you have one task for 46 hours and the time frame is 1 week, the person with the 8-hour working day will be overloaded and extra 6 hours will be brought to the last day. It’s needed to be very attentive, especially in a long time planning in order to avoid overload, especially extra hours on the last working day, which may cause many inconveniences.

Workload Calculation mode can be specified by ActivityTimeline administrator.

To change the workload calculation mode:

  • Navigate to Configuration tab > Workload Indicator Settings page > Time Tracking section

  • Change Workload Calculation Algorithm value from BALANCE to LIQUID.

  • Click Update and go back to Dashboard

Check out other useful tips for your successful planning here – How to display Jira tasks in my Google Calendar?

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