Setting Up a Resource Schedule in Microsoft Project

How Many Resources Should I Have in a Project Using Microsoft Project?ms project 2010 training manual - spiral edition

A resourced schedule may be created for the following purposes:

  • Estimating. This type of schedule is used for estimating the cost and duration of a project or part of a project, such as a repeatable process. Many resources may be assigned to each task in an estimating schedule because it is not intended to status the schedule.
  • Control. This type of schedule is used to monitor and control the progress of a project. In this situation the number of resources should be minimized as far as possible. This is because each resource assignment should be reviewed and possibly updated when the schedule is statused.

Statusing a large schedule in Microsoft Project 2010, with many tasks and many resources assigned to each task, becomes a very time consuming operation. In this situation the scheduler may lose sight of their primary aim of forecasting the project end date, resource requirement and possibly the Final Forecast Cost.

The schedule is now in danger of becoming an expensive time recording system and thus unable to provide essential forecast information. Thus the number of resources in a control schedule should be limited to the maximum number required to satisfy control and reporting requirements.

On large or complex schedules, you need to maintain a balance between the number of activities and the number of resources that are to be planned and tracked. As a general rule, the more activities a schedule has, the fewer resources should be created and assigned to tasks.

When a schedule has a large number of tasks and a large number of resources assigned to each task, the scheduler may end up in a situation where project team members are unable to understand the schedule and the scheduler is unable to maintain the schedule.

You may consider in this situation using resources that represent skills or trades instead of individual people, and on very large projects using crews or teams.

Updating a project with resources is substantially harder than without resources. The software is hard enough to use without adding the complexity of lots of resources that may not add value to the schedule.

It is critical to enter the minimum number of resources into a schedule because they consume a substantial amount of time to update.

Eastwood Harris Supplies Project Management Training Manuals, Project Management Training Presentations and Consulting on Primavera P6 and Microsoft Project 2010 across Australia.

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