The aim of the NEXT planning module is not to replace MS Project or Powerproject for large contracts – NEXT focuses on simplicity instead. This is true for both resource planning and project planning (Gantt), both of which are aimed at replacing the whiteboard or Excel sheet often used today.
Project planning (Gantt)
- Based on the start and end dates, both projects and underlying activities (e.g. building elements) can be presented in a Gantt chart.
- The activities can be moved and changed directly in the Gantt view using drag and drop.
- Since the activities are the same as those production personnel report time for, it is also possible to view a graphical presentation of how many hours have been used compared to the original budget for each activity/building element.
- The activities can also be linked so that linked activities follow any changes to the schedule.
- If you are a specialist and often take on similar projects, such as bathrooms/wetrooms, tiling, villa builds or similar, it will generally be the same activities that must be planned each time. Here, it can be advantageous to create various template projects, which would allow the activities you need to plan to already be included at the start of the project (also including estimated times and start/end).
- In order to create the schedule, you need to link the activities, move the first activity to the correct start date and then adjust the duration of each activity.
- It is also possible to see a general overview of multiple projects at once, which provides a more general picture of the company’s ongoing projects (and any planned projects).
- The schedule can be exported to PDF, which can then be shared with others via e-mail or printed.
- Scalable HR planning where, for each person and based on long-term planning, it is possible to add projects, holiday leave and planned absences. The result is a good long-term overview of the resource situation.
- The same planning view can also be used for a much more detailed work order view in which smaller orders are assigned to each maintenance technician or installer, who is then shown these orders as a “to-do list” on their mobile device.
- A special case in this resource planning is transport and machinery assignments, e.g. the delivery of gravel or macadam to a road development. In these cases, the digital reporting of the planned orders will replace all types of traditional paper delivery notes that served as the basis for invoices and, where applicable, even for settlement for several decades.
- According to the above example, the planning view becomes more about vehicle/machine planning than human resources planning, but the results are the same.
- It is no problem to assign multiple smaller assignments to one person on the same day and these assignments are added to the current date in the mobile calendar.
- As employees out in the field work on the assignments, the status will also change and the planning view is updated. Many NEXT customers use e.g. the colour red to indicate a warning/stop, i.e. that something has happened to prevent the execution of the assignment.
- The consequence of the above is that the production management team in the office can monitor the execution of the assignments in real time, directly in the planning view and are immediately alerted of any challenging assignment or when an assignment is ready for invoicing.
- In larger companies with several different departments, employees are easily split into different teams, which allows you, as a work supervisor, to filter and view only your available employees in the planning view.
It should be noted that project and resource planning have a very high focus on simplicity and that we therefore rarely experience any difficulty in getting production management to embrace the tool.