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How to show resource usage by Position RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am new to Microsoft Project and have some very simple (i think) tasks to carry out but i am having trouble figuring out how to get it done.

    I have a number of tasks that need to be completed and they are already scheduled.

    I have assigned some resources to them already, but only equipment. i.e. Machine #1, Machine #2 etc.. and some personnel.

    What i needed to do is put in the names of all of our personnel  into the project file so that i can assign each of them to one of the tasks.

    I have been able to accomplish this but the last thing i need to do is organize it by the position of the personnel i am assigning so that we can see graphically when we are going to be over-allocating a certain position. For example if i have 3 mechanics, i want to be able to assign them to tasks by name but then see when the position "Mechanic" is over-allocated. 

    I'm sure there's functionality built into MS Project to handle this but i do not know what it is.

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 2:41 PM

Answers

  • KH1989,

    There is no real advantage populating the Resource Group field the same as the Name field on the Resource Sheet. The Group field is only really useful if you have defined individual resources (e.g. Joe, Bill, Tom, etc.) and they are part of a particular group (e.g. plumbers) and you want to be able to filter or sort on all resources in the that group. However, it does not allow you to assign the plumber group to any task and even though you can use Project's grouping feature (View > Data group > Group by) to isolate parameters of that group, it will not show you if that "group" is overallocated.

    For your resource "pool" or "group" the only way to do that is to create a group resource called "Standard crew" with an appropriate mix of individual trades. That however will not tell you if you are "short" on any particular trade within the group. And, if you are tracking cost, you will need to come up with a composite rate for the standard crew resource.

    If you want/need to track overallocation of individual trades, then you should create trade groups (i.e. mechanics, supervisors, techs, etc.) and assign those as necessary to tasks. That will also give you a better cost profile, assuming you are okay with a composite rate for a given trade. For example, I assume a journeyman plumber is paid more than an apprentice plumber but when both are put into a group resource, the rate needs to be a composite. The only way to get full cost tracking is with individual resources.

    Hope this helps further.

    John

    • Marked as answer by KH1989 Thursday, August 2, 2018 2:11 PM
    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 5:30 PM

All replies

  • KH1989,

    It sounds like you are approaching the creation of your plan a little backwards. The best way to develop a new plan is to define the tasks to be accomplished, estimate their expected time span (duration), and link the tasks in a logical sequence. You should also create the list of resources on the Resource Sheet, whether they be people and machines (labor) or material ("parts"). Then you should assign those resources to the appropriate tasks, see if your "resource loaded" plan meets the end goal and adjust as necessary (e.g. more/less resources, longer/shorter duration estimates, etc.).

    Then there is also the realm of project, task and resource calendars (i.e. work days, work hours, holidays, etc.)

    However to answer your question, you are really asking for two separate things. In Project you can group resources or have individual resources or a combination (group resources and individual resources). In your example "mechanics" might be a group resource consisting of 3 separate individuals who are all interchangeable. You would set the Max Units (Resource Sheet) for that group resource at 300%, assuming all three members of the group are full time. When created as a group resource, you will see when that group is overallocated.

    If instead you create three separate "mechanic" resources, Joe, Bob and Bill, each with a Max Unit value of 100% (full time), and then assign them to tasks you will see when any one of them is overallocated.

    You can see overallocation for one type of resource (i.e. group) or individual but not for both. So no, Project does not have the functionality to show overallocation of an individual resource who is part of a defined group resource.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 3:06 PM
  • John,

    Yep! I think this absolutely helps.

    The tasks have been created in a logical sequence and have all be placed based on their construction start dates. My resource sheet has been populated with the equipment as well as the individuals which will be working to complete these tasks. I have assigned some individuals to some tasks just to start. I have also assigned some individuals two two simultaneous tasks just to show that they have been over-allocated just so i can see it.

    We already know that we don't have enough people to complete all of the tasks on our schedule, but we know we will not end up completing (or winning) all of the tasks (bids) on the schedule.

    If i can't display the over-allocation of the group to which an individual belongs to, then i am better off treating each classification as a "pool" to draw from. 

    The way you describe my mechanics example is exactly the scenario i have. There are 4-5 different classifications of personnel and they are all interchangeable (within the classification). I have created these on the resource sheet as well with the max units being the max number of persons in that classification. i.e. 10 mechanics, 12 supervisors, 8 techs etc.. I currently have the "Group" column populated the same as the "Resource Name" column.

    So now my question is, is there a way to make a sort of "default" pool or group that will consist of a fixed number of each resource? Every single task on our schedule will require a fixed number of personnel. i.e. one mechanic, two supervisors, two techs etc.. For example, if i could assign "standard crew" to every single task on my schedule, i would be set. I would be able to know that by December, we will need 35 techs when we only have 28 or we will need 13 mechanics by May when we only have 10.

    Thanks again for your time!

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 4:53 PM
  • KH1989,

    There is no real advantage populating the Resource Group field the same as the Name field on the Resource Sheet. The Group field is only really useful if you have defined individual resources (e.g. Joe, Bill, Tom, etc.) and they are part of a particular group (e.g. plumbers) and you want to be able to filter or sort on all resources in the that group. However, it does not allow you to assign the plumber group to any task and even though you can use Project's grouping feature (View > Data group > Group by) to isolate parameters of that group, it will not show you if that "group" is overallocated.

    For your resource "pool" or "group" the only way to do that is to create a group resource called "Standard crew" with an appropriate mix of individual trades. That however will not tell you if you are "short" on any particular trade within the group. And, if you are tracking cost, you will need to come up with a composite rate for the standard crew resource.

    If you want/need to track overallocation of individual trades, then you should create trade groups (i.e. mechanics, supervisors, techs, etc.) and assign those as necessary to tasks. That will also give you a better cost profile, assuming you are okay with a composite rate for a given trade. For example, I assume a journeyman plumber is paid more than an apprentice plumber but when both are put into a group resource, the rate needs to be a composite. The only way to get full cost tracking is with individual resources.

    Hope this helps further.

    John

    • Marked as answer by KH1989 Thursday, August 2, 2018 2:11 PM
    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 5:30 PM
  • Okay, that makes sense. I am not inputting any cost-related information for now.

    So no creation of "Standard Crew" groups will work as that will not tell me if i am over-allocated for a particular trade within that group.

    If i want to look at our schedule and quickly know when we will be short on a particular trade group, i need to individually go through and assign them to each task.

    Even if i have 40-50 tasks taking place over 12 months with a bunch of overlap, i still will need to go to each individual task and assign 1 mechanic, 2 techs, 4 labourers etc...

    Once this is complete, i should be able to use the Resource Usage view and see that say, Labourers will be over allocated by 12 points from November to February, meaning that i would need to hire 12 more labourers for Nov-Feb. And it SHOULD be displayed in a nice column-style chart. I think.

    Do i have it right? I would go through all of this in project but it crashes pretty often. At least when i get it fixed i will know what i am able to accomplish with it.

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 7:04 PM
  • KH1989,

    Yup, you got it.

    You also want to make sure you set the leveling option appropriately under Resource > Leveling group > leveling options.

    Hope this helps. If I've answered your question, please consider marking one of my responses as the answer.

    John

    Wednesday, August 1, 2018 8:03 PM