Work Order Tracking – Assignments Overview

There is more to Work Assignments than you may think and naturally many Maximo practitioners look at Assignments as being a product of planning work or applying a Job Plan, which of course they are. But you can plan work in the Assignments tab of the Work Order Tracking application without using Job Plans or the Plans tab.

This article provides an overview of how the Assignments table window functions, all performed without creating a Job Plan or using the Plans tab of the Work Order Tracking application. The overview captures the main points from several other articles which provide the details, together stretching to more than 30 pages, too much for one article.

This overview is a summary of each article or section within those articles, and hence can be used to navigate from this overview to the detailed article. To get an overview of the Available Labor dialog or the action Reschedule/Unassign Assignments, you will need to reference multiple sections.

Simple Work Assignments in Work Order Tracking

A work assignment is a record that exists in the Assignments tab and Assignments table window of the Work Order Tracking application. I like to call it a work assignment because the term assignment may confuse this with using the fields in the Responsibility section at the bottom of the main Work Order tab, fields like Supervisor, Lead, Owner, Crew, etc. I prefer to think of these fields as providing “ownership” of the work order.

If you only assign by using the Responsibility fields, if you only determine “ownership”, then you cannot make much progress in using the Maximo Scheduler applications. If you use work assignments, then it is a relatively small step to make use of some of the Maximo Scheduler graphical applications. However, the Graphical Scheduling application does require you to use Job Plans and use the Plans tab of the Work Order Tracking application.

If you are currently assigning ownership but want to use the Maximo Scheduler then using the Assignments tab is a good first step to take, it gets you used to reviewing the work assignments and creating the data that it relies upon.

This first article introduces how to create simple work assignments, the sort of assignment that you might do for an emergency work order or call-out where there is no time to plan. In this scenario you are dispatching a labor or crew to a work order with an immediate scheduled start.

The main Assignment points from this article were:

Work Order Tracking – Assignments without Work Zones

With the first article focused on showing that you can dispatch labor from the Assignments tab, the second article shows that you can also plan future work from the Assignments tab. It does this without introducing the extra filtering conditions that work zones provides, that is the subject of the third article.

Planning Future Labor Assignments

When you use the New Row button on the Assignments table window you do not need to assign immediately you can plan future work.

The main Assignment points from this section were:

Assignments – Available Labor without Work Zones

When assignment records have been created with a future Scheduled Start date, then when it is time to assign, the Available Labor button is used. The behaviour of this dialog differs if work zones are being used. In this section we did not have any location or asset references, and so no work zone filtering.

The main Assignment points from this section were:

Reschedule/Unassign Assignments – Assignments Reference Tasks

The action Reschedule/Unassign Assignments can be used from any of the tabs of the Work Order Tracking application, how it behaves is dependent on whether you are referencing a work order or a task. This action is further discussed in the article Work Order Tracking – Assignments Miscellany. You might consider reading the first section of that article first.

The dialog that opens has two fields; they can be used together.

Work Order Tracking – Assignments with Work Zones

The second article showed that you can plan future work from the assignments tab and introduced the Available Labor dialog which filters labor by their default craft and skill level. In this third article we show that the Available Labor dialog is additionally affected by locations and assets that reference a work zone.

A Task Influences Available Labor on an Assignment

There are differences when the assignment record references a task instead of the task field being left blank and hence the work assignment belongs directly to the work order.

Available Labor based on Work Zones

Work Zones are used to group Labor and Crews based on the locality of where they work. Work Zones can be considered during assignment optimization to reduce travel time. Work Zones could be used for the floors of a building or parts of an oil refinery or chemical plant as it can take time to travel between floors or areas. A work zone does not have to mean geographically dispersed areas although this is the most common use case.

Work Zones on Locations and Assets

When a primary location references a work zone then work zone filtering occurs when selecting a labor for the assignment.

Work Zone Type and Work Zone Filtering of Available Labor

There is a work zone field on the Assignment record which also influences work zone filtering. The main Assignment points from this section were:

Work Order Tracking – Assignments Miscellany

This fourth article was a mixed bag of scenarios wrapping up items associated with Available Labor and Reschedule/Unassign Assignments dialogs, and how to handle assignments that cannot fit within the hours of one shift. It also introduced the Maximo Scheduler feature of Appointments, not Appointment Books which would be the subject of another article (or two).

In all four articles we have only dealt with labor and not yet crews. The article on crews, which is still to follow, will be at a much higher level as the expectation is that much of it will be familiar territory.

Reschedule/Unassign Assignments – Assignments Reference Work Order

When assignments only reference the work order and not a task then:

Assignments for more than one shift

For assignments that will take longer than the hours of one shift then:

Fully Assigned Labor

In the Available Labor dialog there are fields in the Labor table window that need explanation.

The “Include Fully Assigned” checkbox is normally set and includes Labor where the Assigned field is checked. If unchecked, it should exclude Labor where the Assigned field is checked, it doesn’t seem to do that, the issue has been reported to IBM Support.

You can make an assignment with a Labor when there is no availability.

In the Work Order Tracking – Assignments tab there are no warnings to let you know that:


There are two fields on an assignment, Appointment Required and Appointment Made. These only appear if you are licensed for the Maximo Scheduler.

Incidentally, there are no assignments on either the Quick Reporting or Activities and Tasks applications, they would exist behind the scenes, but they are not displayed in those applications.

One response to “Work Order Tracking – Assignments Overview”

  1. Sikandar KHan avatar
    Sikandar KHan

    Nice information about Maximo (FM0

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