The Graphical Resource View application has been designed to allow you to graphically enter and modify availability records for labor and crews. This is a graphical method of handling similar functionality to the two actions Modify Person Availability and Modify Crew Availability in the People and Crews applications respectively. This article will focus on introducing the Graphical Resource View application, new in Maximo Scheduler 7.6.8, but only for Labor, Crews will be reviewed in another article. 

This article will:

  • Review the List tab and the fields used in creating a Resource List
  • Review existing modified availability for a Labor record
  • Demonstrate adding Vacation or Sick for whole days or a whole week
  • Navigating to a future period to add vacation for a whole week
  • Discuss individual unavailability v’s using calendar non-working time, for Christmas, New Year, etc.
  • Adding a partial day meeting for a team
  • Modifying an existing partial day meeting for a team 
  • Adding a whole day event for a team
  • How to enter multiple meetings on the same day (requires a trick)
  • Entering extra time events

List and Resource Tabs

The application is based on a Resource List (attribute NAME) which is the key field of the object SKDPROJECT, the same one used on other Maximo Scheduler applications, Graphical Scheduling, Graphical Assignment, etc. If you pick a name that already exists elsewhere you will get the attribute error icon and the error message “The project name 1001 already exists. Choose a unique project name. (BMXAA9220)”. You might consider a naming convention for the Scheduler projects perhaps; 

  • SC – Scheduler, 
  • AS – Assignment, 
  • WW – Work Week, 
  • RV – Resource View, 
  • CM – Crew Management, 
  • LP – Large Projects, 
  • RF – Repair Facilities. 

In a real world the most useful field might be either the description or who created the Resource List, perhaps the supervisor of a team, then they will find their resource lists easily. All of the Scheduler applications would benefit from an Owner or Owner Group field, as the person who creates the scheduler project, or resource list in this case, may not be the person who is responsible for it.

When creating a new record, the Resource List, Description, Calendar and Organization are all mandatory. The Organization field will be filled when you select the calendar. The Shift might as well be mandatory because without it the Graphical View will not show any resources. Multiple Shifts for the chosen Calendar can be selected.

By default, any labor or crew that has the same calendar (and organization) and one of the referenced shifts will be included in the Graphical View, but this is dependent on the setting of the two check boxes, Show Labor in Resource Chart and Show Crews in Resource Chart:

  • If both are checked then Labor and Crews are shown (this is the default setting)
  • If Show Labor in Resource Chart is checked and the other is not, then only Labor records will be shown
  • If Show Crews in Resource Chart is checked and the other is not, then only Crew records will be shown
  • If both are unchecked, then no Labor or Crews will be shown, and you will receive the message “You must select Show Labor or Show Crew to include resources in your work list.” 

If a person has a calendar and shift that is referenced on the Resource List, then that does not mean they will yet appear. They will need a:

  • Labor record
  • A default craft on their labor record

The Restrict Resource Availability table window has two data sources, LABOR or AMCREW (Crews). When a query is created or applied then this has the effect of applying a filter to the set of Labor or Crew records. The easiest way to create a query is to use the native application Labor or Crews and use the Advanced Search to create a result set that can then be saved as a Saved Query.

In the Labor application a new query was created called DBO-TEAM. This effectively will pick up Labor records where their Person record references DBO in their Supervisor field and will also include the Labor record of DBO.

The Copy Query button is then used, and the query selected. When you press OK the query is copied through to the Restrict Resource Availability table window. A word of caution, if you change the query in the Labor application it will not update the Where Condition on the Restrict Resource Availability record, the query data has been copied.

The same two labor records, AJE and DBO, are now shown in the Graphical View. There are a few other Person/Labor records with the same OFFICE/OFFICE Calendar/Shift, but without DBO as the Supervisor.

I’ve updated three other Person records with DBO as the Supervisor and they are now added into the Graphical View.

Existing Unavailability Records

Each Craft line, Functional Consultant and Technical Consultant in this case, shows the total available hours. The OFFICE/OFFICE calendar/shift has an 8 work hour day, Monday through Friday. For the two Technical Consultants this would add up to 16 work hours. For the Functional Consultants the total available hours are not always 24 hours (3×8) due to some unavailability records added against Andrew Jeffery (AJE). 

  • A meeting on 5th October for 1 hour
  • A whole day vacation on 7th and 16th October, 8 hours each
  • Two meetings totalling 2.5 hours on 15th October

The non-working days of the week are coloured in grey, or with a white background for the crafts, and show as 0 work hours for the Saturdays and Sundays.

If you wanted proof of the unavailability records here are the modified work dates for AJE – Andrew Jeffery. 

Whole days are displayed as totally coloured cells, part days with a coloured triangle in the cell and if there are multiple records of unavailability then it will be a deep purple coloured triangle. Notice there are two meetings on the 15th October, with a total of 2.5 hours. This is rounded up to 3 hours to give a total availability for the functional consultants of 21 hours. Rounding up makes sense, meetings more often run over than finish early.

So, let’s take the Graphical View for a spin and see what it can do.

Whole Day and Whole Week Unavailability

The two fields at the end of the tool bar are used when modifying the availability of labor. The drop-down list in the Reason Code field comes from the synonym domain RSNCODE, there are System Properties aligned with each of these that define the colours. The colours have been aligned with those found on the Graphical Assignment application, so take care when making modifications. I’m aiming to follow-up with how to configure Graphical Resource View application and other points in a separate article.

The LUNCH Reason Code was entered as part of the Calendars article and the section on Breaks. The Break Type field uses the same RSNCODE domain.

Danny is aiming to take two days holiday next week on the 21st and 22nd October, and so we will select Vacation (VAC) from the drop-down list.

The second field in the tool bar is already set to Full Day and so we create the unavailability simply by double-clicking in each cell. You might briefly see a Processing message for perhaps a second. Notice the availability for the Functional Consultant Craft has reduced from 24 hours by the 8 hours for a full day to leave 16 hours. That was simple.

We have also heard that our Romanian colleague Liliana is sick (not actually true, it’s just an illustration) and expects to be off work the whole of next week. We select the Sick (SICK) reason code and this time from the drop-down select the Full Week option. It doesn’t matter where in the week you double-click, a couple of seconds later all are now coloured blue and the Technical Consultant availability has dropped from 16 hours to 8 hours on each of the five days of the week. 

Again easy, and no querying the person record as there is in the People application, finding the right date range, clicking several work dates and then having to decide am I performing a Mass Modify or a Modify – actually really simple and intuitive in comparison to the similar capability in the People application.

Incidentally, there are of course 31 days in October, you can see a horizontal scroll bar at the bottom. The vertical line to the left of the time ribbon can be pulled to the left and this position is remembered for the Resource List. It does not affect other Resource Lists, so you might need to do this adjustment for each, if you want to. 

Jan-Willem wants to take vacation over the Christmas Week. We’re currently in October.

A closer look at the tool bar and hover over the three calendar looking symbols and we have choices for:

  • Select Date, and Jump to that Date in the Schedule 
  • Previous Period
  • Next Period

Clicking Next Period twice is the simple choice so let’s use Select Date. Hmm, did that, you get the regular date look up that you see elsewhere in Maximo, but when I chose a date in December the display wasn’t correct, issue reported to IBM. So, let’s use Next Period button twice.

I’ve changed the reason code to vacation (VAC) and double-clicked in one of the cells for Jan-Willem Steur during the Christmas week. It has turned all the cells for 29th-31st purple and reduced the craft availability hours.

Remove Holiday

The 25th and 28th December were registered as Non-working days in the OFFICE calendar, they show with a white background and the total available hours for each craft is zero. The indication of W in the cells for 25th and 28th, the pattern day symbol, indicates that it would have been a working day as defined by the calendar.

The 28th is clearly a data entry mistake for me (Andrew Jeffery), 28th is a public holiday in the UK, so I wouldn’t need to take it as holiday as well. When I booked this time using the People application, I meant to book 29th, 30th and 31st. I’ll correct that by selecting Remove from the drop-down box and double-clicking the 28th December. It worked when set to Partial Day, although it was a whole day of vacation, that’s OK if you want to remove something it doesn’t matter whether it is a Partial Day or Full Day. But that has made me think, what if the tool bar control is set to Full Week?

Double-click on 30th December, that worked a treat, all remaining entries for the week for Andrew Jeffery were removed, for the 29th and 30th December.

Individual Unavailability v’s Calendar Non-Working Time

In the article on Calendars I set 25th, 28th December and 1st January as Holiday (Public Holidays) and applied these non-working days to the OFFICE calendar. I’m going to remove the 28th December as I’m using this for our company calendar and we have employees working across 6 European countries, it’s only the UK where we get the extra day on 28th as a public holiday in lieu of the 26th which this year falls on a weekend.

In the Calendars application find the OFFICE calendar and scroll to December 2020 and click the Work Period for the 28th December. You can use the delete row button to remove the Holiday record. Notice the Shift Hours for the OFFICE Shift is 0:00 hours, you need to change this to 8 hours. 

You do not use the Define/Apply Non-Working Time action, not unless you wish to remove the reference entirely, and it will not remove it from the other calendars where you had applied it, you need to do that manually for each calendar following the procedure I’ve described above.

Back in Graphical Resource View the 28th December is now showing as a working day. Jan-Willem Steur is showing a partial day vacation on 28th December, that doesn’t seem right we booked a whole day of vacation earlier. Let’s investigate this in the People application.

In the People application for JWS (Jan-Willem Steur) I’ve used the action Modify Person Availability and adjusted the period to show the week from Christmas Day to New Year’s Day. When we set a Vacation period for the Full Week we received five days of modified availability. As the calendar had zero work hours on 28th December and 1st January the modified availability Hours were set to zero for these two days. Removing the non-working day on 28th December from the OFFICE calendar does not adjust any Modified Person Availability record for any people that use that calendar. Jan-Willem Steur has zero hours of vacation on 28th December, which doesn’t make sense.

Conclusion – Do not use Calendar Non-Working Time on calendars designed to be used by Labor or Crews as they have actions to allow you to modify the working days individually or as a mass update. Better to use Mass Modify or Graphical Resource View to set all non-working time, for Labor and Crews.

More Holiday Entries

I’m only going to change the Hours on the 28th December for JWS, setting it back to 8 hours. This diversion to the People application has at least answered one question which I was coming to – What happens if you book vacation for a Full Week when the rest of the week continues on the next period? Answer, it still writes the modified availability records for the other working days in the calendar that are in the next period, January 1st in this case.

Back in Graphical Resource View, that’s better Jan-Willem Steur is now on holiday on 28th December and the total available hours for the Functional Consultants is correct. Now to fix my holiday.

I’ve added vacation days for 29th, 30th, and 31st December for Andrew Jeffery, double-clicking each cell in turn.

I’ve also added HOLIDAY – Public Holiday, to the RSNCODE synonym domain under the internal value NON-WORK and in the Graphical View I’ve selected HOLIDAY and added this on the 28th December for Andrew Jeffery. The colour used for the new Reason Code is the default for synonyms of NON-WORK, grey with a tinge of green perhaps. 

Unfortunately, there is no ability to Go To Labor or Go To People applications from the Graphical View, both would be useful.

Partial Day Team Meetings

There is a whole team meeting next week on Wednesday 28th at 15:30 to 17:00. I’ve used the Previous Period button (twice) to navigate back to October. I’ve selected the reason code MEET – Meeting, and Partial Day, then used the Select All Rows checkbox.

The Modify Availability dialog opens when you double-click one of the selected Labor that will attend the meeting. Unfortunately, you cannot see which record relates to which person, we are not all in the same time zone. The other oversight in this first release of this new application is that there is no way of modifying the start and end times for all persons, you have to make the changes individually, fortunately the meeting is due to finish at the end of the day. As you change the Start Time the Hours is calculated. 

Modifying Existing Unavailability

If you look to the column on 28th October, you can see that everyone now has the meeting booked. If you select a person and then double-click a date field with a partial availability you can modify or delete that record. Mine (Andrew Jeffery) is now set for 14:30 to 16:00 as I am one hour behind the Netherlands where my colleagues are based.

The reduction in availability for each craft is rounded after summing the total modified availability of each person. For example, for the Functional Consultant craft there are 3 persons x 1.5 meeting hours = 4.5 hours = 5 hours rounded, hence availability for other work is 24-5 = 19 hours.

Modifying existing Modified Person Availability records requires you to set the reason code to match with the records you wish to change, select the labor records and then on double-click in one of the cells for 28th October you get the same set of records we saw earlier. These have been modified to finish half an hour later to have a 2-hour meeting rather than 1.5 hours. When the OK button is pressed the availability on the craft drops to 18 for the Functional Consultants and 12 for the Technical Consultants.

You would use the same dialog if you wanted to delete the existing Modified Person Availability records for the team, but there is no way to move an existing meeting to another date, except delete and recreate.

Whole Day Team Events

The same approach is used for recording a full-day of unavailability for the whole team. This time, TRAIN (Training) is selected as the reason code, all Labor records are selected and then a double-click on one of the cells on the 29th October added the Full Day training session for the five persons, reducing the available hours for both crafts to zero.

Multiple Meetings on the Same Day

If you look at the cell for Andrew Jeffery on the 15th October there is a deep purple, I’d call it magenta, which indicates multiple partial day Modified Person Availability records. 

You cannot tell what the existing records are without double-clicking the cell – two meetings already. There is no New Row button. So, how do you create a third meeting?

The answer is to choose another non-work reason code that you think might not have been chosen before, PERS (Personal), then for the new Modify Person Availability record you can change the start and end times and the reason code.

As you can see, I have entered a third MEET (Meeting), a total of 5 hours, resulting in a reduction of hours from the 24 hours leaving 19 hours available.

Extra Time Events

In addition to the Non-Work Reason Codes there are also Work reason codes, by default these are WORK and EXTRA TIME. I will perform 2 extra hours on Monday 19th October. I have deliberately overlapped this with the normal work hours from 08:00 to 17:00. This Start Time of 16:00 will receive the error message “BMXAT1106E – Cannot add extra time that intersects with the shift working hours.” If you change this to be from 17:00 to 19:00, 2 Hours, then the record will be processed and saved to the database. The total hours have increased from 24 to 26 hours for Functional Consultants.

You would get an error if you tried to overlap a Non-Work reason code at a period of time that was in non-working time, the error is “BMXAT1116E – Cannot add modified availability that conflicts with existing records.”

There are some right-click options in the Description column:

  • View Craft/Skill/Work Zone
  • Crew Assignments
  • View Availability
  • View Assigned Work

All of these actions are for viewing records rather than modifying them. I’ll review these more in an article that focuses on Crew Availability.

Conclusion

The Graphical Resource View application was new in Maximo Scheduler 7.6.8 released in the summer of 2020, so the tests performed here have been made on this initial release, with no hot fixes or interim fixes applied. These are only tests based on Labor records, and not Crews, but I have found it to be pretty stable, a few teething issues perhaps.

This is a great improvement over the action Modify Person Availability in the People or Assignment Manager applications. You can make the additions and changes, or deletions with less clicks or keystrokes, particularly if you need to involve multiple People records. Its biggest benefit though is how easy it is to get a one-month view of the unavailability and its impact on craft hours, exactly why spreadsheets have been used up until now.

First impressions, a resounding 👍  from me.