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Merlin: Master resources

on 11. May 2010

Resources

Does Merlin have master resources or a resources pool?

In Merlin you can add resources,

  1. by manually entering their contact data in the project,
  2. or use contacts listed in the Library.

To open the library call Window > Show Library or use the according button of the toolbar:

Library

In the library you can see contacts of your Apple Address Book, Entourage (if installed) or LDAP server. You can use these contacts as resources (by drag & drop onto your Merlin activities or the resources’ well).

Drag&dropResouceOnActivityIf you add this contact as a resource in another project, and combine later on the 2 projects into one master, you will see in the ‘Utilization’ view the utilization of the resource calculated to reflect the assignments on both projects.

If you don’t want to have your resources in your Address Book (Entourage or an LDAP server), you may create a project containing all resources of your ‘resources pool’, save this project as template to start new projects out of it.

If you have created a project with the wbs and simply need the resources for assignment, just open a project where the resources are installed, create a dummy activity on which you assign all your resources, copy and paste this activity into the other project. You can delete the dummy activity and keep the resources.

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Written by Vicky Stamatopoulou
Vicky Stamatopoulou works at ProjectWizards. She contributes to the MacPM.net blog, Merlin user forums, or other web spaces of ProjectWizards. The content provided is about Merlin or Mac usage, documentation, AppleScripting, or customization. Google+

21 Comments »

  1. Comment by Ethan (September 24, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

    What if someone takes a week off? Or changes their work hours? Gets a raise? Do I then have to open every project they are assigned to and update that info in each one, or can I do it once somewhere and have the new data dynamically referenced?

  2. Comment by Vicky Stamatopoulou (September 24, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    Hello Ethan and thank you for your comment.

    Hmmm, in this case yes, you would need to update all projects on which the resource has assignments. Calendar changes can get exported and imported.

    When having also pricing information you want to update between projects, you may do the following… you rename your resource temporary, you drag&drop the updated resource from any other project, got to the utilization and drop all assignments for your temporary named resource to your newly imported resource, delete old resource. This approach would also solve issues in calendar settings or exceptions.

    Best regards, Vicky

  3. Comment by Yuval (February 16, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    Why not embed this into the server and enable me to change availability/pricing within the server making all the projects align.
    you will then enable me to align resources through the client while it knows the resource is not available or in another project.

  4. Comment by Sylvain Guimond (April 27, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

    I’m totally agree with Yuval. I’m testing Merlin right now and it would really be helpful because with drive 4-5 project at the same time.

  5. Comment by Vicky Stamatopoulou (April 27, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

    Thank you Yuval and Sylvain for your comments.
    This is of course a possibility. Another would be to be able to do so in Merlin directly…
    I forward your suggestions to the management so they can take them under consideration for future Merlin versions.

  6. Comment by Dan (June 24, 2011 @ 8:25 pm

    Sounds like Merlin does not have a true resource pool capability. If I have to roll up all of my projects into a single project to see if I have resource conficts, that’s not very useful. Sounds like resource leveling would be crazy, over complicated process.

    I work in a busy shop with 5 PMs who all use the same pool of resources. I agree with Yuval. Merlin users should be able to share a common resource pool from Merlin Server so project resources and utilization is always up to date.

    Best,
    Dan

  7. Comment by Vicky Stamatopoulou (June 27, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    Hi Dan,
    as explained in the post, Merlin has no explicit resource pool functionality. It can however show and resolve overallocations in master projects (just as it does for single projects)
    .
    Yuval’s suggestion is already forwarded to the management for the management to decide when and where it should implemented in Merlin.

    Thank you for your comment.

  8. Comment by Alex Collin (August 2, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    Hello Vicky,

    is there any feedback regarding the pool of resources directly managed into the server?
    Indeed, I have several projects (20 to 30) in parallel with same shared resources. Just imagine my job each time a resource takes some vacations or just 1 day off.

    BR,
    Alex

  9. Comment by Jonathan (November 10, 2011 @ 12:33 am

    I too am having issues with this, I need to assign people across projects and it’s really annoying to have to ad them to each sub-project.

    I would much rather have a pool of resources to could add to ANY project.

  10. Comment by Jonathan (November 10, 2011 @ 12:36 am

    Following up… if you are pulling from an LDAP server this should definitely be the case as each user is identical.

  11. Comment by Dylan (May 19, 2012 @ 1:34 am

    Was curious to see if the resource pooling was addressed in versions of Merlin after it was brought up back in Feb of 2011? I’m would like to recommend this software platform to my company for deployment across our production/creative services division, but the lack of combining resources is a huge down fall.

  12. Comment by Frank Blome (May 19, 2012 @ 11:05 am

    The resource pool is still on our wish list. Unfortunately – if you make it right – this is not an easy to implement feature.

  13. Comment by Dylan (May 21, 2012 @ 5:13 am

    Thanks for the update! Can’t wait to see it work within the software platform. When/if that happens, we can re-engage Merlin as a viable company wide software application.

  14. Comment by Dylan (May 21, 2012 @ 5:17 am

    Last thing. Was curious about methods used by PM’s to track shared resources utilized on several combined projects. Any input would be greatly appreciated. I’m sure there has to be a workaround or a system of being able to accurate gage resources and level as needed.

  15. Comment by Frank Blome (May 21, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    Are you familiar with the combined project feature: http://projectwizards.net/merlin/webhelp/HTML-Help.en/projects_combine.html
    In a resulting master project, you can determine the utilization of your resources over all combined projects. Does this help?

  16. Comment by Thorsten (January 8, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    Any update on the resource pool functionality? Having this on a server level would be preferred. Compiling master projects can only be an interims solution, since you explicitly state “Each project has it own calendar, settings, resources and resources calendars”.

  17. Comment by Jules Burt (January 22, 2013 @ 3:32 am

    I would also like to send the message that a single resource pool would be ideal in Merlin.

    We stuggle with resources across projects – largely due to having to copy resources around each time we enter an exception – such as a vacation or sick day…

    I liked the idea of having a master resource group – in say 1 project – which would then be kept updated (for exceptions etc), but have not found a good way to then copy and paste this master list of resources to the other projects. When the resource already exists and are assigned in other projects can I replace (with my master resource group)?

    Again, a single resource pool would be most welcome. Any ETA on that feature?

    This area – is likely the largest single issue we have with Merlin to date. We have a small studio (30) with about 6 projects, with many shared resource allocations…not too atypical – but Merlin doesn’t handle even this small setup well…

    Thanks for listening…Sincerely, Jules.

  18. Comment by Wim Vanbelle (March 15, 2013 @ 11:12 am

    We’re 2013 now, I’m wondering if Merlin is going to be my tool of choice. I’ve been demoing it now for about 2 weeks, and it works well to manage a project. But like the people above I need the ability to manage a single resource pool.

    I was surprised, that I need to configure merlin on a project basis. I would much rather prefer that I could open ‘company.merlin’ and define all my projects in a single ‘merlin project’.

    I prefer to keep a quick overview of everything. Having to open multiple project files would be an annoyance for me either way. So at the moment, I just created a ‘company’ project and defined the projects as activities with subactivities.

    However, I do find this not to be ideal, because the timings seem to depend a lot on the project timings, which just date from 01/01/2013 to 01/01/2014.

    So in a nutshell, i would be very happy if we could just define multiple real projects in a single merlin project. And with that, have a single resource pool and single place to edit them.

    I’m not sure if I can wait for a similar fix to make up my mind. At this stage I’m afraid I’ll have to look elsewhere to someone who already has this.

    In any case, I want you to know that Merlin is until now my favorite tool of choice. I do not like ms project (and definately not the 2013 version).

  19. Comment by alwayz (May 17, 2013 @ 5:02 pm

    Since the issue is in Merlin requested feature list… Is there another alternative to do what you guys want to do like with paper and pen like in the old days. This is no joke, I’m sure it can be done probably just not smooth as we want. Can anyone offer any suggestions?

  20. Comment by alwayz (May 17, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    “Having to open multiple project files would be an annoyance for me either way. So at the moment, I just created a ‘company’ project and defined the projects as activities with subactivities.” Smart, I will try this

  21. Comment by Markus (February 3, 2014 @ 12:28 am

    Please add at least the check of the email address of the resources and if the email (which is very unique) is the same, … tada, yes, it must be the same resource in a combined project.

    that would be the easiest solution.

    all the best
    Markus

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