Studio & department resource planning

As part of improving Shotgun’s overall scheduling capabilities, we are exploring ways to surface artist capacity, workload and utilization.

To approach this we’re starting at the studio and departmental level, using data already held in Shotgun.

By surfacing where and when workload is mismatched to artist capacity, this will enable studios to take action to avoid costly artist idle time or overbooking.

We’d love to hear from the Forum community if or how this could prove valuable in your studio. Comments & replies welcomed below!

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Hello Martin,

I think this would be a great help and indeed a big advantage to us, we would love to here more about this soon. :slight_smile:

Cheers,

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Hello! That looks like a really useful feature to me. I am not sure if this has been discussed yet, but what I would find most helpful is to have a “side” calendar to play around with resources without booking them for real. Furthermore, having the possibility to add fake resources would also be super useful. Thanks!

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Hey @Josie - yes, I totally can see how that could be useful day to day. It’s something we’ve heard from other clients too, your suggestion is shared by many others: that is a useful signal for us a product team to note.

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We’ve been spending a lot of time on this problem. I’m going to put on a producer hat for this:

  1. Allow drag-and-drop rearranging of arbitrary entities, including people and equipment. Those need to be in the same system but I should be able to move resources both dependently and independently from staff. This includes assets as well as as shots and any other entities I need to schedule.

  2. I should be able to game out my ideas before committing them, and save those games separately. That means we can’t just assign values to fields directly until committed, but assign them only from a game.

  3. I should be able to assign costs to resources and staff and be able to game out cost savings based on hours/day (including OT rules), days/week, and have multipliers I can apply based on difficulty of the job or efficiency of the employee. Budgeting should be exportable so I can use it to bid shots or sequences

  4. I should be able to receive input schedules from departments and be able to reconcile them with my own. Those could be for individuals or for people as resources

  5. I need multiple views of this data and to be able to export it both as raw data and as formatted schedules. Include common schedule formats like gantt but also standard production forms like day-out-of-days so I can use this for other departments or for scheduling virtual assets on virtual production sets

  6. Allow plugins so I can use third-party services to customize or extend the setup. I should be able to add tools to the front-end, including additional UI elements.

  7. Allow up-front validation for cells so we don’t have to use triggers to catch mitsakes after they are committed

Thank you!
Den

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Hey Den thanks for such a detailed and interesting answer. I will share this with the rest of the Resource Planning team here at SG.

Can I ask which studio you are from?

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Hi Martin, I’m with The [RE]DESIGN Group - we have a few dozen clients across studios and facilities in gaming, vfx, animation, and production, so we hear a wide gamut of requests and see a lot of different needs.

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Hi Martin,

This tool would be really helpful!
What’s the latest status of the development of this feature?

Thanks!
Gijs

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Hey Gijs,

Excited and encouraged to see you would find this tool useful.

Unfortunately from a legal perspective as a publicly listed company we can’t communicate forthcoming dates, but can assure you that work in this area continues.

Martin

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Ah I totally understand.
Thanks for your quick response.

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We’re finding difficulties resolving artist bookings with the workload. Some things our team think quite important:
a) The crew planning app should allow for crew Pencils and, other confirmed bookings (at other studios). the vacation/ project is fine, but needs to go further in our view.

b) move interoperability between crew planning / project timeline / tasks so the three calenders can display data from another (per what already happens on the ‘vacation’ overlay on tasks, but for all phases.
c) clearer delineation of milestones (with always present text) for milestones in tasks view. the slim bar and hover is great, but Production can only read one milestone at a time. Perhaps exposing the project timeline at the top of the tasks list as a separate filed would be useful.
d) the ability to view the calendar as a traditional grid calendar with milestones and artist tasks to make things more clear to the artists.
e) enhanced filtering options on project timeline / crew planning. My crew planning for example should quickly allow me to filter to all artists in my team. at the moment it only allows me to ‘sort’. i’d love to see such things as ‘filter by compositors;’ ‘filter by project’ ‘filter by seniority’ ‘filter by custome fields’
f) for the love of God, please fix the project timeline’s vertical sizing. everything gets compressed wheren there’s more than 5-6 lines in there.

I have plenety of examples on our site if you’d care to discuss in deeper detail, and if there’s a beta that we could get on for testing then please let me know as we’d be interested!

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Hey folks in this thread—you may want to check out this webinar @warren.trezevant just posted about:

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I am posting this without knowledge or ambitions of where this feature is going but thought I’d give my two cents.

What I have worked with before, and what I would be considering to be a very solid minimum viable product, would be to simply aggregate the amount of bids per user in a graph and match it to a moment in time; be it a release, a calendar date etc. As well as a context; all tasks, a project or several, sequence vs shots etc*

This would then be matched in time to a line for that specific user schedule. Typically it would match remaning days, but could also weigh in cadence and holidays/vacation.

In reality it could mean that ‘Bob’ has a total amount of tasks bidded to 5 days and I choose to look at his capacity 2 weeks ahead, which would show me 5 days of ‘empty space’ to fill his time with.

However, Bob has either:

  • List item Has vacation next week which would align the capacity line with his biddin
  • List item is junior and doesn’t complete his tasks as fast as others (historically) giving him a capacity line that is slightly above 5 days
  • List item is a lead and has a default capacity value of 20% since he is also in meeting etc

Putting the data in a graph would easily let you click on a staple and see what tasks he is on and re-assign some, or even group the data to get more granularity to spot blockers or if he has tasks that hasn’t been ready to start yet etc.

Hi @martin,

A bit late to join this threat but here is our 2 cents I would like to share in this post.
First of all I would like to bump a few features of earlier posts:

  1. I should be able to assign costs to resources and staff and be able to game out cost savings based on hours/day (including OT rules), days/week, and have multipliers I can apply based on difficulty of the job or efficiency of the employee.

a) The crew planning app should allow for crew Pencils and, other confirmed bookings (at other studios). the vacation/ project is fine, but needs to go further in our view.
b) move interoperability between crew planning / project timeline / tasks so the three calenders can display data from another (per what already happens on the ‘vacation’ overlay on tasks, but for all phases.
f) for the love of God, please fix the project timeline’s vertical sizing. everything gets compressed wheren there’s more than 5-6 lines in there.

Other features we would love to see in this update:

  • Shotgun working schedules should integrate with the bookings. If an artist is planned for two months, weekends and holidays should be excluded from the booking duration.

  • Adding bookings should have the possibility to be more precise. We allow half days of working on a project. But would prefer to make this on an hour base (to work with the bids)

  • Projects could have a color overlay for when they go over the deadline.

  • The calendar should have a clearer overview (In example the google calendar)

We are very excited to see the resource panning in development.

Greetings,
Bert