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assign multiple resources to one task RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a task with 20 hours. 3 resources with separate cost rates are assigned to the task. I would like Resource A to do 10 hours, Resource B to do 7 hours, and Resource C to do 3 hrs. How can I set this up in MS Project 2010?

    Monday, January 23, 2012 7:24 PM

Answers

  • Hello,

    A couple of options.  I'd personally do the following:

    1. Split your screen to show the Task Form at the bottom.  View tab, turn off the Timeline and click in the Details check box.
    2. Set the task as Fixed Duration and ensure the task is not effort driven.  Click OK in the Task form.
    3. Assign each resource and specify the number of hours of work.  By default, they will all be scheduled to work starting at the start date/time of the task.  You may add delay if needed to have them work one after another.

    If, however, the resource A's work feeds resource B's work, consider 3 separate tasks all linked F to S with each duration = work.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Monday, January 23, 2012 7:44 PM
    Moderator
  • In addition to the suggestions from Julie and Jan I suggest the following:

    The default task type in Project 2010 has been quietly switched to Fixed Units NOT Effort Driven - with this setting you can enter tasks and edit durations ( I regard durations as being "delivery periods" for the task, the window of time in which it will be actioned) - having durations in nice round numbers is preferable, otherwise you can be challenged by people who may ask "how can you be so sure this task will start @ 10:17 on Tuesday and finish @ 15:37 on Thursday?" - if however a task is shown starting first thin on Monday and finishing at days end on Thursday there will likely be no challenge.

    Having edited durations you can enter work against resources in the Assign Resource dialog box and Project will calculate the % allocation based upon the resources potential.

    So for example assuming project defaults of 8h/day you could enter a task of 2 days duration and assign 10 hours work to Resource A, 6 hours work to Resource B and 4 hours work to Resource C - Project would show 20 hours work on the task and the resources would be assigned as follows - resource A 63&% (actually 62.5% but project does not do assignments to decimal places) Resource B 38% (actually 37.5%) and Resource C 25%. Some people may then add up the % allocations and say 126% is a misleading figure but that is missing the point.

    As for seeing resources in RED it is likely difficult to avoid this happening, the question is to what degree and for how long are resources overloaded - changing the "Granularity" of resource leveling from day by day to week by week allows the occasional overloaded day to occur but flags when a person has too much work assigned per week.

    In my book Project is a guide as to what MIGHT happen IF things go as planned and assuming our ESTIMATES of effort are reasonably realistic, in real life things rarely go EXACTLY as scheduled but having a plan alllows us to measure and monitor and to take corrective action in an informed and effective fashion if things are delayed or change is encountered.

     

     

     


    Dominic Moss MAPM Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Wellingtone Ltd - Your Project Management Partner - Certified Microsoft Partner Specialising in EPM/PPM - Corporate Members of the Association for Project Management [APM] - Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation [REC] www.wellingtone.co.uk Phone: 01753 621 203 St. Stephens House, Arthur Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1RY Exclusive articles on Project Management Recruitment, Training and consultancy. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/blog/ Subscribe to The Wellingtone Project Management Newsletter Join the thousands of project management professionals who receive practical, straight forward advice, templates, tips and expert articles every month. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_case_studies.php Subscribe to The Wellingtone Vacancies Bulletin Make sure you keep up-to-date on the latest permanent, contract and interim vacancies with our fortnightly bulletin. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_jobs.php
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:10 AM

All replies

  • Hello,

    A couple of options.  I'd personally do the following:

    1. Split your screen to show the Task Form at the bottom.  View tab, turn off the Timeline and click in the Details check box.
    2. Set the task as Fixed Duration and ensure the task is not effort driven.  Click OK in the Task form.
    3. Assign each resource and specify the number of hours of work.  By default, they will all be scheduled to work starting at the start date/time of the task.  You may add delay if needed to have them work one after another.

    If, however, the resource A's work feeds resource B's work, consider 3 separate tasks all linked F to S with each duration = work.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Monday, January 23, 2012 7:44 PM
    Moderator
  • i am in 2010 project. i am unable to split my screen as their is no split option in the view tab.
    db
    Monday, January 23, 2012 9:54 PM
  • On the View tab uncheck - Timeline and you should be able to select (check) Details.  Ensure you are in the Gantt Chart view first.

     

    Monday, January 23, 2012 10:12 PM
    Moderator
  • julie - thanks so much for your help!

    i have another question. i have created resource pool (i dont have project server, just a separate file with resources and no tasks) and several linking project files. several tasks in my project files have error symbols are are listed as overallocated because the resources are assigned in nonworking times and the tasks finish in nonworking times. i set my calendar to standard for all tasks, but for some reason it is suggesting that i schedule my tasks to start/end in 2009. i believe this may be because the timeline in my resource pool file is not agreeing with my project files but im not sure.


    db
    Monday, January 23, 2012 10:26 PM
  • You're most welcome.

    I'm not sure I follow your new questions.  The Overallocation message that you are seeing likely has to do with assignments overlapping -- not assignments in non-working time.  Unless you have set the tasks as elapsed duration, the resource's calendar will work to schedule automatically scheduled tasks.

    There should be no tasks in the resource pool file, so the timeline in the pool file shouldn't have anything in it.  You mention that you have set the calendar to "standard for all tasks" - but what is the resources base calendar in the pool file?  You should not need to "set" a calendar for any task -- the task calendar should say none.  Then it is using either the project calendar's definition of working time (if there are no assignments) or the assigned resources calendar.

    Julie

    Monday, January 23, 2012 11:19 PM
    Moderator
  • I realized I had manually scheduled dates on Sunday. Once I pushed the dates to Monday all the errors in my plan went away. Now I have no error messages in my project files, but for some reason my resources in the resource pool are overallocated. The image below is an example. Why would my resource be overallocated if it's scheduled for less than 8 hrs in a day and its work units are 100%?


    db
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 3:19 PM
  • Resources are overallocated if the sum of the assignment units (Peak Units) exceeds maximum units for so much as one minute.  Try adding the Start and Finish fields to the Usage table (left side of the Resource Usage view).  If the tasks overlap in time and the resource is assigned at 100%, the resource will be overallocated.

    It is also possible that you have contoured the resource's availability over time.  Double click on the Resource's name to check for a change in maximum units.

    Julie

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 4:19 PM
    Moderator
  • In the case above, many of the tasks assigned to the resource overlap, and in many cases the work units are set to 100% for each task. So am I correct that I must now go back and assign some nominal % for this resource for each overlapping task so that he is not listed as overallocated? Technically he's not overallocated because he's not going over 8 hrs a day and he's a full time employee, but the software thinks he is because as I have set it up he should be spending 100% of his time on each of the overlapping tasks.


    db
    Tuesday, January 24, 2012 7:41 PM
  • Hi,

    On the resource ribbon click leveling Options, then set the leveling period to days (it is now probably minutes), then OK: your overallocations will now be calculated based on the day by day setting.

    Greetings,

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:38 AM
    Moderator
  • In addition to the suggestions from Julie and Jan I suggest the following:

    The default task type in Project 2010 has been quietly switched to Fixed Units NOT Effort Driven - with this setting you can enter tasks and edit durations ( I regard durations as being "delivery periods" for the task, the window of time in which it will be actioned) - having durations in nice round numbers is preferable, otherwise you can be challenged by people who may ask "how can you be so sure this task will start @ 10:17 on Tuesday and finish @ 15:37 on Thursday?" - if however a task is shown starting first thin on Monday and finishing at days end on Thursday there will likely be no challenge.

    Having edited durations you can enter work against resources in the Assign Resource dialog box and Project will calculate the % allocation based upon the resources potential.

    So for example assuming project defaults of 8h/day you could enter a task of 2 days duration and assign 10 hours work to Resource A, 6 hours work to Resource B and 4 hours work to Resource C - Project would show 20 hours work on the task and the resources would be assigned as follows - resource A 63&% (actually 62.5% but project does not do assignments to decimal places) Resource B 38% (actually 37.5%) and Resource C 25%. Some people may then add up the % allocations and say 126% is a misleading figure but that is missing the point.

    As for seeing resources in RED it is likely difficult to avoid this happening, the question is to what degree and for how long are resources overloaded - changing the "Granularity" of resource leveling from day by day to week by week allows the occasional overloaded day to occur but flags when a person has too much work assigned per week.

    In my book Project is a guide as to what MIGHT happen IF things go as planned and assuming our ESTIMATES of effort are reasonably realistic, in real life things rarely go EXACTLY as scheduled but having a plan alllows us to measure and monitor and to take corrective action in an informed and effective fashion if things are delayed or change is encountered.

     

     

     


    Dominic Moss MAPM Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Wellingtone Ltd - Your Project Management Partner - Certified Microsoft Partner Specialising in EPM/PPM - Corporate Members of the Association for Project Management [APM] - Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation [REC] www.wellingtone.co.uk Phone: 01753 621 203 St. Stephens House, Arthur Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1RY Exclusive articles on Project Management Recruitment, Training and consultancy. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/blog/ Subscribe to The Wellingtone Project Management Newsletter Join the thousands of project management professionals who receive practical, straight forward advice, templates, tips and expert articles every month. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_case_studies.php Subscribe to The Wellingtone Vacancies Bulletin Make sure you keep up-to-date on the latest permanent, contract and interim vacancies with our fortnightly bulletin. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_jobs.php
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 10:10 AM
  • Hi Dominic and all,

    Sorry but I have to add a little precision here. Quote from Dominic:

    you can enter work against resources in the Assign Resource dialog box and Project will calculate the % allocation based upon the resources potential.

    Fact is you can't. You CANNOT enter work in the Assign Resource dialog box. That is why we propose to do it in the split window.

    Furthermore, in Fixed Units, Effort driven, you can just as well edit durations.

    Greetings,

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:01 PM
    Moderator
  • Jan,

    You CAN assign work in the Assign Resource Dialog box in the units column. In the example shown here there is a work value in the units column, hit return and Project shows the % allocation figure and the specified amount of work is allocated to the task.

    Try it and see - NOTE this option does not work if the Task Type is Effort Driven.


    Dominic Moss MAPM Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Wellingtone Ltd - Your Project Management Partner - Certified Microsoft Partner Specialising in EPM/PPM - Corporate Members of the Association for Project Management [APM] - Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation [REC] www.wellingtone.co.uk Phone: 01753 621 203 St. Stephens House, Arthur Road, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1RY Exclusive articles on Project Management Recruitment, Training and consultancy. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/blog/ Subscribe to The Wellingtone Project Management Newsletter Join the thousands of project management professionals who receive practical, straight forward advice, templates, tips and expert articles every month. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_case_studies.php Subscribe to The Wellingtone Vacancies Bulletin Make sure you keep up-to-date on the latest permanent, contract and interim vacancies with our fortnightly bulletin. http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/project_management_jobs.php
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 2:09 PM
  • Sorry, you are right... Who would have thought you could enter Work in a column called Units?

    Greetings,

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 6:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Jan,

    We all keep learning courtesy of Microsoft!

    I only discovered this feature by accident a few years ago - it is quite neat as far as I am concerned, I like schedules to be in durations and most people are happy if things are done by close of business on a particular day. The approach I have suggested allows "round number" work and duration with Project calculating the % allocation accordingly, this can allow for the classic "Multi-Tasking" environment that a lot of people have to deal with in their working lives. This can result in resources being "technically" overloaded but the overloads are likely to be incidental rather than significant, I favour including the "Remaining Availability" and "Overallocated" values in the Timephased view of a Resource Usage view. A resource can exhibit one of 4 unique traits:

    1. No work and a lot of availabillity
    2. Some work and some availability
    3. Too much work, no remaining availability and an overallocation
    4. No work and no availability due to resource time booked off for vacations (my favourite!!)

    By viewing a resource usage view and showing a week at a time on the timescale we can see the resources circumstance in any window of time and assess how bad any overload may be - most people are resigned to the fact that whilst their employment contract specifies "n" hours per week they invariably end up doing more hours per week due to work pressures. The odd peaking and troughing is inevitable what we want to be aware of is any excessive or persistent overloads.

     


    Dominic Moss MAPM Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist Wellingtone Ltd - Your Project Management Partner - Certified Microsoft Partner Specialising in EPM/PPM - Corporate Members of the Association for Project Management [APM] - Members of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation [REC] www.wellingtone.co.uk http://www.wellingtone.co.uk/blog Subscribe to The Wellingtone Project Management Newsletter Join the thousands of project management professionals who receive practical, straight forward advice, templates, tips and expert articles every month.
    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 7:32 PM