Assigning and Managing Resources in Microsoft® Project 2013

  • 5/15/2013

Assigning multiple work resources to a task

Making multiple assignments on one task raises questions of how the work should be spread among the resources—for example, if a five-day duration task has a single assignment, the assignment will total 40 hours of work for the assigned resource (this is the default assignment). If a second resource is then assigned to the task, Project has three options to choose from:

  • Spread the existing work between the two resources (resulting in 20 hours of work each), reduce the duration to 2.5 days, leaving the assignment units at 100 percent.
  • Spread the existing work between the two resources (resulting in 20 hours work each), reduce the assignment unit for each resource 50 percent, leaving the duration at five days.
  • Increase the total work to 80 hours (resulting in 40 hours work each), leave the duration at five days and the assignment units at 100 percent.

The value that changes depends initially upon the task mode (Auto Scheduled versus Manually Scheduled), and if the task is auto scheduled, it will also depend upon the task type (of which there are three: Fixed Units [the default], Fixed Work, or Fixed Duration) and whether the task is effort-driven (definitions of these items are given in the sidebar How does Project assign work?).

Reviewing and setting the task mode, and if applicable, the task type prior to assigning the resources is best practice. With all of these sophisticated components at play, it’s recommended to keep a watchful eye on both the duration, work, and assignment unit values for a task while making changes. Luckily, Project makes this easy by providing the ability to insert the Work column in the table and to split the screen horizontally to display more detailed task information. For more information on setting up a view to contain all of these elements, see the sidebar Setting up a view to assign resources.

Remember, Project will use the formula work = units × duration to calculate the amount of work on an assignment. Where there are multiple assignments, the work values for each assignment are rolled up and summarized for the task.

Assign multiple work resources to a task

  1. In the View tab, select the Gantt Chart view.
  2. Drag the vertical splitter bar to the right to reveal the Resource Names column within the entry table.

  3. Select the row by clicking the task ID in the row header.
  4. Click the Details check box and make sure the task form is displayed.
  5. Within the Task Form, right-click the task form (in the lower pane) and select the Work view if it’s not already shown.

  6. On the task form, select resources from the drop-down list.
  7. Click OK.

  8. Verify that the work and units values are as you expected, both for the resources and the task.