Friday, 15 March 2013

Assign Resources to tasks - MS Project 2010

Once resources have been set up in a project, they can then be assigned to work. This process can differ slightly for work, material and cost resources.

There are many ways to assign resources to tasks, but the Assign Resources dialog box is probably the most efficient. The method used though is really down to personal preference.

Assigning resources to tasks

  1. From the Gantt Chart, select a task in the task list.
  2. Click the Resource tab on the Ribbon and then click the Assign Resources button in the Assignments group.
Assign resources dialog box

  1. Select the resource you want to assign and click the Assign button.
To assign multiple resources, hold down the Ctrl key and select the required resources.

Specify the number of work units you need for the task. A work resource will default to 100%. If this resource is working on two tasks concurrently, the units can be changed to 50%.

You also need to specify how many units you require for a material resource when assigning, and the costs of a cost resource.
Work and cost resources assigned to a task
  1. Select another task from the task list and repeat steps 3.
  2. Click the Close button when you have finished assigning.

Assigning Multiple Individuals

You will need to be careful when assigning multiple work resources to a task. Multiple individuals would need to be assigned at the same time (the initial assignment). If an individual is assigned to a task, and then another individual is assigned to a task in a second assignment, Project will perform some calculations which may seem a little strange.

The changes MS Project will make depend on the effort driven scheduling and tasktype settings for that task.

In MS Project 2010 the default action is the increase the total work of the task and keep duration constant. In older versions the default action was to reduce the duration of the task.

Any changes made to a tasks duration, total work or an individual’s work units after the initial assignment will trigger this calculation.

The image below shows this happening to a task and the icon that appears allowing me to change the behaviour and reduce the duration of a task, or reduce the hours the resources work per day instead.

Increase in work due to assignment of more resources

To avoid this issue remember to assign multiple resources at the same time, or change the default behaviour of that task in advance by editing the effort driven scheduling and task type settings.

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