Thursday, January 22, 2015

Simple Assignment Costing with SharePoint 2013

IntelliGantt for SharePoint 2013 enhances basic task list assignments by adding effort and hourly rates for each person and rolling up cost values in a 'Cost' column. There are two main pieces to this feature that we will work through in this blog post.

First, add a new currency column to your task list and name it 'Cost'. IntelliGantt is programmed to look for this 'Cost' column and will store its computed cost values there. IntelliGantt will always compute a cost value, but in order for it to show up in the tool the 'Cost' column needs to be in the active view. Otherwise, if you just have a personal view that shows the 'Cost' column but the other views do not, then in effect you will be the only person able to see the cost values and other people will not.

Second, you will need to supply the effort and hourly rate for each member of the site you want to track this information for. This is done via the 'employee_rates.js' file your IntelliGantt aspx page includes. If you do the basic, minimum installation, then this will be located with your IntelliGantt_Online.aspx page. 

You can co-locate this file with the aspx page as we do when first installing, OR... because we are using all the power of the web, you can also reference a 'global' employee_rates.js file located at a root site that everyone has access to. The benefit of this approach is the file only needs to be generated once. 

One other word about generating the employee_rates.js file. While only you can provide effort and hourly rate information, IntelliGantt can generate the inital employee_rates.js file simply by not referencing one. If IntelliGantt cannot find the employee_rates.js file it will create one using the membership information of the current site. Everyone will then be listed in the 'employee_rates.js' with an Effort of 1.0 (100%) and an HourlyRate of 0.0.

Once we have the 'Cost' column and our employee_rates.js file set up, we can start seeing what things will cost. For example, if you click on the 'Assigned To' cell for a specific task, our rich editor appears that not only lets you adjust the assignments, but also see exactly what each assignment costs.

Here we see that the resource assigned to this task has an hourly rate of $100 and their level of effort is 100%, which in turn means the cost for this 32 hour task is $3200.

You can see everyone's resource information (as defined from the 'employee_rates.js' file) in the 'People' view. Click on the 'People' image at the upper left of IntelliGantt to show this information.

The very first time you open it nothing is selected, so while you see a list of people in the 'All People' selection box, you don't see any values. Simply click on one or more people to see their costing information.

Given the selected person, IntelliGantt will fill in the computed Duration, Work, Effort, Hourly Rate and Estimated Cost values. (Actual Cost as well, but that is a future blog post!).

Notice also that the visible task list in IntelliGantt changed! When you selected a person in the 'People' display, it filters the task list to show only their tasks. This makes it easy to see both their cost and their tasks on a timeline. You can close the 'People' display and it will remember your selection so you have a full view of the filtered Gantt chart.

One more nice little feature is you can collapse tasks and it will show its sub tasks on the same horizontal row, like a swimlane.

Return to the 'People' display to see what your current filter is and the associated costs.

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