The shaper tool is one of the key interfaces in Parallax used to create and maintain resource plans for both deals in the sales pipeline and active projects. The Project Shaper provides the full scope of a single project. It will show all of the service offerings within a project and provide feedback on the planned hours using colors. Making changes in the Project Shaper is specific to the project and do not overwrite service offering templates.
Getting to the Project Shaper:
- Click on Active Projects or Sales Pipeline
- Click on the Project of Choice
- Click on the Shape Project button
|The Shaper Interface
|A General Overview of the Shaper
|This covers what you'll find in the Header and what it's for.
|Dimensions are what find in the left-hand columns of the Shaper - check out here what can be found in Dimensions and how to use it.
|See here for info on where to find Time Off and Holidays in the Shaper and how to add more!
|Check out an overview of the Measurements area within the shaper - this is Cells where Allocations and Actuals are shown.
|A quick breakdown of the Cell Colors and what they mean.
|Info on the Shaper's Footer and what it's used for.
The Shaper Interface
The Shaper interface can be divided into four main areas:
a. Header - This is where you'll find identifying information about the Project, and apply filters.
b. Dimensions - This is where you can see the Offering Names, Assigned People/Roles and Rates/Hours/Revenue.
c. Measurements - This is where you'll view the Offering Start/End Dates, Allocations, and Actual Hours from Timesheets.
d. Footer - This is where you can change how you view the Cells (Denominator, View, Data).
See below for more info on each area.
The header gives you basic information about the Project as a whole, and ways to filter the information you're seeing:
a. In the top left corner, you will see your client name and project dates. If you find yourself needing to adjust project dates, this can be done here.
b. The header is also the main hub for all of your filtering needs. The staffing box gives you the option to filter by all roles, assigned roles, or unassigned roles.
c. Additional project numbers also live in the project header, including:
Target Revenue >
This shows the target budget for the project compared to what’s been planned. This number is initially set using the deal amount from CRM. However, once a project is active, you can adjust it in the project financial settings.Projected Revenue, Projected Costs, and Projected Margin >
These numbers are calculated based on the actual hours to date plus the remaining planned hours for all resources on the project. As you add or remove planned hours, these numbers change accordingly.
The Dimensions in the left-side columns allow you to sort your rows, toggle between financials/hours, and set individual totals for rows. You can:
a. Sort by Manual, Person or Project.
Note: Reorder arrows within the cells below will not show appear unless Manual sorting is selected.
b. Switch the Row totals between Financial and Hours data.
c. Set the Columns for your row totals based on which Fields (Rate, Hours, Revenue) you want visible with which Data Type you want to see. Data Type options:
Actuals - The hours pulled in from the integrated timesheetPlanned - The total number of hours planned from project start to finish.Projected - The actual hours plus what is remaining in the plan past today's date.Remaining - The hours left in the plan past today's date.
c. The main list of your roles/People shows on the left with their allocations in the Measurements area directly to the right.
Parallax Tip - Financial Model Differences
Depending on the financial model, the display will vary. In the Fixed or Fixed Retainer models, the Rate is an Effective Rate. In a T&M model, the Rate is the Bill Rate, which can be edited within Financial Settings. The Fees column tells you what the client owes based on the Bill Rate and Hours worked. We will go over additional details around these numbers in the article: Financials and Hours Summary
d. Set the Columns for your row totals based on which Fields (Rate, Hours, Revenue) you want visible with which Data Type you want to see. Data Type options:
The hours pulled in from the integrated timesheetPlanned >
The total number of hours planned from project start to finish.Projected >
The actual hours plus what is remaining in the plan past today's date.Remaining >
The hours left in the plan past today's date.
e. Click on the the arrow next to a Person to open their Drawer showing any Time Off and Holidays, as well as assigned projects and allocations.
For a full breakdown on how to assign a Person to a Role, check out our article here: Assigning People to Roles
In addition to viewing Time Off and Holidays in the Drawer mentioned above, you can now add Time Off. Just do the following:
- Open an Person's Drawer
- Click on any Cell in the Time Off Column
- On the module that appears, select the Date Range you want to add Time Off within and click "Add"
- Fill in the intended Time Off Hours for each day (Click the "-" icon to skip a day)
- Then click Save - and you're done!
Hover over the cell to see a dark outline and a menu icon. Select the menu icon to open the list of options:
Reorder arrow (left). Edit Offering Name, Duplicate, and Add Role (right).
Reorder arrows (left). Unassign Person from Role, Tags, Delete, and More Menu (right). Change Role and Duplicate (dropdown options).
Tag and View Project (right).
Hover over a project with a long name to see the full name in a label.
Hover over the Tags icon anywhere to see all the Tags that are applied.
The Measurements area is the main cell area is where you can bring your project to life by adding and removing hours to cells. There are a few different ways in which you can allocate hours and we talk through some tips and tricks in the article Allocating Hours to Roles.
- The offering start and end dates can not be before the project start date (reminder— the project dates can be found in the header!) If you move the service offering plan past the planned project end date, you will be asked if you want to update the planned end date for the project.
Note: You can also left-click here to shift the offering to a new start date you select from a calendar.
- Today's date is identified on the shaper by the blue highlight and dashed vertical line.
- Project/Offering Header options: Right-Click (Windows) or CTRL+Click (Mac) on the header and you can select from the following options:
- Change Start Date: This will shift move the entire offering, and shift all shapes accordingly.
- Push Out: Allows you to push selected Column and everything after back to a Calendar Date you select.
Important: Columns may only be pushed forward in time (to the right), they cannot be pulled back to an earlier date (to the left).
- Clear Column*: Use this option to clear an entire column within an offering.
- Cell Options (see below): You can also Right-Click (Windows) or CTRL+Click (Mac) on a Cell for the following options:
- Add Allocations: Use this option to bulk add hour allocations by Day for a Date range you choose*.
- Push Out: Allows you to push out selected Cell and everything after back to a Calendar Date you select. Important: Like Offerings, Cell contents may only be pushed to forward (to the right), not the backward (to the left).
- Clear Left/Clear Right/Clear All: Clears every Cell to the Left, every Cell to the Right or all Cells within the Row, based on which you select.
Note: The Right-Click options for Project and Offering do not affect Time Off that has been added. Instead, you'll manage changes to Time Off, through the Time Off Module that appears when clicking in the Time Off Column.
When using Add Allocations, if you want to add the hours each day for the whole project offering, you can save time by selecting Project Duration, instead of Select Date Range.
The color of cells gives you a quick visual representation of the project type and the project's health. The darker the shade of color, the closer the cell is to 100% booked.
Keep an eye out for red cells as those identify that you are over your available hours. A red alert bar will appear over the top of a cell when the Person is over their billable capacity.
Hours that have been planned show up in bold at the top of a cell. You can see the actual hours from your integrated timesheet appear below the planned hours. If the actual hours come in over what was planned, the actual hours will be red and bold.
The footer will be your go-to for adjusting your Measurements area viewport. In the Project Shaper, the default viewport starts at the beginning of your project.
- For easy reference, you can find the Timeline Key (legend) in the bottom left-hand corner of the Parallax app
- The Start and Today buttons will help you quickly navigate around the Measurements area.
- Start: This button will bring you to the project start.
- Today: This button will bring you to today. This is the default view when opening the project shaper.
- Viewing options for the Measurements area:
- Denominator: If you would like to remove the actuals from the cell view (on by default), chose the none option.
- View: By default, hours are added to the shaper at the week level and are evenly distributed across the 5 workdays in that week. You have the option to switch to either day or month view as well. If your project requires weekend work, you can add planned time to specific weekend days by choosing the day view and entering allocations directly into the cell. Spreading allocations across a weekend will not add allocations.
- Data: If you would like to view your cell data in percentages, rather than hours, you can make that switch here.