Managing Resource Assignments

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:

(Click for full size)

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.

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8 Responses to Managing Resource Assignments

  1. Pingback: Resource Management Overview | Open Workbench Warrior

  2. Richard Peach says:

    Nice write-up, as an addition, when needing to assign a Resource to multiple tasks, once can select each of the tasks rows, then right click on any task row and assign the desired resourc(s). The results is the assigned resource(s) being assigned to each of the selected tasks.

    • Yes, good point Richard. Assign the resource to multiple tasks with one action.

      Thanks for your comment, and thanks for visiting!

      • Stephane .R says:

        You can do this for resources, but also for many attributes of the tasks, including dependancies : select several tasks, and add a common successor or predecessor, or change several attributes with one action (fixed duration, …)

  3. Pete says:

    I am new to Open Workbench. Thanks for your blog, already learned a few things from it.

  4. Graham says:

    Struggling with resources… I have a task that takes 5 days, a resource that is available 100% of his time, but that is only 1 day a week, and a second resource, available 50% of his time, 4 days a week. If I assign resource 1 to the task, I would expect the task to extend out to 5 weeks, or 2.5 weeks if I used resource 2… but the task is still showing as just 5 consecutive days and seemingly ignoring the calendar and availability constraints on the resources – I’m obviously missing something, but I can’t fathom what!

  5. Karolina says:

    Please Help!!!! I can not (to save my life) add resources to my tasks. When I double click on the task or open it by clicking Modify and then go to resources tab, it’s completely blank. I click Add Assignments and nothing happens. I tried everything!

  6. Isaac says:

    I have found the resource scheduling/constraints quite buggy.
    * The resource view at the bottom is limited to fixed width display so it rolls over at 10.00 hours (it shows as 0.00 hours).
    * When you change the resource loading (e.g. from Uniform to Front), I’m not sure exactly when it takes effect. For example, I have a 10 hour task, and it will always insist on splitting it over 2 days at 5 hours apiece. Survives re-starts of the app.
    * Some really weird scaling of the resource availability if I change the Calendar (for example from 8 hours up to 24 hours availability). I’m not sure what exactly it does. Really weird stuff like change the resource loading to Back (even though it is specified as Front or Uniform). I then have to restart for it to reset and re-schedule.
    Things get really screwed up at this point and then I’m not sure what special sequence of changing preferences & restarting actually manages to fix this. There’s all manner of odd bugs that only happens when it gets into a funky mode. For example, one bug has some rounding problem where if I set a task to take 7.999 hours, it takes 1 day, but if I put in 8.0 hours, it rolls it over to 2 days.

    Really, really annoying … if I can’t find a work-around, it’s probably unusable at this point.

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