All about resource pools
Resource pools are ad hoc groups of resources that administrators or resource managers can create in Polaris. These groupings can be used when requesting resources, when fulfilling resource requests, and to filter analytics charts.
To add resource pools and assign resources to them, administrators need the following enabled in their Administrator permission profile:
- Edit permission for Resource Pools under Permissions for System Data
- Edit permission for Resource Pools under Permissions for User Profile Data
To add resource pools and assign resources to them, and to access resource pool data, resource managers need the following enabled in their Resource Manager profile:
- Edit permission for My Resource Pools or All Resource Pools
- Edit permission for Resource Pools under Project Resource User Data
Resource pools are more flexible than groups, in a few ways:
- You can create as many resource pools as you need
For example, you could create a resource pool for each contractor vendor you use, to easily filter, sort, and view data for that vendor.
- Resource pools have no group types
You don’t need to create a set of resource pools under a type – you can simply create each group you need.
- You can add a resource to as many resource pools as you like
A user can only be assigned to one group within each group type – for example, for the Departments type, they can only be assigned to the Development team or the QA team, not both. Using resource pools, you could create a pool for developers and one for QA, and the resource can be assigned to both.
- Resource pools allow customers more control
Without group type and number limitations, customers can decide exactly how they group resources Polaris, and can create their own custom group hierarchies, like a pool for each location + vendor.
Resource pools are a flexible way of grouping resources, so they can be used to aid in resource allocation and tracking in many scenarios. A few common applications are outlined below.
Some companies employ contractors to carry out work, and want to track and preferentially assign these contractors to certain projects. These companies can create a resource pool for each vendor they use, which will help them allocate those resources and track their work.
Companies often offer particular groups of resources training opportunities. For example:
- Those employed for 1 year or less may be eligible for certain training programs and opportunities, or
- A sub-set of resources from each department may be selected for leadership or skill certification
Companies can assign groups like these to resource pools, to better direct the types of projects they’re assigned to work on. The resource pool manager can act as the internal contact for members enrolled in such training.
Best worker lists
A company might want to use its strongest workers for all new clients, then shift them to newer workers after a year or two. Assigning the best workers to a resource pool makes it easy to identify key workers when carrying out allocation.
Post-merger group management
If a company merges with or acquires other companies, project managers and departments are typically shared across the merged company. However, if you want to retain any groups reflecting the original company structures, you can link those resources using resource pools. Further, each manager’s level of access can be controlled using the My pool and All pool permissions.
- Administrator ensures required permissions are assigned.
- Administrator or Resource Manager creates a resource pool.
- Administrator or Resource Manager assigns resources to the pool, either during pool creation, or after, in user or resource profiles.
Then, use for resource allocation:
- Project Manager includes the resource pool in resource requests.
- Resource Manager fulfills a request for a resource pool by filtering and sorting by resource pool, and allocating a resource pool member.
- Resource Manager views and allocates resources on the Quick Allocation page to see what projects resource pool members are working on, and to quickly assign members.
Or, use for data analysis:
- Resource Manager views consolidated data for resource pools in analytics charts by filtering by resource pool on the Resource Management page.
Project managers can include one or more resource pools as criteria in a resource request. This means SmartMatch will consider resource pool membership when making suggestions.
To include a resource pool in a request:
- Go to Projects > Project Name > Resourcing > Request Resources.
- Click Group Requirements.
- From the Resource Pool(s) field, select the pool whose members you want to request.
- Complete the other fields, and click Request Resource.
You can also set the relative importance of matching the resource pool during allocation, versus the other request criteria, by using the Set Importance link.
Refer to Requesting project resources for more information on submitting resource requests.
Request managers can filter and sort resources by resource pool when allocating resources.
On the Resource Allocation page:
- Any requests that have a resource pool included in their criteria display an icon. If you hover over this icon, the names of the requested resource pools will display.
On the allocation page:
- You can filter the resource list to show only resources that belong to a particular resource pool by clicking the icon beside the pool name.
- You can add a Resource Pool column to the table by clicking the icon
Then, selecting Resource Pools for the second or fourth column
- You can see whether each resource is part of the requested resource pool – and how well they match other request criteria – by hovering your cursor over their SmartMatch score.
Refer to Fulfilling resource requests for more information.
To see what projects resource pool members are working on, resource managers can filter the Quick Allocation page by pool. To do this, click the icon in the Search bar, and choose one or more pools by name.
Once the list is filtered by resource pool, it’s also easy to quickly find and allocate members of that pool to appropriate projects.
Refer to Using Quick Allocation to add, edit, and view resource allocations for more information.
Resource managers, both local and global, can view allocation and availability data for members of a resource pool, which can help them track resourcing for sub-sets of users. They can track things like:
- Resource availability for a resource pool
- Skills offered within a pool
- The number of requests pending, so you know which pools don't have a backlog
To view data on the Resource Management > Overview page, click the icon in the Search bar to filter by a particular resource pool.
Then, all charts on the page will update to display only data for members of that pool.
If you filter by a resource pool, do charts include hours worked as part of that pool, or all hours for that pool’s members?
Resources can only be allocated to projects and tasks as individuals; entire resource pools cannot be allocated as a unit. Therefore, charts include all assignments and allocations for each individual, not just those that included a resource pool in the request.
Can I request that an entire resource pool to be allocated to a task?
No, you can only assign one resource for each role. If you include a resource pool in a request, members of that pool will be prioritized by SmartMatch when it makes its suggestions, but only individual group members will be allocated, not the whole team.
Do project managers need any special permissions to include a resource pool in a resource request?
No, that field is available by default.
Can I see resource pool data in reports?
No, not currently.