I wish to know how to insert a new assignment in the Resource Usage view or Task Usage view in MS Project. In my project, we have ad hoc tasks frequently cropping up and resources have to spend time working on those. Hence, when entering project status I want to be able to add the new tasks in the resource/task usage view itself.

There is an "Insert Assignment" option in the context menu but it is grayed out. I want to understand in what cases it is active. Are there any settings for it?

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The Insert Assignment choice in the shortcut menu does work if you have an assignment selected. However, it is not active in Project 2013.

Assuming you are using Project 2010, in the Task Usage view, click on an assignment (represented by the resource name), right click and choose Insert Assignment. A blank assignment row is added, type the resource name to add to the task and press enter.

In the Resource Usage view, click on an assignment (represented by the task name), right click and choose Insert Assignment. Type the name of an existing task, or, if you type the name of a task that does not exist, Project will prompt you to create the task. However, inserting tasks from the Resource Usage view would not be on my recommended list. You cannot link the tasks, not set a duration for the task from the Resource Usage view.

However, if you need to add new tasks - and you are in the Task Usage view - just add the new task - do not choose Insert Assignment.

The 'Resource Usage' view in MS-Project is a representation of the Tasks joined to the allocated Resources. In order for an item to appear in the Resource Usage view you must already have a task (add one in the Gantt view or the Task Sheet view) to which one or more Resources are allocated. Create a Resource in the Resource Sheet view and allocate it to a Task (many ways of doing this, but for a quick way use the 'Assign Resources' tool, Alt-F10). The usage of that resource will appear on the Resource Usage view showing the hours the resource is spending against their allocated tasks on a periodic (usually daily) basis.

The Task Usage view shows how tasks are scheduled over time on a periodic basis (usually daily). By adding a Task on the Task Sheet it will be allocated in time (by you if Manual Scheduling, or by MS-Project if Automatic Scheduling) and it will then appear on the Task Usage view.

MS-Project is not a time tracking system and is therefore not designed to capture working time against ad hoc (i.e. unplanned) tasks. In order to record Actual time against a task, the task must first exist in the project plan. Whilst these can be added at any time, it is not possible to add them by default by adding an entry on the Resource Usage view.

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  • Thanks for reply @Marv! However, I still have a lingering doubt. If it is not possible to insert assignment in the resource usage view, why is the option even there? Are there any specific situation wherein it is permitted? Would it not be better to remove it altogether instead of keeping it grayed out? Furthermore, although I think it is out of the ambit of this question, I feel it is important to capture unplanned tasks and for purely recording purposes as well as for their effect on planned tasks. – Pradosh Manerkar May 31 '15 at 6:53
  • I think the addition of 'Insert Assignment' on the context menu of the Resource Sheet left-hand panel must be a bug to be honest. I can find no circumstances in which it is enabled, and in any case how would it work? It would have to display a list of all tasks in the plan and allow the user to select which one(s) to assign the resource to... You can capture time spent on unplanned tasks, but you have to add them to the plan first :) – Marv Mills Jun 1 '15 at 10:09
  • Thanks @Marv! I do add them to the plan right now. I just felt it would be convenient to add them in the resource usage view itself when I am entering actual work everyday. And seeing the menu 'Insert Assignment' I was just curious as to why it was disabled. :) – Pradosh Manerkar Jun 2 '15 at 16:24

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