Multiple Costs types for Resource in a same Task

Hi,

I have very interesting question from on of my Blog readers:

“I have a problem with MS Project: I don’t know how to manage 2 type of cost for 1 person, I mean, I have 1 employee with 100USD cost per hour but I need to give him 200USD more each day of work for food. I can manage 100 USD/hour, but I don’t know how to manage 200USD/day in a new column or something?”

I will explain this problem in MS PROJECT 2016. First, as I always do, I will create a new Project with only one Task:

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and I will create one Resource, John:

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As you can see, I can put $100 per hour for John, and it means that each and every hour he will spend on a Task, it will be multiplied with $100. But, I can not add another cost for same Resource, for example $200/day, and to apply both of them to the same Tasks.

To make this possible, you can write a Macro, but if you are not familiar with that you can have another Resource with, for example John-food with $200/day. But, then you can’t see all costs for John.

With the custom field you will have no help. Because Custom field is for Task, or for Resource. And, if you create Custom field for Resources (for example: Food Cost), you will not be able to have total cost for the Task, because you have to create Task custom field which have to multiply duration of the Tasks with all Resources custom fields for all resource assigned, and this is not possible.

Where is the solution? There is no easy one. you should do manual calculation for each resource for each Task and assign it to the Fixed Cost. For example, if you know that Task will have 3 days duration, and John and Mary will work on it, and you wish to give them $200 /day, than in a Fixed Cost field you should put: $200 * 3 days * 2 (John + Mary) = $1200:

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And, yes, this is not a very good solution, because you should track if Duration is changed (for example, from 3 to 5 days), and/or if you add or remove additional resource to the Task.

Final solution is to Calculate cost for food for resource per hour. For example it can be $25 /hour instead $200 per day. But, in that case, for example, John+s food cost is $200 if he will work 8 hours, but if he will work 10 hours it will be $250.

I know this wasn’t so much helpful, but it has to be clarified.

Regards

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New way of choosing Predecessors and Successors in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

If you work with the latest version of MS PROJECT 2016, and you have update it regular you will notice one great improvement in Predecessor field.

Let me show you that. First I will create brand new Project with two Phases:

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Before improvement, in the Predecessors field we we able to put the Task number. If you have a lot of Tasks you will not see them all in one screen, and that is what usually is the fact. And, as you can see in my example above, there are times when you have more than one Task in your Project with the same name. So, it was easy to put wrong Predecessor for the Task, which made a lot of trouble. Now, there is a new way to put Predecessor.

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Now, you can actually choose which Task (or Tasks) are predecessors of the current Task. So, Task for which you are going to choose Predecessors is bold, and all to all other Task you can put checkmark to choose them. So it is now much harder to make a mistake. 

And what about Successors? Same thing! Let’s suppose that I have Project like this:

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Now I will add the Predecessors Column and you will see that I can choose it in the same way like I can choose Predecessors:

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Do you see this little minus sign beside each Summary Task (in my case Phase 1 and Phase 2)? If you click on this sign you can hide all subtasks for this Summary Task (of course, if you don’t need them for predecessors or successor), and you will see only Tasks which you want to see, below Summary Tasks that you didn’t hide:

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To conclude, great, GREAT improvement.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Multiple assignments on the same Task in MS PROJECT 2016

 

Hi,

my Blog Reader has a very interesting question:

“Hi Nenad

I have a problem, and I hope you can help me, I’m a follower of your blog. I have some task on project and resources, but I want the resources to be placed in task in phases I mean for example:

I have the task painting, but I want George to paint in 5 phases, from day 1 to day 4 and stop for 3 days, and I want Mary to paint in those 3 days, then she stops and George starts again, but sometimes I want Mary and George paint at the same time. That is possible?.

Thank you.

Regards.”

OK. Let’s say that task Painting has 10 days Duration. I want to distribute Resources to this Task like this:

  • From day 1 to day 4 – George will paint
  • From day 5 to day 7 – Mary will paint
  • At day 8 – George will paint
  • From day 9 to day 10 – George and Mary will paint

I will show you how to do it with MS PROJECT 2016.

First I will create new Project with task Painting, 10 days Duration:

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Next I will create two Resources for my Project: George and Mary:

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Now I will assign them as follows:

  • From day 1 to day 4 – George will paint (22.05-25.05)
  • From day 5 to day 7 – Mary will paint (26.05-30.05)
  • At day 8 – George will paint (31.05-02.06, because he will paint the rest with Mary, see below)
  • From day 9 to day 10 – George and Mary will paint (for Mary 01.06-02.06)

image

After I click on OK button I will get:

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So, I can not achieve what I want in this, easiest way. What can I do? Well, I can get it on the hard way.

First I will assign George and Mary to whole Task:

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Now I will switch to the Task Usage View:

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Finally, I will Manually adjust Resources per each and every day, as I want:

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Now I have what I want. But this is harder way because I had to do all adjustment manually, and I will prefer that I can do it like shown in my first example. But, this is not possible (at the moment, we will see what will Microsoft do in the future).

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Resource with assignment 0%–what is it?

Hi,

You can find a lot of examples when you can see that it is possible to assign Resource to Tasks with 0% Units. In this post I will show you how can you do it, and what would happen if you do it. Of course, I will use MS PROJECT 2016!

First I will create very simple Project with 2 Tasks:

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and two Resources – John and Mary:

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As you can see, for this example, John has 0% Max Units by default, and Mary has 100%.

Now I will assign John To Task 1:

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and I will get (I will show Task Usage View):

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As you can see, John is over allocated, because by default (since I did not enter Units in the Units field shown in a picture above) Units are 100%. So, in Resource sheet his default Max. Units field is 0%, but he is allocated (or assigned) to Task 1 with 100%, and now he is Over allocated, and he is suppose to work 8 hours per day, e.g. 40 hours for the Whole Task.

Now I will assign Mary to the Task 2 with 0%:

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and I will get (I will show Task Usage View):

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As you can see, Mary will work zero hours (because she is assigned with zero %), and Task duration is now 0 days, so it is Milestone now.

OK! Now you know combinations with 0% units assigned. But, the most important question is WHY? Why will someone assign Resource to the Task with 0% Units, or why will someone have Resource in Resource sheet with default Max units = 0%?

If you have Resource with 0% Max units in Resource sheet it means that you have Resource which is unavailable all the time for all Project activities, and every assignment with Units > 0% will result in over allocation. This can be use in rare situation when you know that you, actually do not have Resource available, but in urgent case, where you have no other option you will use it so these Resource will work over time, e.g. it will be overrated.

On the other hand, if you assign Resource to the Task, and you put 0% in Units, it means that this Resource will do no work on the Task, e.g. it will not spend a single second on it. So, the right question will be: “Why should someone assign this Resource to the Tasks?”. The answer is (from my point of view): There is no reason for that, except if you have some administrative procedure, let’s say that you want to assign Mary, as a Project Manager responsible for this Task, but she will actually do nothing on it.

Hope this helps.

Regards.

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How to automatically change Material relative to Scope change in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

I’ve got very good question from one of my Blog readers:

“Hi,
I am a novice. Tried to find some solution to a certain scenario in your blogs but browsing through some dozen articles, I thought it better to ask you. Apologies for your inconvenience.
Scenario:
A task naming “Walkway” constitutes 100 ft walkway with 4 days “Work”. Resources are assigned such as
1. [Name] Construction team, [Type] Work, [Unit] 100%, [Work] 8x4days-32 hrs
2. [Name] Pavers, [Type] Material, [Work] 500 Sft
Is there some way that if scope is changed to 200 (100×2) ft walkway, the [Work] for both type of resources automatically changes respective to the task I.e. Construction team [Work] 64 hrs (32×2) and Pavers [Work] 1000 Sft (500 x 2).
Best regards”

OK! I will try to explain this using Microsoft Project 2016!

First I will create the Project with Task – Walkway, and with 4 Days Duration:

image

and I will create Resources:

  • Construction Team – Work
  • Pavers – Material
  • Asphalt – Material

I added Asphalt, because I will need it for explanation. Paver is, according to Wikipedia: “A paver (paver finisher, asphalt finisher, paving machine) is a piece of construction equipment used to lay asphalt on roads, bridges, parking lots and other such places.” So, it is machine.

Now I will assign resources according to the example above, and I will also assign 500 for Asphalt:

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and I will get:

image

As you can see, I added Work field in Gantt Chart View.

Now I will change Work from 32 to 64 hours and I will get:

image

As you can see, Asphalt and Paver is unchanged (quantity remains 500). Why is that? It is because MS Project will treat Material Resources as they should be treated. When work in hours for Work resources is increased, it does not mean that more material is needed for the Task. For example, if you build a wall, and you need 1000 bricks for it, and 100 hours, if you find out that you need 30 more hours it does not automatically mean that since you need more time you need more material.

BUT! If you know that you will spend exact amount of Material per some time (like per hour), than you can do that. Let’s say that we found out that we have to build twice larger Walkway. And that we know that Pavers can do 15.625 square feet per hour. In that case I we should assign Resources like this:

image

Notice, that MS Project rounded Units for Pavers to 15,56e per hour. Now we get this (in Resource Usage View):

image

As you can see Quantity for Pavers is 500,16, which is 15,63 (per hour) * 32 (hours) = 500,16

Now if We change work from 32 to 64 hours, as we did before (I will not show you this picture again), we will get (now I will use Task Usage View):

image

As you can see, Quantity for Pavers is now 1.000,32 which is 15,63 (per hour) * 64 (hours) = 1.000,32, but quantity for Asphalt remains the same. So in this particular example if we know that we are going to spend quantity of 1.000 of Asphalt we should change it manually.

Hope this helps.

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Task Summary Name–new field in MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

There is one new Task related field in MS PROJECT 2016: Task Summary Name. It is very useful. Usually Summary Tasks have a lot of subtasks, and when you group them, filter them or just look at them, you can’t see which Summary Tasks is particular Task part of. With this new field, you will always see Summary Task Name for the specific Task.

To show you that, first I will create Project with Two summary Tasks and few subtasks:

image

I will now John and Mary to Tasks (as Resources):

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and:

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Finally, I will show this new field in a Column:

image

So, now you can always see which Summary Task is particular Task part of.

Useful, very Useful.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Micsrosoft Project 2016, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Baseline in Master and Sub-Projects with MS PROJECT 2016

Hi,

we all know what the Baseline is. But where is the right place to make it, if we have a Project which is Subproject of Master Project. I will show you where with MS PROJECT 2016.

First of all I will create two simple Projects, P1, and P2.

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For P1, John will be Resource assigned to the Task:

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and I will assign John to the Task:

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Finally, I will show the Work Table with Gantt Chart View:

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I will do the same for the Second Project, called P2:

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For P2, Mary will be Resource assigned to the Task:

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and I will assign Mary to the Task:

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Finally, I will show the Work Table with Gantt Chart View:

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After I will save both Projects, P1, and P2, I will create one Master Project, and I will insert first Project to it:

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and:

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So I will get:

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As you can see, The Work Table is shown, and there in no Baseline saved (look at Baseline field).

‚First I will save Baseline for the entire Master Project:

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and I will get:

image

As you can see, Master Project has 40 hours in Baseline work field, and P1 Project as well, but Tasks under P1 Project (in my case T1P1), does not. Let me show you Project P1:

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As you can see, there is no Baseline saved in Original Project (in this case P1). Now I will do the opposite. I will save Baseline to Project P2, and then I will insert it into the Master Project:

image

and I will get:

image

OK, Baseline is saved. Now, it’s time to import P2 as Subproject to Master Project:

image

As you can see, Baseline for The Master Project is NOT updated. So we still have to update Baseline here if we want accurate data. So after saving the Baseline here (I will not show you same picture as above again), I will have:

image

To conclude, there is no link between Baselines in Master and Subprojects. So. You should save them separately in each single Project, and in Master Project as well.

Regards!

Posted in MICROSOFT PROJECT, Microsoft Project 2013, MS PROJECT 2016, PMI, PRoject Management | Tagged , , | Leave a comment