In an effort to help Project Managers, Resource Managers, and PMO in planning and tracking resource utilization and availability, Microsoft released the Resource Engagement feature. Details about the use of the feature are well documented in other publications. This blog will focus on the challenge of using Resource Engagement with timesheets.
One of our clients wanted to utilize the Resource Engagement feature. However, when using Resource Engagement only (without assigning team members to tasks on the schedule), resource timesheets were not pre-populated with the project to log time against it. Having an approved resource engagement request does not mean that the resource timesheet will be pre-populated with that project.
In a simple scenario, Resource Engagement is used for resource management across all projects.
The solution is two steps:
- In the Timesheet Setting and Defaults in PWA Settings, for the Default Timesheet Creation Mode, select Current projects
- In the resource timesheet, the user should see the ‘Top Level’ task from each project they are a team member of. They should be able to log time against it.
In a complicated scenario, Resource Engagement and Project Plan are used for resource management. I.e. some projects use one while others use the other.
For the administrator, they will use the Default Timesheet Creation Mode settings for resource timesheet pre-population. The user will use the Select From Existing Assignments option in the timesheet.
Depending on which scenario is more common, the number of resources allocated to projects, and the number of tasks, the administrator will choose a ‘default’ resource timesheet pre-population method. All projects will be pre-populated according to that method and it is up to the resource to follow a procedure to log time using the other method. The following table shows the different possibilities:
- The first scenario is common for customers moving from Project Plan to Resource Engagements.
- If there is a close number of each resource management methods, use the first criteria. This is due to the fact that adding one Top Level task is easier than adding all the tasks that a resource is assigned to.
What Is Your Answer
If you have encountered other scenarios or came up with alternative answers, please post them in the comments box below. It’s always great to have multiple answers to pick the one that better suits the situation.