Announcing resource allocation in Timeline view

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Airtable Alumni (Retired)

Hi all -

Starting today, we are excited to announce a new way to manage time and resources in Timeline View - ensuring you and your teams are operating efficiently no matter how complex your projects are.


Plan ahead & determine resourcing needs

The best way to avoid over-allocation issues is to never experience them in the first place. Thinking through project durations, budgets, and team member capacity before you start a campaign can ensure you accomplish your goals on schedule.

Plan ahead with the summary bar, which automatically makes calculations based on record values. These summaries can help teams uncover resource-related data (like the average time spent on projects every week).

When you pull up the summary bar in a Timeline view, you’ll get to choose from a wide range of functions to calculate summaries, including:

  • Count
  • Sum
  • Average
  • Min
  • Max
  • Range
  • Median
  • Utilization

The summary bar’s utilization function is particularly helpful for calculating exactly how much of a team member’s capacity is being used (or underused) by generating utilization percentages.

You can also make resource allocation easier to understand with grouping. Grouping lets you make quick and distinct associations between multiple records, and can help you visualize how projects are being resourced.

Find balance when resources are over (or under) capacity

Through conditional coloring and the ability to drag and drop records in Timeline View, you can now balance resources quickly to help projects stay on track.

In addition to summary functions, you can also add color to the summary bar based on certain conditions.

Create a Timeline view with these new features in your base now, and let us know how you’ll be using these updates below!

Additional resources:

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto

This is pretty hot!

I think the biggest “secret announcement” here is actually 2 new features that have never been possible before:

  1. Splitting records with multiple values to show up multiple times on the same view. This is huge.
  2. Being able to directly access summary bar values in conditional coloring. This is gigantic. People have been wanting to do this for years in the context of formulas (which is not not yet available).

It would be great to see these 2 features rolled out to the rest of the product line.

16 - Uranus
16 - Uranus

Unless I missed it earlier, this update also includes “[interval] split into [interval]” control for the “zoom”:

In addition, the Timeline view now allows you to see hours in a day (“Day split into hours”). I had more than one client approach me to build a custom app just to show a timeline view of a single day. Great bonus enhancements!!!

7 - App Architect
7 - App Architect

I don’t use the timeline much, but I would love to be able to “group toggle” linked records so that they are visualized/duplicated similarly within the grid and page designer!

Also the same grouping functionality for multi selects!

pretty please!

10 - Mercury
10 - Mercury

Looks great! Can’t wait to try it out!

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

So excited to update all of our views!! This is a MAJOR update we have been asking for for years!

12 - Earth
12 - Earth

I submitted some feedback through the form. I think the support page could be more clear on some things (unless I missed it), eg:

  • when you choose “Availibility per week” in the Utilizations menu, the Availability per Resource will be divided by 7 by default. You can divide it by 5 if you choose “only workdays” under Date settings
  • it only works, like somewhat stated, when you have individual tasks/projects per employee. It can’t calculate the Utilization of 2 employees working x% Availibility on the same Allocation for 1 task/project. So you should break up a task/project in to subtasks/subprojects yourself per employee and Allocate a subamount of time

I can see the big potential of this new functionality, but find it somewhat difficult to understand the nuances of it all. Maybe a more elaborated support page could help.

6 - Interface Innovator
6 - Interface Innovator

Noticed that as well. Using this means:

  • Only one task per owner
  • Using linked record fields over collaborator fields for record assignment (a bit of a bummer since collaborator fields allow easy auto-notifications + assigning the watching of comments to other people).

But these things can be overcome and are still a small price to pay for resource management.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

An awesome addition! We’ll be using this for our team’s capacity planning. Although we did run into some significant problems.

  • If using multiple groupings, if you collapse all, the utilization summary clears out and you have to set it up again
  • The utilization formula doesn’t calculate correctly when using multiple groupings of your workforce. IE - group by Engineers, then Individuals. It sums the total percent instead of calculating utilization for the team.

What it does: SUM(All Task Allocation%), with Allocation% being Task Allocation / Worker Capacity. If you then group workers into a teams, it calculates team utilization by just summing the allocation % for each worker, which isn’t really the team’s utilization.

What it should do: SUM(All Task Allocation%) / Worker Count. This would result in the correct calculation for BOTH individual workers and if they were grouped into teams.

4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

I think colour coding by utilization is very useful! I was wondering if there was a way to do more with the utilization function.

For example: Is it possible to filter by utilization? (using the dates visible maybe in the view)

Is it possible to use the utilization function in the grid view. IE a formula which gives utilization of a resource for a given week?