This week I continue the “highlights of highlights” series: I include some excerpts from the Project 2010 Step by Step chapters and elaborate on them. This week: Chapter 3, "Setting Up Resources."
Effective resource management is one of the most powerful advantages of using Project instead of task-focused planning tools, such as paper-based organizers. (pg. 55)
Only a small percentage of all project plans I see include resource assignments, and that's a shame. For knowledge worker projects especially, accounting for resource capacity and assignments can add tremendous value to a project. This is an area that is well worth investing time in.
With these changes to Max. Units, Project will identify these resources as being overallocated…(pg. 60)
This excerpt is from a procedure dealing with setting resources' Max. Units values. The key take-away is that Max. Units sets the threshold (or trigger) at which a resource becomes overallocated, but does not prevent the overallocation.
If you do include cost details in your project plan and this is considered sensitive information, consider requiring a password to open such project plans. (pg. 62)
I bring this up because resource pay rate sensitivity is a frequent reason I hear from Project users for not accounting for cost details in their plans. This is a manageable issue though; see this previous post for guidance on keeping sensitive Project details safer.
A resource calendar controls the working and nonworking times of an individual resource. (pg. 63)
Calendars are the key feature set in Project for more accurately modeling working and nonworking time in a project. If you are using resources but not managing resource calendars in your plan, check out resource calendars.
You can use a cost resource to represent a financial cost associated with a task in a project…Common types of cost resources might include categories of expenses you'd want to track on a project for accounting or financial reporting purposes, such as travel, entertainment, or training. (pg. 67)
For those who are extensively accounting for costs in their project plans, good on you mate! The cost resource feature is another tool to help here. The key thing to note is that cost resources have no effect on the scheduling of the tasks to which they are assigned.
Previous posts in the "Detailed Commentary" series:
- Introduction of Project 2010 Step by Step
- Chapter 1, "A Guided Tour of Project"
- Chapter 2, "Creating a Task List"