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Resource Pool

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Level 2

Curious to know how are others using the Resource Pool?  We have one Resource Pool established for the sole purpose of using the Planner, but I need help understanding the benefits of the Resource Pool.  

 

We are moving from a generally centralized team to decentralized teams.  Are resource pools role specific, team specific, template specific, group/company specific?  

 

How does adding pools or not having pools in projects/templates make a difference in the resource planner area?

 

Any feedback is greatly appreciated.  

 

Thank you,

Melanie

1 Accepted Solution

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Correct answer by
Level 10

 

Hi @MelanieM1,

 

Resource Pools have been around a long time. My understanding of their original intention was to formally segregate users into one or more (but only one per user) Resource Pools to make it conceptually easier to "grab and work with" that set while assessing, prioritizing, and assigning work using the forerunner versions of the current tools for resource management and capacity planning. Some of those forerunners were Flash based, and -- although slick -- struggled to handle too much data, so I suspect there might have been some "performance reasons" for providing and promoting the Resource Pool concept, too. Workfront's (intentional and desired) adoption by larger companies with more users increased lead to the release of the Resource Manager concept, recognizing the real world need to distribute such planning across multiple dedicated organizers.

 

Meanwhile...

 

In contrast to those highly structured Good Reasons for having Resource Pools, another trend towards more unstructured work was evolving, and lead to the release of the Team feature within Workfront. Where Resource Pools were designed to have "someone" plan the work for "just these users", Teams were designed to have "whomever (on the Team) willing to do the work volunteer to Work On It", and (perhaps more tellingly) allow "users to belong to multiple teams", which is many industries is a better fit to the reality of how work flows.

 

Which is better, of course, All Depends.

 

  • for well defined, relatively static (i.e. infrequent company re-orgs), siloed work, Resource Pools (perhaps distributed to Resource Managers) might be Just The Ticket
  • for self-directed, fluid, collaborative work where the funnel (or fire-hose) needs to be handled asap, Teams might be a Better Fit
  • for organizations who have both types of work, it might also be advantageous to use both Teams and Resource Pools, even if (as is common) only "one" Resource Pool is created in order to use the current features, noting that their filtering (and performance) have evolved

 

Regards,

Doug

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14 Replies

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Community Advisor

Hi there, this overview -https://experienceleague.adobe.com/docs/workfront/using/manage-resources/resource-planning-in-adobe-workfront/resource-pools/work-with-resource-pools.html?lang=en  - gives some examples of how pools can be used, as well as links to learn more. I personally don’t use pools because we tend to use job role and user home group or team instead, but that’s how our org works best. A pool can include people across multiple teams/groups/roles, just need to decide what’s best for your instance. 

If this helped you, please mark correct to help others : )

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Level 2

Thank you for your reply.  Yes I read through all those materials yesterday.  Just not seeing the benefit of using pools when like you said you can use job roles or teams.  What makes Resource pools any different is what I'm trying to figure out.

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Community Advisor

I don't know much about resource pools but am endlessly fascinated by them so will be following this thread to pick up more knowledge if I can.

 

From what I was able to pick up though, the number 1 thing is, if you want to use the resource planner functionality then you have to use resource pools. If you don't want to use it, then you can ignore resource pools.

 

We mostly create teams for two purposes. One is to assign work to the team; the other is to tag the team in notifications. If you're creating a team specifically to indicate "here is a group of users who all get assigned to the same projects", then this isn't really a good use of the teams object -- at least, not for us -- because it would clutter up our tagging list (they would get accidentally tagged all the time), and people might try and assign that team a task. Similarly, we use groups to represent our company's org structure. We wouldn't put users in a group in order to indicate a resource pool, for exactly that reason -- often the users in a resource pool come from different org units, so for us, to have different org members in the same group just looks weird.

 

As an example -- our internal creative department has a set of people that work on their web-related creative materials (e.g. websites) and a different set that work on everything else. This has led to a proliferation of roles, like Copywriter vs Copywriter-Web, Designer vs Designer-Web, and so on. If I understand correctly, we could conceivably have gone with just a Copywriter and Designer role and put the users in a web resource pool and an everything-else resource pool, one to attach to our web templates and one to attach to everything else. This would save us from having double the number of roles to maintain. Hoping that my thinking is correct here.

 

PS: Randomly sticking users in teams and groups for "no reason" can also mess with our reporting, especially if that team ends up being a user's home team or home group by mistake.

 

 

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Level 10

Calling @CynthiaBoon, This would be a really good topic for a disccussion and some of your fab Quick Tip videos.

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Level 2

Agree! No one seems to really understand resource pools and how to use them. Definitely should be a topic of discussion.  Even when I speak to Workfront representatives, it seems they don't really use it either, so not sure what it's intended purpose is.  

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Employee

Hey @RandyRoberts! This is a great topic (and conversation here), and @Madalyn_Destafney suggested that we get other opinions on it during the October 16th Admin Chat.  I've got that as the first topic, and I figured I could do a "Top 3" based on what comes out of our discussion.  I'm out next week, but I'm planning on knocking out at least 3 (shooting for 5?) new videos when I get back, so I'll put the ones you've recommended at the top of the list.  Thanks again to both of you for always being awesome!

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Community Advisor

I think you can indeed use the resource planner even if you don't use resource pools. What makes the planner credible is if you use planned hours. If you don't, the planner is pretty pointless. It helps you with forecasting to show planned hours for a user vs. their allocated/available hours, whereas the balancer helps show how assignments are stacking up by user or a whole during specific timeframes.

 

In the planner filter, you can save a filter to pull users in a certain Group or Team, I use by Home Group for our couple creative teams to be able to use the planner.

If this helped you, please mark correct to help others : )

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Community Advisor

@Madalyn_Destafney - I recently tested the theory of using resource planner without pools and sadly, it did not work. There are so many prerequisites to using planner. I really wish the product team would work to make it easier to use. And unfortunately for us, Workload balancer is just not cutting it especially because we need exportable data. 

 

For resource pools, we use the model of one resource pool for all users which isn't ideal when you have 1500 users  Otherwise, it's one more thing that project managers have to manage along with their projects. It is something I'm considering trying to automate with Fusion though. 




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Community Advisor

Interesting. I’m using it even without pools. I have a filter on pulling user home group to show in the planner. I don’t have it up but am going to check into what I’m looking at then tomorrow.

If this helped you, please mark correct to help others : )

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Level 10

I'm interested in how you're using planner now without pools. We don't really use pools either, mainly because I never really understood what they were for and what best practices were. We just have an overall pool with 1,000 users in it that we use for everything. But, is there a better way?

Avatar

Correct answer by
Level 10

 

Hi @MelanieM1,

 

Resource Pools have been around a long time. My understanding of their original intention was to formally segregate users into one or more (but only one per user) Resource Pools to make it conceptually easier to "grab and work with" that set while assessing, prioritizing, and assigning work using the forerunner versions of the current tools for resource management and capacity planning. Some of those forerunners were Flash based, and -- although slick -- struggled to handle too much data, so I suspect there might have been some "performance reasons" for providing and promoting the Resource Pool concept, too. Workfront's (intentional and desired) adoption by larger companies with more users increased lead to the release of the Resource Manager concept, recognizing the real world need to distribute such planning across multiple dedicated organizers.

 

Meanwhile...

 

In contrast to those highly structured Good Reasons for having Resource Pools, another trend towards more unstructured work was evolving, and lead to the release of the Team feature within Workfront. Where Resource Pools were designed to have "someone" plan the work for "just these users", Teams were designed to have "whomever (on the Team) willing to do the work volunteer to Work On It", and (perhaps more tellingly) allow "users to belong to multiple teams", which is many industries is a better fit to the reality of how work flows.

 

Which is better, of course, All Depends.

 

  • for well defined, relatively static (i.e. infrequent company re-orgs), siloed work, Resource Pools (perhaps distributed to Resource Managers) might be Just The Ticket
  • for self-directed, fluid, collaborative work where the funnel (or fire-hose) needs to be handled asap, Teams might be a Better Fit
  • for organizations who have both types of work, it might also be advantageous to use both Teams and Resource Pools, even if (as is common) only "one" Resource Pool is created in order to use the current features, noting that their filtering (and performance) have evolved

 

Regards,

Doug

Hi Doug - thanks for this informative update.  We are moving towards a more siloed work instance for some groups, so perhaps having their Resource Pool set up with the users they will mostly be interacting with will be helpful in that regard.  It's just that in the Workload Balancer, it's not like you can select users based off their Resource Pool.  It still brings up anyone in the job role regardless of the Resource Pool so I wish it was more specific in that regard to help segregate things better.  

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Level 8

Over the last few months I have been trying to wrap my head around resource pools and Planner. Like @KellieGardner and others, we are struggling—a lot. Once I think I have a solution, something else comes up. So far here's what I've learned:

  • In a couple webinars about the resourcing tools over the summer, the product team insisted that resource pools are required to ultimately make Planner work, but it was unclear why. I'm still trying to get a good answer, however, when we didn't have resource pools attached to projects, those projects were missing from Planner—even if we weren't using the resource pools filter.
  • Knowing that projects need to have resource pools to persuade Planner to deliver complete data, I now have a protocol to manually check for projects that don't have the requisite resource pools. To do this, I have a filter in my Projects area to help me identify the projects in certain portfolios that need x resource pool(s). Why am I doing this and not asking others? Because we're still trying to figure out the sweet spot of what these resource pools should look like. If I had to ask my project owners to take on decision-making around adding resource pools to their projects, they'd mutiny. So I need some serious governance first. Even then, I think I would recommend a dedicated resource manager assign resource pools because this is just so complicated.
  • So what should your resource pools look like? Like I said, I'm still trying to figure that out, but it sure is complicated. This was another question that came up during those resourcing webinars and the product team struggled to provide more specific guidance. A single resource pool that includes everyone is one of the easiest ways to go, but yields a ton of extraneous data in Planner. For us, we hit the row limit so quickly and therefore have to apply a dozen or so filters to export all the data. Here's one example I can give you: I have a Creative team and then I have a small number of freelancers who fill in when work overflows beyond the Creative team's capacity. However, in our Workfront instance, we have a bunch of other freelancers and agencies. When project owners and resource managers are allocating resources, we want to ensure they choose the right Creative or freelance Creative. Additionally, when we're doing capacity planning, we want the numbers to reflect availability of only Creative and freelance Creative. Thus we have two resource pools (Creative and Freelance Creative) that includes only those users and are attached to the zillion projects that might use those folks. I dread having to scale and adapt this model for other teams because I envision the number of resource pools quickly growing out of control.