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How to automatically assign units of work to shared resource in Project Server 2010 environment RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have three projects which uses same resource. I’m wondering how to automatically manage resource time in this environment. For start I entered 6% (Unit column in task details) of one long term task in one project and 12% of second task in another project. Now I have resource with 82% free time but when I add new project and assign this resource to tasks in this project they are automatically scheduled after 6% and 12% ends – I had to configure those task to use 82% one by one to assign everything properly and fill all day work. Is there any way to do this automatically – I mean that when I assign something to resource with has 82% free time it should automatically fill the free space and set units to 82%?




    Thursday, April 21, 2011 10:26 AM

Answers

  • dominik --

    First of all, you need to turn off the automatic leveling feature so that Microsoft Project stops leveling overallocated resources.  That is why the third task was scheduled immediately after the other two tasks the moment you assigned the same resource assigned to those other tasks.

    Secondly, there is no way that Microsoft Project will figure out that the resource you are assigning has 82% Units left to work on a particular task and then fill in that number automatically.  You need to manually set the Units value on each task.  As a workaround to this problem, however, you could enter 82% in the Max. Units column for this resource in the Resource Sheet view of the project, and then assign the resource to tasks without entering a Units value.  When you do this, the software will automatically enter in the Units field the value you specified in the Max. Units field, which would be 82%.  Keep in mind, however, that after you save and close the project, and then reopen it, the Max. Units value will revert back to 100%, or any other value specified by your Project Server administrator in the Enterprise Resource Pool for this resource.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:19 PM
    Moderator
  • dominik --

    You can see resource assignment information in Microsoft Project 2010 by doing the following:

    1.  Launch Microsoft Project 2010.
    2.  In the Login dialog, make sure you have the "Load Summary Resource Assignments" option selected, and then click the OK button.
    3.  Open an enterprise project and apply the Resource Usage view.
    4.  In the Resource Usage view, you see each task assigned to the resource in the open project, plus a single for each project in which each resource has one or more task assignments.
    5.  In the Resource Usage view, examine the time period during which the resource is assigned, and determine if another PM is attempting to use this resource.

    Open the Build Team dialog in Microsoft Project 2010 and then select the resource in question.  Click the Graphs button in the dialog.  The system will launch an Internet Explorer window and navigate you to the Resource Availability page in PWA.  On this page in PWA, select a date range for the resource and examine the resource's capacity vs. the resource's current assignment work across all projects.  Look for time periods during which the resource is overbooked (where work exceeds capacity).

    Beyond this, you may want to consider purchasing our "Managing Enterprise Projects Using Microsoft Project Server 2010" book, which would have answered many of your questions already.  Using this book will save you lots of time and frustration.  You can purchase the book at:

    http://www.projectserverbooks.com

    There is no reason why you should attempt to learn this software on your own, as this software is definitely NOT intuitive in the least!  :)  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    • Marked as answer by dominikj Friday, April 22, 2011 9:50 AM
    Friday, April 22, 2011 12:19 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • dominik --

    First of all, you need to turn off the automatic leveling feature so that Microsoft Project stops leveling overallocated resources.  That is why the third task was scheduled immediately after the other two tasks the moment you assigned the same resource assigned to those other tasks.

    Secondly, there is no way that Microsoft Project will figure out that the resource you are assigning has 82% Units left to work on a particular task and then fill in that number automatically.  You need to manually set the Units value on each task.  As a workaround to this problem, however, you could enter 82% in the Max. Units column for this resource in the Resource Sheet view of the project, and then assign the resource to tasks without entering a Units value.  When you do this, the software will automatically enter in the Units field the value you specified in the Max. Units field, which would be 82%.  Keep in mind, however, that after you save and close the project, and then reopen it, the Max. Units value will revert back to 100%, or any other value specified by your Project Server administrator in the Enterprise Resource Pool for this resource.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:19 PM
    Moderator
  • I’m little dissapointed about lack of this funcionality – I’m new in this area but I thinked that Project should help to orginise work – but when I had to know units from all tasks to calculate right resource usage Project seems to be little useless in this point – now I have only 2 tasks but when this numer will gorw I will be forced to manually calculate aeach tasks units to fill whole day work for resouce – for me this should be done automaticly and looks like little nightmare to keep in sync

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 12:54 PM
  • dominik --

    Think about your expectations for a moment.  When you assign a resource to a task, why should Microsoft Project assume that it should assign the resource at 82% Units?  Why not 25% or 50% or even 75%?  Remember that YOU are in charge of staffing tasks in the project, not the software.  Believe me, I would NEVER want Microsoft Project to assume any Units value on a task assignment.  But then again, that's just me with lots of experience under my belt.  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 2:14 PM
    Moderator
  • I understand that full automatic approach is not a best approach – I know that Project can’t do all the job for me but

     

    1.       When I have manually set task for 18% units for resource – it could be helpful to assign resource to full fill rest of its time – I will do this any way and this would be only filling a gap and not any magic.

    2.       Suppose I have 3 tasks in three different projects for one resource and I want to fit another task in the same time. Is there any tool in project to help me do this – which can help how to manipulate units to fits this job? How can I do this kind of job in project  to shorten another tasks to fit new tasks and save resource usage at 100% level? For now I see that I must do this manually – decreasing resource units in all tasks and increasing this in new task to achieve timings. Is there any help from project to help me with this?

     

    I’m new with this tool and maybe I get it wrong J

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:43 PM
  • dominik --

    Yes, because you are new to the tool, you have gotten it wrong.  Concerning your follow up questions and comments:

    1.  It will not fill gaps for you automatically.  It just does not work that way when you make resource assignments.

    2.  There is no tool to help you do this.  If you are using Project Server 2010, there are some built-in tools that will help you to determine whether a resource is available, and how much they are available.  Are you using Project Server 2010, by chance?

    Let us know and we will try to help.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 8:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Yes I’m using Project Server 2010 – can You direct me to right place.

    Sorry for my school questions  – I’m little lost in this area :). Thanks so much for Your help.

    Thursday, April 21, 2011 9:32 PM
  • dominik --

    You can see resource assignment information in Microsoft Project 2010 by doing the following:

    1.  Launch Microsoft Project 2010.
    2.  In the Login dialog, make sure you have the "Load Summary Resource Assignments" option selected, and then click the OK button.
    3.  Open an enterprise project and apply the Resource Usage view.
    4.  In the Resource Usage view, you see each task assigned to the resource in the open project, plus a single for each project in which each resource has one or more task assignments.
    5.  In the Resource Usage view, examine the time period during which the resource is assigned, and determine if another PM is attempting to use this resource.

    Open the Build Team dialog in Microsoft Project 2010 and then select the resource in question.  Click the Graphs button in the dialog.  The system will launch an Internet Explorer window and navigate you to the Resource Availability page in PWA.  On this page in PWA, select a date range for the resource and examine the resource's capacity vs. the resource's current assignment work across all projects.  Look for time periods during which the resource is overbooked (where work exceeds capacity).

    Beyond this, you may want to consider purchasing our "Managing Enterprise Projects Using Microsoft Project Server 2010" book, which would have answered many of your questions already.  Using this book will save you lots of time and frustration.  You can purchase the book at:

    http://www.projectserverbooks.com

    There is no reason why you should attempt to learn this software on your own, as this software is definitely NOT intuitive in the least!  :)  Hope this helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    • Marked as answer by dominikj Friday, April 22, 2011 9:50 AM
    Friday, April 22, 2011 12:19 AM
    Moderator
  • Tnx for your help – I’m realizing that this is not intuitive tools and I think I have to read some book and then ask more question ;).

    Best Regards,

    Dominik

    Friday, April 22, 2011 9:50 AM
  • Hi Dominik,
     
    Try posting on the Project Server General Questions and Answers forum:
    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/projectserver2010general.  Please see FAQ Item: 52 Find a Forum.   FAQs, companion products and other useful Project information can be seen at this web address:  http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm
     
    Mike Glen
    Project MVP
    Friday, April 22, 2011 10:37 AM
    Moderator
  • Dominik --

    You are more than welcome for the help, my friend.  :)


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]
    VP of Educational Services
    msProjectExperts
    http://www.msprojectexperts.com
    http://www.projectserverexperts.com
    "We write the books on Project Server"

    Friday, April 22, 2011 12:16 PM
    Moderator