Resource Management in Business ByDesign: Project Task, Service and Period Plans
With the 2008 release of SAP Business ByDesign, a “new” project based resource management functionality is available, where the resource availability is calculated based on the Planned Work based on the work package assignment on the project tasks. This way, the resource availability and resource search is based on the granular planning done by the project manager.
Figure 1: Resource Calendar
As you can see above, the resource calendar displays the following:
- Gross capacity of an internal employee, based on the assigned work schedule. For service agents, this is hardcoded to 8 hours per day, Monday to Friday, since service agents cannot be assigned a work schedule.
- Absences applied for by the employees (including non-availability of service agents)
- Project assignments, where the user can drill down to the project tasks, work packages and period plans.
- Availability of the employee taking the above into consideration.
Customers can choose this solution via business configuration.
Figure 2: Select option via business configuration
On selection, the existing project assignments are evaluated, and the required entities to support the new resource management functionality are created automatically in the system.
What I’m going to list below are the features and functions of the resource management solution that is based on the new scoping option.
As a resource manager, you can now use the resource search to find employees who are available to be assigned to a project.
Figure 3: Using the Resource Search to find available employees
In figure 3 above, the resource manager has used the resource search to find employees who are available for 100 hours of work, and who are skilled in ABAP.
The resource manager can then open the resource calendar to view the project assignments of the employees.
Editing of the planned hours from the Resource Calendar
The Planned hours on the project can be edited by selecting the Service line on the resource calendar, and clicking on the Edit button in the toolbar. This opens up a new UI where the manager can adjust the service assignment – make changes to the planned hours and even create period plans.
Figure 4: Select the Service to be adjusted and use the Edit button
Figure 5: Edit the Service assignment
Update of the Resource calendar
The resource calendar is updated via a background job, when the project manager assigns work via the project UI, or edits the service assignment from the resource calendar, or time administrator changes the work schedule, or the employee applies for a leave of absence. It also occurs when the employee undergoes a personnel event change, such as a transfer.
Figure 6: Update of the Resource Calendar in progress, as indicated by the icon
As you can see in figure 6 above, the “In process” icon shows up in the resource calendar and the resource search, that indicates that an availability calculation is in progress, and will be updated as soon as the job is completed.
The background job typically takes a minute or two to process the updates, depending on the number of changes that are present for all the employees in the system. As a result, the resource calendar is not instantaneously updated – the user would have to wait a couple of minutes and manually refresh the calendar to see the results.
Bringing Project Planning closer to Resource Availability
The resource search that is used to find employees based on their availability can now be used within the project UI. Wherever a team member is to be assigned to a work package (service within a project task), the employee value help incorporates fields within the advanced search that allows you to search for employees based on available hours.
Figure 7: Using Resource Search within the Project Planning UI
In addition, the project manager can launch a read-only form of the resource calendar via the Show Availability button in the Team and Staffing view.
What is super important to note is that with this solution, the Committed Work from the team and staffing view does not show up in the resource calendar, and has no effect on the Availability of the employee.
Figure 8: Commitment information does not flow to the Resource Calendar
Presence of the new Resource Calendar
The new resource calendar is also visible in the resource factsheet and resource profile. A new forecasted utilization report is also available on scoping this solution, that shows the availability and utilization of the employee based on the planned work on projects.
Project Team: A read-only version of the resource calendar is visible to the project team member in the Project Team work center. This can be accessed from the Common Tasks – View Resource Calendar.
Managing My Area: The line managers can also view the resource calendars of the employees reporting to them. The resource calendar can be launched from the existing Team calendars in the the Managing My Area work center.