ResourceFirst 8.5 Knowledge Base

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Glossary of Terms

This article contains a glossary of common terms used within ResourceFirst

Allocation The portion of assigned demand that a resource is available to complete during the assigned period(s). Allocation is Demand minus Capacity.
Allocation Algorithm The configurable sequence in which resources are allocated to projects before their available capacity is consumed. The default is to allocate in project priority order.
Attributes Unlike period-specific data such as forecasts, utilization, and capacity, the columns that include informational data about a project, resource, or assignment are referred to as “Attributes.”
Baseline A capture at a point in time of a project’s phase/milestone dates, effort forecast, and financial forecast. The project attributes are not captured, and any baselined data will refer to the project’s current attributes. Baselines can be private or public. See also “Official Baseline.”
Capacity The FTE portion or hours that a resource is available to do work. The default is 1 FTE per resource per period. See also “FTE”.
Column  In ResourceFirst, a “field” is referred to as a Column. You can edit column names and other characteristics in Admin. Columns also appear in grid views as columns in the view, which can be filtered, sorted, and hidden/shown.
Custom View ResourceFirst views (grid-like pages)
Demand The amount of effort assigned to a project for a given resource or skill during a designated time period. 
Dialog Some functions in ResourceFirst produce a small sub-page with options for the user to fill in. These small sub-pages are referred to as “dialogs.”
Effort Forecast The overall demand forecast, as seen on the Assignments page, for the projects and resources within your current Global Filter. Also referred to as Labor Assignments. See also “Global Filter.” It is a best practice that resource/functional managers own the effort forecast for their staff. 
Effort State A labor assignment can have an optional “effort state” defined that can be used by the Allocation Engine to determine in which order the assignment demand should be allocated to resources. A common use of this field is to separate assignments in terms of “proposed” vs. “committed”, whereas committed assignments get first dibs on the resources regardless of project priority.
Event In ResourceFirst, risks, issues, change requests, and other activities are considered events. You can create custom events, such as “outcomes,” “facilities,” “market events.” and more, which can be tied to projects and used in custom reports.
Financial Assignment A financial assignment is a forecasted financial line item, such as labor, capital, expense, revenue, and other financial items.  A project’s budget is made up of financial assignments.
Form Some functions in ResourceFirst, particularly projects and initiated projects, have configurable forms that can be used to enter data attributes. These are different  from the grid-like Views. In ResourceFirst, scripts can be used to designate a forms workflow and/or calculations that are dependent upon user action.
FTE AKA Full Time Equivalent. 1 FTE usually designates an 8 hour day. Optionally, the system can be set to operate in hours as opposed to FTEs. FTEs are generally simpler.
Global Filter The Global Filter, accessible via the funnel icon on the main Navigation Bar, is a crucial part of ResourceFirst and designates the data set (projects, resources, date ranges, and any field-level filters) that the user will see. Each user sets their own Global Filter, limited to their rights. The settings are sticky and remain in place until they are changed by the user.
Initiation AKA Proposed or Requested Project. A project can be “initiated” as opposed to directly added. This is referred to as an Initiation project. This puts the requested project on the  Projects–>Initiation page, where it can be reviewed, approved, or denied.  Preliminary assignments can be made to an Initiation project, which can carry over to the real project once approved.
Labor Assignment Labor Assignments consist of Skill and/or Resource Assignments, which designate the forecasted demand by time period for a project. Collectively they make up the Effort Forecast. See also “Effort Forecast,” “Resource Assignment”, and “Skill Assignment.”
List A configurable dropdown list. Some lists are required by the system. Also, lists can be defined for User Defined Fields (UDFs). See also “UDF.”
Navigation Bar The top bar on all ResourceFirst pages that includes the main ResourceFirst menu icons and global system options.
OBS Node A node is a defined level in the OBS (Organizational Breakdown Structure) representing the part of the organizational structure (or other grouping) in which projects or resources are grouped. A Project OBS Node contains projects, whereas a Resource OBS Node contains resources. There is also a Cost Center OBS node that can optionally be used in Financials. The Global Filter can be used to set which node(s) you wish to be included in your current data set. Nodes are also used for granting rights. 
Official Baseline A baseline capture marked as “Official” saves, in addition to the regular baseline, an extra snapshot of the baseline that, unlike regular baselines, includes the full set of project attributes at the time of the baseline. This can be used in Qlik Reports.
Optimization On Labor Assignment pages, the Optimization option offers the ability to turn on “Allocate Committed First” (which allocates in the sequence of the Allocation Algorithm) and/or “Use Availability for Skill Assignments” (which processes allocation colors for skill assignments based on the resources available to fill the skill need).
Page AKA “screen.” Once a menu option is selected in ResourceFirst, the resulting screen is referred to as a “page.”
Parent A project can be selected as a “Parent” for another project. This is often used when managing programs, in which the program is the parent project. The Parent-Child project hierarchy is shown on the Project Rollup page.
Partition Users in ResourceFirst can be designated as part of a partition. This allows designated Partition Owners to be able to share certain functions (such as views, scenarios and global filter settings) with users in his/her partition. 
Period Cells For views that show data along time periods (such as Assignments, Utilization, Demand), the cells that contain period-specific FTEs, hours, or dollars are referred to as “period cells”.
PMO Roadmap The PMO Roadmap shows the  project portfolio for all projects in the current Global Filter as a high level Gantt timeline, including phase and milestone indicators and start/finish dates.
Primary Skill The Primary Skill for a resource is often referred to as the resource’s “role.” A resource can be given secondary skills as well. See also “Secondary Skills.”
Project Detail When clicking on a project hyperlink, you are taken to a project-specific page with tabs representing different aspects of that particular project (e.g., Project Info, Assignments, Events, Financials, etc.). This project-specific page is referred to as “Project Detail.”
Pulse Engine ResourceFirst comes with a sophisticated Business Rules engine whereby notifications and calculations can be set up via SQL statements. This is referred to as the Pulse Engine.
Qlik Qlik is the Business Analytics tool built into ResourceFirst for reporting.
Request AKA Resource Request. If a project manager is not authorized to enter labor assignments directly, the assignments will instead be sent as a “Request.” Anyone with the proper authority to the Resource OBS node from which resources are being requested will be able to approve or deny the request for resources via the Resources–>Requests option..
Resource A resource is a person who is assigned to work in ResourceFirst. This differs from a “user” which is used for signing in and granting rights. Users can sign in and are granted certain rights in the product. Resources, on the other hand, are assigned to work.  A manager who merely uses ResourceFirst for reports and is not assigned to any work can be set up simply as a user, not a resource. Likewise, a resource that is assigned to work but never needs to log into ResourceFirst doesn’t need to be set up as a user. See also “User.”
Resource Assignment A labor assignment (i.e., demand forecast) for a named resource is called a Resource Assignment.
Resource Detail When clicking on a resource name hyperlink, you are taken to a resource-specific page with tabs representing different aspects of that particular resource (e.g., Assignments, Utilization,  etc.). This resource-specific page is referred to as “Resource Detail.”
Required Skill A Required Skill is part of a labor assignment and represents the skill that is needed on the project for a designated time period.
Rights Rights are authorities granted to users in ResourceFirst for various functions. Some rights can be granted to specific projects or resources, and some are given at the OBS Node level.
Scenario A scenario can be created to include copies of projects and their assignments, which you can manipulate to see the portfolio impact without changing the real forecast. Optionally, you can post a desired scenario to the real forecast. Scenarios and their projects/assignments can be loaded and unloaded and shown with or without the current forecast.
Secondary Skills In addition to the Primary Skill (aka Role), a resource can contain secondary skills. When searching for candidates to satisfy a skill need on a project, available resources with a primary or secondary skill matching the required skill on the assignment will appear as possible candidates.
Shortfall Shortfall is the portion of assigned demand that cannot be satisfied because of resource availability. Shortfall represents Demand minus Allocation. 
Slill Assignment A labor assignment (i.e., demand forecast) for a Required Skill is called a Skill Assignment. The Required Skill assignment can be filled by a named resource who possesses the required skill as their Primary or Secondary skill.
Target Financial and/or FTE targets can be defined at multiple levels of the Project OBS node. These targets appear when performing What-If analysis to see if your project portfolio falls within defined targets, with or without scenario changes.
Toolbar The secondary bar that includes page-specific functions, such as add, delete, save, export, etc.
UDF User-Defined-Field.  ResourceFirst allows for the creation of many UDFs. If the UDF is mean to have a dropdown selection, an associated “List” may also be created. See also “Lists.”
User Unlike a “resource,” which is assigned to work in ResourceFirst, a User is the vehicle by which logging in and granting rights is performed.
Utilization Utilization pertains to how much of a resource’s capacity is consumed by demand. A user can be underutilized, overutilized, or within available capacity. 
View A view is a grid-like sheet shown on many ResourceFirst pages. Many views come standard with ResourceFirst. Most can be modified.  Custom views can be created as well for most pages. See also “Custom View.”
What-If Analysis What-If Analysis (the Scenario menu option under Projects and Financial) allows viewing and manipulation of the current project portfolio (within your Global Filter selection) to see the impact of simulated project changes on the portfolio. A Target line is also visible to see the impact of changes on any defined targets for the nodes being analyzed.

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