Work Order Tracking – Assignments Miscellany

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Assignments tab of the Work Order Tracking application.

In the first 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:

In the second article – Work Order Tracking – Assignments without Work Zones I showed how to plan and schedule work orders just from the Assignments tab, still without using Job Plans or the Plans tab. This included the action Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action and the Available Labor dialog. In this article the available labor was not affected by work zones, you can find the article here:

In the third article – Work Order Tracking – Assignments with Work Zones I showed how the available labor dialog is affected by the work zones associated with location and asset records, you can find the article here: .

This article is a mixed bag still with a focus on Labor rather than Crews, including the handling of work assignments across multiple shifts, the meaning of fully assigned labor in the Available Labor dialog, an explanation of the appointment checkboxes, and a revisit to the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action which is where we will start.

Reschedule/Unassign Assignments – Assignments Reference Work Order

I’ve removed all of the assignment references to a task and used the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action on the work order. I am rescheduling to 07-December-2020 at 13:00 and removing the assignments by unchecking “Reschedule the assignments?”.

This removes the labor references for all three assignments, changes their assignment status to WAITASGN, and removes the Scheduled Start date on the assignment. The Scheduled Start on the work order is set to the date/time entered in the dialog. It is both changing the scheduled start and removing the assignments when there are no assignments referencing a task.

Another example, this time work order 1308 has no tasks and two assignments for 16th and 17th December. The craft PLUMB has already been assigned to AWA – Andy Warren.

We will reschedule the assignments to 09-December-2020 07:00.

The result is that the assignment with Labor AWA has been rescheduled to 09-December-2020 at 07:00 but the second assignment for a CARP has had the Scheduled Start removed. The Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish dates on the work order reflect that of the one assignment for Labor AWA.

On a separate work order 1309 with one assignment for craft PLUMB and Labor AWA – Andy Warren on 17-December-2020 07:00 for 4:00 hours. If we use the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action to reschedule to a date/time when the Labor is not available, what happens?

The reschedule will find the next available time for the Labor, in this case the following day 10-December-2020 at 07:00.

Assignments for more than one shift

When you have a work order that requires more hours than the length of one shift you can handle this in the Assignments tab by creating three assignments on consecutive days. There is no ability to split an assignment from the Work Order Tracking application.

In this example for work order 1300 a total of 20 hours of a craft PLUMB – Plumber is needed across three consecutive days, so we have three assignments, two days with 8 hours on the 07th and 08th of December and a morning on the 9th December 2020. We have assigned BRO – Bryan Rose to all three assignments. At the time of the assignment Bryan was not scheduled for anything else.

Notice the work orders’ Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish have been adjusted to align with the work assignments with a Scheduled Finish of 09-December-2020 at 11:00.

In another test, which is not shown, I created task 10 on work order 1300 with an assignment requiring 20 hours of a craft ELECT-FIRSTCLASS with a Scheduled Start of 07-December-2020 07:00. I assigned labor HORN using the Available Labor dialog, the Scheduled Finish on the task was 08-December-2020 03:00. There is no splitting of the assignment over the end of the shift irrespective of whether the Interruptible field on the task is set or not. To have the work order assignment split across shifts you will need to use the Assignment Manager application, Graphical Work Week or Graphical Assignment applications.

Fully Assigned Labor

Back on work order 1299 and the Assignments tab, when we use the Available Labor button on the first assignment for a craft PLUMB, the dialog shows labor BRO – Bryan Rose as before, however this time the Available Hours in the two-day date range of 7-8 December 2020 shows 0:00 Available Hours and the Assigned checkbox is checked. This Assigned checkbox will be checked when there is no availability in the date range.

When you uncheck “Include Fully Assigned?” and use the Refresh button I expected this to exclude labor that are not available and for Labor BRO to disappear, as you can see, he didn’t, the issue has been reported to IBM Support.

Notice also that the Start Time for labor BRO is 08/12/20 15:00. This is the end date/time of his availability during the date range of the dialog, which is also currently the end time of his shift. I think this would be more useful if it always showed when the resource was next available even if that was outside of the period of time defined by the From and To dates.

I’ve extended the date range to include the 9th December 2020 and used the Refresh button, it has found that BRO is available from 11:00 on the 09-December-2020 and 4 hours can fit in to the available time in his shift. Notice the Available Hours is 4:00 and as there is availability the Assigned checkbox in unchecked.

I did another test which I haven’t illustrated, but if Bryan had booked 4 hours of vacation from 11:00 on the 9th December 2020 then the Available Hours would have shown 0:00, “Assigned?” would be checked, and the Start Time would be 09-December-2020 11:00; it shows the end point of availability, and not the end point of the shift.

When BRO showed unavailable in date range from 07-08 December the start time was 08-December-2020 15:00. In this date range Bryan had zero availability but you can still select him. The assignment is now at ASSIGNED status and the Scheduled Start of the assignment is 08-December-2020 15:00, pushing the work order’s Scheduled Finish out to 19:00 on the same day.

I am not advocating you assign when there is no availability this is more of a warning that you can assign when there is zero availability. There is no warning message to say the labor is unavailable and no warning to say that you are assigning into a period outside of the labor’s shift.

If you look on Assignment Manager you can see that there are 24:00 hours of assignments in the Work List, but the reduction in availability is 20 hours in the Labor List. The % Alloc (allocation) of 50% is 20 hours assigned from 40 hours of shift, and so is excluding the extra 4 hours on 08-December-2020 after the end of the shift day.

Assignment Manager is only showing availability within the period of the labor’s shift including any of their modified availability records, and if you over allocate within the shift period the availability will turn negative. If there are assignments outside of the shift these are not shown in the Assignment Manager application.

I have added 4 hours of EXTRA TIME at the end of the shift for BRO – Bryan Rose on 08-December-2020.

After adding the 4 hours of Extra Time the availability still shows as 0:00 on 08-December-2020. You can see that the extra time has had an effect because the percentage allocation “% Alloc” has changed from 50% to 55% and the Labor record has now changed colour. The % Alloc (allocation) of 55% is 24 hours assigned from 44 hours of shift, 54.54% or 55% with a bit of rounding. The 44 hours of shift is Bryan’s normal 40 hours of shift plus the 4 hours of EXTRA TIME.

My advice here is if you wish to over assign a person on a day by allowing them to do extra time then modify the availability of the person first.

If you were using the Assignment Manager application or you had access to Graphical Work Week as part of Maximo Scheduler you would find that the available hours in a week were far more obvious and that you would be more successful in assigning within the availability of the labor’s shift rather than over assigning. Graphical Work Week also shows all hours in a day making it more obvious when an assignment has been assigned outside of shift hours.


In previous Assignment articles or even in earlier sections of this article you might have noticed the Appointment Required field at the end of the Assignments table window. The Appointment Required checkboxes will only appear if you are licensed for Maximo Scheduler.

On the Assignments tab there is also a table window called Appointment Book Assignments, this is a different feature of Maximo Scheduler and will not be covered here.

On the main Work Order tab of Work Order Tracking application in the third column is an Appointment Required checkbox. You will also find one on the Plans tab for both the Children and Tasks table windows. When checked the Appointment Required on the work order is defaulted onto the tasks but not the child work orders.

For new assignments the Appointment Required check box will be defaulted from the work order setting. For Task 20 I had made sure that its Appointment Required field was left unchecked, it did not uncheck the Appointment Required field on the assignment, so the assignment’s Appointment Required field appears to only be defaulted from the work order.

For the three existing assignments changing the Appointment Required field on the work order had no effect on their settings for this field, therefore, it only has an effect when creating new assignments.

In the details section you can see that there is an Appointment Made checkbox, this will make the Scheduled Start of the assignment read-only when checked.

For the fourth assignment I have added a requirement for a second CARP – Carpenter, with Skill Level FIRSTCLASS with a Scheduled Start of 09-December-2020 at 08:00 and set the Appointment Made checkbox. On save of record you should be able to make out that the Scheduled Start field is now read-only, it has been locked in place.

This only has an effect on the assignment and not on task 20, its Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish are enterable.

Changing the Appointment Required field on the assignment to uncheck it, has no effect on the Appointment Made field and the assignments Scheduled Start will remain read-only.

In a further test, not shown here, I wondered what the point of the Appointment Required field on the task was if it did not default the setting onto the assignment. The setting of the Appointment Required field occurs when a new row occurs in the Assignments tab, normally the task field will always be blank. However, if you use the query All Records in the List tab of Work Order Tracking application this will allow you to see tasks as records, then make a query in the Parent WO field of the Advanced Search using the work order number for which the task belongs, then with the task as the active record the creation of an assignment does default the Appointment Required field on the new assignment from the same field on the task.

Note. The Activities and Tasks application does not have a tab to show the assignments, or create new assignments linked to the task.

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