Visual Planning 8 is chock full of new features that can help improve employee scheduling and time tracking.
For those who are still using manual methods like Excel spreadsheets or even written or stamped timecards, going digital with scheduling and time tracking has myriad benefits. That can include drastic reductions in the labor time spent managing schedules and fewer miscommunications that leave critical tasks or jobs under (or over) staffed.
The right scheduling technology lets you make smarter decisions about resource management, forecast customer needs to staff up appropriately and ensure better balance for your staff. All that leads to bottom-line benefits like increased revenue and cost savings.
And if you’re already using Visual Planning, version 8 helps you push further into those benefits. Learn more about seven ways Visual Planning 8 improves employee scheduling and time tracking below.
1. More Intelligent Assignments Based on Skills and Customer Resource Rules
A two-way street of assignment context lets users quickly find the right collaborators for any assignment. The system lets you create conditions for both resources and assignment types. These conditions help everyone understand factors such as:
- Resource availability. Is a collaborator match already being used on another project or are they on vacation? With Visual Planning 8, you don’t need to check email, check calendars or ask around the office or team Slack channel to figure these things out.
- What skills does a task or assignment call for? Which resources in your organization can bring those skills to the task?
- Does an assignment require someone with a forklift certification, for example? Or do you want to limit certain tasks to people who are authorized within your organization to deal with sensitive data?
Visual Planning 8 lets you set conditions on tasks to filter resources by multiple requirements. That way someone managing a task that needs someone with three years of experience and availability tomorrow can find the right collaborators within a few clicks of a mouse or taps on the screen.
More intelligent assignment workflows and resource scheduling help you quickly fill out employee schedules or match team members to the right projects.
2. Time Zone-Sensitive Scheduling
For teams that support remote work or call in outsourced resources from across the globe, time zones can be a regular nuisance. Issues could range from something as small as inadvertently scheduling a meeting when it’s midnight for certain participants to something as major as leaving an entire shift uncovered because times got crossed when making a schedule.
Visual Planning 8 includes time zone management, which helps you see a visual depiction of when various activities are scheduled for everyone in your organization. You can easily see that scheduling between 9 and 11 a.m. for one office equates to a reasonable 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for another, for example, but that scheduling later in the day for one office might put the event past everyone’s bedtime in another region.
3. Multi-Language Schedule Views
Taking a global approach to collaboration doesn’t stop with time zone management. Visual Planning 8 is available in a variety of languages, which means everyone can see schedule views, labels and other information in their own language. This can reduce miscommunications about schedules and enhance productivity.
Visual Planning is currently available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
4. Drag-and-Drop GANTT Resource Modifications
If you’re trying to schedule resources for a long-term or complex project, Visual Planning 8’s GANTT chart option can save a lot of confusion. It lets you see the map of an entire project by time to understand how long you need various resources and when. You can drag-and-drop potential resources onto the chart to see how various scenarios play out and whether the relevant resources will be available when you need them.
5. Critical Path Visual on the GANTT Chart
On top of mapping the right resources to your project timeline, you can put the critical path to good use in Visual Planning 8. This upgrade lets you easily see the longest time path through any project right on the GANTT chart, and it accounts for factors including dependencies and the longest of concurrent tasks.
Once you allot resources according to availability, you can get a good idea of how long the project will take based on the critical path. This makes it easier to quote realistic timelines to business partners and clients. It also helps you know immediately if you can make a project deadline with existing resources or if you need to shift availability on other projects or bring in additional resources.
6. Custom User Dashboards
Visual Planning 8’s dashboards can be customized at the user level, bringing a new level of oversight and flexibility to the employee scheduling and time management process.
Set up dashboards so individual users can see how they’re spending their time or what’s coming up for them as far as work tasks are concerned. This can help everyone on your team manage their own schedules and resources as much as possible — a definite plus for organizations that rely heavily on field or remote work. But even in organizations that remain mostly in-house, this type of ownership of one’s own time can result in better morale and productivity.
Supervisors and other users can be set up with dashboards that help them see metrics and information that’s most important to the success of their team or project. That might range from who’s on the schedule for the day to how well resources are balanced against demands.
7. Interactive Mobile Views
Visual Planning’s sleek interface supports mobile users and lets them move easily between calendar views and other tasks. This is critical for teams that work in the field, as they may access schedules and other tasks in remote locations. It also ensures leadership has a steady view into employee scheduling and time tracking no matter where they are.
If you’re ready to find out more about Visual Planning 8 and how it can positively impact your employee scheduling and time tracking processes, reach out today to book a demo.
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