Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Microsoft Project 2010 - Creating a resource pool without MS Project Server

Without having Microsoft Project Server, here is a way to manage shared resources through various projects. By using this method, the program manager or unit manager can check team member allocation and plan projects.

The first thing is to create the resource pool. To create a resource pool:
·         Create a new blank project
·         On the Resource tab, select resource sheet
·         Enter your resources and their information (different type, working time, calendar…)



The next point is to create a first project plan.
Note that the resource pool file should be opened before being able to use the shared resources.
Create a new project with some simple tasks, as follow:


Now let’s open shared resource pool from this project.
On your project file, go on the resource tab, then resource pool and click on shared resources


Choose your resource pool file and set up conflict option. By default the Resource Pool takes precedence over the project file (sharer).


On the project file it displays shared resources.


You can now assign your resources to your tasks and see the updated project plan.



I have highlighted 2 consequences:
·         Task 1.2 cannot start on Friday because resource assigned do not work on Fridays
·         Task 2.2 cannot start on Friday as the resource assigned only works on Mondays.
I would like now to plan another simple project with the same team. I create my project plan #2 and assign resources.


And I see in this example a resource over allocation (“My developer full time” is assign to 2 tasks, one in each project).


One of the solutions to deal with resource over allocation is to use the team planner. Note that the team planner is only available in Microsoft Project Professional 2010.
Open the team planner to see the over allocation across both projects


By dragging and dropping the task to either another project team member that is available or move it when the current team member is available, you remove the over allocation.


To complete this post, here are some additional questions

Question 1: what happen if I first open my resource pool?
You are prompted to select file opening mode:
·         Open “read only” the file,
·         Open “read-write” the file to make changes to the resource pool
·         Open “read-write” the file and all other sharer (files that are link to this resource pool)


Question 2: what happen if I first open my project file (sharer) without opening the resource pool?
You are prompted to open or not the resource pool on the same time


Question 3: What if I change resource information from a sharer (project file)?
Microsoft Project will pop you up to either save the resource pool with modifications and then update all sharers, or cancel this change.


Question 4: Is it possible to add a resource to project1.mpp, which should not be on the resource pool?
No, this is not possible. If you add a resource to projec1, the resource pool will be updated.
 

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