Explore project schedule management capabilities

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With Project Operations, you can schedule worker resources based either on the requirements and schedule of a project or on the skills and availability of workers, enabling you to deploy your organization’s workers efficiently and effectively. You can quickly find the most qualified workers who are available to work on your project, and you can easily see how those workers might be used more effectively during the project.

Here are some of the ways that you can use the resource scheduling functionality:

  • Use information about a worker’s attributes, such as education, skills, certifications, and project experience to match the worker to the requirements of a project.
  • Use information about a worker’s calendar and availability to match the worker’s schedule to the project calendar.
  • Review the capacity of each worker, and determine how that capacity is being used. For example, if a worker is being underused, the worker can be assigned to a project that fits his or her availability and attributes.
  • Review a worker's availability to make sure there are no calendar conflicts with the worker's assignments.
  • Review information about worker utilization in either a summary view (for example, by department or by worker) or a detailed view (for example, by workers in a department or by weekly detail for each worker).
  • Modify resource assignments for various units of time, such as day, week, or month, to optimize how the workers are used.

Project resourcing capabilities

One challenge for project managers and resource managers during the project planning stage is resource allocation. They must determine and reserve the correct resource to work on a project. In Dynamics 365 Finance, resourcing capabilities for projects let you define roles that are treated as temporary resources that can be reserved for a specific engagement or part of an engagement. This type of resourcing lets project managers and resource managers complete the following tasks:

  • Define a role that has the required competencies, so that it's easy to match resources.
  • Use roles to define an initial engagement schedule that is based on reserved resources.
  • Estimate costs and determine an initial budget, based on assigned roles and resources for a project.
  • Use roles to estimate the number of resource reservations that are required for each engagement.
  • Estimate the number of resources that are required for the whole life cycle of a project.
  • Draft a work breakdown structure (WBS) by using the initial resource assignments.

Diagram that depicts the three stages of a project.

As project planning proceeds, planned resources can be replaced with staffed resources. The project manager can also go back and update the resourcing reservations during any project stage.

Set up project resources

Each worker can have a unique calendar setup that will dictate the working hours in which they can be scheduled on projects.

Project resources can be selected from a pool of resources that may span across the entire organization. This includes supporting a multi-company organization model where resources can be shared universally between the different entities.

Manage resource competencies

Resource competencies are an essential part of resource management. Competencies can be used as a baseline to determine resources that have the correct balance of skills, education, certification, and project experience. You should set up this information for each resource and update it regularly. In this way, you can maximize capabilities when specific resource competencies are matched during project resource assignment. Diagram depicts examples of skills, certificates, education, and project experience

Set up project resource and role characteristics

A project manager can use the project resourcing functionality to create the roles that are required for the project. Roles can be used if confirmed resources are still unknown when resources are being reserved. Roles can be temporarily reserved as planned resources so you can continue the project planning stages.

Diagram depicts an example of a role.

Create a project team

When a project manager is not able to assign a resource, but has a requirement for specific roles, for instance three engineers, they can create a role called Software Engineer. The role can be further tagged with the appropriate characteristics to refine their search for a resource.

Multiple views are available to help facilitate the project manager's search when making assignments. Some views provided are hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually with further options to show availability and capacity remaining.

Note

Note that resources don't have to be reserved at this point in the planning stage. The following is an example of how a project team might be structured based upon the work to be performed. Notice that some resources have been named, but others are placeholders containing a role name.

Diagram depicts a project team listing that includes both roles and actual resources.

The project manager has various options for booking a resource for a project, such as Remaining capacity, Full capacity, Capacity percentage, and Specify hours. These booking options can be canceled at any time if resource assignments change.

Two types of booking are supported:

  • Hard Book – The resource reservation was approved and confirmed to work on the engagement for the specified duration.
  • Soft book – The resource reservations was tentatively set to work on the engagement for the specified duration.

Other resource scheduling capabilities include:

  • Requesting project resources
  • Managing resource competencies
  • Setting up project resource and role characteristics
  • Assigning a resource to a default role
  • Creating a project team
  • Synchronizing resource capacity
  • Setting up roles on Work breakdown structure templates