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Feature request: more flexible scheduling of resources to tasks Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
I've run into a problem with resource scheduling that I finally traced to a gratuitous constraint that OmniPlan appears to put on resources and tasks: if two or more people are assigned to a task, they all have to work on the task at the same time. This makes sense if the task is something like, e.g., moving a large object, where everybody has to lift at the same time, but for the sorts of things you usually deal with in software, it's unnecessarily restrictive, and results in strange artifacts, with some people sitting idle at certain times when they could actually be contributing, and making overall times come out much longer than necessary. I've dealt with this by manually splitting multi-person tasks into individual subtasks, but that's tedious and awkward. I'd like to be able to specify in the definition of a task that it's not required that all participants work on the task simultaneously. It's similar to the temporal splitting that's supported now, except that instead of splitting by time, you're splitting by participant. Most of the time, this is the kind of splitting I actually want.

I've illustrated the issue with the two included JPEGs. tasks-not-split shows what happens with two resources assigned to an unsplit task: R1 and R3 both sit idle, waiting for a time when they can both work on Task 5, and the total time required is 1/2 day longer than needed. When Task 5 is split, as shown in tasks-split, R1 and R3 work on their respective pieces at different times, but neither sits idle, and the total time is reduced to its real minimum.

This situation comes up so much in my use of OmniPlan that I've taken to doing it routinely. It makes leveling work the way I want to, but it's hugely inconvenient. I would love to see this functionality supported as an automatic option, similar to the existing "allow splitting" option.
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It's not a gratuitous constraint how else would you indicate a task that requires all of the staff resources to be present?

It is a flawed system, however, as there appears to be no way to get both reasonable behaviors, and furthermore, it only applies to resources of the same type. If you set up a task with a staff resource and an equipment resource, OmniPlan will not ensure that both are available simultaneously! Maybe the answer is to turn half of your staff into robots :-)
 
 


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