A resource plan consists of a detailed schedule and the resources needed for each activity. Merlin Project has powerful and flexible resource management capabilities. Here is an explanation of how you manage, schedule and assign resources.
In Merlin Project, the Library is where you manage most of the assets or resources you’ll be using across projects in Merlin Project. The Library contains links to assets found outside Merlin Project. Except for human resources, Merlin Project supports other assets that you can tap into for different projects, including documents and attachments. Resource types you can use in Merlin Project include people, equipment, materials and companies.
To add resources to a project, you either enter them by clicking the Resource icon in the toolbar and filling in the features of the resource in the Inspector, or by dragging them directly from the Library into the Resources View. The Library lets you access human resources in Apple Contacts, Microsoft Outlook and LDAP servers. The resources used by the project can always be accessed by switching the View to one of the Resources Views.
You can group resources together by selecting “Open Resource Groups” from the context menu in the Resource View and adding groups as required. Then drag resources to your groups and you’re done. As project leader, you can set specific resources to be users by checking the “Is User” box in the Resource Inspector. You can then give different resources different permissions.
In order to assign a activity to a Resource, you simply drag a Resource from the list in the Resources popup to the selected activity (or activities) in views such as the Work Breakdown View. When you enter a duration for a activity and drag a resource to it, the expected time the resource will not be available for anything else will automatically update according to its calendar of availability — you can create and select as many calendars as you wish.
Activities also have a context menu that lets you assign activities to resources quickly without leaving the View you’re working in. To select multiple activities, hold down the Shift or Command key. Merlin Project can have a Detail View open while working on your planning, so you can instantly check (and select and edit) the assigned resource’s parameters in the Inspector.
In the Assignments View you can edit all of the project’s assignments, while in the Assignments Detail View you can do the same for each resource associated with specific activities.
Scheduling a resource in Merlin Project usually starts by structuring activities in the Work Breakdown View, add timing constraints in the Plan Inspector and then create and/or add Resources as needed.
Resources’ calendars limit the availability of time you can fit them in for. Each resource can have its own calendar, which in turn allows you to optimise each resource’s utilisation in the Assignments > Resource Levelling View.