The Graphical Work Week application was introduced as part of Maximo Scheduler 7.6.8 in the summer of 2020. It has been modelled on the Assignment Manager application, with a split screen, work assignments on the top and labor and crew resources on the bottom. As the name implies it is a week-by-week view.

This article is the overview for the application, but it is the first part of a series of articles that will provide a deep dive into the application. The set of articles are as follows:

  1. Graphical Work Week – Overview
  2. Graphical Work Week – Work Tab
  3. Graphical Work Week – Work View
  4. Graphical Work Week – Resource View
  5. Graphical Work Week – Assignments
  6. Graphical Work Week – Miscellaneous

Overall, the articles stretch to some 100+ pages, this overview is mainly a summary of the other articles.

Overview

The Graphical Work Week application is focused on week at a time scheduling and assignment. It will pick up and use the schedule dates created by the Graphical Scheduling application. There is overlap with the Graphical Assignment application which has more functionality particularly around dispatching, you cannot show dependencies, perform a CPM schedule or enter progress in the Graphical Work Week application. The focus is very much on the assignment of work, a graphical representation of the Assignment Manager application.

The top section is based on the work assignments, you can also see work orders with no assignments and create them as part of assigning to a resource. The work list is based on a calendar and shift for when work is to be performed. When compiling the work list, you can use the actions to create it from the Graphical Scheduling or Graphical Assignment definitions. A rolling project will pull-in new work assignments which you might do each day or more frequently if you tend to have a lot of emergent work.

The bottom section is the resource view showing a craft with the labor below or crew type with the crew below. The resource queries are restricted to those on the shift and may be further restricted by work zone, work location or any other query that has been defined. You can see which craft or crew types are overloaded for the number of resources that are available because their load/availability values will be shown in red. You can then filter the work assignments based on the resource and reschedule some of them to another day. When doing so, the schedule window between the Start No Earlier Than and Finish No Later Than constraint dates will be shown.

You make assignments by selecting a work assignment, the resources that could match are highlighted, you then double-click the cell for the resource where you wish to make the assignment. You can make multiple assignments to a resource in one action. When assigned you can export the assignments to the calendar of the resource (.ICS). The assignment bar colours show assignment status or priority, and then other colours indicate the validation state when the assignment is made so that it is easy to spot when the skills do not match, or the assignment was made outside of the schedule window of the work assignment.

Each cell in the resource view shows the number of hours remaining to be allocated, with any unavailability or extra time also displayed. You can modify labor or crew availability from the resource view, you can modify the availability of multiple persons, for example when scheduling a meeting. The resource view shows percentage allocation for the week, this is colour coded, turning red when the resource has been overloaded with work assignments.

Columns can be sorted, and records can be filtered. You can filter resources based on selected work and filter work based on selected resources. There is hover-over text and tool tips, and right-click menu options, for example to see the work assignments made, create new assignments or to merge assignments that had been automatically split. In the resource view you can view external assignments and adjust crew assignments for labor and tools.

Work Tab

The Graphical Work Week (GWW) application would be used by schedulers or supervisors who are assigning labor and crews to work orders. It wouldn’t be used by planners, in most cases the work orders should already be planned, and this creates the assignments waiting to be assigned, the Graphical Scheduling application would be used by planners. The application wouldn’t be used by dispatchers, as there is no ability to start, interrupt and complete the assignments, the Assignment Manager or Graphical Assignment applications would be better suited to dispatchers.

The Graphical Work Week application is based on a Work List, which is a container for a set of work orders defined by work queries. The Work List is shared among other Scheduler projects and so a convention may be necessary to avoid getting duplicate error messages. The Work List requires a calendar and shift and a start date and end date. The start/end dates are used to query the work orders that have a scheduled start date between these dates. There is a check box “Include Work Orders Without Dates?” which adds a Scheduled Start date to any work order or task that hasn’t one.

Work orders would normally be planned, in which case a work assignment exists for the craft and crew type, or they may be unplanned, no craft or crew type requirement has been established yet. You can create new assignments from the Graphical Work Week application for these unplanned work orders by making an assignment to the labor or crew resource.

You do not need to have a work query, but it would be typical to restrict the set of work orders, as there may be many work assignments that are on open work orders between the start and end dates that you provide. The planning horizon is typically the current week and next week, but as you are fine tuning the scheduling and making the assignments for next week, you will probably require a date range of at least 21 days, perhaps 28 days in order to move work orders into a following week if they can’t be scheduled for the next week because of capacity issues.

The resources that appear in the Graphical View tab will be those that are required by the work orders defined in the work queries and which have scheduled start dates between the Start Date and End Date of the Work List and which have the same calendar and one of the referenced shifts of the work list. If your work orders only require the craft of ELECT – Electrician, then only labor with a default craft of ELECT will be displayed. If one of your work orders requires a CARP – Carpenter, then the labor with a default craft of CARP will also be displayed. However, there may be resources with a secondary craft of ELECT or CARP which you wish to assign, but they will not be displayed unless their default craft is ELECT or CARP. Therefore, if assigning work to secondary crafts is normal, you will need to make sure that the work queries include a set of work orders that require the default crafts of the labor you wish to assign, even if you do not intend to assign those work orders yet.

The Restrict Resource Availability queries will narrow the list of labor and/or crew resources from those that have a default craft of any of the planned craft on the work orders or their assignments, or which have a crew that belongs to the planned crew type on the work orders or their assignments. These resource queries may be by work location, crew work group, or work zone, for example.

The Graphical Work Week application has two actions to copy the Work List definition and queries from a Graphical Scheduling or Graphical Assignment project, this is useful if those applications are already being used as they will be the applications providing the scheduled start dates. The Graphical Work Week application also supports a rolling schedule. As the work week currently always starts on a Sunday then this would probably be best scheduled once per week on a Sunday.

When using the Graphical Work Week application if you believe you have data issues in your Calendar, Queries or Assignments you can navigate from the Work List field using the action Go To Scheduler Data Manager to this new application that can help you validate your data for issues.

Graphical View Tab – Work View

The Work View is the upper pane on the Graphical View tab. The Resource View is the lower pane.

The Work View shows work orders, tasks or work assignments as one flattened view, there is no hierarchy as found in the Graphical Assignment application. The Work View is split between columns and the Gantt chart that displays the work bars. It is a one week at a time display and you use the Next Week and Previous Week buttons on the toolbar to navigate, alternatively a double-click in the Description column will take you to the week of the work record’s scheduled start date.

There is a wide range of columns coming from either the work order, task or the work assignment record. The Status column shows the status of the work record, it might show the work order status or the assignment status. Similarly, the Resource column might show Craft or Crew Type if the work record is unassigned, or the Labor or Crew if it has been assigned and the status now shows ASSIGNED. The assignment statuses are either WAITASGN or ASSIGNED, it does not go beyond this making the Graphical Work Week application not suitable for dispatching scenarios, nor a complete replacement of the Assignment Manager application.

There are a wide range of actions from either the work order field or the description field, some of these can be applied to multiple selected work records, for example to Change Status, Select Owner, or Modify Work Details which allows you to mass update Priority, Supervisor, Lead, Target Dates, etc. The status and priority fields are colour coded, although the priority field loses its background colour when an assignment has been made. There are System Properties to allow you to set your own colours.

The Gantt bars can be moved, or the duration changed and the bar action Set Work to Day can be used to move multiple work assignments to another week when the resource load is too much to complete for the current week. There are other bar actions to Create Assignment, Delete Assignment or Unassign the assignment. The Create Assignment action duplicates the assignment and unassigns it. There is no functionality to create an assignment for a specific craft or crew type, or to change the craft when making an assignment.

The Gantt display is enhanced by showing the Start No Earlier Than (SNE) and Finish No Later Than (FNL) constraints as thin/thick solid red lines. If you move the scheduled dates beyond the constraint windows the description is highlighted with a yellow background and the bar changes to a red colour, the tooltip explains the validation issue. You can add a work log note to the assignment and the bar will be treated with an icon to indicate that the note exists. Other work log notes can be viewed using one of the bar actions. When you make an assignment to a labor with the wrong craft there is validation that highlights the issue similar to that seen for work bars that slip beyond their constraint dates.

You can filter the work records and sort by multiple columns, some columns have a dropdown list. The filter button provides for different types of filtering depending on the field type. In the toolbar there is a button to “Filter resources based on the selected work orders” which will be used frequently as you make the assignments.

When making assignments for work orders and tasks where the duration is greater than the shift length, or where there is not enough time left in the shift, then the Graphical Work Week application will automatically split these into multiple assignments. The application is trying to fill the work week from the beginning of the shift avoiding, to some extent, overlapping assignments for the same labor or crew. The automatic splitting feature will ensure that a resource is not overloaded on a shift, but it is not micro-managing the resource load minute by minute, an assignment could occur at the same time as a meeting defined in the middle of the day. The Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action when used with multiple work records will also smooth out the assignments to ensure that any shift is not overloaded, but again some overlapping may occur.

Graphical View Tab – Resource View

The Resource View is the lower pane on the Graphical View tab below the Work View. The Resource View shows the Craft and Labor, Crew Types and Crews, which match one of the resource requirements of the work orders, tasks and assignments selected by the work queries and displayed in the work view. The resource view rows are then filtered to those resources that meet one of the Restrict Resource Availability queries. If a craft or crew type is not required by one of the work orders selected by the work queries, then it and its Labor and Crews will not be displayed. Labor records are also only included according to their default craft.

As the work view changes from week to week, the resource view will not provide a consistent set of resources to assign the work to, the set of resources will also fluctuate from week to week. For many clients this will have a negligible effect, for others they may need to include work queries for work that they do not intend to assign, or it is not their responsibility to assign, simply to be able to have the set of labor and crews that they could assign to their work. This is quite different to the Assignment Manager application which uses a Labor or Crew query. RFE 147315 has been raised to address this.

The Resource View is where you make an assignment to work or where you define periods of unavailability or extra time, in Maximo this is referred to as modified availability. The Resource View is split between resource columns and resource cells representing each day of the week and which aligns with the Gantt display in the Work View. There are not so many resource attributes to choose as columns as there are in the Work View. The resource columns do support a menu of functions and navigation to the native resource applications, Crafts, Labor, Crew Types and Crews. The notable function is that of Export to Calendar which will create a calendar import file (.ics) for the assignments which have been made, a nice feature. Of the Resource attributes the Allocation column will show the percentage allocation of the labor or crew based on resource assignments (load) and availability for the week.

The matrix of resource cells, one for each day of the week and resource type, is where most of the activity takes place when you are using the Graphical Work Week application. This layout is similar to what is found in the Assignment Manager application. For Craft and Crew Types the cell represents load/availability, for example 16:00/24:00 would indicate 16 hours of work assignments and total availability of 24 hours, likely to be 3 persons working an 8-hour shift. These cells change colour when load exceeds availability. For Labor and Crews the value displayed in the cell is the remaining hours in the shift, if overloaded the cell also changes colour, negative values are in red text.

You can use the resource toolbar to add periods of unavailability or extra time. You select a reason code and then an availability type, Full Day, Partial Day, Full Week and then you double-click a cell to apply, and this creates the modified availability record(s). For a Full Week you just need to double-click any of the cells, and it fills for the work days of that week and resource. This also works when multiple resources are selected, making it easy to set-up a team meeting for 2 hours at the start or end of a shift, for Partial Day a dialog opens to allow you to adjust the start and end time. There is a colour associated with each reason code and this is defined as System Properties, the background colour of the cell changes according to the reason code, partial days by a coloured triangle. This aspect of the Graphical Work Week application works identically to the Graphical Resource View application, which would still be used for holidays and other absences which are in the future beyond the period defined in the Work List.

A cell may also show a calendar icon when there is an external assignment for the resource, this is an assignment to a work order which is not included in the Work List queries. With IFIX004 applied (Dec 2020) the same icon is displayed when the labor is assigned to a crew. The Adjust Crew Assignments dialog is used to make adjustments to this crew assignment from within the Graphical Work Week application.

The Resource View toolbar also includes the ability to filter, select the visible columns and filter for work that matches the selected resource(s).

Graphical View Tab – Assignments

There are multiple methods used for scheduling assignments either by moving the Gantt bars, performing in-line editing of the start/end dates, or by using a menu option like Set Work to Day, or Reschedule/Unassign Assignments.

When you make an assignment the Graphical Work Week application will automatically spread the resource requirement into available time in the shifts. For example, a long running work order might be split across multiple shifts of the same resource, it will not schedule work into time which is outside of the shift’s work period taking into account modified availability. If there are multiple work orders requiring the same craft which are aligned at the beginning of the week, then multiple of these records can be selected and when assigned to a labor the work bars are spread across the week filling the work hours as it goes. Any expected unavailability or extra time should be defined before starting to assign work.

The automatic splitting function does not create a perfect schedule, for example, if you are assigning on a day where there is not enough available time the assignment will split, the second half may not be the following day, but whenever that resource is next available. If there is availability the following day at the start of the shift, it will be assigned on this day, but it does not take into account any other assignments on this day or partial periods of unavailability, you might find the split assignment now overlaps with a meeting, it does not split around the meeting.

A dialog does pop-up as the assignment is made and it is worth examining how the assignment will be split, because you may choose to cancel. If you do not like the way the split occurred, then a menu option allows you to merge the split assignments. It may be that you need to reschedule the assignment so that it either avoids splitting or splits more favourably. There is no ability to manually split an assignment, RFE 147866 has been raised for this.

When you are working with multiple shifts in a calendar and you have a long running assignment then you may want to assign to multiple labor or crews working different shifts. The assignment will split but as you can only click one cell to make an assignment all splits will be for that resource. For crews the dialog does allow you to change some of the split assignments to a different crew, but not for labor, and you cannot change the schedule dates in these dialogs. However, once the split has occurred you can manually move the bars to create the schedule you would prefer. For labor that would require you to unassign and reassign some of the split assignments.

Assignments can have a required work zone and in Work Order Tracking and the Assignments tab the Available Labor and Available Crews dialogs will take into account whether the resources can work in the work zone. An assignment made to a resource that either has no work zone or different work zone(s) will be provided with a warning when the assignment is made. The Graphical Work Week application currently does not apply these work zone validations and warnings, and there are no work zone columns in either the Work View or Resource View, although that is easily configured. RFEs 147867, 147971 have been raised.

As you select a work assignment the Graphical Work Week will highlight matching resources in the Resource View using a turquoise background colour. The method it uses depends on whether the craft assignment has a skill level, it is also different for crews. When you make an assignment, you may find that the assignment requirement has changed, for example if the requirement is for a Carpenter and you assign a labor with Carpenter and skill level Second Class, then the assignment now indicates CARP-SECONDCLASS, so the highlighting of the same assignment may change in a short period of time making a user wonder what is going on. If you do make an assignment with a mismatch of craft or skill level, you are warned and if you proceed the assignment record will be highlighted until you refresh the work list records from the database.

The Graphical Work Week application can schedule as you make assignments, it does not require you to have previously used Graphical Scheduling or Graphical Assignment to create an outline schedule for your work orders and assignments. There is a System Property that can be set to roll the schedule dates of assignments up to tasks and work orders. There are some differences between how the schedule start and finish is derived on a work order when you make the assignments in Work Order Tracking and when you make the same changes in Graphical Work Week, the difference is in the approach to the start date. I did find that the work order schedule dates were not always being set when automatic splitting occurred, and a case has been raised with IBM Support.

If you have 7.6.1.2 IFIX004 (or later) applied then for crews you will have the menu option to Adjust Crew Assignments, these are the labor and tools assigned to the crew. You will also find this option on a labor record that is assigned to a crew. The dialog that opens allows you to add, replace or remove a labor or tool assignment either permanently or temporarily from the crew. This dialog is found elsewhere in Maximo, a useful addition and illustrative of a desire to continue to enhance this new application.

Miscellaneous

The last article on the Graphical Work Week application is a mixed bag, a deeper dive into the Work View and Resource View toolbars, other pieces of configuration or points that had not been addressed fully in the previous articles. As the other articles are already large, this will be where I add new enhancements that are added to the application in the future.

At the time of writing, it is 23rd January 2021, it includes functionality through to IFIX004. Most of the other articles were written with IFIX003 installed, and I have highlighted the few places where IFIX004 made a difference.

As you proceed through the other articles you will notice that the Sunday (first column) in the Resource View is always shown in a background grey colour. It doesn’t happen on other systems hosted by IBM, but to date I have not been able to track down the reason for this, no doubt I will do.