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Smaller Increments and More Flexible Scheduling in Forecast

Scheduling your team is a fundamental part of Forecast. On average, our customers create 50,000 new assignments every week—that’s a lot! Today, we’re releasing a major update to scheduling in Forecast that offers you tremendously more flexibility when assigning:

  • Assign time in smaller increments than whole hours (e.g. 0.5, 3.68, etc)
  • Select 7.5 as an option for Max Hours/Day (this allows you to set a 37.5-hour workweek)
  • Quickly adjust the Total Hours for any assignment, instead of only its Hours/Day (more on this below)
  • Other workflow improvements for faster assigning

The above changes allow a wider range of scheduling options available to you in Forecast. You can now assign a project manager that is only sitting in on a 15-minute meeting (0.25 hours/day). You can also accurately book a 37.5-hour workweek without unnecessarily over- or under-booking your team’s schedules.

New Ways to Assign in Forecast

We want Forecast to be even better for high-level planning and have done just that by now allowing you to adjust the Total Hours for an assignment. Here are some examples illustrating how you can use this feature to plan at a higher level:

  • Hours/Week — You want your developer to work 30 hours on a project each week for the next few weeks. Simply create a Monday-Friday assignment, enter 30 into Total Hours to show hours/week, and repeat this assignment for as many weeks as needed.
  • Hours/Month — You plan to work 100 hours on a project for the entire month. Create an assignment from the first business day of the month through the last, and enter 100 into Total Hours.
  • Hours/Phase — You just won a new project and you want to assign 60 hours over the first three weeks to a designer. You can create one assignment for those three weeks, and enter 60 into Total Hours.

In each scenario, Forecast will do the math for you to break the assignment down to the proper Hours/Day. We’ve created a short, 2-minute video that highlights these new concepts. We highly recommend you watch it as you’ll learn some insightful ways to work faster in Forecast:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. Happy scheduling!

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  • Thanks for another helpful improvement!
    Just a quick note – since the update, we are unable to input hours on:
    – numeric keyboard on Windows
    – on MacOS if there is a local (i.e. Czech) keyboard set

  • Same as Robin, unable to input hours on numeric keyboard (Mac Norwegian keybord).

  • wibaux JP on April 11, 2016

    Same for us in France !
    Can you please advise when the correction will be done ?
    Thanks

  • Can’t enter numbers on numeric pad on normal UK keyboard!
    Thanks.

  • Thanks so much for continually improving the app! However, please, please, please add (optional) weekend support.

  • @Robin @Thomas @wibaux @James Thanks for writing in, and being one of the first customers to point out this bug. It has now been fixed. If you reload Forecast, editing Hours/Day and Total Hours should work perfectly again!

    @Andrew – Thanks for letting us know you’d like to see weekend support in Forecast. I’ve added your comment to our feature request list, though we have nothing to announce regarding weekends at this time.

  • Awesome! Thank You! This is what we’ve been waiting for

  • Hi – can you still not add allocations by week instead of by day? Or is this feature still in the works?

  • Marvellous! Thanks for finally updating.

  • @Bridget – If you’d like to allocate time by week in Forecast, you can create a Monday-Friday assignment, and put the hours per week into the Total Hours input. If you’d like this assignment to span multiple weeks, you can repeat the assignment. You can see an example of this in the video above when Christopher is assigning his designer Jennifer.

  • Hi there,

    It would be very helpfull if there would be a repeat option.

    We have to plan update services, every 3 or 4 weeks, for half a day. I have to repeat them myself. An option to plan that once should be awesome.

    Kind regards,

    Noelle, Divtag, Netherlands

  • @Noelle – Thanks for letting us know you’d like to see more Repeat options in Forecast. We currently only support weekly repeating assignments. I’ve added your comments to our feature request list.

  • @matthew looking for Noelles option as well!

  • Zander Grinfed on September 13, 2016

    It’s a step in the right direction – but I think its wrong to assume that if you have 10 hours to do over five days you do two hours a day.

    We schedule peoples times in chunks but don’t micromanage their hours.

    It would be great to see forecast doing some more intelligent capacity calculations by looking at the hours assigned to a worker of the course of a week, rather than breaking things down into days. That way I can assign a worker 10 hours over 5 days, then a full working day on Monday, and Forecast doesn’t show them as being over capacity on the Monday (by 2 hours) – instead it would assume they’d squeeze the 10 hours into the following 4 days.

    • Arun Srinivasan on September 19, 2016

      @Zander

      We’re taking some steps in this direction actually. You can read more about the coming changes here.

      In your specific example, it would still alert you that the person looks overbooked on Monday, but that’s easily fixed by adjusting the 10 hour assignment to start on Tuesday.

      You will get capacity calculations for the week as a whole, which we agree is a good thing.

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