This article explains how substituting resources with different schedules or calendars can be done.
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Portfolio and Resource Management allows you to quickly and easily substitute resources on a project. Most of the time both resources are similar, often from the same team or department, for an easy and simple swap. Sometimes though, a part time resource or a resource from a country with different working hours may be required. Here is an outline of howthe system handles these more complex substitutions.
About Portfolio and Resource Management Calendars
Calendars are built out by the administrator and are used system-wide for both projects and resources. Note that the system handles all non-project effort and time off as distinct standard activities for resources, not as part of the calendar. Company holidays and standard work hours, however, are handled via the calendars (there can be a calendar for each region or time zone, for example).
Each project is assigned a calendar, and generally that calendar applies to the whole project. There are some cases where a phase or task is going to be performed in another country or for whatever reason needs to follow different calendar rules. In those cases, the phase or task can have a different calendar assigned. For example, if a task must be completed over the weekend (e.g., an important IT upgrade), then that task could be assigned a weekend-only calendar. When the schedule button is clicked and the project schedule is adjusted using CPM (Critical Path Method) Scheduling, the appropriate calendar(s) are respected and the task which needs to be done only on the weekend will be scheduled for the weekend.
Each resource has a Portfolio and Resource Management calendar assigned as well from the exact same pool of calendars created by the administrator. The Resource Detail screen shows which calendar is selected for each resource. These calendars determine the number of working hours per week as well as holidays observed. Some countries, for example, allow for a 40 hour standard work week, while some may have laws requiring a 37.5 hour maximum. These restrictions are built into your implementation by the administrator, and then, when work or resources are added, the appropriate calendar is selected.
The project calendars and the resource calendars are used together in schedule calculations for the project when the CPM schedule button is clicked. For example, a resource with a 37.5 hour/week French calendar may be assigned to a task that has a 40 hour/week US calendar. When the schedule button is selected, the task will only be scheduled for 37.5 hours/week because the person doing the work has that limit. It can get even more complicated if multiple resources are assigned, and if those resources have different profiling (i.e., any special contouring involving different amounts of effort for different time periods).
When substituting resources, it’s possible to pick an alternate resource who has a different calendar. For example, if a task was initially assigned to a resource who works 40 hours a week, and then is substituted for a resource who only works 37.5 hours a week, the system attempts to reduce the impact on the schedule dates. In other words, it tries to retain the planned length of the assignment, despite the substitute resource observing different working hours.
Though there are many use cases with different system configuration options (based on the configuration settings in the database), the system attempts to do the following:
- Initially tries to keep task start and finish dates the same, including observing original resource profiling delimiters for the tasks in question, also known as contouring (varying distribution of effort across different time periods).
For example, a 40 hour/week resource was initially assigned to work on a three week task: 10 hours the first week, 20 hours the second week, and 10 hours the third week. Then the resource is substituted for a part time resource who only works 20 hours/week. In that case, the effort profile of 10/20/10 will be respected, or adjusted as close to the original effort spread as possible.
- If all else fails and it cannot observe the original dates or the original effort distribution, the system tries to find the nearest start and finish date while observing task relationships, constraints, durations, work calendars, and resource calendars.