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Chapter 10. Assigning Resources and Cost... > Assigning Resources to Tasks

Assigning Resources to Tasks

As discussed in the previous section, the initial assignment schedule is influenced by task settings such as Task Type and Effort Driven, as well as by the choice of assignment units and work. As shown in Chapter 9, you can then customize the initial assignment by delaying its start, splitting the work, assigning overtime, choosing a work contour, and so forth. You can use a variety of views and dialog boxes to assign resources to tasks. They are listed here, with those that give you the most control over the assignment details listed last:

  • You can use the Task table in either the Gantt Chart view or the Task Sheet view to enter assignments in the Resource Names column, but the syntax is strict, and you can specify only the assignment units, not the assignment work.

  • You can display the Task Information dialog box in any task view, and you can assign resources on its Resources tab. However, you don't have as much control when you assign multiple resources to a task as you do when you use a combination view with a task view in the top pane and the Task Form view (or Task Details Form view) in the bottom view. That combination is described shortly.

  • Using the Assign Resources dialog box is the easiest and quickest way to assign resources. You can display this pop-up dialog box in any task view, and it stays on top of the workspace as you select different tasks.

    The Assign Resources dialog box offers powerful features that aid in choosing the resource that is appropriate for an assignment. You can filter the list of resource names to find qualified resources, and you can view a graph of resource availability.

    However, if a task is effort driven (which is the default), the Assign Resources dialog box doesn't let you enter work and have Project calculate units; and in any case, you can't enter both work and units.

    Furthermore, unless you use the default assignment units for each resource, you can't assign multiple resources to a task all at once as you can with the combination views described later.

  • The Task Form view is the most versatile single view for assigning resources, especially when it appears in the bottom pane of a task view such as the Gantt Chart view (which is a combination called the Task Entry view), the Task Usage view, or the Network Diagram view. The Task Form view enables you to define the duration, task type, and effort-driven status of the task, and to define the units, work, or both units and work for the assignment. You can assign multiple resources at once, and you can also assign overtime and a delayed start for an assignment.

  • You get the most control over the assignment process when you use the Task Usage view in the top pane with the Task Form view in the bottom pane. The Task Usage view replaces the taskbars of the Gantt Chart view with a grid of cells that show details about the assignment during each period in the timescale. You can edit the cells to modify scheduled work in specific time periods after making the assignment.

    In the Task Usage view you can double-click a task to access the Task Information dialog box, where you can quickly review or modify more details about the task. You can also double-click an assignment in the Task Usage view to access the Assignment Information dialog box, where you can specify work contours, select a different cost rate for the assignment, and document the assignment with notes and links to documents stored elsewhere. In the Task Form view, you can double-click a resource name to access the Resource Information dialog box to review or modify details about the resource.

    Finally, you can also display the Assign Resources dialog box on top of the combination view, to help identify the most appropriate resources for tasks.



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