Workload contouring


Change workload distribution for a given task. Workload contouring allows you to specify how the effort of an assignee is distributed across a task period. 

An App Admin can set a default workload contouring mode for new Box types. The setting can be overridden in a specific Box.

Changing the Box Type or Box Configuration settings doesn't impact existing tasks - their workload contouring has to be manually changed in the Resources Module.

Workload contouring modes 

You can set a workload contouring mode of a task to:

  • Flat

  • Front-loaded

  • Back-loaded 

  • Manual (available only in BigPicture Enterprise)

Auto Flat Mode

The “flat” mode means that if a task duration spans 5 days + the time needed to complete the work (Original estimate) is 20h, the effort of the assignee is spread out evenly. For example, 20h spread over 5 days = 4h a day. The mode is reflected on the Gantt chart in the Resources panel. If you extend or shorten the task duration, the effort is re-distributed evenly.

Auto Back-Loaded Mode

In the “back-loaded” mode, the extra effort is gradually added starting with the task end date. The app assigns a user as many hours per day as capacity allows (ie. 8h and going back in dates until a whole effort is distributed).

Let’s look at the same task from the previous example (duration of 5 days; 20h of time required). If the assignee has no other responsibilities and works 8h a day, the system distributes the work as follows:

Auto Front-Loaded Mode

In the “front-loaded” mode the extra effort is gradually added starting with the task start date. The app assigns a user as many hours per day as capacity allows (for example, 8h going forward in dates until a whole effort is distributed).

Manual Contouring Mode

Manual contouring mode is available only in BigPicture Enterprise.

You can manually configure the workload contours by switching to a manual mode. Once a manual mode is selected, the system stops contouring workload automatically. All changes have to be made manually, directly in the pop-up. 

As you adjust the workload, the original estimate changes accordingly. The remaining capacity is displayed below each field. While you're planning, you can always see how much remaining capacity a given resource has on a particular day. This allows for much flexibility, but also helps you make sure the desired allocation can be reached. If you want to assign someone 7 hours of work every day and make sure they get 1 hour of time left for miscellaneous tasks, you can easily achieve that. Even if they have multiple obligations. 

Manual workload contours always refer to a specific estimate: Remaining Estimate or Original Estimate. You can select the option you want to work with at the top. 


Manual contour cannot be defined for Story points effort mode.

While manually contouring the workload, you are always informed if the workload exceeds a resource's remaining capacity.

If the sum of workload contours does not equal the effort estimate, you can either adjust the workload contours or overwrite the effort estimate to match them.

For example, Keith wants to manually contour the Remaining estimate of a task. He already logged some work and theoretically has 14.9 hours of work left, but he knows he needs more time. He can adjust the manual contour for the task and, at the same time, increase the Remaining estimate from 14.9 to 17 hours. He just needs to set up a workload contour that meets his needs and click the "Overwrite Remaining estimate". The task's "Remaining estimate" field will be updated. 

Workload contouring in the Resource module

Workload contouring can be edited only in the manual workload mode. Otherwise, it is calculated automatically. The manual workload mode is available for BigPicture Enterprise

To change the workload contouring mode for an individual existing task, go to the Resources module. Click on a task to see a context menu and make adjustments. To save changes, click outside of the pop-up. 

Workload contouring in the Gantt module

You can check and edit inline the workload in the Gantt module. 

First, go and customize the column to workload contouring mode.

Workload Contouring - Box types

You can define the default workload mode for all boxes of a given time. 

Security and access

  • To change the workload contouring of a task go to Resources module > click the task

  • Only a user with a Box Admin or a Box Editor security role can access and change workload contouring

  • Users that are an App Admin or a Jira Admin have full access to the App and can also make the changes

  • Only the App admin can access and change the Box type administration.

  • For a given Box type, you can modify the default Scope definition settings in the App's drop down at the top > Administration > Box type > edit (click on a Box type name) > Tasks > Scope definition.

You can adjust the workload contouring mode for a Box in Box Configuration > Tasks > Workload contouring

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