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Assigning as Resource Group rather than a resource RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'd like to be able to assign a resource group rather than a resource.

    Example:

    I work with a resource manager who is responsible for the resource pool we all share.

    I've got some programming work that needs doing and i dont really mind who's going to do it, so i want to be able to indicate that in my resource allocation - i thought (hoped) that when i started filling in the Resource Group in the resource sheet, i'd be able to use that in allocations.  But it doesnt seem to let me.

    What do other people do in this instance.

    As per my last question - i've come from an enterprise resource environment to standalone versions of MS Project (not project server)

    MTIA

    David

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:53 PM

Answers

  • David,

    In addition to Julie's comments, this is somewhat possible but it requires some advanced work.  I set up a similar system for the US Navy about a year ago and it was not with Project Server.  The Group field is usually used for defining the department or "group" in which a resource belongs.  The role(s) a resource can fulfill (such as electrician or programmer) requires the addition of a custom field.  Use multiple custom fields to identify multiple roles.  Create a custom filter to filter by role.  Apply this filter in the assign resources dialog box, under Resource List Options.  Also, in the same location, you have the option to look for resources that have certain availability.

    Hope this helps.


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    • Marked as answer by DavidCumming Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:58 AM
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:32 PM

All replies

  • Hello David,

    You can, in the resource sheet, define resources as more than 1, by setting the max. units field to greater than 100%.  To use your example -- you have 3 programmers who are equivalent in skills/knowledge.  Define the resource "programmers" and set the max. units to 300%.  You may now assign the resource in any amount up to and including 300%.

    The Group field on the Resource Sheet is not the equivalent.  Its purpose really is for filtering.  You may use the "Group" filter in the Assign Resources dialog box but you cannot use the value directly to assign resources.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:04 PM
    Moderator
  • I was hoping to be able to physically link the resource skillset (or role) to each of the resources.  By setting up a programmer with 300% max units, i've created an extra resource in my shared dictionary.

    Resource - Role

    David - programmer

    Bob - Programmer

    Steve - Programmer

    In my project i want to select Programmer as the required resource and then be able to look across the programmers' workload and see who of Bob, David and Steve is available.  It might be that this will be a Project Server feature


    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:15 PM
  • David,

    In addition to Julie's comments, this is somewhat possible but it requires some advanced work.  I set up a similar system for the US Navy about a year ago and it was not with Project Server.  The Group field is usually used for defining the department or "group" in which a resource belongs.  The role(s) a resource can fulfill (such as electrician or programmer) requires the addition of a custom field.  Use multiple custom fields to identify multiple roles.  Create a custom filter to filter by role.  Apply this filter in the assign resources dialog box, under Resource List Options.  Also, in the same location, you have the option to look for resources that have certain availability.

    Hope this helps.


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    • Marked as answer by DavidCumming Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:58 AM
    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:32 PM
  • Hi David,

    No, sorry the group field does not carry any of that ability other than the filtering feature.  My suggestion is to not use both David, Bob, and Steve -- but to replace all 3 programmers with the Programmer - 300%.

    I'm sensing this won't work for you -- as you wish to be able to see the details (is it Bob or David or Steve).

    Julie

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012 4:47 PM
    Moderator
  • "Use multiple custom fields to identify multiple roles.  Create a custom filter to filter by role.  Apply this filter in the assign resources dialog box, under Resource List Options.  Also, in the same location, you have the option to look for resources that have certain availability.

    Hope this helps.


    Gregg D. Richie

    Thanks Gregg - that'll do it!

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 12:03 PM
  • David,

    You are welcome, glad to help - and thanks for the feedback!


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:07 PM
  • Hi David, 

    I think I figured it out. Lets say you have 2 programmers, and you dont care who does it as long as it gets done. So, what you might do is under the resource sheet view, add a new column "Generic." Create a resource "Programmers" set Generic to "Yes" and Max available to "200%." If you are using this to track costs, it would only really work if the two programmers cost the same.

    Saturday, July 6, 2013 10:18 PM
  • Jordan,

    The "Generic" field only plays a part if you are using Project Server.  If you are not connected to server, the Generic setting doesn't do anything.

    Sunday, July 7, 2013 12:29 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello I have the same problem as above. I have to make a bucket of hours under one department. Doesn't matter who does what. So I get it that I can assign more than 100% to one resource say for example to the manager. But I still need visibility to how much hours of work has been assigned to individual from that group. How can I achieve both?

    Monday, February 12, 2018 9:59 PM
  • newtoMSProject,

    I'm afraid you're asking to have your cake and eat it too. There is no way to have a group resource assigned to a task and yet be able to see how many hours each member of that group is assigned. It's either a group resource or it's not.

    If you don't care who does what, then why would you need to know about specific individual resources?

    John

    Monday, February 12, 2018 10:19 PM
  • First you say it doesn't matter who does what, and then you say you want visibility concerning individual assignments. It has to be one thing or the other.

    I would start by saying that it does matter who does what. and when. It's called planning and management. Otherwise, it's just throwing a bunch of folks at a bunch of tasks and telling them to sort it out between themselves. This might be acceptable but it is not management.

    You won't get the information you need if you don't do the work that's necessary to generate it.

    Don't bother with clumps of resources with max units = 300%. You will just have to go back and do it properly later. Make individual people, assign the right people to each task. Check the total work. If you don't like the answer, change something on the input side.

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018 12:26 AM
  • Thank you for your replies. The reason I was asking to have the visibility for both was because the upper management wants to know how much work is already there for the department before they commit to new projects and the department head wants to know how much work the individual resource under him/her has already in their plate.
    Tuesday, February 13, 2018 3:08 PM
  • newtoMS Project,

    Okay, that's a little different than how you first described it. When you assign individual resources to each task you not only will have a composite, (via Resource Usage view), of how much work is assigned to each resource and address the department head needs, but you can also see, (via the Task Usage view or with Project's grouping feature), how much work there is for each department, which addresses upper managements needs.

    As far as not caring who does what, well that's a trade-off. The only way to do that is to either use group resources and lose individual assignment metrics, or use generic names for resources such as Engr1, Engr2, etc. instead of Bob, Bill, etc. With generic names you will still have to assign each and be constrained by a max of 100%, but you will have some flexibility, outside of Project, who specifically Engr1 represents.

    Another advantage to assigning individual resources is that Project will flag overallocation. With a group resource, you don't get that visibility at an individual resource level.

    So, yes, you can get there from here.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Tuesday, February 13, 2018 5:56 PM
  • Sorry to piggyback on this question, but I'm left feeling a bit disappointed with the software.  My challenge as an operations manager is that I have 6 different shifts of Operations Technicians, with each shift having different resource levels (from 3 to 9 techs) and different hours (e.g. Su-We 6a-4:30p vs We-Sa 4:30p-2:30a vs M-F 10p-6:30a).  I've got a full team of 34 techs and a process that runs continuously.  Ideally I'd like to build out my manufacturing process schedule and assign a resource group of "Technicians".  This group would be made up of individual resources to which I'd assign the different shift calendars.  

    Absent of doing it this way I would have to schedule them all individually and then manually resource level.  I've got a project schedule with tasks required to make one batch of product over ~6 weeks, but I'd like to layer multiple batches and see at what run rate I can no longer support production with my current equipment/staff levels.  My hope was that I could use MS Project to drive resource leveling for techs working different shift calendars, but given the above conversation it seems that's not the case.  Can someone confirm that this is not the right software to be doing this detailed of scheduling?   

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 3:19 PM
  • nwillnow,

    I'm not sure I fully follow your resource "levels" and build process but in basic terms you can either have individual resources or group resources and assign those to a given task. A given resource or group resource can have a single base work calendar. You can not have multiple work calendars for a group resource. For example, let's say you have a group resource with 3 techs, Joe, Bob and Bill. If that group resource is defined as "Tech group 1" you can not have 3 separate work calendars for that group.

    You can have individual resources, each with their own work calendar and have one or more resources as part of a group (i.e. not a group resource but part of a group as labeled via the resource Group field). The resources will be individually assigned to tasks but you can filter, sort and group to get metrics on a particular group.

    As far as your question as to whether Project can do what you want, if you can expand on how your resource "levels" interact with the different work hours and how you want to apply those to your process, we may be able to offer a suggestion. An specific example with a screen shot if possible would help.

    John

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018 4:21 PM
  • Imagine ~300 tasks associated with work over 3 days.  I have equipment resources that will largely drive the timeline and leveling of those tasks, and all of my equipment resources are on a 24hr calendar since they are all available.  The problem is that Project would tell me that I theoretically do do 6 of those tasks at 3am when in fact I only have 3 people here at that time to complete tasks, so at most I can do 3 of them at a time.  To get a true representation of the schedule I have to do some resource leveling based on operators available. 

    I have 6 shifts of people, all capable of doing any of the tasks:

    - 7 people working Su-We 6a-4:30p

    - 7 people working M, T, Th, Fr 6a-4:30p

    - 9 people working We-Sa 6a-4:30p

    - 3 people working Su-We 4p-2:30a

    - 5 people working We-Sa 4p-2:30a

    - 3 people working M-F 10p-6:30a

    Now I know I could create 6 resources, one for each shift, and then have allocations of 700%, 900%, etc.  However, that would force me to bucket the work tasks into specific shifts.  The problem there is that I want MS Project to be able to resource level across shifts.  If something makes more sense to be done overnight, and I have the resources there to do it, I'd rather it be done then.  Also, I have overlapping teams on a Monday for example and I'd like MS project to recognize that instead of 7 resources on Monday there are actually 14 and it's possible to put one resource from each of those teams on a task that requires two people.  

    Thursday, March 1, 2018 12:27 PM
  • Sorry one more point of clarification.  One of the reasons I would like to do this in a software that will give me a resource leveling plan is that things are very dynamic.  The project will repeat weekly, but some weeks we may have a process upset or equipment downtime and other weeks we might have people out on vacation or who call out sick.  I'd like a tool that helps me adjust the schedule on the fly with those changes to either task duration or resource quantities.   If I have to manually adjust the resource leveling across the shifts with every potential schedule permutation then this becomes far less useful.  
    Thursday, March 1, 2018 12:52 PM
  • nwillnow,

    Okay with that additional information Project will not do what you want. Project's leveling feature can move tasks around based on priority but it will not "recognize" that you have extra hours available for a resource and then shift that work to another task. It just isn't that sophisticated.

    To do what you want you will either have to manually work your scheduling or develop a complex algorithm that can be coded in VBA.

    Unless someone else jumps in with a good idea, that's the bottom line.

    John

    Thursday, March 1, 2018 1:54 PM
  • Thank you John
    Thursday, March 1, 2018 3:08 PM
  • nwillnow,

    As its name implies, MSP was developed for time and resource management of "Projects."  Using some very loose definitions, one could refer to a 6-week batch manufacturing process as a "project,"  then go further and refer to the overall manufacturing operation (involving concurrent batch processes) as a "portfolio of projects."  But the tool - out of the box - is not right for the job.  Perhaps you could get what you want with some major customizations of MSP, but I would expect even a maintenance management tool like Maximo to be more in line with your requirements.  No doubt there are custom-developed applications for manufacturing that will do the job (I used such solutions based on linear programming decades ago.)  They are not going to be part of a standard Microsoft Office product, however.

    Good luck, tom  

    Thursday, March 1, 2018 4:12 PM
  • nwillnow,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback.

    John

    Thursday, March 1, 2018 4:12 PM
  • I find it amazing that a custom field needs to be created for such a common requirement. Primavera has Roles as a standard field, that may or may not be used, but can fulfill the purpose asked here quite easily. MS Project developers should've picked up on this by now...
    Monday, July 16, 2018 6:29 PM
  • akporta,

    I suggest you submit a request to the Project user voice at:

    https://microsoftproject.uservoice.com/forums/218133-microsoft-project

    John

    Monday, July 16, 2018 6:47 PM