Project (Portfolio) Demand

This article explores the Project (Portfolio) Demand page in the Projects area in ResourceFirst, including viewing project demand, performing what-if analysis to determine if shifting projects forward or backward would ease demand conflicts, and more.

Exploring the Demand Page


The Demand page in the Projects area summarizes four different value types for projects by period.

  • Demand (default)
  • Shortfall
  • Allocation
  • Allocation %

To understand these values, see Assignment and Allocations Overview.

The Demand page (pictured below) shows the “supply versus demand” color analysis and provides What-If and allocation Optimization features.  Note that the Demand page does not offer a roll-up option or a hierarchy of projects to programs. For that, there are PMO Roll-up Reports. See Roll-up Reports for more.


Note: The fields (columns) shown on this page are defined by an administrator in the Administration > Views > Projects page. The single view available for this page is titled Project Demand Analysis.]

Note in the upper left, there are three controls:

  • Value toggle (to choose between showing Demand, Shortfall, Allocation, or Allocation %)
  • What-If
  • Optimization

All three are discussed below in Demand Options.

In the upper right, there is another set of controls:


From left to right, they are:

  • Clear Filters (funnel button) – Clears any column filters you ay have set
  • Calculate Allocations – This will recalculate the color analysis if you change any data via the What-If feature or by changing a project’s priority. Otherwise, the Demand summary data cannot be changed on the Demand screen.
  • Export – To export the Demand summary to a CSV file
  • Legend – Shows what the colors represent (Note: The thresholds are set in Administration > Server Settings). By default the color thresholds are:


Yellow = Less than 95% of the needed demand is allocated

Orange = Less than 90% of the needed demand is allocated

Red = Less than 70% of the needed demand is allocated

Demand Options

1 Value Types

Use the value type drop down in the upper left to select which of the following value types to display in the period grid:


2 Optimization

“Optimization” in ResourceFirst refers to the calculation method used to show resource supply-demand analysis colors.

It is important to understand that no data is changed with any of the optimization options; instead the allocation shortfall warning colors (defined as an allocation percent of demand) are displayed differently based on the optimization settings.

The optimization dropdown button controls the calculation method. It provides two choices:

  • Allocate Committed First
  • Use Availability for Skill Assignments


If Allocate Committed First is on (checked), the Effort State field is used in the Allocation Algorithm is used to determine which assignments to allocate first for a resource (usually “Committed” or “Hard-Booked”). Within the Effort State, allocations by default are then allocated in project priority order before all other assignments without that state. For more on the Allocation Algorithm, see Assignments and Allocations Overview.

If Allocate Committed First is off (unchecked), the Effort State field is ignored in the allocation calculation method. The default is to allocated by Unit Priority, then Project Name.

If Use Availability for Skill Assignments is on (checked), skill assignments show allocation (according to the Allocation Algorithm setup) from any remaining capacity of resources with the required skill who are in the assignment resource organization. This addresses the question, “What if all available resources with the proper skills in the required organization were used to fill these skill needs?”  Note that this option is meant to optimize skill assignments. It does not optimize resource assignments with shortfall.

If Use Availability for Skill Assignments is off (unchecked), all demand on skill assignments is considered shortfall, and allocation % of demand is zero. Hence, they will always contribute negatively toward the project’s summary allocation. For example, if a project only has skill assignments, and “Use Availability for Skill Assignments” is unchecked, the colors will all show in red for that project.

(See the Optimization Options article for a full description of the PDWare optimization method.)

3 What If (Date Shift)

What-If on the Projects > Demand page shows the allocation possible for every one period shift earlier and later for the demand on the selected project.

Note that there is also a similar Demand page in the PMO area which features a What-If Priority option that shows the allocation possible if the priority of the selected project is changed. It also shows the impact to other projects in the portfolio.

The What If feature answers the following question.

“What percent of the required demand for this project is available (given its priority and all other demand) as the demand is shifted one period at a time before and after the current demand range?”


Choose the optimization method you want to use, if any (see section above).

Select a cell in the row of a project with shortfall (color highlighting on period demand data).

Click the What If button.


In the case of Hawaii with the date range shown, demand can be shifted 1 period to the left (earlier) and 6 periods to the right (later). The result will be 8 rows, with shift amounts going from -1 to + 6 (including 0)

The result appears in the bottom panel of the page. Each row shows the result of a 1 period shift in demand.


The number and direction of shift is shown in the Shift column at the far left.

In the screen shot example, a delay of 4 periods gets to 75% allocation and a delay of 6 periods gets to 84% from an initial allocation of 68%.

Note: This “what if” feature only shows the impact of the move on the selected project. It does NOT show the impact on lower priority projects or on higher priority projects if Allocate Committed First is checked.

NoteIf Allocate Committed First is checked, a committed resource assignment on a low priority project can get allocation before an uncommitted assignment of that resource on a high priority project.

What If (Priority)

In addition to the above “What If” feature that allows you to speculate on the demand fulfillment impact if the project were shifted forward or backward, ResourceFirst offers a What if (Priority) feature that speculates what the demand fulfillment impact if the priority of the project was changed. This feature is available in the PMO Area on the Demand page. For more on using What If (Priority), see the PMO Demand Analysis article.

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