Overview

Where is your Team spending their time?  It's easy to see how many actual hours your Team is recording, but are they spending it on Billable work for a Client?  What about time spent on Projects that aren't immediately billable?  What can be done to better allocate your team's time towards revenue-generating work?  These are the sorts of questions our new and improved Utilization Breakdown Report exists to shine a light on.

What is Utilization, and why does it matter?

Check out this section for general info on how Utilization is defined and how it's used.

Using the Utilization Breakdown Report

This section summarizes what benefits you'll get from the Utilization Breakdown and what it can tell you about your team!

Navigating the Utilization Breakdown Report

Here we'll talk about the different parts of the Utilization Breakdown, what they mean and how you'll use them.  You can jump to specific parts of the page here:

 

What is Utilization, and why does it matter?

This in-depth article explains what we mean by Utilization, by contrasting it to Capacity. Broadly speaking, Utilization is how well you are performing against a specified goal (Target Utilization). How well are your People's hours planned out? How often are People successfully executing against those Plans? This is what Utilization tells you.

Each Role (or Person) within your Organization has a set Utilization Target, a percentage of their Schedule that should be spent on billable hours. By tracking People's Utilization, you ensure that time is being spent on what matters most to your business.

Using the Utilization Breakdown Report

If the Utilization > Overview tells you how you're doing against your goal, then the Utilization > Breakdown is the microscope with which to hone in on what part of your Plans or execution are off balance.  Are you allocating too much time for Admin work?  Not enough of your Team's time being spent on Billable Client work?  This report report is designed to help you track how time is being spent throughout Projects and answer those key questions. 

With the inclusion of new metric of Productive Utilization, you can keep track of not just Billable Utilization (time that's being spent towards Client-facing Projects), but also the time spent on Investment projects that are not immediately billable (such deploying internal tools), but which still move the needle for your Clients.  Differentiating Billable and Productive Utilization from the Total Utilization empowers you to identify where your team's time can be more effectively spent! 

You can track both of these broadly for segment of your Organization using Summary Charts at the top of the page, or use Drill Downs to highlight to look for individual improvement opportunities for in specific segments of your filter set (such as individual People in a Department) within the Dataset Table.

Check out more information about Productive Utilization here: Productive Utilization

Navigating the Utilization Breakdown Report

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The Utilization Breakdown can be broken down into three segments:

(1) Filters and Customization

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A section similar to this will be present in each Insights Report.  This is where you'll pick out what Data segments you want to view. Many of these options will be standard in one or all reports. In the top left, you'll find Filters which you can use to segment your data (with options for Department, Role, Worker Type and People Tags).  

On the right side of the page, you'll use the Date Picker to set your range of data, and you can use the Saved View option for easy access to the filter-state you've chosen (check out here for more Saved View info).   For info on the Picker and the available Date-selection options check out this article

(2) Summary Charts

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The Summary Charts at the top of the Utilization Breakdown report give you Charts at the top of the Utilization Breakdown Report give visualized summaries based on the dataset you’ve selected through the filters and Drill Downs you’ve selected.  The first of these Charts is focused on your Utilization as compared with your Target:

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We’ve tried to make the left side Summary Chart as simple and straightforward as possible - it surfaces the Billable and Productive Utilization compiled for the dataset and range you’ve selected and compares it to the compiled Target Utilization. These metrics can be defined as.

  • Billable Utilization - The combined total Hours spent on Client Billable (Client T&M, Fixed Bid, Fixed Retainer) Offerings and Client Non-Billable* Offerings.
  • (New!) Productive Utilization - The combined total Billable Utilization, plus Internal Investment Offerings.
  • Target Utilization - The combined Target Utilization goals for the dataset (as set for Roles or People under the respective Settings pages).

Each of these is shown as a percentage of Available Capacity, allowing you to quickly and daily see how close you are to your goal!

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The right-side Summary Chart then illustrates where that time is being spent.  This breakdown shows you a graph of the combined Total Hours of your dataset and range, breaking down into segments to illustrate where your time is being used.  Those segments are:

  • Billable Hours - Hours spent on Client Billable (T&M, RetainerFixed Bid) Offerings within Client Projects.
  • Client Non-Billable - Hours spent on Non-Billable Offerings within Client Projects.
  • Internal Investment - Hours spent on Investment Offerings within Internal Projects.
  • Internal Admin - Hours spent on Admin Offerings within Internal Projects.
  • Time Off - The combined Time Off Allocations (for future dates within selected range) and past Time Off Actuals (for past dates within range).
  • Holidays - The combined Time Off Allocations (for future dates within selected range) and past Time Off Actuals (for past dates within range).
  • Remaining Capacity - Hours remaining to reach Total Capacity.

Each of these segments are shown as a percentage of Total Capacity (all possible Hours based on Schedule), allowing you to see at a glance where your team’s time is being spent!

Parallax Tip: Why do the right and left Summary Charts show different Billable percentages?

This is expected - the left Summary Chart is intended to show Utilization (which is based on Available Hours), whereas the right Summary Chart is intended to account for every potential hour, so it uses Total Hours, including those which are unavailable for work.

(3) Drill Downs/Search/Columns Filter/CSV

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On this part of the page, you'll see options for Drill Downs - these are ways of viewing the Data by different groupings - these include by Department, Role, Person, Location and Tag.  Keep in mind that Utilization is always a dimension of a Person rather than a Project (since a Project cannot have Utilization without someone assigned to it).  For this reason the Role (and corresponding Department) refers to the Person's Default Role, rather than the Project Role(s) they fill on specific Projects.  Likewise the Tags mentioned refer to Tags applied to a Person, rather than a Project or Assignment.

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To the right, you'll find the Columns Filter; clicking the Eye Icon allows you to select which Columns you do and do not want to see, in order to hide any data not currently relevant to you.  Next to it, you'll find the Search option for honing in on a specific Department/Role/Person/Location/Tag and an option to download your dataset as a CSV.

(4) Dataset Table Snag_54585f85.png

The Dataset Table represents the meat of the Utilization Breakdown.   These are the results returned by the Filters you've selected and the Drill Down you've picked, as populated by the Columns you've selected.  The data you'll find consists of:

  • Segment Info (People, Role, Department, etc.) - This will be the Names identifying each grouping of data you're drilling down to look at (ex: People Names/Roles Departments in By People drill down).  What's included will depend on which drill down you're using, but in short, it's the info that defines the individual groupings you're looking at.
  • Utilization Visual - This column contains a microcosm of the left-side Summary Chart, showing a visual of the same Utilization data, but applied to the individual Person, Role, etc. instead of the entire segment.
  • Utilization Percentages
    • Billable Utilization -  Billable Utilization will be the Total Billable Hours (T&M, Retainer, Fixed Bid and Client Non-Billable*), expressed as a percentage of the Available Capacity for the Person, Role, etc. and represents individualized data shown in aggregate on the left-side Chart above.
    • Productive Utilization - Like Billable Utilization, Productive Utilization is the individualized data populating that makes up the left-side Summary Chart.  As above, Productive Utilization is defined as time spent towards Productive Offerings (Client Billable + Client Non-Billable Hours + Internal Investments), shown as a percentage of Available Capacity for the Person, Role, etc.
    • Target Utilization - Target Utilization is the Utilization Target set by the Person (by Person View) or the combined Utilization Targets set for the group (Department, Role, etc.) as calculated based on Available Capacity.  Find out more about setting Utilization Targets in this article.
    • Total Utilization - Total Utilization represents the total Hours spent on any Projects (not including PTO/Holidays) as expressed as a percentage of Available Capacity for the Person, Role, etc.
  • Total Capacity - As mentioned above, the purposes of this report, Total Capacity is defined as the maximum hours possible.  It's calculated as the sum of all Schedules for all People within the Dataset, with no modifications applied.
    (As an example, if all People in your Organization used a standardized Schedule in Settings > Customization, you would calculate this as: Standard Schedule x # People x # Business days).
    • Time Off - This section summarizes any applicable Time Off Plans scheduled through the Assignments View (in the future) and/or Time Off Actuals recorded through a Timesheet on Settings > Time Off (in the past).
    • Holiday - This section summarizes any applicable Holidays scheduled through the Settings > Time Off page (in the future) and/or Holiday Actuals recorded through a Timesheet on Settings > Time Off (in the past).
  • Available Capacity** - Available Capacity is defined as Total Capacity, minus any omitted Time Off or Holiday during which a Person is not present (and therefore not available for work).
    • Billable Capacity % - This is the Billable Capacity percentage that is set on Settings > People for the individual (or combined percentage for the Role, Department, etc.).
    • Billable Capacity - This is the individual/grouping's Billable Capacity % but converted into Hours using Available Capacity.
    • Client Billable Hours - These are the Hours being spent on T&M, Retainer or Fixed Bid Offerings.
    • Client Non-Billable Hours - These are the Hours spent on Client, Non-Billable Offerings.  They represent Hours on an Offering that you're essentially billing at $0.
    • Internal Investment - These are Hours spent on the Investment Offerings within Internal Projects.  They represent the Hours that are productive towards future business, but not Billable towards a specific Client.
    • Internal Admin  - These are Hours spent on the Admin Offerings within Internal Projects.  These are Hours not attributable to any specific growth opportunities or generation of business.

*Parallax Tip - Client Non-Billable Hours

The default (and recommended) assumption that Non-Billable Client work is still considered to be Billable for the purposes of tracking Billable Utilization.  However, they can be manually adjusted to be considered Productive, but not Billable.  Find out more here.

**Parallax Tip - Time Off/Holidays and Productivity

Parallax thinks of Time Off and Holidays as time that your Team is not physically present, thus reducing Available Capacity and normalizing their Utilization to account for absence.  While it is not recommended, you can choose to include Time Off and/or Holidays in your Available Capacity calculation (click here for more information), however, know that this can skew Billable Utilization since it gives the appearance that your Team has more time than they truly do - plus you can can still see the impact of PTO/Holidays using the Total Capacity column. For more information, check out this article.

 

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