Changing Resource Assignments

There are three ways you can change resource assignments:

• You can add more resources to the existing resources assigned to a task.

• You can replace one resource with another.

• You can remove a resource from a task.

To add more resources to the existing ones initially assigned to a task, follow these steps:

1 In the Gantt Chart or other task sheet, click the task to which you want to add more "H resources. a.

2 On the Standard toolbar, click Assign Resources. The Assign Resources dialog box ° appears, showing a check mark next to the names of resources already assigned.

You can also open the Assign Resources dialog box by pressing Alt+F10.

3 Click the name of the resource you want to add to the task and then click the Assign button.

The resource name moves to the top of the Resources list in the table, and the default percentage appears in the Units field for the resource.

4 Review the Units field and make sure that it's appropriate for this assignment.

If you change the Units field, you need to press Enter or click another field. Pressing Enter ends the edit mode for the field, sets your change, and makes the Assign button available.

5 When finished working with resource assignments, click the Close button.

In the task sheet, you'll see that the task has been updated to include the new resource. Depending on the task type (fixed units, fixed work, or fixed duration), you might see changes in the duration or work amount as a result of the newly assigned resource. You'll also see the green feedback triangle in the task cell. Position your mouse pointer over the triangle, and the Smart Tag icon appears in the Indicators field. Click the Smart Tag icon. A menu appears (see Figure 7-17).

Figure 7-17. The Smart Tag informs you of the ramifications of adding a resource to the task. These results are based on the task type.

The Smart Tag disappears as soon as you carry out another operation, and therefore cannot undo the previous operation.

To replace one resource with another, follow these steps:

1 In the Gantt Chart or other task sheet, click the task to which you want to add more resources.

2 On the Standard toolbar, click Assign Resources.

The Assign Resources dialog box appears, showing a check mark next to the names of resources already assigned.

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3 Click the name of the assigned resource you want to replace and then click the Replace button.

The Replace Resource dialog box appears, showing the same resources that are displayed in the Assign Resources dialog box, according to any filters you might have applied.

4 Click the name of the replacement resource and then click OK.

The name of the replacement resource moves to the top of the Resources list in the table, and the default percentage appears in the Units field for the resource.

5 Review the Units field and make sure that it's appropriate for this assignment.

6 When finished replacing resources, click the Close button.

To remove a resource assignment, follow these steps:

1 In the Gantt Chart or other task sheet, click the task from which you want to remove a resource.

2 On the Standard toolbar, click Assign Resources.

The Assign Resources dialog box appears, showing a check mark next to the names of resources already assigned.

3 Click the name of the assigned resource you want to remove and then click the Remove button.

4 When finished working with resource assignments, click the Close button.

Note When you remove a resource assignment, you're removing only the assignment, not the resource itself. The resource is still assigned to other tasks, and is available for assignment to other tasks.

In the task sheet, you'll see that the task has been updated to exclude the deleted resource. If there were multiple resources assigned and you removed one of them but left others intact, you'll also see the green feedback triangle in the task cell. Position your mouse pointer over the triangle, and the Smart Tag icon appears in the Indicators field. Click the Smart Tag icon. A menu appears (see Figure 7-18).

Q Task Name

Duration

. '04

Jul 4, '04

T |WIT F S

S^ M T fw] T F [S"

100

- Landscaping and Grounds Work

7 days

3 days

hris G

101

<!>

t II Pour concrete driveway and sidewalks

102 103

You removed resources from this taskj requiring a change in its schedule. Do you want to:

rian CI

~~H-«

104

Increase duration so the task ends later but requires the same total work (person-hours) Decrease the total work because the task requires less person-hours. Keep duration constant. Increase the hours that resources work per day. Keep duration and work the same.

106

d o|

108

Show me more details. I ...

Figure 7-18. The Smart Tag informs you of the ramifications of removing a resource from the task. These results are based on the task type.

Tip Use the Task Information dialog box to assign or change resources

As an alternative to the Assign Resources dialog box, you can double-click a task to open the Task Information dialog box and then click the Resources tab (see Figure 7-19). Although the Task Information dialog box doesn't have all the options of the Assign Resources dialog box, you can still assign, replace, and remove assigned resources (as well as set the assignment units) for a single task.

Task Information

General | Predecessors Resources | Advanced | Notes | Custom Fields

Duration: [3d -^J I- Estimated

Name: Resources:

General | Predecessors Resources | Advanced | Notes | Custom Fields

Duration: [3d -^J I- Estimated

Name: Resources:

1 Brian Clark

A

Resource Name

Units

V

Brian Clark

|ioo%

George Jiang

100%

Help

Figure 7-19. Use the Resources tab in the Task Information dialog box to create or modify resource assignments on a single task.

Tip Turn off Smart Tags

Smart Tags provide feedback for users who are still getting used to the ways Microsoft Project schedules tasks. This feedback helps users understand the impact of their scheduling changes.

If you understand the impact of your scheduling changes, you might not need Smart Tags, so you can turn them off. To do this, click Tools, Options and then click the Interface tab. Under Show Indicators And Option Buttons For, clear the Resource Assignments and the Edits To Work, Units Or Duration check boxes. V_J

Controlling Changes with Effort-Driven Scheduling

When you assign an additional resource to a task that already has assigned resources, by default, the amount of work scheduled for each assigned resource decreases. Likewise, suppose that you remove a resource from a task, leaving at least one remaining resource assigned. By default, the amount of work scheduled for each remaining assigned resource increases.

These changes in work amounts are a function of effort-driven scheduling, which dictates that as more resources are added, there is less work for each resource to perform, although the

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Task Information total work to be performed by all resources stays constant. If resources are removed, each remaining resource needs to do more work—again, with the total work remaining constant.

The results of effort-driven scheduling operate in conjunction with the task type. If the task type is set to fixed units or fixed work, adding resources decreases the duration. If the task type is set to fixed duration, adding resources decreases the units for each assigned resource.

By default, effort-driven scheduling is enabled for all tasks. This makes sense because, in the majority of cases, the primary reason for adding resources to a task is to bring in its finish date.

However, you might have certain tasks whose work should not change regardless of the addition or removal of assigned resources. For example, you might have a 4-day document review task. You want all resources assigned to have 4 days to review the document. Suppose that you realize later that you forgot a resource who also needs to review the document. When you add this resource to the task, you wouldn't want the work to be reduced—you still want everyone to have 4 days. Because each resource is reviewing different aspects of the document, it isn't the type of task that can be completed more quickly if more resources are added. For such a task, it's best to turn off effort-driven scheduling.

To turn off effort-driven scheduling for selected tasks, follow these steps:

1 In the Gantt Chart or other task sheet, click the task for which you want to turn off effort-driven scheduling.

If you want to turn off effort-driven scheduling for several tasks at one time, click the first task, hold down Ctrl, and then click the other tasks you want.

2 On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information.

3 In the Task Information dialog box, click the Advanced tab.

4 Clear the Effort Driven check box.

To turn off effort-driven scheduling for all new tasks in this project plan:

1 Click Tools, Options and then click the Schedule tab.

2 Clear the New Tasks Are Effort Driven check box.

Task Information

Tip Use Smart Tag feedback when adding or removing resources

When you add or remove resources assigned to a task, the Smart Tag feedback icon appears so you'll get the scheduling results you want. Click the Smart Tag icon to read your options and then make any changes you want. If you click Show Me More Details, the Customize Assignment pane in the Project Guide appears.

Controlling Schedule Changes with Task Types

Adding or removing resources after the initial assignment can change the task and assignment scheduling based on whether the task is effort-driven.

The scheduling for a task or assignment can also change when one of the following items is changed:

Duration, units, and work are interrelated and interdependent. When you change one of the three, at least one of the others is affected. For example, by default, if you revise duration, work is recalculated. If you revise assignment units, duration is recalculated. This is based on the basic Microsoft Project scheduling formula:

Duration * Units = Work

You need to be able to control how the schedule is affected when you change duration, assignment units, or work. This control is the task type. Think of the task type as the one anchor among the three elements of duration, units, and work. When you make a change, the task type dictates which of the three elements must remain fixed and which of the other two can flex to accommodate the change (see Figure 7-20).

Figure 7-20. When you change one of the three elements, at least one of the others is affected, which changes your task or assignment scheduling.

Therefore, the three task types are as follows:

• Fixed Duration

Which task type you choose for your project default and change for individual tasks has to do with how you develop your project and the scheduling rules you have in mind as you set your task durations and assign your resources.

Tip Use Smart Tag feedback when you change scheduling controls

When you change units, work, or duration, the Smart Tag feedback icon appears so that you'll get the scheduling results you want. Click the Smart Tag icon to read your options and then make any changes you want. If you click Show Me More Details, the Customize Assignment pane in the Project Guide appears.

Understanding the Fixed Units Task Type

When you assign a resource to a task, you specify the assignment units in the Units field of the Assign Resources dialog box. You can see the units in the chart portion of the Gantt Chart (see Figure 7-21). By default, the units appear with the resource name next to the Gantt bar if it's anything other than 100 percent.

Task Name

Jul 4, '04

Jul 11, '04

Jul 18,'04

SIM T |W I T F I S

S |M |T |W|T |F |S

S |M | T |W|

101

Pour concrete driveway and sidewalks

L Concrete cc r hGeori

ntractor[200°a] e Jiang[50° n]

tractor contractor

102

Install backyard fence

103

Sod and complete plantings - front yard

104

Sod and complete plantings - backyard

¡^-.Landscape

Figure 7-21. Assignment units other than 100 percent are shown next to the relevant Gantt bars.

The Fixed Units task type dictates that the percentage of assignment units on an assignment should remain constant regardless of changes to duration or work. This is the default task type because it's the task type that fits the majority of project tasks. If you increase task duration, Microsoft Project shouldn't force you to find another resource or force a 50 percent resource to work 100 percent on the assignment.

Changes to a Fixed Unit task have the following results:

• If you revise the duration, work also changes, and units are fixed.

• If you revise work, duration also changes, and units are fixed.

• If you revise units, duration also changes, and work is fixed.

Understanding the Fixed Work Task Type

When you assign a resource to a task, the task's duration is translated into work. You can see the amount of work in the Task Usage or Resource Usage view.

The Fixed Work task type dictates that the amount of work on an assignment should remain constant regardless of changes to duration or units.

Changes to a Fixed Work task have the following results:

• If you revise the duration, units also change, and work is fixed.

• If you revise units, duration also changes, and work is fixed.

• If you revise work, duration also changes, and units are fixed.

Assigning Resources to Tasks Understanding the Fixed Duration Task Type

When you create a task, you specify the task's duration in the Duration field of the Gantt Chart ^

or other task sheet. The Gantt bar for the task is drawn according to the duration you set. g-

The Fixed Duration task type dictates that the task duration should remain constant, regardless of changes to units or work.

Changes to a Fixed Duration task have the following results:

• If you revise units, work also changes, and duration is fixed.

• If you revise work, units also change, and duration is fixed.

• If you revise the duration, work also changes, and units are fixed.

Changing the Task Type

As you gain more experience working with Microsoft Project, you'll see the impact of the schedule recalculations engendered by the changes you make. You can control the way changes to the resource assignments of tasks are made by choosing a default task type, and you can make occasional exceptions when needed.

By default, all tasks are Fixed Units. To change the task type of selected tasks, follow these steps:

1 In the Gantt Chart or other task sheet, click the task for which you want to change the task type.

If you want to change the task type for several tasks at one time, click the first task, hold down Ctrl, and then click the other tasks you want.

2 On the Standard toolbar, click Task Information.

3 In the Task Information dialog box, click the Advanced tab.

4 In the Task Type box, click the task type you want to apply to the selected tasks.

To set the default task type for all new tasks in this project plan, follow these steps:

1 Click Tools, Options, and in the Options dialog box, click the Schedule tab.

2 In the Default Task Type box, click the task type you want to apply to all new tasks. All the tasks in your schedule can have the same task type, or they can be intermixed.

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