Creating Custom Enterprise Resource Outline Code

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One of the goals of resource management is to synchronize resources and skill-set supply and demand with the project portfolio pipeline.

In Microsoft Project Professional 2003, enterprise resources are the people, equipment, and materials that a project manager can assign to tasks in project schedules.

Microsoft Project Professional provides a wide variety of capabilities that facilitate allocation and management of resources across the enterprise. This is done through allocation of certain attributes to enterprise resources. These attributes will enable managers to sort and filter data according to an organization's specific needs. They are set by applying outline codes to tasks or resources.

When you want to apply a code to a project, task, or resource, and you want to apply the code consistently across all projects in the enterprise, you use enterprise outline codes.

Project provides 30 customizable enterprise outline codes for use with projects and tasks, and 29 customizable enterprise outline codes for resources. These are named Enterprise Project Outline Code 1, 2, 330; Enterprise Task Outline Code 1, 2, 330; and Enterprise Resource Outline Code 1, 2, 329.

In addition, enterprise resources have a predefined outline code called the Resource Break down Structure (RBS) code. The RBS code can be any code that differentiates resources, but it should be reserved for the code value that is the most important, or most often used, throughout an organization. This is because the RBS code is built into the Team Builder, the Resource Substitution Wizard, and the Assign Resources dialog tools when filtering and selecting resources.

When you want to apply a custom field consistently across all projects, resources, or tasks in the enterprise, you use enterprise custom fields. The only difference between custom fields and enterprise custom fields is that enterprise custom fields are established for the entire enterprise, whereas custom fields are established for the local project only.

Portfolio managers define and create enterprise outline codes and custom fields, thus keeping their use consistent across the enterprise.

For information on setting up a Microsoft Project Server Account see Chapter 25, "Logging in to the Project Server from Project Professional," p. 1004 .

For information on setting up the Enterprise Outline Codes, see Chapter 25, "Using Enterprise Outline Codes and Custom Fields."


You must be working in the Enterprise Global in order for your enterprise outline codes to be permanently added to the Microsoft Project Server 2003 repository. If you aren't able to add enterprise outline codes because the data entry fields are disabled, then you don't have the Enterprise Global open .

To create a custom resource enterprise outline code, follow these steps:

  1. Select Tools, Enterprise Options, Open Enterprise Global.

  2. Choose Tools, Customize, Enterprise Fields to display the dialog box shown in Figure 27.10.

    Figure 27.10. In this example, all resource skills are defined in one enterprise resource outline code field, which has been named Skills 1. You can also rename your enterprise outline codes.


  3. Select the Custom Outline Codes tab.

  4. Select the category of Outline Code you want to create (task, resource, or project).

  5. Select the outline code field that you want to use (1 through 30, or in the case of enterprise resource outline codes, 1 through 29 plus RBS).

  6. Click the Rename button to establish a new name for the code, and the dialog box shown in Figure 27.11 appears. Click OK after you enter the desired outline code name .

    Figure 27.11. If you are defining the RBS outline code to describe location with Level 1 as state and Level 2 as city, there must be two levels of code masks defined, as shown.


  7. Click the Define Code Mask button to display the Outline Code Definition dialog box shown in Figure 27.12. Remember to define a code mask for each level of outline code you create.

    Figure 27.12. You use the icons at the top of the dialog box to manipulate the lookup table items that you've entered; hover over each icon to find out what it does.


  8. Click the Edit Lookup Table button to display the Edit Lookup Table dialog box shown in Figure 27.12, and enter your outline codes. For example, if you are defining a location outline code for state or province , and city, your Level 1 code might be British Columbia, and your Level 2 codes underneath British Columbia might be Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler. Use the Indent and Outdent buttons to make codes subordinate to one another. Click Close to save the lookup table entries you have defined.

  9. Select the Share Another Code's Lookup Table check box and click the Choose Outline Code button if you want to have two outline codes share the same lookup table, as shown in Figure 27.13. You are then prompted to select the other outline code's field type and field name from pull-down lists. When outline codes are shared, changing the shared code's lookup table automatically changes the lookup table of the outline code that is referring to the shared code. You can click OK after you choose the outline code lookup table to share.

    Figure 27.13. The Skills 1 code is being shared with the Skills outline code (Enterprise Resource Outline Code20).


  10. Select the Only Allow Selection of Codes with No Subordinate Values check box, as shown in Figure 27.14, if you want to force users to select the lowest level of detail in the outline code that you have defined. For example, if you have entered codes with Denver and Seattle within the United States, then selecting this check box requires users to always select one of the cities (since the lowest level, the city, has no subordinate values).

    Figure 27.14. You can force users to select the lowest level of detail in the outline code.


  11. Select the Make This a Required Code check box if you want to have Microsoft Project 2003 require a valid value before allowing the schedule to be saved or published to the Microsoft Project Server.

  12. Select the Use This Code for Matching Generic Resources check box if you want to use this outline code as matching criteria for the Resource Substitution Wizard.


    You see the Use This Code for Matching Generic Resources check box only if you are working with enterprise resource outline codes.

  13. When you are done building custom outline codes, click Close. You are returned to the Custom Enterprise Fields dialog. Click OK.

  14. Save and exit the plan. Select the option Save and Check In your plan. Your outline code is now stored in the Enterprise Global and can be used for all projects that have access to the Microsoft Project Server to which you saved your plan.


You will need to exit and restart Microsoft Project to see any modifications to custom outline codes.

Enabling Proficiency Levels per Skill

Microsoft Project Professional supports using skill codes to designate skill proficiency levels (languages). You might want to use this feature to distinguish between proficiency levels when performing resource substitution. For example, there might be times when any German speaker would suffice for an assignment, and there might be times when you want to specify that only a junior or senior German speaker should be assigned to a task.

To enable proficiency levels per skill, you need to set up your skill codes with the proficiency level as the lowest level of definition, as shown in Figure 27.15.

Figure 27.15. You can define your skill codes to have proficiency levels.


Microsoft Project Professional treats a resource that is assigned a skill code as having all levels of skill above and including the skill level assigned to. For example, if a generic resource is assigned the skill Developer.VB, the Resource Substitution Wizard will find any resource that matches Developer.VB, Developer.VB.Senior, or Developer.VB.Junior. Likewise, if the generic resource is assigned the skill Developer, the wizard will find any resource that matches either Developer, Developer.VB, Developer.VB Senior, or Developer.VB.Junior.


Make sure that the Only Allow Selection of Codes with No Subordinate Values check box in the Customize Enterprise Fields dialog box is not checked if you want to assign skill codes other than at their lowest level.

Enabling Multiple Skills per Resource

Microsoft Project Professional supports assigning multiple skill codes to resources. For example, a Visual Basic developer might also be a Web developer, and a technical writer might also be a tester. If a resource is associated with only one of his or her skills, the Resource Substitution Wizard will substitute that resource only for the one defined skill, possibly overlooking other valid resource assignment substitutions.

To enable multiple skills per resource, follow these steps:

  1. Set up an initial skill code in one of the enterprise resource outline codes. Figure 27.16 provides an example of what the skill codes might look like.

    Figure 27.16. The initial and subsequent skill code's settings are required to get the Resource Substitution Wizard, the Team Builder, and the Team Assign dialog box to work correctly.


    Notice in this skill code lookup table that multiple skills are defined in enterprise resource outline code 1 (Skill 1) and that skill proficiencies have also been defined.

  2. After you have your initial skill code defined, create one or more additional skill codes and link each of them to the first skill code (refer to Figure 27.16).

  3. Make sure you have each defined skill code's enterprise attributes set correctly. Figure 27.16 shows the attributes associated with the initial skill code, as well as with those associated with subsequent skill codes.

  4. Assign skill codes to your resources, as appropriate.

For more information see "Applying Outline Codes and Custom Fields to Resources," p. 1096 .


Multiple skills and skill proficiencies are not mutually exclusive. That is, you can define skill codes with both features at the same time.

Enterprise Resource Multi-Value Fields

In many cases, project and resource managers know what kind of skill-set and qualifications it takes to do the job, but it is also difficult to manually match the skill-set with a particular resource.

Because resources have more than one skill and also different levels of proficiency, Microsoft Project Professional introduced the multi-value fields that help project and resource managers to match skill-sets with resources.

Matching Skill-sets

From the home page, open up the Project Center view.

Move the cursor over the dark bar on the left side, highlight the project which you are interested in matching replacing resources, and select Open.

This project has resources already assigned to tasks. In this example, a resource manager will need to substitute a specific resource that is already assigned to a task with another resource that has a similar skill-set.

To do this, point the cursor over on the top menu bar and select the Tools function. From the drop down menu, select Build Team. A new dialog screen will open. The dialog screen shown in Figure 27.17 has three subsections: Filter Enterprise Resources, Build Team, and Project Detail.

Figure 27.17. Resource managers don't need to have installed Microsoft Project Professional in order to access the Resource Pool and build team from Enterprise Global.


In the left pane there is a list of all enterprise resources. In the right pane there is a list of resources that may have been already assigned to the project team.

If you scroll down in the left pane, you will notice that resources that have already been assigned to the project team (and are now listed in the right pane) are grayed out.

In the previous example, let's assume that for a specific task, the project manager decides to add another person to work with the individual already assigned.

To do this, click on Tools, and then on Build Team. In the right pane, Project Team Resources, highlight the name of the person you want the skill-set to match and then click on Match. This action will trigger a filter to be activated. The filter that is being activated in the background by the Match button can be viewed in the expanded mode of the second sectionCustomize Filters.


Please note that Microsoft Project has automatically filled in boxes of this section. Values for these boxes are determined by values associated with those of selected resource.

Please note the values for these boxes:

  1. Under the Field Name, the value is Skills ( multivalue ). That indicates that a search was performed, using the skill-set, for other resources with similar attributes to the initial individual assigned to the task.

  2. Under the Test column, the value is set to contains.

  3. Under the column Value(s), the value is set to match the skill set of the initially assigned resource.

Once you click on the Match button, in the left pane of the Build Team third section, the system will return only those resources that match the filter. The project manager now has the ability to add a new resource to the project team and assign that resource to the task together with the initially assigned resource.

There is also the case where a project or a resource manager will want to assign a resource based on different criteria, such as RBS. In this case, the Match criterion used will be RBS.

You can also use a combination of multiple filters. To do this, open the Build Team dialog box from the Tools menu and expand the second section, Customize Filters.

Select the value RBS in the first box underneath Field Name, as shown in Figure 27.18. In the next box under the Test column, select Contains, and in the last box, under the Value(s) column, select USA.West. In the second row, under the And/Or column, select And; then in the next box, under the Field Name, select Skills (multivalue). In the next box, under the Test column, select Contains, and in the last box, select Technical, IT, Systems Architecture.

Figure 27.18. You can sort by a combination of multiple filters.


Click Apply Filter. Now, in the left pane of the Build Team section, you'll see a list of resources that satisfy both criteria: resources that are in the Western region and are also listed with skills under the System Architecture value.


Please note that selecting a value at a top level of the branch structure of a multi-value field and setting the Test value to Contains will return all resources that satisfy any of the criteria of the values under the branch. For example, selecting USA will return all resources in USA, no matter where they are located.

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Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Project 2003
ISBN: 0789730723
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2004
Pages: 283
Authors: Tim Pyron

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