Skip to main content


Planview Customer Success Center

About the What If Scenario Workbench

The What If Workbench is an interactive tool that helps you perform resource capacity and demand analysis across organizational, portfolio, and departmental boundaries. You use a set of filters to populate the workbench with the projects, resources, and roles you want to work with. You can use the filter defaults to quickly establish an initial scenario that contains all the projects available to you, and any roles/resources allocated to the projects. In addition, you can use custom filters to include additional roles or resources based on the criteria you established in the filters.

Note: The What If Workbench can return up to 24,000 records. If your results exceed this limit, use a filter to reduce the results set. See What If Workbench Limits for more information.

Once you select your filters and run them, the What If Workbench opens and is populated with the data you specified. You use the What If Workbench to quickly determine the impact of a new project on resource utilization or role demand, or to visualize the affects of potential changes to existing projects. You can experiment with moving resources around, shifting project dates, and excluding projects and/or roles to model a variety of scenarios. You can also add capacity (resources) or demand (projects) from within the workbench. Once you come up with a scenario you like, you can print a list of changes you made to the original scenario so that you have a guide for actually implementing the changes when and if you choose to do so.

What If Workbench rights

The What If tab is available to members of the following groups:

  • Organization standard group

  • Resource standard group

  • Capacity & Demand standard group

Members of these groups can create what-if scenarios and link to other users’ scenarios. You can make specific scenarios available to specific users by changing the scenario visibility.

What If Workbench Limits

What If workbench has a limit of returning 24,000 records. When the results for the scenario are between 15,000 and 24,000 records, PPM Pro will prompt the user to either keep waiting for the scenario to complete, or cancel out. When it determines there are more than 24,000 records, it will alert the user that the scenario is too large to run.

What constitutes a "record"?

The value for what constitutes a record is calculated through 3 different lenses - project, role and resource. These numbers are calculated separately for each entity and if any one of them exceeds the limit, the scenario won't run.

project_deep_count * number of periods * 3 (project, role, resource)
resource_deep_count * number of periods * 3 (resource, project, role)
role_deep_count * number of periods * 4 (Org role, project, resource, capacity)

The formulas used are based on the number of periods the What If Workbench scenario is being run for, times the number of columns, times the entity deep count.

Deep Count: 

The deep count is determined by navigating down the "tree". So a project with 1 resource allocated would have a project deep count of 3

1 for the project

1 for the project-role

1 for the project-role-resource

Project Deep Count Total: 3 

If that single project had 2 resources allocated to different roles, the project deep count would be 5

1 for the project

2 project-roles

2 project-role-resources

Project Deep Count Total: 5 

What Next?

You can learn more about using the What If Workbench, or you can get started creating a scenario.