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Project Managers, Resources Managers & Resource Requests

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Level 1

Hi folks, we're just getting underway with our Workfront implementation and have hit a bit of a bump so I thought I'd reach out to the community to see if you've come up against anything similar.

The way we currently work is that Project Managers (PMs) request resource for their projects by role from a Resource Manager (RMs), the RM them allocates the individual resources to the project. If the PM wants to change resource in the project they need to request a change from the RM. We do this because the PM role is often handled by folks in the Account Management department who are not always fully fledged PMs (usually because a client hasn't wanted to pay for a PM), so the RMs need to ensure they are resourcing responsibly.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look there is an "out of the box" way to do this in Workfront. I was wondering if anyone else had come up against a similar thing and how they approached the issue?

Thanks in advance!

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4 Replies

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Level 10

Hmm...that is a very interesting question Ross,

Your situation sounds Slightly Familiar (with a Chance of Typical), but I was a bit surprised to realized that I've not run across it before. However, after a bit of research, I'd suggest you:

  • create an Assignments report
  • add the Assigned By Name (the person who made the Assignment, sorted ascending), Assigned To Name (the person Assigned to do the work, sorted ascending), and Entry Date (of the Assignment, sorted ascending) to the report view (along with any other columns of interest such as Project, Project Status, Task, Planned Start Date, etc.)
  • group by Assigned By Name, then by Assigned To Name
  • filter to show only Assignments Assigned To ID is not blank ("a user" has been Assigned, vs just "a role"), and either 1) with Assigned By ID is not blank ("a user" made the Assignment) in order to see all Assignments (which could get very long over time, unless you further restrict it such as by Task Planned Start Date > $$TODAYby and Task Percent Complete < 100), or 2) with Assigned By ID is NOT one of your RMs (effectively returning only those Assignments made improperly by a PM)

This approach presumes that the RMs ought only and do in fact create the Assignments, and (particularly with option 2) then highlights any exceptions.

If, on the other hand, PMs ought to and do in fact create the Assignments once they are "allowed" to do so, it might be possible to add a slight twist to this approach by having a special "RM Official Resourcing" task on every project that the RMs "own" and to which they (the RMs, only) maintain the official roll of Assignees for the entire project, against which a more complex version of the report above could then further vet the PMs Assignment of any Assignees on other tasks (using a peer to peer EXISTS filter, which sounds super cool, but I'll resist tempting until needed).

Regards,

Doug

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Level 4

Hi Ross,

If the RM's will be using Workfront too you can add them, along with the name of the PM as a Resource Manager, for every project so they would be able to add in Assignments (reliant on them having a Plan license), and view what resource is available via Workload Balancer/Scheduler.

If the PM wanted to change or request another resource there could be, as Doug suggested, a Task which is assigned to the RM asking them to do this - they would get a notification to prompt a review of the project and they could then make the resource adjustment. You could even use an Issue and custom form approach to make this request to the RM and it will also get tracked - this wouldn't stop the PM from making assignments themselves but it depends on whether they follow the rules!

Kind regards

Vikki

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Level 4

Hi Ross,

Expanding on what Vikki said, this is how we manage a few of our teams that operate where the is a central Resourcing Manager who handles assignments, changes, and workload balancing. Our projects are set up with the PM and the RM as Resource Managers. Within the projects we have a "Make [Job Role] Assignment" task that is assigned to the appropriate RM who then makes the original assignments. These tasks are places in different places within the schedule depending on when those resources are needed. We have reports as well that show all these open tasks to aid the RMs.

We also have one team that we use the issue feature on the project to submit a resource request. We went this route for this particular team because they need a lot of information to be able to assign a resource, so we have a custom form that is attached to the issue that the PM fills out. This could work for when you have a resource change request as Vikki mentioned as well.

Hope this helps,

Kristina

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Level 1

Thanks Doug, Vikki and Kristina for taking the time to get back - this has really helped me explore the platform a bit more and sharpen up my thinking on what we need.

Essentially, the steps that we're following to meet this use case are:

1) A work request is generated in WF via our Salesforce integration at the appropriate Salesforce stage

2) That request lands with a Resource Manager whole allocates it to a Project Owner.

3) Project Owner then creates the budget / staffing plan and submits it to the RM for approval

4) RM assigns resource, sets the project to "current" but then locks the project permissions so the Project Owner can't change resource allocations.

5) Then the Project Owner needs to submit a change request to the RM is the want to change the assignments.

What has become evident is that this will generate a lot of admin, so we will make it optional whether the RMs lock the Project Owner's ability to alter assignment or not - the idea being that if the Project Owners are responsible with their resource assignments they will get increased autonomy over their projects. Hopefully this will incentivise the right behavior and drive accountability in the business.

That's the theory anyway! 😉