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Generic Resources - Best Practice RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I have been looking at various articles recently and I have come across 4 different suggested methods for using Generic Resources and in particular the Max Units set for each generic resources. Some of these methods appear to be at odds with each other so I would be interested in any advice about which one is the best or if more than one method could be used what are the differing scenarios where they apply.

    Example is I have 8 real Business Analysts (BAs) and I want a Generic resource to help review demand on that type of resource...

    Method 1 -  Set BA1, BA2, BA3 up etc ie have 8 x generic resources.  Quite frankly this appears to be a ridiculous method and seems to contradict the whole point of having generic resources ie a single resource.

    Method 2 -  Single Generic Resource and set Max units at 800% - Good for reviewing demand on the generic resource but I cant see how that proposed demand can be reviewed alongside the real Business Analysts in Resource Capacity view as it will show a capacity of eg 1600% which clearly is misleading.

    Method 3 - As Method 2 - but set Max Units to 100% - I cant remember the rationale for this approach but it was something to do with avoiding assigning 800% effort and the overallocation it would create when replaced with a real resource who only has 100% Max Units.

    Method 4 - As Method 2 but set the Max Units to 0% - I definatley cant remember the rationale for this approach but it was a recommendation!

    So can someone guide me here?  Requirement:- I need to know how much of my generic resource has been demanded but also how much of the associated real world resource is left?

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 8:46 PM

Answers

  • There are a number of system behaviors you need to consider:

    1. Generic Resources create both capacity and demand
    2. Generic Team resources create demand only
    3. When used in Portfolio Analysis, Generic resources create demand only
    4. The system uses all resources in the system when calculating FTEs based on the resource pool rather than a fixed hour amount.

    People like to set their regular Generic resources to 0% so that they do not contribute to capacity calculations in the system, so that they do not need to remember to filter them out. The consequence is that this distorts the system calculated FTE. If you have no need for the system calculated FTE, such as for Portfolio analysis, this approach won't harm you.

    FTE calculation distortion is the least of the consequences of using numbers above 100% for Generic resource max units. You need to be a mathematical genius to make assignments as when you assign 100% of a Generic resource set to 800% max units, you get 8 times what you expect for the work value. That's 100% percent of 800%.

    Conclusion: Using 0% has consequences you might be able to ignore. Modeling single Generic resources to represent multiple resources renders them unusable for demand, and valid for modeling capacity only. There are few use cases anyone can imagine for this. The absolute best practice, therefore, is to use 100% for your Generic resources max units.


    Gary Chefetz, MCITP, MCP, MVP msProjectExperts
    Project and Project ServerFAQs
    Project Server Help BLOG

    • Marked as answer by Stev Scott42 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 10:01 PM
    Moderator
  • thanks Rod
    • Marked as answer by Stev Scott42 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM

All replies

  • Hi Steve,

    I usually recommend the method 4 and combine it with an additional field (e.g. Role). The pros for this solution are:

    - the total capacity for BA is calculated based on your 'real' resources

    - the Role field can be used to group all your BA in both Resource Center and Strategy area

    - you can have multiple generic resources associated with the same role (e.g. Junior BA, Super Expert BA)

    The cons:

    - the PMs may forget to update the Assignment Units when assigning the generic resource

    Paul

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 8:56 PM
  • If your BAs have different skill sets that you need to assign accordingly, you need method 1 or just use their names.

    If your BAs are inter-changeable use method 2.

    When you add a named BA to your schedule to replace a generic BA then reduce the Max Units bu 100% for the BAs so capacity remains 800%

    Use Initials or Group for role or skill level as both initials and Group are visible in the Gantt Chart and can be used for filtering or grouping.

    So depending on the resources and skills required I use method 1 or 2 but mostly 2 when I can.


    Rod Gill
    Author of the one and only Project VBA Book
    www.project-systems.co.nz

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 9:51 PM
    Moderator
  • There are a number of system behaviors you need to consider:

    1. Generic Resources create both capacity and demand
    2. Generic Team resources create demand only
    3. When used in Portfolio Analysis, Generic resources create demand only
    4. The system uses all resources in the system when calculating FTEs based on the resource pool rather than a fixed hour amount.

    People like to set their regular Generic resources to 0% so that they do not contribute to capacity calculations in the system, so that they do not need to remember to filter them out. The consequence is that this distorts the system calculated FTE. If you have no need for the system calculated FTE, such as for Portfolio analysis, this approach won't harm you.

    FTE calculation distortion is the least of the consequences of using numbers above 100% for Generic resource max units. You need to be a mathematical genius to make assignments as when you assign 100% of a Generic resource set to 800% max units, you get 8 times what you expect for the work value. That's 100% percent of 800%.

    Conclusion: Using 0% has consequences you might be able to ignore. Modeling single Generic resources to represent multiple resources renders them unusable for demand, and valid for modeling capacity only. There are few use cases anyone can imagine for this. The absolute best practice, therefore, is to use 100% for your Generic resources max units.


    Gary Chefetz, MCITP, MCP, MVP msProjectExperts
    Project and Project ServerFAQs
    Project Server Help BLOG

    • Marked as answer by Stev Scott42 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 10:01 PM
    Moderator
  • thanks Gary, I will review your advice, thank you

    Steve

    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
  • thanks Rod
    • Marked as answer by Stev Scott42 Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:10 PM
  • thanks Paul
    Wednesday, March 11, 2015 11:11 PM