What is the best way to show number of workers necessary for each task?

• Question

• I'm using Project 2003, and looking for the best way to assign a certain number of workers for each task.

The project is in construction, all the tasks are made by a certain contractor. For each task I know how many people are needed each day. I don't care which people he would bring, just the number of people. I want to know how many people I need each day.

At the moment, I'm using workers as materials, assigning them as material resources. This workaround isn't perfect for several reasons, mainly due to the fact that I need to multiply the number of workers by the number of days for each task and then assign it as number of units.

Is there a better way of doing that?

Thanks a lot for any help.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 7:28 AM

Answers

• I'd use a "Generic Resource", i.e. a resource with a job title rather than a persons name, which you purposefully overallocate.

So if you needed 5 plasterers for a day, you'd add the generic "Plasterer" resource to your one date task, go into the Task Usage view, and then type in "5d" work for that resource.

Make sure your tasks are fixed duration/not effort driven.

I hope that helps,

Andrew

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:09 PM
• Hi Kozmokr,

I definitively go with Andrew's answer. The best practice is to use generic resources "plasterers". Then create a 5 days tasks with fixed duration.

Then (using the splitted screen with the task form) assign the plasterer resource to the task and enter 500% in the unit field. Doing this you'll not have to do any calculation since Project will calculate the work multiplying the duration and the unit : 5days * 500% = 25 days of work.

Hope this helps.

Guillaume Rouyre - MBA, MCP, MCTS

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:55 PM
• You could use a formula in a custom field to give you the Full Time Equivalent (FTEs) for the task - you still have to enter it the way myself or Guillaume describe, but it would tell you how many FTEs are assigned to the task.

Try the following formula:

Number1=
[Work]/[Minutes Per Day]

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:01 PM
• Hi,

It' s actually much simpler than that. Indeed, use Plasterers as a work resource, and assign it to the task entering 5 (or 500%) as units.

Greetings,

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:14 PM
• "If, for example I have a 5-days task that I need 5 plasterers each day, I need to assign 5*5=25 units (material) or 25d (generic)."

I think you have confused duration with work. A 5d duration with 5 workers has 25d of work. Your workers need to be type Work, not Material.

Under Tools, Options and Schedule tab show units as Decimal rather than Percentage. that means Jan's 500% becomes 5.

So, enter 5d as the duration and then either in the task Form (Window, Split) or the Assign Resource dialog (Alt+F10) enter 5 in the Units column (assuming Decimal selected as above, otherwise enter 500).

Rod Gill

Rod Gill Project Management

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:55 PM

All replies

• I'd use a "Generic Resource", i.e. a resource with a job title rather than a persons name, which you purposefully overallocate.

So if you needed 5 plasterers for a day, you'd add the generic "Plasterer" resource to your one date task, go into the Task Usage view, and then type in "5d" work for that resource.

Make sure your tasks are fixed duration/not effort driven.

I hope that helps,

Andrew

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:09 PM
• Thanks Andrew for the tip.

However, it's still the same process as with a material resource:

If, for example I have a 5-days task that I need 5 plasterers each day, I need to assign 5*5=25 units (material) or 25d (generic).

Meaning, in gant chart view, I only see 25, and can't see the actual number of workers for each day.

I was looking for a way to avoid that multiplication.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:53 PM
• Hi Kozmokr,

I definitively go with Andrew's answer. The best practice is to use generic resources "plasterers". Then create a 5 days tasks with fixed duration.

Then (using the splitted screen with the task form) assign the plasterer resource to the task and enter 500% in the unit field. Doing this you'll not have to do any calculation since Project will calculate the work multiplying the duration and the unit : 5days * 500% = 25 days of work.

Hope this helps.

Guillaume Rouyre - MBA, MCP, MCTS

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 1:55 PM
• You could use a formula in a custom field to give you the Full Time Equivalent (FTEs) for the task - you still have to enter it the way myself or Guillaume describe, but it would tell you how many FTEs are assigned to the task.

Try the following formula:

Number1=
[Work]/[Minutes Per Day]

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 2:01 PM
• Hi,

It' s actually much simpler than that. Indeed, use Plasterers as a work resource, and assign it to the task entering 5 (or 500%) as units.

Greetings,

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:14 PM
• "If, for example I have a 5-days task that I need 5 plasterers each day, I need to assign 5*5=25 units (material) or 25d (generic)."

I think you have confused duration with work. A 5d duration with 5 workers has 25d of work. Your workers need to be type Work, not Material.

Under Tools, Options and Schedule tab show units as Decimal rather than Percentage. that means Jan's 500% becomes 5.

So, enter 5d as the duration and then either in the task Form (Window, Split) or the Assign Resource dialog (Alt+F10) enter 5 in the Units column (assuming Decimal selected as above, otherwise enter 500).

Rod Gill

Rod Gill Project Management

• Marked as answer by Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:15 AM
Thursday, December 12, 2013 8:55 PM
• Even though others say use generic resources, and this works, I suggest ignoring that the resources are supplied by subcontractors and you "don't care which people he would bring".

Treat the job as though you were estimating it from scratch, and imagine that you control the resources and that they are all individual people. They don't have to have real names because you don't care who they are

actually, you don't know who they are, but give them names like "Carpenter 01" through to "Carpenter 20" or whatever. These are sort of generic, except that you want to ensure that they are unique and none have more than 100% max units and are never assigned at more than 100% (use leveling if necessary).

Making the individual assignments is tedious but worth it, especially since you get to solve the inevitable over-allocations with leveling. So if you get a task such as "lay 10000 bricks" and the estimated duration is 10 days, and you know that the price of bricks is \$1/brick, and you know that bricklayers cost about \$50/hour, and the subcontractor has given you a price of \$14000, then you know that the work type resource is 1 guy at \$50/hour x 80 Hours = \$4000.

Or some other combination of numbers of guys, assignment units and rates, but Cost = \$4000, so choose most likely combinations, usually the simplest.

Thursday, December 19, 2013 12:06 AM