When to enter a work or utilization percentage for the assignments in my Merlin projects?
Short answer on this is, when ever your planning requires it.
For a more detailed answer please check the activities on the screenshot and our explanations hereafter:
You have a task (activity A) of 6 days of work and need to assign half of it to your resource. Your resource should work for those 3 days by its full day capacity.
To schedule it in Merlin… Continue reading
With Merlin you can do schedules of your projects. You assign tasks to your resources, enter financial information (costs, budget), record issues, risks, attach files with additional information, update actual work, see scheduling warnings, call reports and lots more when working with the separate project files.
Should you manage more than one project at a time and assign your resources to more than one project, you need to coordinate their various assignments and make sure the resources are not over allocated. There is a concept for this in Merlin called… combining projects.
Combining projects is easy. Just call File > Combine Projects… and create a ‘master’ project file.
When requiring to combine project shared by Merlin or Merlin Server, open those project files over “Remote Open”.
To save a ‘master’ project, just call File > Save As…
Working with master projects… Continue reading
If you wish to observe and manage multiple projects in one Gantt chart, you can combine them into one, Master, project. To do so in Merlin you can either use drag & drop or a menu command:
File > Combine Projects…
Once you have combined your projects we suggest you focus onto the ‘Utilization‘ view for detecting over-allocations. All resources together with their assignments on all combined projects will be listed there.
Although the projects are combined now into one master file, the following issues need to be kept in mind.
- Changes to each file will be saved back to the individual file
- Each project has it own calendar, settings, resources and resources calendars
- Dependencies that cross projects can not be created
- If resources are used across multiple combined projects, you will see multiple instances of the same resource in the Resources View. This is expected behavior. Resources having the same name will be considered as ‘Master’ resources and their utilization for all assignments on all combined projects will be accumulated in Utilization view.
How to access Project Settings for Combined Projects?
When having an activity requiring a specific amount of work and want to assign this to a resource, you can consider the following possibilities:
- You assign the complete amount of work to the resource and use its complete work potential (Assignment on Activity A)
- You assign part of the work amount to the resource and use its complete work potential (Assignment on Activity B)
- You assign the complete amount of work to the resource and use a part of its work potential (Assignment on Activity C)
Which possibility should you choose? The most appropriate of course 😉
It depends on what you want to do. If you want the job to be done by just this one resource, you can apply the settings of ‘Activity A’ from above sample. If you want to assign part of the work to this resource and the rest to another, you should choose the second possibility.
If you want to make sure that your resource has free capacities (15%) for other activities while working on this one, you may adjust its utilization as shown in the third possibility. Of course by doing so, the expected duration of this task gets longer.
Easy, isn’t it?
This is a tip of our CEO, Frank Blome, as discussed at the CeBIT 2010 and published on our German MacPM blog:
Supposedly you plan an activity of 5 days work to be accomplished in the duration of 10 days. As an experienced PM and Merlin user you create the activity in your project as follows:
This results to a 50% utilization for the assigned resource