The ability to auto-assign users using this feature is a great way to streamline your project intake process. However, certain guidelines must be followed and understood to achieve the desired results.
To further streamline this process you can use account teams as part of the project creation process. Also, ensure that all users have a default service assigned in their employee record, as this will determine what they can be auto-assigned by default. However, if a user needs to be assigned to multiple services within a schedule, then you will have to add those services manually in the Team section of the project.
NOTE: Never leave an assignment (service) with 0 hours allocated, as this process will remove that assignment altogether. It assumes no work is being performed if there are no hours allocated.
The designed workflow for this feature is as follows.
- Create a project by copying from a template that already has a schedule fully populated with assignments (services & allocated hours).
- Update the schedule as needed to fit the project goals.
- Create an estimate & use the Pull from schedule feature.
- Approve the estimate.
- Go to the team of the project & update accordingly by making sure each service is assigned to a specific team member.
- From the top of the Team page, click on Auto-assign.
- Check the results of this action in your schedule.
- Make the project active for your users to begin working.
Approved estimate vs. no estimate
This is often the difference between agencies vs. in-house teams. This means an agency should want an estimate in place before work begins, whereas some in-house teams do not track this level of financial detail and simply work by the schedule's assignments only.
This is the way. The system will populate your schedule based on what is in the approved estimate(s). If you have multiple approved estimates and/or change order estimates, all hours (positive & negative) will be taken into account when you click Auto-assign.
If you do not have an estimate for the project, then you can still use the Auto-assign function from the team section. However, this will keep the assignments as they are, and simply add a person with a matching service. The downside is if you make a mistake, there is no estimate as a baseline to refer back to.
From the project, click on Team under Setup. At the top of the Team page is a button labeled Auto-assign.
Once pressed, a confirmation page will appear with an explanation of what changes will occur.
Pressing the Auto-assign button
While the actions done from this feature seem instant, there are a few steps the system does in order when pressed.
With approved estimates
- First, it will wipe out ALL task assignments already in the schedule.
- Then, it will repopulate the task assignments to match the task, service & hours from the approved estimate(s).
- Lastly, it looks to see what services each person has in the team, and then assigns that person to the task & service, along with populating the allocated hours in your schedule.
In short, if your schedule & estimate always match (pull from schedule), then you won't see any differences other than if you have multiple people with the same service on the team, at which point the assignment will get split evenly among the same service team members.
With no estimates
- The system reviews the schedule for assigned services.
- Then, the team is reviewed to see which users have which services.
- Any user with a matching service in the schedule is then assigned.
If you have multiple team members with the same service, then the hours get divided up among those users and are assigned equally to the original total.
For this example, we will demonstrate how to auto-assign a user to the art director service.
Turn your schedule into your budget
- Here the schedule is all ready to go. All assignments are in place with hours allocated.
- The Schedule was then pulled into the Estimate.
- And with the estimate approved, this now populates the budget.
Now we are ready to auto-assign
- Viewing the Team section, we assign service(s) to our team members (if not already populated with their default service).
- Press the Auto-assign button and then Confirm.
- Going back to the schedule, we can now see the results.
- Now while the Initials of the employee populate in the schedule where the service name was, the service is still assigned when you look deeper.
What about when things change?
This feature is quite flexible in that you can change who is assigned to what service in the Team section, and then press Auto-assign at any time afterward. It will re-auto-assign the entire schedule. Keep in mind that if you made changes elsewhere, such as resource manager, then those changes will be changed to how auto-assign works.
If a task was completed, however, the assignments on those tasks will be left alone and only what is remaining open in the schedule will be re-auto-assigned.
Speak internally with your peers to see if this feature will work with your process, and also determine when & who will use this features, as you don't want to press this option after the initial use if you use resource manager to a high degree.