As with most other functions within Open Workbench, managing the assignment of work to your project team can be achieved in many different ways. In this post, I’ll discuss what I believe to be the most efficient.
The first thing you need to do is get your resource assigned to work on a task. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, if you’re in a View that provides both Resource and Task information, you can click the selector next to the resource and use the drag & drop capability to drag your resource onto the desired task. This will assign your resource to work on the task, but it won’t determine the work effort required of the resource. This screen shot shows what I mean:
As you can see, using the drag & drop my resource has been assigned to the task, but I still need to enter an estimate of work effort required to complete the assignment.
The drag & drop technique can be efficient when you have a large number of assignments to make, for example when you are first building out your plan.
The other technique to use is through the Task Properties dialog box. Right-click on the task and select Modify (or double-click the selector next to the task), then click on the Resources tab. Select the resource (or resources) you want to assign to the task, and click Assign. As with the drag & drop technique, the resource will be assigned but no estimate of work effort will be entered.
The next step in assigning work is to estimate the work effort required for the resource to complete the task. Enter this (in hours) in the Estimate field.
You might also have a situation where you want to limit the percentage of their work day the resource works on your task. If you want to create this limit, enter the percentage in the Max % field (you’ll need to scroll along a little to see it). If your resource is Available for 8 hours per day and you have a task with 16 hours of effort, theoretically this task can be completed in 2 days. If, however, you enter 50% in the Max % field, the shortest period of time the task will be completed is over 4 days (and this of course subject to the other constraints and parameters used by the Autoschedule algorithm).
The final factor to consider when making task assignments is the Loading Pattern. Please see my post on Loading Patterns for more information.