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Ask the Teacher: Cumulative Resource Totals in a Histogram Format

Angelo A asks: “Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find within Microsoft Project a cumulative resource graph over time, representing the total headcount (in total hours) of manpower (FTE or EQP) across a given project. To add to your troubles, there are resources that aren’t resources, namely the subcontract, travel, equipment numbers that are thrown in and will need to be filtered back out of the totals. A labor histogram is what would work best for us.”

Answer: I will accept this mission and do my best to answer this question. The histogram that you are looking for can be found in the Resource Usage view. This view is by resource name and you will be looking at each resource individually. Below is a view showing the head count you’re looking for. On the graph it’s called Peak Units. This value may be looked as either in the decimal or percentage — the picture below is showing the decimal view and time density per month.
Ask the Teacher: Cumulative Resource Totals in a Histogram Format
Right clicking on the boxes to the right of Peak Units will give you options to change the data available in this view. The choices may also be reached through Format | Details when in this view. Below is the same view using the cumulated work option. It’s a way of seeing the work budget over time for a resource. Cumulated cost is also available.
Ask the Teacher: Cumulative Resource Totals in a Histogram Format
To handle the “other resources” that Angelo is looking for, I suggest a totals report using the resource sheet. To obtain the breakdown by category, create a custom column with the different subtotal levels that are needed. Then create a cost table with the columns that will be needed for the report. To get accumulated subtotals, create a grouping based on the custom category column. Below is this report shown in level 1 format. (Formatting toolbar | Show | Outline Level 1). The category column doesn’t have to be on the table to get the grouping for the report.
Ask the Teacher: Cumulative Resource Totals in a Histogram Format
Mission accomplished!

Written by Ellen Lehnert

Ellen Lehnert, PMP, Microsoft Project MVP, MCP, is a independent consultant and trainer on Microsoft Project and Project Server. She has taught Microsoft Project over 400 times and is the author of  MS Project 2010 and

2013 published courseware. Ellen is also a contributor and tech editor for many reference books, a developer for the Microsoft Project certification tests and is a frequent meeting speaker for Microsoft, MPUG and PMI. Contact Ellen at ellen@lehnertcs.com.

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