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Archive for April, 2014


So once again we are back with some interesting topic Resource Plan, it has been discussed in length at several places, blogs forums etc….and i am here with another thread on the same functionality / feature, though there are quite a few areas where resource plan can be improved and i am sure MS is working hard to prioritize things and getting them into the product but i still feel this is one area which has been ignored

So to start the discussion today if you have to do detail resource management, in my experience you need to know the MS Project tool extensively and all of it concepts to have proper resource management otherwise its possible or likely you are not going to get good results

Despite of loads of features being added everyday, even today PM’s tend to use all other applications like power point most favorite excel to do all kind of management why possibly the answer it they don’t need to learn excel or power point or visio to use it and this is the point of my today’s post which is usability, even though there are other functional areas which needs improvement in resource plan like calendars not being considered in resource plan which creates problem in calculation, not able to import resource plan into MS project, even though there are 3rd party tools or customizations and other things that will help you do it, however i am not going to discuss these today but will focus on the usability if resource plan, there are several inconsistencies in 2010 where in most of the places where project server uses JSGrid for resource plan there is no JSGrid perhaps an XML grid

So what are the problems, from my perspective UI has potential issues which creates problem in using the resource plan functionality, listed below

1. Adding Resources to Resource Plan

Why it has to be so hard, performing so many clicks just to  add a resource, in an OOB environment >> click 1 Build team >> select individual resources >> Add the resources to team >> do a save & close

Problems ::

  • Too many clicks

 Solution: Given that now with 2010 / 2013 there is a ribbon infrastructure available, it could have been as simple as adding a Add Resource button to the ribbon which provides search functionality(kind of auto complete or something like that) for resource name and all you do is keep typing name and selecting the resources and add them, something like as below

NewRibbonButtons

AddResource

ResourceAdded

2. Removing a resource from resource Plan

Same problems as with adding a resource plan, too many clicks, solution could have been as simple as selecting the resource from grid and on ribbon clicking a button remove resource and with a confirmation all should be done

DeleteResource

3. Searching Resource

Problem :: No easy way to search and add resource if there are quite a bit of resources in resource center, for me it was around 28k resources

  • Cannot perform Resource Match in resource plan
  • If there are too many resources e.g. ~30K resources no easy way to filter resources

Solution :: Including solution 1 where we have a ribbon button to add resource, a modal dialog box can be prompted with having a functionality to search resource and add it something like below

AutoCompleteSearch

4. Replacing Resource From Resource Plan

What happens if initially you added a resource in resource plan and now needs to replace him with someone else, should this be so hard to delete all data for existing resource >> follow all the steps to add new resource and re enter all same data 😮

Easier said than done

Solution :: Again my all solution are leveraging the ribbon infrastructure, so select a resource from grid, click ribbon and select new resource and simply hit replace, as in below snapshot

ReplaceResource

5. Modifying Resource Assignment level attributes

This may or may not be critical/applicable depending upon how you want it to but in our case it was

Now if you have to modify only few attributes of resource assignment you click on the edit custom fields, you are presented with  all custom fields not even relevant, why would you want the end user to see all attributes and additional things which end user might not even need to see, so wouldn’t that be overwhelming for end user

Solution :: simple solution allow users to edit custom field with restriction using a ribbon button, as below

UpdateResourceAttributes

ResourcePlanCustomAtrributeUpdated

 6. Even though you select resource Plan from the utilization drop down it changes back to project plan upon navigating between pages initially while building team and an overlook results in data problems specially while performing portfolio analysis

Again this may or may not be applicable to everyone

Solution : We defaulted it to Resource plan for everyone and hid the ribbon component

ResourcePlanCustomAtrributeUpdated

 

 

There is more to it, this was just a start which i wanted to focus on this post, stay tuned for more

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