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Looking for Advice Regarding Teams vs. RBS RRS feed

  • Question

  • As we continue on our Project Server journey, we learn more about what we want to do, or at least what we think we want to do.  Many times, it wasn't what we thought we wanted to do when we first started.  Isn't that usually the case? :)

    Here's the deal.  Our scheduler would like me to set our department managers up with the ability to look at resource availability for their department.  The scheduler will assign a generic resource to a task and then let the department manager decide who will work on which job.  When I looked into how to do this (keeping in mind that I can see ALL resources of course) I wanted to make sure I viewed this from the eyes of one of the department managers.  That's when I discovered we have a problem.  I don't know if the solution is to redesign the RBS or create team resources and assign team members and a default assignment owner.  Perhaps my solution needs to be a combination of the two.  Here's where I am today...

    • The RBS is structured in a very generic fashion.  Within our business unit there are no branches.  It goes Exec > Director > Manager > Resource Manager > Resource.  It is my understanding that I cannot, with my current RBS, let the department manager for department 45 see the resource availability for his resources in a way that distinguishes them from the department 68 manager's resources.  Is that correct?  This distinction does not exist between departments.  In order to do what I'm wanting, I'd have to redesign the RBS to match our business unit's org chart.
    • I have generic resources that are named for workcenters.  The scheduler assigns that resource to a task when the schedule is first built.  This may be months before project launch.  Later, when the project ramps up, the department managers will tell her who will be performing those tasks and she'll replace the generic resource with a human resource.  However, if we wanted to let the department manager, and members of that department handle the task assignments themselves, it is my understanding that I'd need to create a team resource for that department.  I would assign all the members of that department to the team.  I could let the department manager be the default assignment owner for that team resource, then let him decide to reassign those tasks as he or she saw fit. 

    First of all, do my first two bullet points make sense?  Hopefully I described them accurately.  Second, am I correct in my assumptions?

    A couple of points to note.

    • Project Managers should be able to see all resources across all projects.  I can handle that by placing them high enough in the RBS.  This is what we're doing today, so it shouldn't come into play.
    • I don't care if department managers (resource managers) see all tasks in all projects.  None of the tasks or assignments are confidential in nature.  However, I do want to create a view where department managers can see only those tasks assigned to their resources.  I think the solution to this is in the redesign of the RBS I mentioned earlier.

    I'm open to any and all advice.  I sincerly appreciate all the help I've received so far from this community too! 

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 1:05 PM

Answers

  • Hello Kevin,

    it is nice you post one of the few questions I am able to answer as amateur Server Administrator :-) Somehow it is what I am doing in my company too.

    You are right, the RBS must be more detailed and reflect as much as possible the reality. If you have 20 Departments, all them should be recongnizable through the RBS.

    To allow a Resource (Department) Manager to substitute a Generic Resource with a real one, two conditions should be fulfilled: firstly the Generic Resource should have the same RBS as the real workers that should substitute them. Second the Resource Manager should be able to Create Team for any given project. As far as I have tested, the standard template includes all the needed permissions. You should then apply it for the Resource Manager group to My Projects, being sure the "A resource on the project's Project Team is a descendant of the User via RBS" is activated.

    If the Resource Manager has the rights to Create Team, it is pretty nice. He/she should go to the Project Details in PWA and click on the Create Team icon. On the right there is the actual Project Team and on the left all the available resources (or at least those he is alowed to see). Select the Generic Resource and click Match. Server will filter resources on the left by RBS, leaving only those with the sabe RBS as the Generic one. Select both the Generic and the Real Resource and click Replace. It's done.

    The only drawback this system is that the Generic Resource will be substituted in ALL Tasks for that specific project. If the Resource Manager pretend to asign specific Resources to specific Tasks, then it must be the Project Manager who do it task by task. Alternatively it is possible to create a new level on RBS in order to distinguish different activities on the same Department.

    I hope it helps.

    Best regards

    Fabian

    • Proposed as answer by Christophe FiessingerMicrosoft employee Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:02 PM
    • Edited by Fabian Bernal Tuesday, September 28, 2010 4:10 PM I specify that the substitution of Generic in ALL tasks is restricted to the selected project
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Slane Monday, October 4, 2010 1:36 PM
    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 2:06 PM

All replies

  • Hello Kevin,

    it is nice you post one of the few questions I am able to answer as amateur Server Administrator :-) Somehow it is what I am doing in my company too.

    You are right, the RBS must be more detailed and reflect as much as possible the reality. If you have 20 Departments, all them should be recongnizable through the RBS.

    To allow a Resource (Department) Manager to substitute a Generic Resource with a real one, two conditions should be fulfilled: firstly the Generic Resource should have the same RBS as the real workers that should substitute them. Second the Resource Manager should be able to Create Team for any given project. As far as I have tested, the standard template includes all the needed permissions. You should then apply it for the Resource Manager group to My Projects, being sure the "A resource on the project's Project Team is a descendant of the User via RBS" is activated.

    If the Resource Manager has the rights to Create Team, it is pretty nice. He/she should go to the Project Details in PWA and click on the Create Team icon. On the right there is the actual Project Team and on the left all the available resources (or at least those he is alowed to see). Select the Generic Resource and click Match. Server will filter resources on the left by RBS, leaving only those with the sabe RBS as the Generic one. Select both the Generic and the Real Resource and click Replace. It's done.

    The only drawback this system is that the Generic Resource will be substituted in ALL Tasks for that specific project. If the Resource Manager pretend to asign specific Resources to specific Tasks, then it must be the Project Manager who do it task by task. Alternatively it is possible to create a new level on RBS in order to distinguish different activities on the same Department.

    I hope it helps.

    Best regards

    Fabian

    • Proposed as answer by Christophe FiessingerMicrosoft employee Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:02 PM
    • Edited by Fabian Bernal Tuesday, September 28, 2010 4:10 PM I specify that the substitution of Generic in ALL tasks is restricted to the selected project
    • Marked as answer by Kevin Slane Monday, October 4, 2010 1:36 PM
    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 2:06 PM
  • Kevin,

    It sounds like you have two separate needs which can't really be addressed cleanly with one mechanism.  Fabian also identified an issue with using Generic Resources, in that they are global, which make them less attractive for your needs.

    First, you need to collect and reassign work.  The team resource path is the one best suited to the process flow you've identified. 

    Second, monitoring capacity is a BI issue.  As team resources don't have capacity like generics, you need to derive the total capacity of the team versus the current commitment.  It wouldn't be hard to create a custom report to do this as all of the values are there in the RDB.  You can actually use the out of box resource capacity report as a base for this.

    The combination of the two mechanisms should solve your issue without messing with the RBS or departments.  The RBS primary function is security trimming based on hierarchy position and this isn't a security issue.  Departments are used primarily for custom field grouping/UI filtering and this isn't a department issue either, IMHO.

    Hope this helps or at least give you more to think about.

    Treb Gatte

    http://reportmode.com

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 3:59 PM
  • The only drawback this system is that the Generic Resource will be substituted in ALL Tasks for that specific project. If the Resource Manager pretend to asign specific Resources to specific Tasks, then it must be the Project Manager who do it task by task. Alternatively it is possible to create a new level on RBS in order to distinguish different activities on the same Department.


    Thanks for the great info!  I don't think the global replacement will work for us.  We may have 15 engineers to choose from on a particular project and 5 of them will be assigned various tasks that were originally assigned to the generic resource.
    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 6:24 PM
  • Treb,
    This is interesting.  So you don't think I should structure my RBS to match my organizational structure?  My current needs may not be security related, but I wonder if I should address any future needs by doing this now rather than later.  I'm curious to hear more.

    Kevin

    Tuesday, September 28, 2010 6:38 PM
  • Hey Kevin,

    Sorry for the delay in responding.  No, I'm not saying throw out the RBS.  There are other uses for the RBS besides security but security is a primary use case. 

    I simply meant for the scenario you outlined, you didn't need RBS to fulfill the need.

    Hope this helps.

    Treb Gatte

    http://reportmode.com

    Thursday, September 30, 2010 8:02 PM