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Workload contouring (Box Configuration)

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. 

Security and access

  • To change the workload contouring of a task, go to the 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.

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 must be manually changed in the Resources Module.

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

  • Auto flat

  • Auto back-loaded

  • Auto front-loaded 

  • Manual

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

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

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Auto Flat Mode

The “flat” mode means that if a task duration spans five days + the time needed to complete the work (Original estimate) is 20 hours, the effort of the assignee is spread out evenly. For example, 20h spread over five 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

The extra effort is gradually added in the “back-loaded” mode, starting with the task end date. After that, the app assigns users as many hours per day as capacity allows (i.e., eight hours and going back in dates until a whole effort is distributed).

Look at the same task from the previous example (5 days; 20 hours required). If the assignee has no other responsibilities and works eight hours a day, the system will distribute 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. After that, the app assigns a user as many hours per day as capacity allows (for example, eight hours 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 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 planning, you can always see how much remaining capacity a given resource has on a particular day. This allows for much flexibility and helps you ensure the desired allocation can be reached. If you want to assign someone 7 hours of work every day and ensure they get 1 hour left for miscellaneous tasks, you can quickly 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 can’t 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 doesn’t equal the effort estimate, you can adjust or overwrite the effort estimate to match them.

For example, Keith wants to contour the Remaining estimate of a task manually. He already logged some work and theoretically has 14.9 hours 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 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.