How to Make Assignments in Project 2013 - dummies

How to Make Assignments in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

What is a project without assignments? You have three main ways to assign resources in Project 2013 (although you can use other methods while working in various views).

The three main ways to assign resources are:

  • Select resources from the Resources tab of the Task Information dialog box.

  • Enter resource information in the Resource column in the Entry table (displayed in Gantt Chart view).

  • Use the Assign Resources dialog box.

Regardless of which method you use, you work in a task-based view in Project 2013, such as Gantt Chart view, to make the assignments.

Which method you use depends to some extent on your own preferences. Follow these guidelines:

  • Resource column: By default, you assign resources at 100 percent availability. If you want to assign a different percentage, don’t use this method; it’s more difficult if you need to assign multiple resources.

  • Assign Resources dialog box: Replace one resource with another (using the handy Replace feature) or filter the list of available resources by a criterion (for example, resources with a cost of less than a specified amount). This method is useful for assigning multiple resources.

  • Task Information dialog box: Having the task details handy (such as task type or the constraints contained on other tabs of this dialog box) is helpful when you make the assignment.

How to select resources from the Resource column

You can add resources from the Resource column, whether it’s from Gantt Chart view or Tracking Gantt view.

Even though Task Usage view lists tasks in its sheet pane and can even display a Resource column, this view can’t be used to add resource assignments in Project 2013.

Follow these steps to assign resources at a default percentage:

  1. Display Gantt Chart view by clicking the Gantt Chart button on the Task tab or View tab of the Ribbon.

  2. Choose View→Tables→Entry.

  3. Click in the Resource Names column for the task on which you want to make a resource assignment.

    An arrow appears at the end of the cell.

  4. Click the arrow to display a list of resources.

  5. Click the resource you want to assign.

    The resource name appears in the Resource column, assigned at 100 percent.

You can always change the assignment units later by opening the Task Information dialog box and changing the assignment units on the Resources tab in Project 2013.

How to use the Assign Resources dialog box

To assign a work resource or material resource to a task, you can select a task and then use the Assign Resources dialog box to make assignments. This unique dialog box is the only one you can leave open and continue to scroll within the project, making it easy to switch between selecting a task and making an assignment.

This method is easy to use for assigning material and cost resources. To use the Assign Resources dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Assign Resources button in the Assignments group of the Resource tab on the Ribbon.

    The Assign Resources dialog box appears.


  2. Click a task to select it.

    The Assign Resources dialog box can remain open while you select tasks in the task list. Then you can make assignments to a variety of tasks without the need to close and reopen the dialog box repeatedly.

  3. Click the Units column for the work or material resource you want to assign or the Cost column for the cost resource you want to assign, and then specify the assignment units or cost for the resource.

    Click the spinner arrows in the box to increase or decrease the setting. If you don’t select units for a work resource, Project assumes that you’re assigning 100 percent of the resource. The spinner arrows show 5 percent increments, or you can simply type a percentage.

    For a material resource, use the spinner arrows in the Units column to increase or decrease the unit assignment, or type a number of units. For a cost resource, type the expected cost for that particular assignment.

  4. Click the Assign button.

  5. Repeat Steps 2 through 4 to add all resources.

  6. If you want to replace one resource with another, click an assigned resource (indicated with a check mark), click the Replace button, select another name on the list, set its units, and click OK.

  7. Click the Close button to save all the assignments.

How to add assignments in the Task Information dialog box

You can assign resources on the Resources tab of any Task Information dialog box by following these steps:

  1. Double-click a task name in Gantt Chart view.

    The Task Information dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Resources tab to display it.

  3. Click in a blank Resource Name box and then click the arrow that appears on the right side of the box.

    A drop-down list of resources appears.

  4. Click the resource you want to assign.

  5. For a work or material resource, click the Units column and use the spinner arrows to set an assignment percentage; for a cost resource, click the Cost column and enter the cost.

    If you’re assigning a material resource, the Units default setting is a single unit. (If your units are pounds, the default assignment is 1 lb.) Use the spinner arrows in the Unit field or type a value there to assign additional material units.

  6. Repeat Steps 3 through 5 to assign additional resources.

  7. Click the OK button.