I am using MS Project Standard 2016 edition. I am in resource loading stage and want to understand as to how I can set a “maximum budget for a particular resource (manpower)”. Also, I want to be able to see some notification in Gantt Chart when that resource exceeds that budget.
My company employs some contracted designers (paid hourly wages) and at the beginning of project we set the maximum hours and budget for the resources.
Your guidance will be appreciated.
Sud, my first question is whether you will be entering actual hours into the plan? In order to do any tracking to budget you will need to enter actual, which most PMs don’t do. Doing that will give you information on where that resource is compared to budget. You will be able to see the comparison and can even create a KPI type field to show when the resource is reaching or has reached that budget. But, first things first. Will the information be entered into MS Project?
Larry, yes I will be entering the actual hours consumed by the resource (designer) in the Plan. This is where I have reached so far – I have assigned the designer a budget of $5000 in the resource sheet. To do that, I had to put him as a “Cost” type resource. Now, my question is, can I still assign him hourly rate (say $65/hr) so that when he exceeds 77 hrs, I get a notification in Gantt chart that the designer has consumed his $5000 budget (77 hrs * $65/hr = $5005).
Sud, I suggest setting him up as a work resource with a baseline work of 77 hrs. Baselines can be directly entered into the resource usage or sheet view. Then you can compare the resource work/actual work with the baseline. There are other ways but this is a simple solution. Does this help?
As a thought, you might want to consider approaching the problem slightly differently. This approach is assuming you are not using an Enterprise resource pool and that you are defining your Designer locally within your schedule…
* Define the Designer as a Work resource so that you can assign them to tasks with hours estimates. You can also then assign the Designer a standard hourly rate.
* If there’s a limit on how many hours a day the Designer can work, look into the Max Units field as this can be used to help constrain the scheduled hours per day.
* Customize a Resource field, using the customizable number or cost fields, depending on if you want to track hours or costs. The customized fields can be used to store the limit you want to compare against. In your example, you mentioned a cost of $5005 or 77 hours.
* Add those customized fields (columns) to a resource sheet type view and enter your limit values for each resource. For the Designer, you’d enter the $5005 and or the 77 hours.
* In the same resource sheet view, add the Cost and Work columns. These represent the at completion values for all the work assigned to the resource in the tasks.
* Then as the project proceeds, you simply need to open the customized resource sheet view and you’ll see the limits side by side with the at completion numbers. You could even get fancy and add flags or colors to the customized fields to help you see where the planned numbers are being exceeded.
Hope that helps, or at least give you another approach to consider
Daryl – I just tried your approach and with that I am able to compare the limits (hrs and cost) of a resource with “Actual cost and budget”. Can you tell me how to create a flag in resource sheet, by which I can see when a resource exceeds the limits I have set. Also, is there a way to set those flags in Gantt chart view to see when a resource exceeds the allocated hrs or cost?
Also, I want to see the same flag for the overall project. that means, I want to see a flag if my project is completed within the allocated hours and budget.
Glad to hear that approach helped.
When you modified the customizable fields, you used the Project ribbon, Custom Fields icon. At the bottom of the Custom Fields window is a “Values to display” radio button. If you select Graphical Indicators, you can have the data value in the field replaced with some indicator such as different colored flags, dots, smiley faces, and so on. I don’t know that you can display both the indicator and the data value in the same field. You’ll have to play around with that.
As far as the summary level goes, you should be able to have all hour and/or cost limits you enter roll up to the project summary row and it should work without you needing to do anything else other than selecting “Rollup” for the “Calculation for task and group summary rows” in the Custom Fields window. You may not be able to see it in a Resource Sheet view, but if you switch to a Resource Usage type view and add your customized columns, you should be able to see the roll up data there.
The Gantt may be a different story. Assuming that you want to show those values inside the Gantt chart itself, I’m not sure there’s a way to do that because the Gantt is more of a timeline view, as opposed to values totaled within a specific column. If you want something in the Gantt, you may want to explore Larry’s suggestion for using the Baseline values. As he noted, you can manually enter baseline values into the Baseline fields. If you do play with this, use the Baseline fields (with no number) as these are the values the Gantt already knows how to display.
Larry and Daryl – thanks, this solves my purpose.
My intent is to go beyond just the resource loading and start to have a better resource tracking. I have been successful in WBS tracking and want to do the same for resources.
Need another help – I am trying to show a Graphical Indicator for positive and negative work variance in my resource sheet. But I’m stuck because the formula only results in happy smiley for both positive and negative variance. I have created a custom field called “Progress” and set up a formula with [Progress = Baseline Work – Actual Work]. and then I have setup a Graphical Indicators with two tests:
Progress is ‘greater than or equal to’ value , show (happy smiley)
Progress is ‘less than’ value , show image (sad smiley)
However in both the variance cases, I only see the happy smiley (for both +ve and -ve variances), your help will be appreciated.
I’m not sure I have an answer on that one. In the window where you define the graphical indicator formulas, it indicates that rules are applied in the order listed and that processing stops on the first successful test. Is it possible that the sequence of the rules need to change? One other remote possibility. What type of customization field are you using? Is it possible that the field type doesn’t allow negative values? Might I suggest a few tests without the graphical indicators to see what values are actually showing up in the field after the calculation. In this manner, you can at least determine that the problem is either in the calculation or in the graphical indicator translation of the value.
Sud, your problem might be that you are comparing Baseline work to Actual work, which is kind of like comparing apples to oranges. Baseline work should be compared to Work. That will compare Baseline to total work (actual and remaining). Could that be your problem?
Daryl – Customization field I am using is “resource type”. Data values in this field returns both +ve and -ve values but when I change it to graphical indicator, it only returns only one type of smiley. I tried changing sequence of tests, still doesn’t work.
Larry – the formula I am using is below. sorry the formula in my previous comment was mistakenly entered as ‘Actual Work’ instead of ‘Work’:-
Progress = [Baseline Work] – [work]
Test for ‘Progress Flag’:-
is greater than or equal to, Value(s) = 0, Image = 🙂
is less than, Value(s) = 0, image = 🙁
I hope this site allows images.
Thank you gentlemen for trying to help me.
Hello Larry and Daryl – I am able to show the graphical indicator now. I changed the type of custom field to “duration” and now its working. it wasn’t working when I was testing with “number” or “text” resource types.
Thanks for the directions.