Task Information, Resource Information, Assignment Information
Task Information, Resource Information, Assignment Information. I’ve written this blog to help beginners in Microsoft Project understand a fundamental working of the software. Projects are about resources performing tasks. However it is the ‘Assignments’ of people to the tasks that is often most important. It is here that you can alter pay-rates, or work contours. Finding ‘Assignments’ is often problematic.
- Task Information: Found on the ‘Gantt Chart’ by double clicking a task. The Gantt chart is a list of tasks.
- Resource Information: Found on the ‘Resource Sheet’ by double clicking a task. The Resource Sheet is a list of resources.
- Assignment Information: Found on the ‘Usage’ views by double clicking an assignment. The ‘Task Usage’ is a list of tasks and the resources that do them. The ‘Resource Usage’ is a list of resources, and the tasks that they do.
Lets look at each in turn.
Double click any (non summary) task to display the ‘Task Information’ dialog. Here you can perform several task related actions:
- General: For adding the Task to the Timeline (I do not recommend adding dates here as it constrains the tasks)
- Predecessors: Add or remove predecessors and add Lag (or Lead as negative Lag)
- Resources: Add resources to the task to make an assignment
- Advanced: Change the constraints (I suggest leaving this as As Soon As Possible wherever possible)
- Notes: A good place to add notes about the tasks
I recommend keeping all tasks as As Soon As Possible to maintain a dynamic plan.
I have a previous blog about adding resources to tasks. This blog explains a little more about the ‘Resource Information’ dialog box that you see when you double click any resource.
- General: For editing the resource name and adding availability dates
- Costs: To set up Pay Rates (They may increase over time) and Cost Rates (for differing assignments. Use Tab B,C,D etc.). Note – this sets up Pay rates, rather than allocates them to tasks.
- Notes: Always useful to add notes about resources, especially as a reminder that there are different Pay-Rates or Cost-Rates.
Microsoft Project can model cash-flow through the project. Use the ‘Cost’ tab to indicate if the costs are applied at the start, prorated, or at the end of the task.
Assignment Information allows you to edit how a resource works on a particular task. This is useful when the resource gets paid a different pay rate (for working off-site perhaps) or works to a different Work Contour. I have this covered in another blog on assignments.
To get to ‘Assignment Information’ you need to look at either the ‘Task Usage’ or ‘Resource Usage’ Views.
The ‘Task Usage’ is a list of tasks and the resources that do them.
The ‘Resource Usage’ is a list of resources, and the tasks that they do.
Here is a view of the ‘Resource Usage’. It is a little used view that can help show a resource what they are responsible for on the project. Under the ‘Project Manger’ is a list of the assignments allocated to the project manager.
Double clicking one of these assignments brings up the ‘Assignment Information’ dialog box.
- General: It is here that you can change the cost rate table previously set up in ‘Resource Information’. You can also change the Work Contour.
- Tracking: For entering actual work, and remaining work when tracking progress.
- Notes: Useful to add notes about assignments. Be aware, these notes do not show up as indicators in either the ‘Gantt Chart’ or ‘Resource Sheet’.
Assignment Information only applies to that one assignment. Not to all the tasks, and not to all tasks that the resource completes. I have a full playlist of videos to help you master Microsoft Project.
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