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Project 2010 - Scheduling Resources for Tasks with No End Date RRS feed

  • Question

  • Greetings,

    Background

    - I work for a small agency that manages musician placement on small yachts;

    - each yacht has several musician positions (showband piano player, showband bass player, guitar soloist, piano bar soloist, etc);

    - the musicians are assigned to these positions for set periods of time and then replaced by another musician.

    What do I do

    - I schedule musicians

    What do I want to be able to do:

    - I want to be able to see the pool of musicians I have and sort them by their respective position (that's easy, figured that out in Resources)

    - I want to be able to schedule my resources to positions on ships, and then schedule their replacements (sometimes I have 2 or 3 replacements already set in place for up to a year down the line)

    - I want to be able to quickly see open positions or upcoming openings;

    - I want to be able to quickly see what resources are available in case a position becomes suddenly open;

    - I want to be able to see how I've assigned resources and their past assignments.

    Of what I'd like to do, I've been able to figure out the first part.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Saturday, July 13, 2013 7:54 AM

Answers

  • Hi all,

    This si to tidy up thisdiscussion, which has gone on through e-mail for a few days.

    I made up a sample file with boats and musicians and sent it to the poister to show what he could achieve through Team Planer.

    There were q few more questions, which I tried to solve. Finally I got following mail from the poster:

    "Thanks Jan.
    You've been more than helpful and it's appreciated.
     
    Regards,

    David"

    I understand this conclues this discussion.

    Greetings,

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:23 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    Why do you put "no end date" in your title? that is problemetic in Projects - tasks do have an end date.

    Fortunately, your assignments DO have an end date so t least you can use Project.

    Do yu have a version later than 2007 and do you have the Professional version?

    In that case you can have all the information you want AND an easy way to reshuffle resources in one view: the team planner. Hav a look at it and see how you can drag and drop assignments.

    If you have an other version can you tell us which one?

    Greetings,

    Saturday, July 13, 2013 9:48 AM
    Moderator
  • Version 2010.  It's got developer features, so I assume it's professional.

    I put "no end date" in the title as the yacht will always needing to be staffed for as long as we continue to staff it; therefore, when we I create the "Tastk" for the yacht in Project it will ask for an enddate... I have it setup like this:

    1.) TASK - YACHT NAME

    a.) Subtask of Yacht Name - Position (Player Player)

    i.) Subtask of (a) - Piano Player's name (current player)

    ii.) Subtask of (a) - Replacement's name of (i)

    iii..) Subtask of (a) - Replacement's name of (ii)

    b.) Subtask - Position (Guitar player)

    i.) just like (a)

    Tasks marked i - iii have started and end dates.  But for task (1) and task (a) there is no definite start and end date for those tasks, they seem to be updated by the sub tasks.  

    Here's what's getting me:

    1.) If I'd like to go to team planner, if I have a resource that's scheduled somewhere down the line, but available now it doesn't show up as an "unassigned" resource.  How do I get to that point?

    2.) It seems like the tasks I assign a resource to, I need to name that tasks the resource's name (with start and finish).  As many times I have several musicians booked in spot (all replacing the other) and I don't know how to set them on task but with different start times, so I made subtasks with their names.

    I appreciate your assistance.

    Thanks

    Monday, July 15, 2013 6:39 AM
  • Hi,

    There's a lot to say about this but the main issue to be cleared is your statement that:

    Quote: it doesn't show up as an "unassigned" resource.

    ALL resources created in the project (see the list in Resource sheet view) show up in the Team Planner view. Is that really the view you are looking at? Do you have it at all? - Developer features are available in Standard as well, but team planner is not.

    And do not worry about end dates - when you will create a new assignment past the current end dat, the date will adapt as you have noticed.

    Greetings,

    Monday, July 15, 2013 12:42 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Jan,

    Where's a good place to start researching how best to accomplish my goals?

    Thanks,

    David

    Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:14 PM
  • Team Planner is available in my edition.
    Saturday, July 20, 2013 8:15 PM
  • I think I would take a different approach. Project is not a Resource appointment/booking system. It is like Excel, it's easy to delete or change something just by resting something on your keyboard! It also requires someone with good skills to reliably change. So if you are not available, who else can use it?

    I recommend a database solution here. It will be much more robust and easier to use. Or search the Internet for Appointment software. It would help if your people can go online to see what bookings they have when.


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Saturday, July 20, 2013 10:39 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi All,

    I'd like to start with an anecdote. 7 years ago I tried to "sell" Project to a customer who has (amongst other problems) this kind of problem - assigning consultants to contracts. Apart from looking at Project he also searched the web looking for an "appointment software", and he showed me his choice - best of breed, in his words. Its functionality was exactly what Team Planner does! Unfortunately at that time I didn't have Team Planner nor an equivalent so he did not take the Project route.

    That is why I hesitate to recommend to this user to start searching for better - that may be an elusive target.

    A "database solution" will be more robust - but wouldn't one need to build it from scratch (one manyear is a good estimate)?

    So I tried Team Planner - made a small example (3 boats, 22 musicians). Can't insert the .mpp file here but dbrady, if you mail me at

    jandemesATprom-ade.be (replace AT by @) I'll have your e-mail address and can mail you my little example;

    Greetings,

    Monday, July 22, 2013 11:49 AM
    Moderator
  • I've seen clients come to grief using Project for appointments like this. The key person could make it work, but when he was away chaos reigned! Project is not a anyone can go in and use it reliably in 5 minutes type of tool.

    My recommendation for a database driven tool was not to develop from scratch, but to purchase one. It should allow easy use, for read only access over the Internet so consultants can se what they have coming up and maybe even change dates/times and have a good audit trail with robust storage. This isn't Project.


    Rod Gill

    The one and only Project VBA Book

    Rod Gill Project Management

    Monday, July 22, 2013 8:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Rod and all,

    Your description of the ideal tool is immaculate! Problem is that Dr. Google did not show me one :-(

    As for the possibility of replacement of the operator, think of the difficulty of knowing everybody's skills in the company.. In most companies, only one or two people have an idea, and they can probably learn a product if they do the effort.

    This being said, I fully agree that Project isn't made for this, that you don't use its strengths in this way (all the guy's tasks can-should be manually scheduled) but that also means you don't have to understand all the scheduling engine's methods.

    And for longterm assignments like these, I do not think a bassoonist will have to look up the internet every morning to check on which boat he has to play.

    So you're absolutely right that this is not ideal.. but I hope it may be practical.

    Greetings,

    Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi all,

    This si to tidy up thisdiscussion, which has gone on through e-mail for a few days.

    I made up a sample file with boats and musicians and sent it to the poister to show what he could achieve through Team Planer.

    There were q few more questions, which I tried to solve. Finally I got following mail from the poster:

    "Thanks Jan.
    You've been more than helpful and it's appreciated.
     
    Regards,

    David"

    I understand this conclues this discussion.

    Greetings,

    Wednesday, July 24, 2013 2:23 PM
    Moderator