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Managing RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

     I am using MS Project 2007 Standard Edition with the intent of managing people rather than projects.  The company I represent is a consulting firm, and our resources are our staff.  

    On any given day "Joe" is working on several different projects.  Joe might work on Project A for half the day then switch and work on Project B for 3 weeks.  What I need is a schedule of Joe's time over the course of a 
    calendar year, including which project he is working on at any given time.

    Joe won't be the only person working on a project.  Several people will be working on a project at once.  

    What I need-an output detailing every employee's project schedule.  That is, what project they are working on at what time.  With this, it would be easy to detect which employees are 
    over allocated and which are under allocated.  People belong to disciplines, and there are five different disciplines represented in our division.

     It would desirable to be able to run reports on which 
    disciplines are working on which projects, which individuals are making our division the most money, etc.

    How can I create such a project?

    Friday, February 4, 2011 10:48 PM

Answers

  • Hello Edward,

    I'm not sure I'd pick Project as my first choice for what you describe as it appears more of a people management than scheduling and tracking tasks.

    To get the big picture -- assignments across multiple projects -- you'll probably want to use a resource pool file.  Each resource will be defined in the pool file and use the "Group" field to hold information about the disciplines.

    Each of your company's projects will be created in separate project files.  You'll need to define the tasks in each Project that you anticipate each resource working on.  It can be fairly high level.   Once you have created the tasks, each separate project file will get their resource data from the resource pool file through a process called "resource sharing."

    Once you have both the tasks and resources, you'll assign each resource to each task (I suggest turning off effort-driven) and you may enter the estimated work for each resource on each task.  In order to have the resource multi-task, you would need to assign at less than 100%.

    You comment about 'making our division the most money' is going to be a bit challenging.  Project is not a cost accounting system -- you can certainly create cost information for each resource.  Then, based upon the work, you can generate an estimated budget.  You may also track actual work and derive actual cost. However, whether you bill all the tracked time; what is the difference between what you pay your consultants and what you bill -- are not easily derived in Project.

    Using a resource pool file will help show where resources are overallocated -- however the idea of "under allocated" is not one that project works with.  You can see on a daily, weekly, monthly etc basis how many hours the resource is assigned as well as any remaining availability -- but it is your job to reallocate the resources.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 12:21 AM

All replies

  • Hello Edward,

    I'm not sure I'd pick Project as my first choice for what you describe as it appears more of a people management than scheduling and tracking tasks.

    To get the big picture -- assignments across multiple projects -- you'll probably want to use a resource pool file.  Each resource will be defined in the pool file and use the "Group" field to hold information about the disciplines.

    Each of your company's projects will be created in separate project files.  You'll need to define the tasks in each Project that you anticipate each resource working on.  It can be fairly high level.   Once you have created the tasks, each separate project file will get their resource data from the resource pool file through a process called "resource sharing."

    Once you have both the tasks and resources, you'll assign each resource to each task (I suggest turning off effort-driven) and you may enter the estimated work for each resource on each task.  In order to have the resource multi-task, you would need to assign at less than 100%.

    You comment about 'making our division the most money' is going to be a bit challenging.  Project is not a cost accounting system -- you can certainly create cost information for each resource.  Then, based upon the work, you can generate an estimated budget.  You may also track actual work and derive actual cost. However, whether you bill all the tracked time; what is the difference between what you pay your consultants and what you bill -- are not easily derived in Project.

    Using a resource pool file will help show where resources are overallocated -- however the idea of "under allocated" is not one that project works with.  You can see on a daily, weekly, monthly etc basis how many hours the resource is assigned as well as any remaining availability -- but it is your job to reallocate the resources.

    I hope this helps.

    Julie

    Saturday, February 5, 2011 12:21 AM
  • Edward,

    I completely agree with Julie, and from experience, that using Project for this would not be my first choice for this sort of business management issue. I can see how you should use Project (or equivalent) to define and manage the Projects if for no other reason that the customers probably expect the projects to deliver.  

    You are working in a different dimension for a different customer--your customers are the consulting firms's shareholders looking to maximise profits.  That's different and surely will require some sort of data model that attaches to and perhaps integrates with the project plans in Project plus other data sources to enable the type of reporting/tracking you are talking about.  

    What is most interesting and I'm very curious about is your algorithm to determine profitability for each individual.  Care to share how you compute that?


    --rms www.rmschneider.com
    Saturday, February 5, 2011 7:57 AM