This article will cover the following topics:
- Resource and Skill Model
- Resource Management
- Assignment Options
- Timing and Responsibility
- Pre-Selection: Definition of Core Team
- Availability Management
- Competencies and Properties
- Multi-Project Resource Load Information
- Blue-Line Availability Information
More in-depth information on resource management can be found in the article LYNX Resource Management Cycle.
Process Flow and Typical Roles
The following model illustrates the typical process flow for integrated resource planning and management. Hereby there is a planning - release - execution phase. Each phase requires different team members, skills and resources to be implemented.
Configuration Resource and Skill Model
LYNX Resource/Skill Model and Team Model
LYNX makes use of Resources, Skills, Properties and Teams to assist in the completion of project management. Hereby, project tasks are linked to specific resources and skills in order for them to be completed.
- Resources and skills are separated and have an "N to N" relationship:
- A resource can have multiple skills
- A skill can be implemented by multiple resources
- Special "competencies" identification via (unlimited) properties at skill and resource level
- Team assignment: resources are assigned to a team.
- LYNX “protects” resources with unique competencies or domain know-how!
Multi Properties Example
The below models illustrate how diverse properties can be linked to a resource or skill. For example, a task might require someone to have more in-depth skill or specific know-how.
In this example the resource: Steve Horner has more seniority and customer exposure giving him additional skills useful to the required task. Next to that, a task might require someone to work at a specific office. In this case Steve matches the location properties and language requirements.
Note: For more in-depth knowledge on Multi Property Skill-Resource Management reach out to the A-Dato team for a tutorial. You can read up on it in the article LYNX Resource Management Cycle.
Skills and Resources in LYNX
The following steps show how you can access Skills and Resources in LYNX. For the basics please refer to Get Started with LYNX for CCPM in 30 Minutes.
Select configure → skills to access the skills window. Here you can see the skills available. By opening the resource tab in the skills window the resources are listed who implement that specific skill. For example the skill Hardware Engineer is implemented by 3 resources.
Likewise select configure → resources to access the resource editor window. Here the resources are listed. By opening the skills tab skills can be added, edited or removed per resource. In this example Patrick Johnson has 2 assigned skills.
You have several assignment options for activities or tasks. Assignment options:
- By "Skill"
- By "Skill" and "Property"
- By "Virtual Skill" for example "Supplier" or "Marketing"
- By "Resource Name"
LYNX offers two assignment levels via "Assignment by Skill":
- Soft-Assignment → S: * resource recommendation by LYNX
- Hard-Assignment → S: resource confirmed by user
Skill Setting - Normal Skill
Configure → Skills → Select Skill. After selecting the desired skill for skill setting, you can select the Skill Type. In this example we work with a "Normal" skill. Skill availability is controlled by the number of resources implementing this skill, in this example 3 resources are named.
Skills are assigned to resources in the resource editor.
Skill Setting - Virtual Skill
Configure → Skills → Select Skill. In this example Marketing is used as a "Virtual" skill. You can assign resource names to virtual skills or set the availability for the skill to number of FTEs. In this example 2 FTEs are added, whose availability is determined by the standard calendar.
Virtual Skill Availability Profile
Availability of a virtual skill may vary over time, for example due to holidays. Therefore you can set an availability profile for the skill, which is especially useful for LYNX users that only plan at "skill" level.
Select Edit → select the plus icon → fill in the availability per date. The availability will be illustrated in the graph over time.
Once skills have been set, skills can be assigned to tasks in a project. The below example illustrates how different skills are assigned to task 1.
- (S): The skill "Hardware Test Engineer" was assigned to the task first. Secondly it has decided to "Hard Allocate" Jeremy Grand to this task. The * has disappeared to indicate hard assignment has been completed by the user.
- (V): Marketing is assigned as a virtual skill
- (R): Carl Brandon is assigned as a resource to the task
- (S*): The skill "Development" is assigned to the task. LYNX has "Soft Allocated" Patrick Johnson as best choice at this point based on availability. This is indicated by an *.
Resource Load - Availability Profile
Once all availability has been set you can use the resource load tool to gain an overview of total availability per skill.
Select resource load → select other to view the resource load in absolute values. LYNX will show the availability in the resource load graph.
Initial Assignments: By Skill or Resource?
In order to decide whether to assign by skill or resource several things can be considered.
- Some organisations assign resources directly (R) with the "skill in mind".
- Others prefer first to specify the resource requirements by skill (S), and final assignment of a named resource is subject to the "Resource Management" process.
- CCPM advocates to start with assignments by skill first, and worry later about which named resource will execute a task.
Advantages of an “Assignment by Skill” process:
- LYNX will do an automatic "*soft assignment" recommendation of a named resource to tasks that are planned by "skill".
- Less mismatches between task requirements and assigned resources.
- 2-step process, where specification of resource requirements are uncoupled from final (hard) assignment through resource management.
- Better and meaningful Resource Load Information "by skill" → Constraint resource identification by skill group.
- More optimisation (aggregation) options for the overall planning: selection of named resource can be postponed to the latest moment.
This section covers how to change soft assignments to hard assignments.
*Note: this is applicable for "normal skills."
Soft Assignment to Hard Assignment
By dragging the "software engineer" skill to Task 2 LYNX automatically soft assigns Jane Sanders to the task.
The following steps will illustrate how to convert the soft assignment to a hard assignment. This can be done through
1. Hard Assignment via the Project Plan → Task Properties/Resource Requirements
- Manual Hard-Assignment in the project plan
- Idem, but via the Resource Requirements editor
- Automatically by entering an ETTC
- By project → accept the soft-assignment.
- Automatically by:
- Changing status to started
- Entering an ETTC
- Manually by selecting a named resource in the drop-down box.
Hard Assignment via the Project Plan
Option 1: Open the resource requirements tab and right click the soft assignment. Here you can select the assign resource to skill button.
Option 2: Open the resource requirements tab, select edit. A new window will open where you select the drop down menu to change the resource you would like to assign.
Hard Assignment via the Project Plan (Automatically)
Option 3 & 4:Open the resource requirements tab and update the ETTC or status. Once you update either field the * will disappear indicating hard assignment.
Hard Assignment via Active Task Tab
Select the active tasks tab. You can select the resource and change it via the filter box.
Hard Assignment via My Activities
Select the My activities tab. Here you can see skills that you are the responsible team manager for. In this example Mike Dempsey is team manager for the skill "Software Developer." Here you can confirm or change the resource assigned to that skill.
Resource Management: Timing and Responsibility
The implementation decision is the responsibility of, for example:
- Project Manager
- Team Manager
- Task Manager
- Portfolio Manager
- OR: Resource Management Meeting
The timing of confirming soft to hard assignments should be done:
- As late as possible - keep your options open as long as possible!
- BEFORE a task is due to start!
Timing Resource Confirmations
Timing should always be as late as possible, whereby changes can be made at any time.
Resource Availability Settings
This section discusses how a pre-selection can be made for creating "core/dream teams" for the required project.
Resource Availability Matrix
When creating the project, the project manager is able to pre-select his "dream" team. This is done by:
- Apply soft criteria for selection:
- Behavioural characteristics
- Likely fit for the team
- Create realistic plans:
- Typically a plan is built with a subset or maximum number of resources in mind
- Although there may be, for example, 10 developers available, the project manager is allowed/likely to:
- Consider only an availability of 3 out of 10 developers OR:
- Nominate a selection of 3 named resources out of the total pool of 10
- LYNX provides a pre-selection process:
- Via project properties / resource availability
Resource Pre-Selection can be done through the Project Properties window. Select the resource availability tab. Here you can select # of resources available which will give you the first window displayed below. Here a maximum number of resources to assign simultaneously can be selected.
You can also select let scheduler decide or click to select. Here other resources can be selected for the project.
Advanced Multi-Property Resource Management
You can also select skills by further specifying property values. Select project properties → resource availability tab. Here you can find property values when these have been linked to a skill. In the example below, product group and seniority are two properties of the System Tester skill.
Note: for more information on property values can be found inLYNX Resource Management Cycle
LYNX Assignments Tab
In LYNX you can also use the Assignments tab, listed next to Active tasks. Here you can first select a skill in the top left corner. LYNX will show a day by day overview of total availability of that specific skill and how many hours are assigned. In the example 16 hours are still available and 48 minutes have been assigned.
You can also select the Available tab to see who is still available on the specified date.
Multi-Project Resource Load Information
To get an overview of the resource load across projects you can refer to the resource load button available in the Project Portfolio window. The resource load is available by skill when assignments are done via the skill.
The example below gives an overview of the 4 week resource load for the Resource Demo and Calendar Demo Project. For the skill Hardware Engineer the skill has an average resource load of 20% during the 4 week window. By selecting the info button next to average load you can view that the Calendar Demo project demands 3% of the skill, compared to 8% load on the Resource Demo.
To view the skill at an "unfolded" level, select the plus icon next to the skill. Here you get an overview of the underlying resources performing the skill. Useful information can be found as:
- The red line indicates critical chain work
- The blue line adapts to actual availability, taking into account non-availability of resources
- Non-availability periods are illustrated with the red marking (see example; Jeremy Grand).
In the above example the non-availability period is illustrated in the resource load. To set the non-availability period go to the resource editor. Configure → Resources → Select Resource → Select Availability Schedule → Add period by selecting the plus icon.