Tempo Folio Tip of the Month: Prevent team member over-allocations using portfolio management data over multiple projects

As a product manager or portfolio manager, it is important to make sure the workload of each team member is properly allocated. When managing a portfolio, the success of the team down to the individual is essential to the success of both the portfolio and the project (A folio is essentially a project, but we use the term folio to avoid confusion with a JIRA project). It’s important to make sure that an employee is using their time efficiently, that they aren’t overloaded, but also that they haven’t been over-allocated.

What is over-allocation?

In the Tempo Folio plugin for JIRA May tip of the month, we delved into the difference between a team member being over-allocated and overloaded. Just a short recap, a team member who is logging more hours than what has been assigned to them on a folio or multiple folios is overloaded, whereas someone who has been assigned to more than 100% of their work capacity over multiple folios, is over-allocated.

Tempo Folio will not allow over-allocations of team members within one folio, but it is possible for this to happen if that member is working in more than one folio. This month’s tip is all about preventing this from happening using portfolio data over multiple projects.

How to identify over-allocation

There are a couple different ways to see if a user has been over-allocated in the “Team” tab in the portfolio overview. In this overview, you will see the percentage of time that person is allocated. If this amounts to over 100%, then the percentage will be written in red. 

You can also see more detailed information by individual team member. If you click on that person’s name, their individual details will show up in on the righthand side, as can be seen in the below screenshot:

 

team member over allocation

In this view, you are able to see the team member’s capacity, assigned effort, and available effort at the top. You then see which folios they are associated with and below that, the percentage allocated to them by each folio.

Note: It is possible for a user to be over-allocated and it not show up in the portfolio overview. This only happens when the person viewing the portfolio does not have access to the other folio  in which the user is also working.

Identifying over-allocations with the Timeline Overview

It is also possible to view the allocation of a member in the team timeline view. In order to do this, you simply click the right side of the toggle button at the top left hand side of the screen as seen in orange below:

 

Over Allocation Team Timeline View

 

This chart shows a team member’s past work hours and future capacity over the portfolios timeframe as an interactive chart. Any bar in this chart that is colored red shows an over-allocation to that user.

How to avoid over-allocation and resolve it

In order to avoid over-allocation from happening in the first place, as a portfolio manager it is a good rule of thumb to take a look at the portfolio overview before creating a folio and see who is already allocated 100%, or close to it, during the same time period as the folio you wish to create.

It might, however, not always be practical to look at the allocations beforehand, or you might simply end up over-allocating a particular person by mistake. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have a look at the portfolio data for multiple folios, so that you can go back and tweak the allocations of over-allocated team members.


Luckily this is very simple to do. You can see an overview of which folios an individual’s time is allocated to when you click on a team member’s name in the overview. To change the amount of allocation for a given folio, simply click on the name of the folio and you are brought to the team page of that folio where you can edit the allocated time.

 

Team Member Over Allocation

It’s extremely important for product managers and portfolio managers to allocate work to their team fairly. When managing a portfolio with many folios, it becomes difficult to keep track of which employees are working on what folio and how much of their time is allocated to that folio. Tempo Folio makes it easy to avoid problems like these and to fix them if they occur, making portfolio management more simple.

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Marta is one of Tempo's superhuman Product Marketing Managers, in her case a llama. When not writing, promoting, and optimizing she enjoys running with her dog and drawing imaginary creatures.

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