Assigning Resources to Roles in Primavera P6
In many cases, project managers usually create their schedules using trade skills and not individual named resources. So, they schedule work initially using roles assigned to activities. If necessary, later they can then decide which individual resources will fill these roles.
In Primavera P6 Professional, you don’t have to use roles at all. To do this, you can simply define individual labor resources as roles. This is not that common and, as already mentioned, most folks initially define task work using roles. Then, if you do want to assign individual named resources, you can do this at a later date.
So how do we assign individual resources to labor roles? Let’s take a closer look.
In Figure 1 below, we have our example ‘Pipe Installation v6-1 (Underground Pipe Installation)’ project. Our Resource page lists all the Quality Engineering labor resources, along with the organization’s material and equipment resources for many projects.
You will see the piping and coupling material resources and backhoe equipment resource. Also, many of our resources have already been assigned trade roles. We are going to complete the individual resources by assigning them trade assignments.
By selecting’ ‘Enterprise’ and ‘Roles, a dialog box appears, as in Figure 2. We right-click on ‘Construction Trades & Management’ role and select +Add from the popup menu.
In the ‘Roles’ dialog, ‘General’ tab, as in Figure 3, we enter the role name common laborer and role ID CL.
In the bottom frame of the ‘Resources’ tab, we assign the following individual resources the common laborer role; Scott White, Tom Brady, Terrel Owens, and Jerry Rice, as in Figure 4.
We want to specify a standard pay rate for these resources, so we enter this under the ‘Prices’ tab, as in Figure 5.
Finally, in the ‘Limits’ tab, we set the maximum availability limit to 24h/d, which our three common laborers work 8-hour days, as in Figure 6.
Next, we need to assign our newly created common laborer role to our ‘Pipe Installation v6-1 (Underground Pipe Installation)’ project schedule.
So, we highlight the ‘Mobilize on Site’ activity and select the bottom frame ‘Resources’ tab, and click ‘Add Role’ as in Figure 7.
And, in Figure 8 we can see our schedule and resource usage profile with the common laborer trade skill assignments.
We have assigned four common laborers to the ‘Mobilize on Site’ and the ‘Common Laborer Excavate’ activities. (Note that we have four common laborers CT&M.CL role ID placeholders on ‘Mobilize on Site’ and ‘Common Laborer Excavate’).
Our common laborer limit was three, so our common laborer resources are over-allocated on these two activities. However, common laborer resource allocations for the other activities are at or below the resource limit.
We proceed and assign resources to our common laborer role.
We begin with the ‘Mobilize on Site’ activity. We highlight ‘Mobilize on Site’ and click the ‘Assign by Role’ icon in the bottom detail’s resources tab, Figure 9.
In the ‘Assign Resources by Role’ dialog, Figure 10, we assign Scott White and Tom Brady to the ‘Mobilize on Site’ activity.
We can see our resource assignments in the bottom detail’s ‘Resources’ tab and resource ID name column, in Figure 11.
Our resulting schedule resource usage profile by role is displayed in Figure 12. By selecting the common laborer resource we can see that the common laborer is over-allocated on the ‘Mobilize on Site’ and the ‘Common Laborer Excavate’ activities, again, Also note that the common laborer usage profile indicates that the ‘Mobilize on Site’ activity is only partially staffed. (Dark green is staffed and light green is unstaffed.)
If you recall, we assigned two individual resources to this activity. We want four common laborers and the available limit is three. To address this, we’re going to assign one more resource to the ‘Mobilize on Site’ activity. Then we need to make a decision on whether to try a get a fourth common laborer resource.
As shown below in Figure 13, we assign common laborer resources to our backhoe excavate activity.
We assign individual resources to our common laborer skill trades. And you can see the common laborer resource usage profile by role shown above in Figure 14.
The dark green bars show that our backhoe excavate effort is now fully staffed with common laborers. We would continue with other additional individual resource assignments to fully staff our common laborer trade. In addition, we would have to assign individual resources on the other schedule roles to completely meet our schedule’s staffing requirements.
Roles belong to the project personnel job titles or the specific skills, but they do not take into account the individual who may fulfill that position. Instead, they are a category that schedulers use to show what it would take to accomplish a job. Within Roles, there are Master, Expert, Skilled, Proficient and Inexperienced. These can be temporarily assigned, and then finalized later on.
You can bypass roles altogether in Primavera P6. But, in Primavera P6, both the project manager and resource manager can be supported by the use of roles and individual labor resource assignments. That said, this approach is more the exception than the rule in most E&C schedules that we encounter.