Two important roles when it comes to scheduling with Project Online are Status Manager and Default Assignment Owner. In this blog, we’ll walk through the difference between the two.

Status Manager

Status Manager refers to the user who will receive task updates as Team Members update their tasks.

By default, the Status Manager is the Owner of the project when it was created. If the Owner of the project changes at any point during the project, the Status Manager field for existing tasks will also need to change. The new Owner or Project Manager will need to manually update this field. Status Manager is available as an editable field when you have the project opened in Microsoft Project Professional.

I found that in most cases, the Status Manager can only be updated by the user (with proper permissions) who has the schedule open.

When tasks are updated, the task status is sent to the appropriate Project Owner for each project. The task updates can be reviewed by the Project Manager in the Approvals Center in Project Online and Accept or Reject the time.

Default Assignment Owner

Default Assignment Owner is the user whose Tasks page or Timesheet the tasks will display. By default, the Default Assignment Owner is the resource themselves. The Assignment Owner field is available as a Read Only field in Microsoft Project Professional.

Here is a scenario when the Default Assignment Owner will be someone other than themselves:

  • Resource A will have tasks assigned to them. However, they will not have access to log into the system to report actual time. In this case, their Default Assignment Owner can be updated to another user, possibly a manager or team lead.
  • When tasks are assigned to Resource A, the tasks will display on the Tasks page or Timesheet of the Default Assignment Owner. The Default Assignment Owner’s tasks will be displayed on their own as well. They can then update task status for both their tasks and Resource A’s tasks.
  • For this approach, I recommend updating the view for Tasks or Timesheets to include the Resource Name field. This will allow the Default Assignment Owner to see which tasks belong to which resource.

The Default Assignment Owner field is set and can be updated at the Enterprise Resource level.

When scheduling, pay attention to these roles! They play an important role in the Project Update cycle.