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. 

Thanks to Box Types, you can set up any number of default Boxes - flexible, high-level containers that come preconfigured, partially customized, or fully personalized. In practice, this means unprecedented flexibility in the way you can shape a portfolio hierarchy to best suit your business needs.

A Box type is akin to a template, which, once configured, can be used each time you or your team want to start working on a new thing (i.e. a Project, Portfolio, etc.), launch a new SAFe Agile Release Train, or do anything else. In fact, each of your teams can have a different Box template to accommodate different types of projects and individual team preferences.

An App Admin can set a default workload contouring mode for new Boxes of a given type. The setting can be overridden in a specific Box later on, after it has been created.

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.

Security and access

Only users with the App admin security role can edit Box types and access Administration.


  • Click the "wrenchicon at the top right and select "Box types" from the drop-down list.
  • Click a Box type name to select it and open its settings.
  • On the left, go to Tasks > Workload Contouring tab.


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

  • Auto flat
  • Auto back-loaded
  • Auto front-loaded 
  • Manual

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 assignees 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 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. 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 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. 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 can’t be defined for Story points effort mode.

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

If sum of workload contours doesn’t 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 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.