An important phase in project planning is the management of resources, so it's meaningful to carefully define the available resources. Each task requires for its completion the use of
human resourcesto do the work, and/or
material resources. Depending on the availability of resources, the initial estimates on the duration of individual tasks and their scheduling in time may necessitate modifications.
Resources can be people, equipment, materials or services that are needed to complete various tasks. Resources are typically people included in your project plan, even if they are not actually assigned to tasks. The amount of resources affects the scope and time of any project.
The whole project plan really starts when you've added resources and tasks are assigned to them.
Project Plan 365 offers support for both types of resources:
Work resources are the most useful, and should be used to categorize people who will spend time working on tasks. The work resources are the ones that will burn effort and represent the people required to complete tasks in the project. On a small project, this type of resource could refer to each team member by name. On a larger project, this resource could specify different subcontractors. On the other hand,
material resources are time independent and should refer to materials that get used up during work, such as lumber, nails, concrete and gasoline. The default value for an inserted resource is work type.
Before you begin to assign resources, you can enter all of the resource information for your project at once by creating a resource list. This will save you time when assigning resources to your tasks.
You can add resources to your project in two ways:
1. Using the Resource Sheet view: you can quickly create a resource list for your project by typing the name of each resource and related information in the Resource Sheet view. You create a resource here by introducing its name and you can also set its type (work - corresponding usually to human resources, or material - corresponding to equipment) and the costs it draws.
You can also add a new resource in Resource Sheet view by using the Insert option available under Resource menu. By using the Insert option you can enter a new resource before an existing resource in the list of resources displayed in Resource Sheet view. Choosing the Insert command adds a blank row above the selected row, where the newly added resource has the name "<New Resource>" and is of type work.
Project Plan 365 lets you create a new resource, in Resource Sheet view, by typing the properties (default values in parenthesis):
- Resource Name: resource names cannot contain brackets ([ ]), commas (,), or semi-colons (;)
- Type (Work): two available values (Work and Material)
- Material Label: the units of measure for a material resource
- Initials: you can put initials for the resource
- Group: if you are going to have a group of resources (like Purchase, Vendors, Painters etc.) here is the place to put the name of the group
- Standard Rate: this is Standard fee (money) for the resource. You can put a fee like, for example 100/hour, /day etc. This is true only for Work type resources. If, for example, resource has $50/hour, and it will work 5 days and 8 hours per day, cost for this resource will be 40 hours X $50 = $2.000.
- Cost/Use: that is also known as a Setup fee. For example, if you have Resource named: John - the plumber, and it has $100/hour as a standard fee, and he is charging his travel to your home $50, no matter how long he is going to drive, then you will put $50 in that field.
- Code: if you have any specific code for you resource put it here
2. Directly at resource allocation (the resource created this way is by default of type work):
a. by typing a new resource name in the Entry table in Gantt chart on Resource Names column; each time a new name is typed, a new resource of type work is created
b. by using
Resource menu →
Assign Resources dialogue
c. by using Task Information dialog when double-clicking on a task; check on the Resources tab and give the resource names (the name of the person who is assigned the task) and click OK
When you assign a resource to a task, if the resource is a new one and it does not exist previously in your project, it will be automatically added to the resources list in the Resource Sheet and by default it will be a work resource.
You can enter in your project a resource of type material only from Resource Sheet view.
When you add a resource, Project Plan 365 automatically renumbers the resource ID numbers.
Besides adding one single resource in the resources list from your project, you also have the possibility of inserting multiple resources at a time. To achieve this, select multiple consecutive rows using either CTRL or SHIFT keys on your keyboard and then click on Insert option from the Resource menu, or press on Insert key or use the New Resource option from the contextual menu to insert multiple resources at a time. These resources will be positioned above the selected rows in the resources list.
The number of newly inserted resources will be equal to the number of selected rows. The remaining resources will have their IDs automatically renumbered.
All the Inserted resources will have "<New Resource>" as name and will be of type work.
To delete a resource, simply select the resource and press Delete key or from the Resource menu click on Delete option. In this way the selected resource/resources (in case of multiple selected resources) will be removed from the project. All the assignments of the deleted resource are removed.
After you delete a resource, Project Plan 365 automatically renumbers the remaining resources.
During entering resources in your project, you can use the Undo or
Redo options under Task tab
if you want to go one step forward or backward relative to your recent changes.
1. Add resources in your plan using Resource Sheet view. To switch from the Gantt Chart, which is your current view, to Resource Sheet view, select Resource Sheet option from the View menu or from the left side menu bar click on Resource Sheet. So far no resource was added into your project, so you will notice there is no resource displayed in the table of Resource Sheet view.
2. Enter in Resource Sheet view the required resources in the project. Most of the resources are of type work and 2 resources are of type material. By default a new added resource is of work type. We will add our resources by typing a resource name in the Resource Name column. Let's type as resource name the following: G.C. General Management, G.C. Project Management, and then Steel Erection Contractor Management. You can resize the Resource Name column by dragging it, to aid you when entering the resource names. Our Resource Sheet will contain three resources, each one on its row:
3. Another possibility of inserting a resource in your project is to use the Insert option under Resource menu. This option allows you to insert a resource at any position in the list of resources from your project: either on top of the list, in the middle or at the bottom of the list. Let’s select the second row in Resource Sheet and press on Insert option.
You will notice that the newly added resource will be inserted in the resource list above the selected row. The newly added resource has the name "<New Resource>". We will edit this default name and type instead Roofing Contractor Management.
4. So far, we’ve added only work resources in our project, as you can see indicated in the Type column.On the last row type Concrete in the Resource Name cell. To make a resource of material type, click on the cell from the Type column and a drop-down list will appear from where you should choose Material.
5. We will add another material resource, which we will name it Painting Material and like before we will set for its type Material. Thus, we will have in our project two material resources:
6. Besides adding one single resource in the resources list from your project, you also have the possibility of inserting multiple resources at a time, as in case of tasks. To achieve this, we will select multiple consecutive rows using SHIFT, more exactly the rows from id = 2 to 4, and then click on Insert option from the Resource menu. These resources will be positioned above the selected rows in the resources list. As you can see, all the inserted resources will have "<New Resource>" as name and will be of type work. The number of newly inserted resources will be equal to the number of selected rows, which is three in our case.
We can replace their names to fit our needs: the first we will call it Elevator Contractor Management, for the second one let’s type Plumbing Contractor Management and for the third one we will enter Electric Contractor Management:
7. You can also copy and paste the name of several resources from an external source such as a CSV file, instead of having to type the resource names by hand one by one. Let’s suppose that we have this CSV file, which contains a list of other resources involved in our project.
Copy all the resource names from this CSV file. Then in Project Plan 365, select the next empty resource name cell and from the Task menu press on Paste. After doing this, you will notice that the whole list of resource names will be inserted for you at the end of resource list, resulting in a total of 31 resources:
8. This method of quickly inserting a list of resources by copy and paste from an external source is especially useful if you have a large project with a lot of resources that must be added in your schedule. Notice that for the inserted resources, the cells from columns such as Initials, Max. Units (only for work resources), Std. Rate and Cost/Use are filled for you with default values.
The list with the resources in your project should look like below, among which 2 resources are of material type:
9. Besides entering the name of each resource, we can also enter other related information to a resource such as its initials, email address, code (if you have any specific code for your resources) or group (if you are going to have a group of resources, like Purchase, Vendors, Painter). For the resource called Elevator Contractor Management type E in the Initials cell.
10. Then let’s specify an email address for the resource called G.C. Project Management. In this sense, press on Resource Information option under Resource menu to bring up the Resource Information dialog, where we will enter specific information for this resource. Let's type for the email this address:
11. In addition, for a material resource we can specify a material label, as the units of measure. For the resource called Concrete enter ton in the Material Label column, and for Painting Material resource type liter.
If you prefer to see things in action, rather than reading text, watch out this
, which covers some of the topics from this section.