Resource Management Basics

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Project managers, project schedulers and resource managers


Learn how to add resources to your project, associate resources with tasks by skill set, mass assign tasks, swap tasks and more.


  • Learn how to use all the resource assignment shortcuts

Key Points


Enterprise Resource Management is a key benefit of using the Project Insight project and portfolio management software (PPM). Resource management allows you to manage all of your projects and team members’ tasks in one centralized system. You will know what they are working on, when and who might be under or over allocated and more. You are also able to track and manage non-project work in Project Insight.

For example, this is a Project Insight dashboard with a chart showing the resource allocation for your entire portfolio by resource type and role for the next few months.

Enterprise resource management enables you to forecast your workload and make strategic decisions about hiring and training.

You can see also who is over-booked or under-allocated and re-assign work with ease using drag and drop.

On the other side of the dashboard is a resource allocation report showing the workload for your project resources over the next few weeks.

You can use this information to determine when you have availability to take on new work and when to schedule work so that you are confident you can deliver your project on time and on budget.

This is all available without any additional data collection, analysis and formatting work, which saves you time and gives you real-time access to data to make important decisions.

This training session covers the first aspect of resource management, which is assigning resources to work on tasks on your projects.

There are multiple ways to assign resources. The first is on an individual task by task basis. The project manager assigns a resource to a task based on his or her expert judgement.

The second is mass assignment where a group of tasks can be assigned automatically to a resource.

The third is to have Project Insight suggests resources automatically based on skill sets, roles and availability.

You can use whatever method works best for your business processes.

Other training sessions also cover other ways to assign resources such as through workload balancing tools.

Assign Resources to a Project

In order to assign resources to individual tasks or use the mass assign feature, the resources must first be associated with the project. In a lot of organizations, the notion of a resource pool for the project is a pretty standard concept, especially if you have a large number of resources in Project Insight.

If you do not know who the resources are going to be then you may want to use the Suggest a Resource function which we will cover later.

Assign Resources to a Project on Add/Edit

First, you’re going to see how to add resources when you create a project.

Click the show left navigation icon.

Click on the Projects folder.

Collapse the left navigation

Hover on the Add icon or right click and select project.

Enter the project name such as Upgrade HR System.

When you are adding a project, you have the option of assigning resources right from the add/edit form.

Click on the drop down for resources.

Scroll through the list and click on a resource to assign it.

Or if you have a large number of resources, you can type the name in list to narrow it down.

Click on the resource to assign it.

Click on the white space anywhere on the form to exit out of adding resources.

You can set additional project managers or project schedulers from the form as well. By default, if you are creating a project, you are automatically designated as the project manager. Add any additional project manager or schedulers, if you wish.

That is how you assign resources to a project when you add a project. Next you will see how to assign them after the project is created.

For now, click on the resources to remove them.

Hover on Save and click Save & Display.Project.

Assign Resources Using Resource Pool

To assign a resource to an already existing project, hover on the Resources menu option and select Project Resources. Any resources already assigned are listed along with the role they have on that project.

You can see that you are the only resource assigned so far, and you are assigned, by default, as the project manager.

To add an individual resource, click in the drop down for the Resource Last Name.

Scroll through the list or type in the first few letters of the person’s first or last name to shorten the list.

The list is narrowed down to match what you are typing. This method is very efficient when you have a large number of resources in your pull down list. You can enter the first name, last name or any portion of either and it will find the matches. Keep typing until you narrow down your search enough to locate the resource you are looking or.

Click on a name to select that person

Click Save to assign that resource to the project.

Resource Types in the Project Resource Pool

There are three different resource types at the project level. These are: project manager, project scheduler and project resource. These resource types dictate what that resource is able to do on this specific project. You can see you are a project manager and that is indicated in the Resource Type column.

A resource that has a project manager role on a project has full control of that project. He or she can add, edit and delete all tasks and other information on that project. They can also see all the budget information including financial data on the project. There are some additional settings to refine what types of financial information a project manager views, which is covered in the Determine Your Best Configuration Options training session.

The new resource that you just added was assigned by default as a project resource.

For any resource you add, the default is always a project resource.

This means he or she cannot add new tasks or edit the values for existing tasks, but can update the status of tasks s/he are assigned to, enter time and add comments to collaborate.

The third Resource Type on a project is a scheduler.

Add another resource by typing the name of the resource you want to add in the Resource Last Name.

Click on a resource to select that person to be on your project.

Click on the drop down for the Resource Type.

Click on Project Scheduler.

A Project Scheduler has the same functionality as a project manager except that they cannot view any financial information on the project nor can they add new project managers to the project.

Click Save.

That covers how to add resources one at a time.

Add Resources by Department, Group or Company

Another way to add resources rapidly is to Quick Add a set of resources by department, group or company. Click Quick Add Resources.

The three different options are listed.

Click on the drop down for Add By Department.

Choose this method if you have your resources assigned to a department and you know that most of the team in that department will work on this project.

Click on the white space to exit out of that drop down.

Click on the drop down for Add By Group.

One of the uses of Groups in Project Insight is for this Quick Add function. A lot of our clients create groups specifically to leverage this functionality. For example, if you have teams that commonly work together, create groups for those teams, then you can benefit from the ability to include the entire team on the project with just a couple of clicks.

Click on the white space to exit out of that drop down.

Click on the drop down for Add By Company.

If you want to include clients, vendors, partners or other team members to this project, you may. The benefit is that they can access project status without having to contact you. You may rapidly add these team members rapidly by company.

If you want to assign all your resources to this project, click on your company name in the drop down list. As you can see, it is an easy and fast way to do this.

Click Add.

Removing the Resources from a Project

To remove a resource from the project, click the delete icon next to the project name.

You are prompted to confirm the delete.

Click Ok.

Don’t worry, you have not deleted the resource from Project Insight, just this project. You can always assign them again to the project if needed.

You cannot remove a resource from a project if they have tasks assigned to them and you must always also have at least one project manager assigned to a project.

Click the Delete icon next to your name.

Click OK to the confirmation prompt.

You get a message that you cannot be deleted because you are the only project manager associated with the project.

Click OK.

Go ahead and click the delete icon for all the resources except yourself, because you are going to see another way to assign resources to the project.

Use the Resource Directory

Hover on the Resources menu option and select Resource Directory.

Just as it sounds, this brings up a directory of all the resources in Project Insight.

The advantage of using the Resource Directory to assign resources is that you can use filters to show different kinds of resources instead of viewing the entire list. That way, you can narrow and filter the list only to show what you are looking for.

Click on Display Options.

First, you will notice you can select resources whose last names start with a certain letter.

Click on a letter and click the Update Display icon to view resources that start with that letter.

Second, you can search for a resource by typing in the first or last name in the search field.

Click on Display Options.

Click on All because you do not want just those whose last name begins with a certain letter.

Click in search term field and enter a resources first name.

Click the Update Display icon.

Those are some common ways to search for resources, but you may also want to search by other criteria such as resource type/role.

Click on Display Options.

Delete the Search For term.

Click the User Filtering Options section to open these filter options. This section allows you to filter your resources by Companies, Departments, Groups, Resource Type Roles or User Types.

If you knew you needed project managers and you only wanted to view those resources, this is how you would set that. For example, if you want to see just project managers, click in the Resource Type/Roles and select Project Manager.

Click in the White space to exit out of the drop down. Then click the Update icon to view the results.

Open the Display Options again.

Click on the Project Manager role to remove that filter.

Click on the User Filtering Options section to collapse it. As you can see, if the arrow is pointing to the right, there are options collapsed, and if the arrow is pointing downward, the section is fully expanded.

You have other options available. If you have any custom fields added on the user profile, you will see User Custom Field Filtering Options.

There are also Role Selection Filtering Options and Group By options.

And you can even change the columns of data that appear and the order they appear in.

Click on the Column Selection Filtering Options section to expand it.

For example, maybe you want to show capacity percentage, which is the percentage of the resources’ work day they are available for project work.

Double click on that column.

Click on the Column Selection Filtering Options section to collapse it.

Click the Update Display icon.

Once you have filtered your list of resources, if you needed to, then you can assign a resource to the project in one of two ways.

Under Action Options, click the Add User to project icon.

The only thing that you see that happened is the icon disappeared, but if you look at the Project Resource you can see this resource has been assigned to the project.

However on the Resources menu option.

On this menu option, clicking the top level Resources menu option is the same as clicking the Project Resources menu option.

Both options take you to the same place, the Resource pool for the project.

Click on Resources.

You can see that resource was assigned and their Resource Type was set to Project Resource.

Click on Resource Directory.

The other way to add several resources to the project at one time is by clicking in the checkbox next to the names of the people you want to add.

And then click the Add User to Project option.

Or if you want to select them all and add them, click in the All check box at the top.

Uncheck individual ones if needed.

Click the Add User to Project option.

The Resources form is shown with all the resources you selected.

They are added as Project Resources Type by default.

You can edit and change them if you required.

Those are all the different ways you can assign resources to a project.

Assigning a Resource to an Individual Task

Now let’s turn to assigning resources to tasks.

Click on the Views menu option to go to the task list.

The first way is to assign a resource or resources at the individual task level.

Unless you created a project from a template or imported it from Microsoft Project, your project is created with a blank task list. Enter your first task by clicking in the gray blank line and type Determine Requirements.

Enter a Duration of 5 days.

Leave the 40 hours of work.

Click Edit Resources.

The Edit Resource layer appears. This is where you assign resources to the task.

Click in the resource drop down.

You will see the resources in your resource pool listed. Select a resource and click Save.

As part of the resource management functionality, Project Insight checks to see if this resource has availability to do this work in the time frame. If they do not, you will receive additional messages indicating that you will have to make adjustments as dictated by your business processes.

Mass Assign Resources by Skill Set

Another way you can assign resources to multiple tasks on your project is to mass assign resources based on the resource type/role or skill set associated with the tasks.

To take advantage of this feature, the tasks on the project need to have resource types/roles associated with them. When you are setting up your projects, it is a recommended best practice to enter the resource type or role that is required to do the work on that task.

To do that, click Display Options.

Click on the Column Selections Options section to expand it.

In the Selected Columns, click on the word Predecessor because you want to insert the resource type/roles just before that column.

Click on a field in the Available Columns and type R to go to the Rs.

Double click on Resource Type Role.

Click Update Display.

A Resource Type/Role column shows on your view.

Click the edit icon for the Create Requirements task.

Click in the drop down for the Resource Type/Role.

Select Project Manager.

Click Save.

Add another task.

Click in the gray blank line and type Programming.

Enter a Duration of 10 days.

Leave the 80 hours of work.

Click in the drop down for the Resource Type/Role.

Select Programmer

Click Save.

Add one more task.

Clicking in the gray blank line and enter Bug Fixes.

Enter a Duration of 4 days.

Leave the 32 hours of work.

Click in the drop down for the Resource Type/Role.

Select Programmer.

For this one, also assign a resource to the task, click Edit Resources.

In the Resource drop down, click a Resource.

Click Save.

You have now indicated the resource types or roles that are required to perform these tasks.

Click on the Resources menu option.

For the Resource that you want to assign the tasks to, click on the Clipboard icon or the Assign Tasks by Resource Type/Role icon.

Choose one that doesn’t have any tasks assigned yet.

The reassign form appears. At the top of the form, you can see who you are assigning tasks to.

In the Resource Type/Role drop down, select Programmer or any other skill set, and click Search.

This tells Project Insight to find all the tasks that have the Resource Type/Role of Programmer.

All the tasks on your project that have the resource type/role of programmer are displayed.

You can see, one task already has resources assigned and some do not. This is shown in the Task Owner and Additional Resources columns.

You can assign multiple resources to one task. One of those resources is always designated as the task owner. The task owner is terminology used when a task has multiple resources on it. The task owner can be the main person responsible for corralling the task team and, depending on settings, can be the only one to report in on percentage complete.

If there is only one resource assigned to a task that person is always designated as the task owner. If there is more than one, usually the first one added is assigned as the task owner, but you can change that.

To tell Project Insight how to handle cases where there are already resources assigned to tasks, look at the Task Assignment Options.

There are four options. It’s important to review the choices and select the one you prefer. Let’s review them.

The first option says to assign this resource as the task owner, replace the current task owner, so remove her, and leave existing additional resources.

The second option says to assign this resource as the task owner, replace the current task owner, and also remove any additional resources.

The third option says to assign this resource as the task owner, keep current task owners as additional resources and also leave existing additional resources.

The fourth option says to Assign this resource as an additional resource when a current task owner exists, otherwise add as task owner.

Click on that option.

The next step is selecting which tasks you want this to occur to.

Select individual tasks by clicking on the checkboxes

Or, you may select to assign him to all tasks. In that case, click All to check automatically everything.

You can perform other functions here as well, such as changing the Work Hours.

You may do that if this is a senior resource you are assigning and you know they can do the work faster or maybe they are a junior resource so it will take that person longer.

To make those changes, click Save.

You can see on the Resources form, that resource now has two tasks assigned.

Click on Views.

That Resource now appears as assigned for those programmer tasks.

And he was assigned as an additional resource to the task that had a resource already assigned.

Click the Edit icon for the task that has the multiple resources.

Click Add Resources.

On the Edit Resources layer, you can see there is a Task Owner designator.

Click on it to change who the Task Owner is.

Click Save.

Swap a Resource for Multiple Tasks

If a person gets pulled onto another project and you need to re-assign a set of tasks to another, it’s easy. To swap tasks from one resource to another, click on the Resources menu option.

For the Resource that you want to assign the tasks to, click the Clipboard icon. Do this for a resource that does not have any tasks assigned.

The reassign form appears. At the top of the form, you can see who you are assigning tasks to.

In the Assigned To drop down, select the resource you want to swap all the tasks from.

This tells Project Insight to find all the tasks assigned currently to that resource.

Click on the white space to exit out of the drop down.

Click Search.

All the tasks on your project that are assigned to that resource are displayed.

Review your Task Assignment Options. The first four options are the same as you saw before, but there is also an additional option since you are mass swapping resources, and that is to just replace the current resource with this new one.

The other options deal with replacing task owners, this one deals with just a straight one for one replacement of one resource to another.

Click on the checkbox in the header where it says All to select all tasks in the list.

There are some other options here as well such as Only unassigned tasks, only incomplete tasks and summary tasks.

A common one option is to assign only incomplete tasks, especially if the project has started.

Click Save.

All the tasks will be re-assigned and you can see that in the task count.

You can also view the re-assignment in the task list.

Click on Views.

Suggest a Resource

As you can see, Project Insight offers you many shortcuts to assigning and swapping resources. The last resource assignment function we cover today is the Suggest a Resource feature.

Suggest a Resource is a very powerful feature that helps you to assign the resource with the correct skill set to a task. It is valuable for large organizations when a project manager or resource manager may not know everyone and their skill sets.

Go ahead remove the resources you have assigned to the programmer tasks.

Double click in the white space of the task.

Click Edit Resource.

Click the X or delete icon.

Click Save.

Do that again for the bug fixes task.

You know you need a programmer, but you are not sure who has that skill or who is available.

To have Project Insight automatically suggest a resource, right click on the programming task, hover on Suggest Project Resource and click Suggest Any Resource.

The Resource Suggestion form appears.

At the top of the form, it shows the information about the task, such as the start and end dates, the number of work hours, or effort required for that task, and the resource type/role. That is displayed there for easy reference and so you do not have to remember the details or toggle back and forth. It is right in front of you.

In the middle of the form is a list of all the resources in the system that have that skill set or resource type/role.

This list is not just the resources assigned to this project. It includes all the resources in Project Insight that have this role.

However, you can restrict the list to just the current project resources. Do this by checking the checkbox Restrict suggestion results to current project resources.

Then click on Update Suggestion.

For now, leave it unchecked.

Not only it is listing resources that can do this type of work, it is listing them in order of their availability.

For the time period of the task, it is showing the work the resource has booked, as well as any overages. The data will show in red where there are issues.

Click on the most available resource or the resource you want to assign.

Click Save.

Project Insight will assign that resource to the task.

Right click on the Bug Fixes task, again, hover on Suggest Project Resource.

You can click directly on this option to restrict the auto-suggest to just resources assigned to the project.

You can see the Restrict suggestion results to current project resources is checked automatically by default.

You can still click on it to turn it off and see suggestion results for all resources in the system, which was the same function that you did before with the Suggest any resources menu option.

Make sure you click the Upgrade Suggestion option if you do that, to refresh your list.

Leave it checked on for now.

The other option here is Restrict to resources that are assigned to the corresponding task resource type/role.

In most circumstances, you want to have the software suggest only those resources that have the same resource type/role as the task.

That makes sense. You probably do not want a programmer creating requirements but in fact, sometimes you can have a task that is generic and almost anyone can do or maybe you have a smaller set of resources assigned to the task and they are able to wear multiple hats and do cross functional types of work.

In that case, click on the Restrict to resources that are assigned to the corresponding task resource type/role to uncheck it

Click Update Suggestion.

Now you’re seeing all resources assigned to the project appearing in the list, and it doesn’t matter what his role is.

Click on the option Restrict suggestion results to current project resources to uncheck it.

Click Update Suggestion.

This is now showing every resource in the software.

Review his availability.

Click on one to select them.

Click Save.

The resource has been replaced.

Now that your resources have been assigned to your projects, you can report instantaneously on that information, such as the Resource reports or charts or graphs, but that is covered in another training session, called Resource Allocation and Balancing Workloads .

Online 9/3/2015
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