Substitute resources in a project

The Resource Substitution Wizard allows you to replace one resource with another resource.

In this article


Overview of resource substitution

By using the Resource Substitution Wizard, you can assign and replace enterprise resources (enterprise resources: Resources that are part of an organization's entire list of resources. Enterprise resources can be shared across projects.) or generic resources (generic resources: Placeholder resources that are used to specify the skills required for a specific task.) for one or more projects based on the skills required for the tasks in the projects, the skills of the resources in the enterprise resource pool, and the availability of those resources. This wizard also allows you to analyze the effects of resource assignments across a group (portfolio) of projects.

By using the Resource Substitution Wizard, you can:

  • Replace generic resources with work resources.
  • Replace existing resources with other resources in order to optimize resource allocations across a portfolio of projects.
  • Find qualified and available resources, and assign them to tasks.

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Prepare to substitute resources

Before you run the Resource Substitution Wizard, make sure that the resource skills have been set up for your organization, review those skills and skill codes, and if necessary, apply resource breakdown structure (RBS) (RBS: The structure that describes an organization's hierarchy. The RBS code defines the hierarchical position that a resource holds in the organization.) values to tasks to automatically assign resources to tasks, based upon the required skills.

Confirm that resource skills were applied to resources

Before you run the Resource Substitution Wizard, make sure that the server administrator (server administrator: An individual responsible for setting up fields, views, and reports for an organization and setting up and maintaining the server and server software.) completed the following tasks in Microsoft Office Project Server 2007:

Review resource skill codes

In the project in which you want to substitute resources, make sure that the resources' skills are identified:

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Sheet.
  2. On the View menu, point to Table, and then click Entry (or any other table that you want).
  3. Click the column to the right of where you want to insert the column for the defined skills field or RBS field.
  4. On the Insert menu, click Column.
  5. In the Field name list, click the defined skills field or RBS field.

If necessary, check with your server administrator to learn the names of the custom fields and skill codes that are set up. Review your resource list, and make sure that there is a skills code entry for each resource — especially for the generic resources and other resources that you want substituted.

Enter assignment codes

If you want to staff your project tasks by using the Resource Substitution Wizard, add the RBS code to your project tasks by using the Task Usage view. The Resource Substitution Wizard can then add resources to your project and automatically assign them to the appropriate tasks.

  1. On the View menu of your project, click Task Usage or Resource Usage.
  2. On the View menu, point to Table, and then click Entry (or any other table that you want).
  3. Click the column to the right of where you want to insert the column for the defined skills field or RBS field.
  4. On the Insert menu, click Column.
  5. In the Field name list, click the name of the defined skills field or RBS field.

If necessary, check with your server administrator to learn the names of the custom fields and skill codes that are set up.

  1. For each assignment that you want the Resource Substitution Wizard to staff, enter the appropriate skill or RBS code.

After the skill or RBS code is added, you can run the Resource Substitution Wizard. When the wizard runs, resources who match the skills required for specific tasks are automatically assigned to those tasks.

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Substitute resources

  1. Open the enterprise project in which you want to substitute resources.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Substitute Resources.
  3. On the Choose Projects wizard page, select the enterprise project or projects that are to be staffed by the Resource Substitution Wizard.

The enterprise projects that are listed are those that are currently open.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Choose Resources page, select the In the selected projects option to replace resources across multiple projects.

Select this option if you selected multiple projects on the previous Choose Projects page.

  1. To manually select resources, click Specified below, and then click Add to view and select enterprise resources:
    1. In the Build Pool for Resource Substitution dialog box, select the resources in the Enterprise Resource table at the left, and then click Add.

The resources are added to the Project Resources table at the right.

 Tip   In the Existing filters list, click the filter (filter: Specifies which task or resource information should be displayed or highlighted in a view. For example, when you apply the Critical filter, only critical tasks are displayed.) that you want to apply so you see only a certain type of resource. The filtered list of enterprise resources is displayed in the Enterprise Resource column. Any resources that are already assigned to your project team are listed in the Project Resource column.

  1. Click OK to return to the Resources Wizard page.

The resources that are listed in the Project Resources table are added to the table on the Choose Resources page.

  1. On the Choose Resources page, to remove a selected resource from the table, select the resource, and then click Remove.

Do this when you have selected the Specified below option and are building and fine-tuning the list of resources to be used for resource substitution.

  1. If you want the Resource Substitution Wizard to assign proposed (proposed resource: A resource with a pending resource allocation to a task assignment that has not yet been authorized. This resource assignment does not detract from the availability of the resource to work on other projects.) as well as those that are already committed (committed resource: A resource that is formally allocated to any task assignments they have within a project. This is the default booking type.), select the Allow resources with the proposed booking type to be assigned to tasks check box.
  2. If you want the Resource Substitution Wizard to substitute resources only for tasks that start on or after a specific date, enter that date in the Resource freeze horizon.

By default, the Resource freeze horizon is set to the current date. This is helpful when you want to keep your assignments as they are in the short term but want to use the wizard to staff the assignments months or years in advance.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Choose Related Projects page, review the related projects.

These projects have either cross-project links or resource pool relationships with your selected projects. If you select a project on this page, that project is added to the projects that can be restaffed by using resource substitution.

 Note   Whether or not you select related projects, the wizard always considers a resource's assignments in related projects when it calculates that resource's remaining availability.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Choose Scheduling Options page, each project that is selected for resource substitution is selected. Specify the priority (priority: An indication of a task's importance and availability for leveling [that is, resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks]. Tasks with the lowest priority are delayed or split first.) of the projects to be staffed.
  3. In the Options column, specify which group of resources should be used: those in the project or those in the enterprise resource pool which were specified on the Choose Resources page.
  4. Click Next.
  5. On the Substitute Resources page, review the summary of the choices that you made. If you want to change anything, click the Back button to move to the appropriate page. When you are ready to have Project find resources for your projects, click Run.
  6. On the Review Results page, review the results of the resource substitution process.

This page shows both the assignments and the resources that were found for those assignments, based on the skill profiles. The assignments aren't actually changed at this point; these are only proposed results.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Choose Update Options page, specify whether or not you want to update the projects, based on the results of the wizard.

Alternatively, you can choose to save the wizard configuration and results to a file for later use. If you do this, your projects are not updated until you apply the results.

  1. Click Next.
  2. On the Finish page, review the recommendations, and then click Finish.
  3. After finishing and closing the wizard, review the assignments by using the Task Usage view, the Resource Usage view, or the Resource Sheet view. You can also review substituted resource information in the Resource Sheet view. If you are satisfied with the changes, make them permanent by saving the projects. To discard the changes, close the projects without saving them, or save the file with a different name by using the Save As command.

 Tip   After finishing and closing the wizard, consider leveling (leveling: Resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks. When Project levels a resource, its selected assignments are distributed and rescheduled.) your projects. This helps you to see how the wizard's resource assignments affect both your resource allocation and your project finish dates.

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Applies to:
Project 2007