In the article – Simple Work Assignments in Work Order Tracking – I showed that you could use the Assignments tab to dispatch a labor to a work order without using a Job Plan or using the Plans tab of the application. You can find the article here: https://maximosecrets.com/2020/11/30/simple-work-assignments-in-work-order-tracking/

In this second of a series of articles, I’m going to continue to explore the Assignments tab for making work assignments, still without using a Job Plan or the Plans tab. This is to show that even if you do not have time to plan work other than for Preventive Maintenance you can still work towards those goals by getting used to working with Assignments.

Some users may find that there is no work plan, and the work order status is at approved (APPR) or later. The default setting is that the planned labor, materials, services and tools are now read-only, and security may stop a user from being able to change status back to waiting to be approved (WAPPR) state. At approved state or later the Job Plan field is also read-only. Fear not, you can plan labor or crew needs with the Assignments tab.

My preference is for all work orders to be properly planned using Job Plans and/or the Plans tab before they are approved, but that is not always the case especially for urgent and emergency reactive work, or callouts with service providers.

In this article we will look at planning with assignments, using the Available Labor dialog to make an assignment and then the Reschedule/Unassign action to remove the assignments. Work Zones has an influence on the available labor and crews, so this article starts with seeing the assignments made without any effect from work zones. The third article in the series will use work zones.

Planning Future Labor Assignments

My minimalist work order, 1299 – Assignments without a Job Plan, has no location or asset and is already approved, status is APPR. On the Assignments tab the Available Crew and Available Labor buttons cannot be used yet, you will end up with either:

  • BMXAT0649E – You cannot assign a crew until an assignment has been created. Click New Row to create an assignment.
  • BMXAT0234E – You cannot assign labor until an assignment has been created. Click New Row to create an assignment.

Using the New Row button, I’ve created an assignment for a craft PLUMB – Plumber for 4 hours in two weeks’ time with the assignments Scheduled Start on 14-December-2020 at 08:00, today is the 1st December. The Scheduled Start on the work order has been set the same and the Scheduled Finish has been calculated using the assignment hours, it finishes at 12:00 same day. The assignment status is WAITASGN – Waiting to be Assigned.

One of the advantages of using the Plans tab is that you can give a quantity of a craft resource and Maximo will create multiple assignments for you. In our case we have entered a second assignment with craft PLUMB – Plumber scheduled to start at the same time as the first.

I’ve also created a third assignment for craft CARP – Carpenter, to make good after the plumbers have done their work. The assignments Scheduled Start for the carpenter is the following day 15-December-2020 at 08:00, also for 4 hours. The work order’s Scheduled Start and Finish is recalculated, in this case the Scheduled Finish is adjusted to 15-December-2020 at 12:00.

The work order’s schedule dates are being updated because the assignments are made against the work order and not a task, this will become clearer later.

You can still add tasks to the work order by using the Actuals tab. I’ve created two tasks:

  • 10 – Replace radiators for vertical flat panel, pipes to be in wall behind boxing
  • 20 – Replacing boxing to hide pipes, and add floating shelves

A task will allow you to associate an Inspection Form or derive a percent complete for the work order both of which are beyond the scope of this article.

Notice that the tasks default to a status of WAPPR. I’ve used the Change Status button on each task, the traffic light, to change status to APPR – Approved. I’ve also associated the tasks with the three work assignments.

Although we have not planned the work order in the traditional manner of using a Job Plan or using the Plans tab you can still use the Assignment Manager application and in Maximo Scheduler Graphical Work Week or Graphical Assignment applications.

In the screenshot I have filtered for Work Order 1299, selected the three assignments with tasks 10 and 20 and then used the button “Filter Labor to Match Work”. I could start assigning here but I want to continue with the Work Order Tracking – Assignments tab.

The four resources found are AWA for the PLUMB craft, but Andy Warren does not have a calendar or shift, I’ll need to fix that. For the craft CARP- FIRSTCLASS the labor found were FINLEY, GATES and LOU.

Assignments – Available Labor without Work Zones

The Available Labor button uses the current assignment Craft and Skill Level if applicable and filters for availability in the period defined by the Scheduled Start and Hours. In this case it found no plumbers, Craft = PLUMB, in the period from the Scheduled Start of 14-December 2020 to the day after, 15-December-2020.

This is looking for Labor who have a default Craft of PLUMB. If the Labor has a secondary craft of PLUMB they will not be shown. The Labor must have a calendar and shift defined. An inactive Labor will not appear in the Available Labor dialog.

I’ve created two new Labor records and assigned them to the DAY/DAY calendar and shift. Both BRO – Bryan Rose and PBA – Pat Barker have PLUMB as their default craft. The DAY/DAY calendar/shift starts at 07:00. The Start Time shown in the Labor table window will be the earliest time that the labor is available to start from the date of the Scheduled Start. In this case the Scheduled Start was 14-December-2020 at 08:00, but the earliest each of the labor could start on their shifts is 07:00 the same day.

When BRO – Bryan Rose is selected from the Available Labor dialog he is transferred to the Labor field and the Assignment Status is changed to ASSIGNED. The assignment’s Scheduled Start is changed to the first available time in the shift, i.e., 07:00 on 14-December-2020. There was no change to the Scheduled Start on the work order. Do you know why?

When I use the Available Labor button on the second assignment with craft PLUMB, notice that both BRO and PBA are available, but the availability of BRO – Bryan Rose is now 11:00 as the previous assignment has allocated him between 07:00 and 11:00 – 4 hours. If I had selected him, he would now not be available until 15-December-2020 at 07:00. We won’t do this, because it is a two-person job, I’ll select PBA – Pat Barker for the second plumber.

For the carpenter requirement, craft CARP and skill level FIRSTCLASS there are two persons available both on the DAY/DAY calendar/shift. I’ll select GATES – Warren Gates.

With GATES – Warren Gates selected as the CARP-FIRSTCLASS the assignment’s Scheduled Start is 15-December-2020 07:00 which means that the expected finish will be 11:00 same day. There has been no change to the Scheduled Finish on the work order. All three work assignments are now at ASSIGNED status. It looked as if assigning a Labor to the work assignments does not change the work order’s Scheduled Start and Finish dates. What is actually being updated is the Scheduled Start and Finish dates on the tasks. I’ll demonstrate that in a subsequent article.

Incidentally there was a record for LOU – Cindy Lou as CARP-APPRENTICE on DAY/DAY calendar/shift. Cindy Lou happens to have CARP – FIRSTCLASS as a secondary craft and skill level which is also marked as DEFAULTCRAFT=1 on the LABORCRAFTRATE table. To have multiple records marked as a default craft makes this a data issue, perhaps at one time there was a software issue which allowed multiple labor-craft records to be set as a default. I’ve corrected the data, hence why LOU did not show in the Available Labor dialog for the CARP craft.

The Select Value on the Labor field shows labor that have the craft and skill level defined in the labor craft rate table, i.e. it may either be their default craft and/or skill level or a secondary craft and/or skill level.

In subsequent testing, not shown, when the assignment references a craft for which there are several shifts the Available Labor dialog shows all those labor with this craft as their default craft. The Shift is shown in the dialog and the Start Time will be the earliest the Labor is available in that shift. For example, if the Scheduled Start was for 11:00 then Labor in the DAY shift might show a Start Time from 07:00, the EVENING shift from 15:00 and the NIGHT shift from 23:00. If the Scheduled Start date is in the past the From date in the Available Labor dialog will only show from today.

Reschedule/Unassign Assignments – Assignments Reference Tasks

In the next article I want to illustrate how the assignment can be influenced by work zones. I can remove existing work assignments by using the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action, which is available for the current work order, and also operates against a selected set of work orders from the List tab of the Work Order Tracking application.

There are two fields:

  • Reschedule Date changes the Schedule Start date of the work order
  • Reschedule the assignments is normally checked but it will unassign the assignments when it is unchecked.

I have set the Reschedule Date to 16-December-2020 07:00 and unchecked “Reschedule the assignments”

This set the Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish on the work order with the change of date to 16-December-2020 07:00 specified in the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments but it had no effect on the three work assignments. The reason for this is because those assignments are against the tasks of the work order and not against the work order itself. Tasks are also stored in the WORKORDER table.

You need to first use the Available Queries – All Records, this selects both work orders and tasks, then perform an Advanced Search on the Parent WO field, in our case to set the parent as 1299, which will find the two tasks.

Now you need to use the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments from the List tab. You will receive the message “BMXAA2185W – This action affects all 2 records in this result set. If you would like to select one or more records to apply this action to, click Cancel, then: – select the desired records using check boxes on the List page – select the action you would like to perform on them. If you want to proceed with the action on the entire result set, click OK.”. I used the OK button.

This time I chose 14-December-2020 07:00 and unchecked the check box to remove existing assignments associated with the two tasks.

This resulted in the removal of the assigned Labor from the three assignments, which are now all at WAITASGN status. The Scheduled Start has also been removed. Notice there is no change to the Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish on the work order, can you guess why?

It is the tasks we were updating, both tasks have been modified to start on 14-December-2020 07:00 and with a 4 hour Estimated Duration they will finish at 11:00 same day.

In conclusion to this article, you can plan future work assignments using the Assignments tab you do not need to use a Job Plan or the Plans tab. The Available Labor action filters by labor based on their default craft and skill level matching that referenced on the work assignment. You can reschedule or unassign the assignments using the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action. Whether the assignments reference the work order directly or whether they reference a task has an impact on what schedule dates are being updated. We will review this last point a bit further in the next article.