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Assigning multiple individual resources to a task? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Here is the scenario......

    I have a task that is 186h long, starting 7/11/2011. It needs to end on 7/14/2011 based on resources assigned. I have 7 individual resources that are assigned. No matter how I set the task, and how many resources (at 100%) I assign, MSP pushes the task out to 8/13/2011 or some such date. If I have 7 100% resources assigned on 7/11/2011, why isn't the task being completed on 7/14/2011? Caveat, I haven't used Project since 2003, but I'm quick on the uptake.


    Joel W. Johnson
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 5:20 PM

Answers

  • Hi Joel,

    When assigning resources if your desire is to drop the duration, you'll need to make sure you assign each resource individually, not all three at once.

    I am trying to reproduce what you report, see if you can follow and get the same answer.  You may find it helpful to view the Task Form in the lower pane.  Click the View tab and in the Split View section check "Details".  The Task form should automatically select.  The task form will allow you to see the Duration of the task (which will drop as you add more resources) and the work being performed by each resource.

    I've created an auto scheduled, fixed unit, effort driven task with of 186 hours in duration. Start date 7/18 end date calculated by Project is 8/18 at 10:00 am.

    I assign one resource at 100%.  The duration is unchanged but 186 hours of work is calculated by project.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Because the task is effort driven, fixed units the duration drops to 93 hours with a finish date of 8/2. The total effort (work) on the task remains at 186 -- each resource performing 93 hours of work.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Again, duration drops to 62 hours with an end date of 7/27.  Total amount of work is still 186 hour, each of the 3 resource performing 62 hours of work.

    As I continue to assign resources (finally up to 6 resources assigned) the total work stays at 186 hours but is divided up between each resource added and the duration drops.

    After the 6th resource is assigned I now have a total of 186 hours of work - duration is 31 hours -- end date is 7/21.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

     

     

    Monday, July 11, 2011 1:26 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • What is the type of task?  Fixed Duration, Fixed Work, or Fixed Units?  I'm guessing, based on what you say that it should Fixed Work, and "effort driven" so that when you apply more resource you'll see the computation of duration get reduced.  Also, just becuase it "needs" to be computed on 7/14/2011, you'll need to set the total work and number of resources sufficient so that the duration is computed as you want.

    Alternatively, set the duration and not make "effort driven", if you know it, to allow it to end as  you know it, and then apply the multiple resources at the appropriate "units".  With fixed duration not effort driven, no matter how many resources you throw at it, it will have a fixed duration.

    Project does exactly what you tell it to.  You are telling it something different than you are thinking.


    --rms www.rmschneider.com
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 6:55 PM
  • Hi,

    Isn't one of your resources on holiday such that he/she cannot complete its 46 hrs of work before August?

    Greetings,

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 6:57 PM
    Moderator
  • I've tried all three types -- MSP 2010 doesn't budge. What I want it this: 186h task. Apply 1 100% resource -- still at 186h. Apply 2nd 100% resource -- go to 93h. Etc., down to a total of 7 100% resources. MSP just isn't cooperating with me, but it's probably me, not MSP.
    Joel W. Johnson
    Sunday, July 10, 2011 7:05 PM
  • Joel,

    Does it make a difference if & when you create an envelope task and try either "Fixed Duration" or "Fixed Work" option for sub-tasks where you define the actual tasks and assign % allocation for various resources?

    Thanks,

    Sid

     

    Monday, July 11, 2011 6:25 AM
  • Hi Joel,

    Just adding to the wonderful solutions of Rob and Jan, make the task fixed work and assign all 7 resources. I guess as Jan rightfully stated either 1 of your resource is on holiday due to which task is getting streteched or it could be some leveling issue. Please also check if the task has any constrains attached to it.


    Sapna S
    Monday, July 11, 2011 7:22 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks Sapna. From the very long difference between the work hours and the duration to me it is likely  that task type is not involved and that the poster is pointed to a road leading nowhere. Calendar, constraint, or ... to finish link must be the culprit. I bet on resource calendar.

    Greetings,

    Monday, July 11, 2011 7:35 AM
    Moderator
  • You are most Welcome Jan :) You already pointed holiday day which indirectly says about the Calendar :)
    Sapna S
    Monday, July 11, 2011 7:47 AM
    Moderator
  • Jan/Sapna, I will try this in a little while. The task is a quite simple one, with no dependencies or predecessors. In detail -- it is wiring of a school campus. There are 93 drops to be wired at 2 man-hours per drop, hence 186 hours. I have 7 work resources, all at 100% on a standard clock (8 hours per day). Start date is 7/18/11. So doing the quick math in one's head, this should equate out to 3.3 days when all 7 resources are assigned to the task. Hence, the end date should be 7/21/11. I just can't seem to make MSP 2010 do this correctly, although it seems maddeningly simply.
    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 10:31 AM
  • Hi,

    Do check he resources' calendars (working time). If one is on holiday, the reason for the delay is also maddeningly simple :-)

    And BTW, MS Project DOES this correctly... it just depends on the input.

    Greetings,

    Monday, July 11, 2011 10:39 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Jan,

    For the record, the resources are completely local to this project plan. They are not culled from Outlook, SharePoint, or any other AD source. Manually defined in the Resources Sheet. I have to do it this way because we have many outside contractors on this project.


    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 12:02 PM
  • Which Project version you are using? 2007 or 2010?
    Sapna S
    Monday, July 11, 2011 12:04 PM
    Moderator
  • Pardon me for bumping in, but is the task manually scheduled?  I can recreate what you describe by creating a manually scheduled task entering 186 hours in the duration field and then happily assigning a cast of thousands with no decrease in duration.  Remove the resources, change the task to auto scheduled, check off effort driven and see if that fixes it.

    Julie

    Monday, July 11, 2011 12:23 PM
    Moderator
  • To reply to Sapna and Julie in one post:

    Project Professional 2010

    All tasks are manual at this point. Julie, you make an excellent point. The Auto-Schedule function was causing me grief at the outset, so I started everything as manual. If your suggestion works as you say, this will be perfect -- I have about 140 tasks to do, but need to get around this issue before I start entering them.


    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 12:48 PM
  • OK, I am officially going crazy. I removed all resources, changed the task to its original 186h, start date 7/18, auto/effort-driven. It gave me an end date of 8/18. I assigned 3 100% Work resources to it -- it doubled the time to 372h. When I assigned 6 100% resources, it pulled it back to 186h. With 6 resources, it should have pulled the end date back in to 7/22. It seems to make no difference if the task is Fixed Units or Fixed Work.
    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 1:00 PM
  • I fixed it, and I feel a bit asinine. I put in my original post that I hadn't used Project since 2003, but that's no excuse. I was using the Duration column to set the hours. I added the Work column, dragged it over next to Duration, entered the 186h in Work, added 6 resources, and everything is well with the world. Thank you for suffering through this (and me).
    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 1:11 PM
  • Hi Joel,

    When assigning resources if your desire is to drop the duration, you'll need to make sure you assign each resource individually, not all three at once.

    I am trying to reproduce what you report, see if you can follow and get the same answer.  You may find it helpful to view the Task Form in the lower pane.  Click the View tab and in the Split View section check "Details".  The Task form should automatically select.  The task form will allow you to see the Duration of the task (which will drop as you add more resources) and the work being performed by each resource.

    I've created an auto scheduled, fixed unit, effort driven task with of 186 hours in duration. Start date 7/18 end date calculated by Project is 8/18 at 10:00 am.

    I assign one resource at 100%.  The duration is unchanged but 186 hours of work is calculated by project.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Because the task is effort driven, fixed units the duration drops to 93 hours with a finish date of 8/2. The total effort (work) on the task remains at 186 -- each resource performing 93 hours of work.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Again, duration drops to 62 hours with an end date of 7/27.  Total amount of work is still 186 hour, each of the 3 resource performing 62 hours of work.

    As I continue to assign resources (finally up to 6 resources assigned) the total work stays at 186 hours but is divided up between each resource added and the duration drops.

    After the 6th resource is assigned I now have a total of 186 hours of work - duration is 31 hours -- end date is 7/21.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

     

     

    Monday, July 11, 2011 1:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Great.  I'm glad you were able to get it sorted, Joel.

    Julie

    Monday, July 11, 2011 2:02 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi Joel,

    When assigning resources if your desire is to drop the duration, you'll need to make sure you assign each resource individually, not all three at once.

    I am trying to reproduce what you report, see if you can follow and get the same answer.  You may find it helpful to view the Task Form in the lower pane.  Click the View tab and in the Split View section check "Details".  The Task form should automatically select.  The task form will allow you to see the Duration of the task (which will drop as you add more resources) and the work being performed by each resource.

    I've created an auto scheduled, fixed unit, effort driven task with of 186 hours in duration. Start date 7/18 end date calculated by Project is 8/18 at 10:00 am.

    I assign one resource at 100%.  The duration is unchanged but 186 hours of work is calculated by project.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Because the task is effort driven, fixed units the duration drops to 93 hours with a finish date of 8/2. The total effort (work) on the task remains at 186 -- each resource performing 93 hours of work.

    I assign another resource at 100%.  Again, duration drops to 62 hours with an end date of 7/27.  Total amount of work is still 186 hour, each of the 3 resource performing 62 hours of work.

    As I continue to assign resources (finally up to 6 resources assigned) the total work stays at 186 hours but is divided up between each resource added and the duration drops.

    After the 6th resource is assigned I now have a total of 186 hours of work - duration is 31 hours -- end date is 7/21.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

     

     

    I wanted to add to Julie's excellent post as the solution. What I have is 2 rotating crews of 3 100% resources. I can't individually name the Resources (Joe Smith, Steve Jones, etc) because it's 3 bodies, not 3 names: They rotate based on proximity to the individual work site. So I have "Wiring Team 1" and "Wiring Team 2". On any given task, I assign one of the teams at 300%. This works as well as Julie's example above. I just wanted to clarify this for anyone that runs into the same situation. Thanks again, Julie.

    Joel W. Johnson
    Monday, July 11, 2011 2:20 PM
  • You're most welcome Joel and thanks for adding the information about multiple units of a team.

    Julie

    Monday, July 11, 2011 2:24 PM
    Moderator