Different types of assignments: Dedicated vs. non-dedicated
By default, planning with fixed duration and entering work or vice versa, fixed work and entering duration will not affect the assignment units. These will remain 100%, which you can call a fulltime or dedicated assignment.
A non-dedicated (part-time) assignment is when the resource is not working dedicated on a task, for instance if the resource is doing two or more assignments in parallel, due to waiting times on both assignments.
Non-dedicated/part-time assignments introduce multi-tasking, which is very inefficient. Please refrain from these part-time assignments anywhere you can.
There are three types of assignments, displayed in the image below:
- Dedicated (100%): the first task shows the default assignment pattern. This pattern is called ‘flat’, as this has equal hours per day throughout the assignment.
- Non-dedicated (e.g. 50%): the second task shows that the hours are spread according to the 50% assignment units. This is still a ‘flat’ pattern.
- Non-dedicated, contoured: the third task shows a ‘contoured’ pattern, the workload for the assignment varies per day. Other assignment patterns can be selected by:
- Double-click the assignment (e.g. the third task) so that the assignment information window appears.
- In the field Work contour select the work contour you want.
Important to know is that when you create a work contour, MS Project will maintain that work contour when you:
- Change the work or duration
- Reschedule the task to start on another date
- Enter progress on the task
By entering hours on a day-to-day basis (in the resource usage view or task usage view) you can create your own assignment pattern. This is not recommended as you will simply be too busy maintaining an amount of data on a very detailed level. However, as you are tracking progress you are basically doing the same. The dots between the bars in your Gantt chart indicate such a pattern. Dots simply mean that there is no work done/planned in this period.