This article will focus on scheduling and how to make and break assignments and will include the automatic splitting of assignments and merging split assignments. As previous articles have all focused on Labor, this article will focus more on crews, however, the majority of the article will still be relevant to those of you who only use Labor.

This article includes enhancements made to the Graphical Work Week application as part of IFIX004 including a change made to indicate when labor has been assigned to crews and the Adjust Crew Assignment dialog.

From the previous article we already had four work orders assigned to the HOMEINT1 crew. The crew is selected and the Resource View toolbar button Filter work order to selected resources is active, hence why you cannot see the other work assignments for Work List WW004.

The work orders were all scheduled to start at the beginning of the week on Monday 11th January 2021, hence with a crew load of 38 hours and only 8 hours available the cell indicates overloaded (red text) by -30:00 hours.

Scheduling Work Assignments

We want to reschedule the four work orders to different days in the week. There are several different ways of doing this. The first is to click the assignment bar, which selects the row, and then click and hold the bar as you move to the left or right. You will get a pair of parallel lines the width of the bar and text indicating the scheduled start date/time and end date/time, for example, 11/01/21 06:54 – 11/01/21 18:54.

Moving left and right changes the time by one-hour increments, but as you can see the Scheduled Start Dates were not conveniently starting on the hour, they were 54,55,57,57 minutes past the hour, the time taken from when the assignment was made in Work Order Tracking application, Assignments tab. You cannot change the minutes element of the time by dragging left or right.

However, and the second method for scheduling the work orders is to modify the Start Date field directly. It and the End Date are modifiable, this is called in-line editing. Just click in the Start Date field and edit, work order 1323 now starts at the shift start 07:00.

It looks as if the Start Date and End Date are the only two fields with in-line editing. The duration and the two constraint dates would benefit from the same treatment. A change to the duration would change the End Date of the assignment and the resource load.

RFE 147905 GWW – In-line editing for duration and constraint dates, has been raised.

Our third method, and a good way to correct the time element is to select multiple work orders and use the right-click menu option in the Gantt view – Set Work to Day. This opens the regular calendar dialog with the calendar and time.

I chose Tuesday 12th January 2021 and 07:00 and now the time element for the minutes is corrected to 00 for all three remaining work orders. Now it would be simple to click the bar of work order 1325 which selects it, and deselects work orders 1324 and 1326, and then drag it to the 13th January.

Notice the correction in the Resource View (lower pane) to the loads for 11th and 12th.

The fourth and final method is to use the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments menu option which can be found by a right-click in any of the Work View columns. I have selected the remaining two work orders 1325 and 1326 and have rescheduled to 13 January 2021 at 07:00 using the date lookup. The “Reschedule the assignments?” checkbox needs to be selected, otherwise you are also unassigning the assignments.

The result is a bit surprising perhaps but logical, I’ve sorted by Start Date to make the Gantt view easier to reflect what has happened. The work orders 1325 and 1326 were already assigned to crew HOMEINT1 and so just moving these two work orders to 13 January 2021 will mean that this day will remain overloaded. The Reschedule/Unassign Assignments action resolves the overloading by splitting the assignments to fit with the shift hours. Work order 1325 now performs 8 hours on 13th and the first 4 hours of 14th and work order 1326 has also been split filling the remainder of the 14th with 2 hours on Friday 15 January 2021. A useful feature.

There is still work order 1323 causing an overallocation on Monday 11th January 2021. If we select all work orders and choose to Reschedule to start on 11/01/21 07:00.

The result is that it will split work order 1323 after 8 hours and take the overallocation of 4 hours and create an assignment for the first available time, starting on 15/01/21 at 09:00, 4 days later!

To create your perfect schedule probably requires a combination of the four methods, sometimes moving a single work order, sometimes selecting multiple work assignments, perhaps using sort by priority, or perhaps moving all work orders to the Friday and then using the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments on the highest priority work orders first, filling from the beginning of the week before moving onto the next highest priority work orders.

Automatic Splitting

This section was performed with IFIX004 installed; at the end of this section, I’ll point out a difference with what you may have seen in the previous articles which were performed on Maximo 7.6.1.2 IFIX003.

We have seen that the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments performs automatic splitting of long duration work orders. This section will try to ascertain the logic of what is going on. For this purpose, I am using a new work order “1335 – Long work order splitting” that has just the one work order for a plumber requiring 32 hours of work. If the work week was free of assignment it would be split into four across Monday to Thursday, 8 hours each.

I am assigning to BRO – Bryan Rose, but I have added a full day assignment of another work order on Wednesday 20 January 2021, you can see the calendar icon indicating the external assignment.

When making the assignment for Monday 18/01/21 it is split into four with 8 hours each on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and finishing on Friday 22/01/21 15:00 at the end of the shift. I have cancelled so that I can make the next test.

This time the external assignment for BRO – Bryan Rose on Wednesday 20 January 2021 is not a whole day but 7 hours of his 8-hour shift, leaving 1:00 hour of availability. The assignment this time splits into five and uses the 1 hour on the Wednesday, perhaps not what you would do if you were doing this manually, more likely you would ignore the 1 hour on the Wednesday.

I’ve complicated the splitting a little more by giving BRO – Bryan Rose a half day holiday on Friday 22nd and there is a midday meeting for 2 hours on Thursday 21st.

Now there are 6 splits but only one shown for 21st for 6 hours. It has also now split across into the following week starting on 25th January 2021 07:00 for the last 5 hours.

If you look at the Start Date and End Date columns the 4th assignment starts on 21st at 07:00 and finishes at 13:00, but the meeting is between 10:00 and 12:00, perhaps it should have split around the meeting. The issue has been reported to IBM Support.

Postscript. IBM Support has said that this is working as designed, when splitting assignments, it does not take into account other assignments on the day, only the hours are considered so that it does not over allocate a resource.

Notice that the Percentage Allocation column now shows 100% and is dark green colour.

I’ve just increased the external assignment on Wednesday 20th back to 8 hours and there is now an over allocation by -1:00 hour on this day. I did this to show that the percentage allocation only turns to a red background when the percentage allocation is greater than 100% and not equal to 100%.

In the final test in this section, I have changed once more the external assignment, this time to a fixed appointment of 2 hours on Wednesday 20th January 2021. Unavailability in this week is now 2 hours of external assignment, 2 hours of meeting and 4 hours of holiday, leaving 32 hours remaining, just enough for the 32-hour work assignment on work order 1335.

A fixed appointment is one where the schedule dates are locked, probably because you have an appointment with a third party or because another technician has been scheduled for the same time.

The assignment is split into 5 parts one on each day.

All of the resulting assignments start at 07:00 on each day, they do not split around other work or other partial periods of unavailability that fall in the middle of the day, like a meeting.

Notice that the percentage allocation is 100% and there is an external assignment. Previously our installation was interim fix IFIX003 and external assignments were not taken into account when calculating percentage allocation. This has now been corrected with IFIX004.

Split Assignments Across Shifts

This next section will examine the automatic splitting when the calendar is working with multiple shifts. I’ve created a new work order 1339 for 32 hours of the crew type HOMEINT – Home Internals – Snagging Crew, with scheduled start 25-January-2021 at 07:00. This work order has no location or asset and so will not be affected by work zones when selecting crews.

  • Crew HOMEINT1 is now working the 2-SHIFT calendar and DAY shift from 07:00 to 15:00 Monday to Friday
  • Crew HOMEINT2 is now working the 2-SHIFT calendar and EVENING shift from 15:00 to 23:00 Monday to Friday

I’ve created a new Work List WW008, specifying the calendar 2-SHIFT and this time I have selected multiple Shifts, DAY and EVENING. The number of shifts you can include is governed by a System Property skd.gww.allowedShiftCount which by default is set to 3. The more shifts there are the greater the impact on performance, so you need to consider this.

In the Graphical View tab, we see our work order 1339 which has not been assigned yet, and the two crews HOMEINT1 and HOMEINT2.

What we want to achieve is the 32 work hours being performed in two days by allowing both shifts to work on the same work order.

When we select the work order 1339 and make an assignment by double-clicking 25-January-2021 for crew HOMEINT1 then the Assign Crew dialog will open, it will split the work assignment into four on consecutive days for this crew.

Notice that both of the crews are showing as matched to the work order, their columns both have a dark turquoise background colour.

I’ll use the cancel button so that I can perform another test.

This time I have selected both crews and double clicked on Monday 25th January 2021 for the HOMEINT2 crew. Maximo Scheduler has not attempted to split the assignment across multiple crews.

I did perform some tests using the Interruptible attribute on Work Order Tracking, I didn’t think it would make any difference, I was correct. Therefore, it looks as if currently you cannot use the auto-split feature to split an assignment across multiple shifts.

The work around is to change the Crew in the Assign Crew dialog, the crew field is editable, and then manually move the assignments to the required schedule dates. I did try a few other techniques for rescheduling assignments but dragging the bar to the right position worked best.

In the Assign Crew dialog, you can change the crew on one of the assignments or delete an assignment, but you cannot change the Scheduled Start date or any other fields, just the crew field. There is a similar dialog Assign Labor when splitting a long assignment for a craft, but the Labor field is not modifiable in this dialog.

Merge Split Assignments

We have seen that the Reschedule/Unassign Assignments performs automatic splitting of long duration work orders that do not fit within the hours of a shift work period. So, what if we didn’t want the split that has now occurred?

I have returned to the WW004 Work List, the four work orders 1323, 1324, 1325 and 1326, for 36 hours of a HOMEINT crew type were split to make 7 assignments across the week of 11th January 2021. The Gantt View right-click menu on a work assignment bar now has an additional option – Merge Split Assignments, you only get this on the assignments that have been split.

When you use the action, the result is that the two assignments for work order 1323 have been joined back together on 11 January 2021 at 07:00.

There is no corresponding Split Assignment action. Splitting occurs either automatically through the Reschedule/Unassign Assignment action or when you make an assignment. For example, if there was a 6-hour duration work assignment and only 2 hours left in the date where you are making the assignment, then it will be split, and the remaining 4 hours will be found at the next available point in the schedule.

It would be nice to be able to split a long assignment prior to it being assigned to a labor or crew, and also after it has already been assigned, and perhaps we will see this in later releases of the Graphical Work Week application, a dialog already exists (optsplit).

RFE 147886 GWW – Manually Split Assignments, has been raised.

Work Zone Validations

Up until now the work orders have had no locations or assets and hence there could not be any work zone validations.

The crew HOMEINT2 now has the default work zone of NWMA – North West Massachusetts. Crew HOMEINT1 has the default work zone of NEMA – North East Massachusetts.

I’ve used the Unassign menu option on the 4-hour work assignment that had been assigned to crew HOMEINT2 and moved it back to Monday 11-January-2021 at 07:00, it is now at WAITASGN status. The work orders 1323, 1324, 1325 and 1326 now all reference the OFFICE location which belongs to the NEMA work zone.

On the Work View toolbar, the button Filter resources based on the selected work orders has been used and this has filtered the resources to crews HOMEINT1 and HOMEINT2, although with work zone validation only HOMEINT1 would be a match.

There is currently little implemented in Graphical Work Week with regard to work zones, the work zone column in not available on either the Work View or the Resource View, although this could be remedied with some configuration. In Work Order Tracking, the Available Labor and Available Crew dialogs filter when work zones are being used and there is a warning when assigning outside of the work zone. The same capability should be available to Graphical Work Week, but probably implemented in an entirely different manner.

RFE 147971 GWW – Make a resource match by Work Zone obvious and align with WOTRACK, has been raised.

We can verify this by navigating back to the Work Order Tracking application and Assignments tab and using the Available Crew button. With a suitable date range then HOMEINT1 is a match with the Scheduled Start Time of 15/01/21 09:00 being the first time which this crew would be available, we have seen this before. In Work Order Tracking application, none of the Select Values would allow crew HOMEINT2 to be selected.

Back in Graphical Work Week application, if you select the unassigned assignment and then try to assign to HOMEINT2 then there are two possibilities depending on the Organization setting “Warn if Assigned Outside of Work Zone?” which can be found in the Action “Other Organization Options”:

  • If unchecked then the assignment is made to crew HOMEINT2 which would not be selectable in Work Order Tracking application, unless going to the Crew application and returning with value.
  • If warning is checked then the assignment fails to complete, it looks as if the application is trying to do something, but it fails, probably it is trying to output the warning message.

This has been reported to IBM Support, separately from RFE 147971.

Postscript. IBM Support has said that currently the Graphical Work Week application does not take into account work zones.

Preferred Labor

When you select a work order or work assignment the matched resources are shaded in blue.

  • A darker turquoise is a match by craft and skill level
  • A lighter turquoise is a match by craft and a higher rank skill level

In this particular case work order 1334 requires a craft/skill level of CARP-SECONDCLASS, Lee Murphy (MURPHY) who has an exact match is coloured darker than the three CARP-FIRSTCLASS resources which are still highlighted because they have a higher rank skill set. Notice SMALL – Mike Small, is not highlighted because he has a lower ranking skill set, an APPRENTICE.

Note, I have used the Filter resource based on selected work orders button. It only shows the labor with a default craft of carpenter.

If I toggle the Filter resource based on selected work orders button to now remove the filter it also shows other crafts that can provide either CARP-SECONDCLASS or CARP-FIRSTCLASS as a secondary craft. I had demoted BRO – Bryan Rose from CARP-FIRSTCLASS to CARP-SECONDCLASS to verify the highlighting. BRO is an exact match and so has a darker turquoise background even though it is not his default craft.

If I change BRO – Bryan Rose again, he now is a CARP – Carpenter with no skill levels, then on refreshing the work list, BRO is no longer highlighted.

I’ve now changed work order 1334 to only require a CARP – Carpenter with no skill levels. All the labor that have CARP as their default craft are highlighted, including SMALL – Mike Small the APPRENTICE. There is no difference in background highlighting, well there is a very slight one for GRANGER and SCHAFER but this is inter-row shading as there is on the work view.

For Secondary Craft BRO – Bryan Rose is highlighted in a darker turquoise than LIBERI and STORM. This is because BRO – Bryan Rose is a perfect match; his CARP secondary craft has no skill level. STORM and LIBERI both reference CARP with a skill level.

When the assignment is made, in this case to Lou Granger on Tuesday 19th January 2021, then the highlighting no longer seemed to make sense. SMALL is highlighted, but why him? Also, BRO – Bryan Rose is no longer highlighted but others like LIBERI retained the highlighting.

It took a while to figure out what was happening.

The craft data for GRANGER was as follows:

  • CARP – APPRENTICE – Is Default =1
  • CARP – FIRSTCLASS – Is Default = 0

Navigating from work order 1334 through to Work Order Tracking application and the Assignments tab, you can see that the assignment has changed from craft CARP with no skill level to CARP – APPRENTICE. This came about because of the assignment to GRANGER, I presume APPRENTICE is chosen over FIRSTCLASS because it is the default.

I followed through on some other tests (not shown here) and found that the Skill Level field on the assignment record is changed to that which belongs to the assigned resource. If you unassign, it reverts to the skill level that comes from the associated Planned Labor record for the assignment.

Now what we saw makes sense. The assigned assignment requires a CARP – APPRENTICE. Mike Small (SMALL) is a CARP – APPRENTICE, hence why he is highlighted with a darker turquoise. All other carpenters have a skill level hence why they are shaded with a lighter turquoise. The same background colouring is given to LIBERI, although this is a secondary craft for her. Bryan Rose (BRO) has no background highlighting because his is a match only by craft and not craft and skill level. If you revert him back to CARP-SECONDCLASS he becomes highlighted with the lighter turquoise, a match but not an exact match.

For crews the preferred resource works slightly differently, there is no skill level. In both cases the colour is dark turquoise.

  • If the work assignment is already assigned, then the assigned crew is highlighted, HOMEINT1 in this case.
  • If the work assignment is at WAITASGN status then crews belonging to the required crew type are highlighted, in this case both HOMEINT1 and HOMEINT2 are highlighted.

Assigning to the wrong Labor or Crew

I’ve unassigned labor GRANGER from work order 1334 and it changed to requiring a CARP craft with SECONDCLASS skill level. If you try to assign a work order to the wrong skill level, SMALL is only an APPRENTICE, a lower rank skill level, then in the Assign Labor dialog you will receive the warning message “You are assigning the work to a resource that does not match the work requirements.”

If you ignore the warning and proceed by pressing OK, then the bar will be coloured red and the description will be highlighted with a yellow background. There is also a reference to the validation in the tool tip, Alt/Option-Click.

When you use the Refresh Work List action the highlighting will have disappeared, also the validation in the tool tip.

There is a similar message on crews that you receive in the Assign Crew dialog. In this case work order 1334 requires a CARP – SECONDCLASS labor, but I attempted to assign crew HOMEINT1 on 20 January 2021. I know that doesn’t make sense, but in this case the Assign Crew dialog opened.

If you continue and close the dialog with the OK button, then Maximo makes the assignment changing the craft CARP – SECONDCLASS to a crew HOMEINT1 on the assignment. To indicate the mismatch the description field is highlighted with a yellow background, the bar is coloured red and the tool tip indicates the validation. This highlighting will disappear when the work list is refreshed, for example by using the action Refresh Work List, all as we saw before.

Using the right-click menu option to Unassign, which is found in the Gantt pane for work assignment 1334, the status has been returned to WAITASGN and the Resources column shows CARP – Carpenter, this has been derived from the associated record in the Plans – Labor tab in Work Order Tracking application.

Scheduling as you Assign

As you assign you are also setting the schedule dates on the work order. There is a System Property mxe.skd.syncwodates and this section is all about how this property effects scheduled start and finish dates on the work order or task, and then what differences we find, if any, when using the Graphical Work Week application.

But why is there a setting? Some clients will be doing long term planning and using the Graphical Scheduling application to determine whether they have the capacity to execute all of their work orders in a period, they will be setting schedule dates based on their planning activities. Other Maximo users do little planning except for PM work, they are assigning labor or crews to tasks, the schedule dates on work orders are best derived from the assignment dates and they want to synchronise the work order schedule dates based on those assignments.

In Work Order Tracking application, on the Assignments tab you can create an assignment and set a Scheduled Start (SCHEDULEDATE). The Hours field (LABORHRS) is used to derive an assignments Scheduled Finish (FINISHDATE), this field is normally hidden. Together these two fields derive the work order’s Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish dates.

Increase the Hours and on save of record the Scheduled Finish of the assignment is recalculated and the Scheduled Finish on the work order is reset accordingly.

Change the assignments Scheduled Start to a later date and on save of record the Scheduled Finish on the assignment is recalculated and the Scheduled Finish date on the work order is also changed to this value, however, the work order’s scheduled start is not changed, if the setting of System Property mxe.skd.syncwodates is set to 0.

Change the assignments Scheduled Start to an earlier date than we had originally and the Scheduled Finish on the assignment is recalculated and the Scheduled Start date on the work order is changed and aligned to that on the assignment, however, there is no change to the Scheduled Finish date on the work order.

What is happening in Work Order Tracking application, when mxe.skd.syncwodates is set to 0 is that only one of the Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish dates are being set if the assignment is moved:

  • If assignment finish is later than the work order’s scheduled finish, then change the scheduled finish, and not the scheduled start.
  • If assignment start is earlier than the work order’s scheduled start, then change the scheduled start, and not the scheduled finish.
  • If the assignments new start and finish is between the current work order’s scheduled start and scheduled finish, then there is no change to those dates.

When mxe.skd.syncwodate is set to 1 and there is only one assignment on the work order then the scheduled start and scheduled finish on the work order is synchronised with the assignments scheduled start and finish.

If there are multiple assignments to the work order, then the scheduled start on the work order is the earliest scheduled start of the assignments and the scheduled finish on the work order is the latest scheduled finish of the assignments. If you hadn’t displayed the assignments scheduled finish date, then this would be the latest date calculated by applying the assignment hours to the scheduled start of each assignment.

So, what happens in Graphical Work Week? I’ll start with the default setting for the System Property, mxe.skd.syncwodate is set to 0.

The assignment has a field called Scheduled Start (SCHEDULEDATE) and the Hours (LABORHRS). The ASSIGNMENT table does have a STARTDATE and FINISHDATE attributes. The STARTDATE attribute is set when the assignment status is changed to STARTED, it is not relevant in the context of this topic. The FINISHDATE attribute is set by adding the LABORHRS to the SCHEDULEDATE.

I have used the Lock/Unlock Durations button and changed the duration to 8:00 hours. I’ve then locked the duration by using the button again.

Back on the Work Order Tracking application the assignment for work order 1334 now shows 8 hours and the Scheduled Finish on the work order has been changed to 20 January 2021 15:00. Incidentally, the assignments hidden FINISHDATE attribute has been changed to the same date/time.

Back on Graphical Work Week application I have now used Set Work to Date menu option on the Gantt bar to move the assignment to 22 January 2021 starting at 07:00.

On Work Order Tracking application, the Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish of the assignment is aligned with the new position of the bar in Graphical Work Week. The work order’s Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish are aligned, this is different to how it works in the Assignment tab of Work Order Tracking application, the Scheduled Start will not have changed.

I used the menu option Move to Today on the bar of work order 1334 in the Gantt pane, and it moved the assignment to start on 19 January 2021 07:00.

On Work Order Tracking application, the Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish of the assignment is aligned with the new position of the bar in Graphical Work Week. The work order’s Scheduled Start is the same as the assignments, but the work order’s Scheduled Finish is where it was previously. This is how it works in the Assignment tab of Work Order Tracking application.

I ran several more tests on this and with mxe.skd.syncwodate set to 0 the Scheduled Start of the work order follows the Scheduled Start of the assignment and the Scheduled Finish of the work order is the latest that it had been set by any of the moves of the Gantt bar or other actions. Therefore, the work order Scheduled Start is different to how it would be if you made the assignment in Work Order Tracking application whereas the Scheduled Finish of the work order is the same as that made on the Assignment tab of Work Order Tracking.

I’ve used the Create Assignment action to create a second assignment for the same work order.

On Work Order Tracking application, you can see the two assignments with Scheduled Start and Scheduled Finish of each assignment reflecting the assignment bar dates in Graphical Work Week.

The Scheduled Start on the work order is the earliest of the Scheduled Start of the two assignments. The Scheduled Finish on the work order is the latest of the Scheduled Finish that the assignments had seen, but not the current latest scheduled finish of the assignments.

I again ran some more tests and the Scheduled Start date follows the earliest of the Scheduled Start dates of the work assignments and the Scheduled Finish date on the work order remains the latest schedule finish that either of the assignments has been set to.

With mxe.skd.syncwodate set to 1 and when only moving the assignment bars using the Gantt pane in Graphical Work Week then the work order schedule dates are easy to understand, they are simply the earliest scheduled start date of any of its assignments and the work order scheduled finish is the latest scheduled finish of any of its assignments. The Work Order Scheduled Dates are being synchronised from the scheduled dates of its assignments.

I’ve now added two tasks to work order 1334, 10 and 20. The CARP assignments have been added to task 10 and a new ELECT assignment has been added to task 20. The work order has Include Tasks in Schedule set (1). If this checkbox was not set (0) then you would not see the three assignments although that is where the craft requirements are defined.

I have moved the assignments around task 10 now runs from 19 January 2021 07:00 to 21 January 2021 15:00 and task 20 runs from 22 January 2021 07:00 to 12:00 same day. If you navigate from the Work column to the Activities and Tasks application for task 10 and task 20, those are the schedule dates you would find, the assignments have been synchronised to their parent record – which is a task record.

If you navigate from the work order to Work Order Tracking application and Assignments tab the work orders schedule dates are correct, they have been synchronised. Scheduled Start is 19 January 2021 07:00 and Scheduled Finish is 22 January 2021 12:00.

Back on Graphical Work Week application what you will need to remember to do when using task-based assignments is occasionally use the Refresh Work List action. This has now drawn the work order bar from its Scheduled Start to its Schedule Finish, as these had been synchronised from the assignments everything lines up perfectly.

The System Property mxe.skd.syncwodate when set to 1 will roll the tasks scheduled start/finish up to the work order.

Assign Multiple Assignments in one action

You can assign multiple assignments in one action by selecting them first. Notice the position of the time now date line (dotted red line), it is 2/3rds through the shift on Wednesday 20 January 2021.

You can only double-click in one cell, and so you can only assign multiple assignments to the same labor or crew. Watch carefully what happens to schedule dates of both Carpenter assignments, will they jump to the cell you click?

We will assign to MURPHY – Lee Murphy as he was an exact match to the requirement of CARP – SECONDCLASS, hence why he was highlighted in a darker turquoise background colour. I actually double-clicked the cell of the 19 January 2021, but as that is in the past the assignments can only be made from time now onwards.

The first assignment was automatically split into two because if scheduling is to start now at 20 January 12:32 (time now) it does not give enough time in the shift to complete the task. 2:28 hours will be performed on 20 January and 5:32 hours tomorrow on 21 January 2021.

The second assignment is also pushed out and split. It could not start until 12:32 on 21 January and hence will be 2:38 hours long finishing at shift end, and the remaining 5:32 hours will start on Friday 22 January 2021 07:00 at shift start.

If you make an assignment earlier than time now Graphical Work Week assumes that you are dispatching to perform the work at the earliest available time periods. This could end up with a split assignment being quite far apart if you had already performed some scheduling. Therefore, you should look at the Assign Labor dialog, and ascertain whether you wish to proceed with OK or Cancel.

The result is that task 10 is now at ASSIGNED status with Scheduled Start from 20 January 2021 12:32 through to a Scheduled Finish of 22 January 2021 12:32. There was no change to task 20 which was the latest of the two tasks finishing at 22 January 2021 at 12:00.

We’ll now check out the schedule dates of the tasks and the work order to see how the mxe.skd.syncwodate System Property has handled this when automatic splitting has occurred.

For task 10 the Scheduled Start is 19 January 2021 07:00 and Scheduled Finish is 22 January 2021 12:32. The scheduled start did not change, perhaps because it was in the past of the time now date line, the scheduled finish was set correctly.

For task 20 there was no change.

For work order 1334 there was no change, it was as we saw before in the previous section Scheduled Start is 19 January 2021 07:00 and Scheduled Finish is 22 January 2021 12:00.

I think there are two issues here:

  • Automatic Splitting of a task when making an assignment that has scheduled start before time now does not change the tasks scheduled start to reflect the scheduled start of the assignment.
  • Automatic Splitting of a task when making an assignment is not rolling up changes to the work order when mxe.skd.syncwodate is set to 1.

Both issues have been raised with IBM Support.

Adjust Crew Assignments

When you right-click in a cell for a Crew resource, if you have IFIX004 applied or later, then a new menu option will be found – Adjust Crew Assignments. The action will also be found as an action in the Graphical Crew Management application and as a button in the Maximo Everyplace applications.

To illustrate how this action works I have created two new work orders both of which require a crew type of HOMEINT for 8 hours. I have scheduled these for 1 February 2021. The work list (WW009) starts on 1 February 2021 for 28 days. When testing labor and tool assignments it is worth performing this in the future as you cannot modify assignments which are in the past.

A crew has labor and tool assignments. For labor this is made to particular positions in the crew over periods of time defined by an effective date and an end date, the end date may be left open. For tools a crew has a tool sequence, for example, a utility crew may need more than one traffic light, hence why the term tool sequence is used instead of just tool. When a labor or tool assignment is made to a crew it may either be a permanent assignment with no end date, or a temporary assignment where the labor or tool is being assigned to a crew for a particular period. Assignment periods cannot overlap, so in Maximo crew functionality you may find that the addition of a temporary assignment may cause other crew assignments involving the same labor to be stopped, or new ones added after the temporary assignment has completed.

For our example both crews require:

  • LEADER position, craft ELECT – FIRSTCLASS
  • HELPER position, craft PLUMB
  • HELPER2 position, craft CARP – SECONDCLASS
  • Tool Sequence HI01, tool HAND IMPACTOR

You will see that we have no labor because the two work orders do not require a craft. I want to show also what happens to Labor resources as we assign them to a crew and so I’ll create another work order and include this.

Work order 1344 has been included in the work list, it requires 8 hours of each of the crafts we have in the crews.

The Adjust Crew Assignments dialog has two parts and is launched from a crew record and for a particular date, these two fields are filled depending on where you launch the Adjust Crew Assignments dialog from.

The first part focuses on what sort of adjustment should be made, there are three sets of radio buttons:

  • To Add a new assignment, Replace an existing assignment, or Remove an existing assignment
  • Whether the action will be a Permanent or Temporary adjustment
  • Whether the action will be for a Labor or Tool assignment

12 combinations in all. The two table windows below this show the current labor or tool crew assignments as of the date/time displayed. These are two new crews, and so there are no current assignments. Add – Temporarily – Labor is the default combination for the three sets of radio buttons.

After the selection is made the Next button is used.

The 2nd part of the dialog is different for all 12 combinations. If you were looking in Application Designer, you would find 13 dialogs with the title Adjust Crew Assignment. The one called crewassign is the first page of the dialog, examples of others are addtemplabor, reptemptool, rempermtool, etc, but I think you’ll be able to work out the naming convention.

I had selected to add a permanent labor position. You need to select the Position, Labor and an effective date which normally will be left to the date where you launched the menu option from, but it is modifiable. Something to bear in mind with the Add crew assignment adjustment is that you can add a new position to the crew and add a labor to this position in one action, for example a DRIVER position. The Crew Type may not reference a DRIVER, that is OK, it would be added just to this one crew, HOMEINT2 in this case.

The permanent dialogs have no end date as it will be left open-ended, they have a mandatory effective date. You will see later that the temporary dialogs require you to enter both an effective date and an end date. The effective date defaults to the start time of the shift, the end date defaults to the end of the shift for the date found in the first part of the dialog.

I added to Position ELECT labor AJE – Andrew Jeffery (me), when you press OK the second part of the dialog closes, leaving the first part which allows you to select another combination. So, we will add a permanent position for:

  • HELPER – Craft PLUMB, Labor BRO – Bryan Rose
  • HELPER2 – Craft CARP, Labor MURPHY – Lee Murphy

I’ve filtered for AJE, BRO, MURPHY in the Resource column, you can see that each cell now shows 0:00 availability from 01 February 2021. If you scrolled to future weeks you would find exactly the same thing. The icon in each cell is the Adjust Crew Assignment dialog.

I am not sure about showing the Adjust Crew Assignments dialog on a Labor record, what crew are you infact adding, replacing or removing from? As it happens both MURPHY and BRO had been assigned to HOMEINT1 on 11 and 12 January 2021. Using the Adjust Crew Assignments on MURPHY showed HOMEINT1, using the Adjust Crew Assignments on BRO and AJE showed HOMEINT2. For this to be useful, when it opens it should be selecting the crew that the labor is assigned to on the date selected. This issue has been raised with IBM Support.

The other point to note from this screenshot is that the percentage allocation is showing at 0% when the labor is assigned to a crew for the whole week. This is the same value as it is on the Assignment Manager application.

Adding a Permanent Tool requires that you enter a tool sequence and a rotating tool asset, the tool asset in this case is not in a storeroom.

If I launch the Adjust Crew Assignments from 2 February 2021, you will see that the current Labor and Tool assignments are shown. Notice that the time element of the Date field is 00:00. This means that launching from the first day that the crew members and tools are assigned will not show in the dialog, this is because their effective date is not until the shift start at 07:00. The issue has been reported to IBM Support.

BRO – Bryan Rose, wants to be on holiday for three days in February 8-10 and so we need to replace his labor assignment to crew HOMEINT2, but it will be temporary just for this period. We launch the Adjust Crew Assignment dialog on the 8 February 2021 for crew HOMEINT2 and choose the radio buttons Replace – Temporarily – Labor.

The second part of the dialog requires us to select the person we want to replace, BRO in this case, the HELPER position, and we select the replacement labor, AWA – Andy Warren. The final step is to review and adjust, if necessary, the End Date, it defaults to an effective period of just one shift, I changed this to 10 February 2021 at 15:00.

Reviewing the Plumber craft, we can see that Bryan Rose doesn’t have the crew assignments on 8, 9 and 10 February. His previous crew assignment now finished on 08 February 2021 at 07:00 and he has a new permanent crew assignment starting on 10 February 2021 15:00, the end time of his shift on the last day of his holiday. Another crew labor assignment for AWA – Andy Warren has been added for the period 8-10 February 2021, this has both an effective date and an end date. You can see that making one change can create multiple adjustments, three in this case, two for BRO and one for AWA.

Now that BRO has been removed from the crew, we can assign his holiday.

The last illustration will be to temporarily remove the tool assignment for the same period 8-10 February 2021 as it is needed for another assignment. The radio buttons are set to Remove-Temporarily-Tool.

When removing a tool, we need to select the asset number from the tools assigned to the crew. The “Remove from” field is defaulted to the date selected and time the shift starts for the crew 08 February 2021 07:00 and you enter a “Remove till” date and time, I entered 10 February 2021 15:00. The dialog shows the existing Effective Date and End Date before any changes are made.

In the Crews application the original Tool assignment now has an End Date of 08 February 2021 06:59 and the new tool assignment Effective Date is 10 February 2021 15:01. There is a very slight difference to the handling of labor around the beginning and end of shifts.

When performing a permanent removal of a tool or labor you are entering an End Date for the current assignment.

Maximo handles all of the adjustments to the other crew assignment records affected by the change you are making. For example, if you assign a labor to a crew and the labor already exists on another crew then this crew assignment needs adjusting as the labor cannot be on two crews at the same time for the same period.