About work and cost type of resources and problems when assigning them to the task.

In this post I will write about work and cost type of resources and problems when assigning them to the task.

There are three types of resources:

  1. Work resource. This type of resource includes people and equipment needed to complete the task in a project
  2. Cost resource. This type of resource includes financial cost which does not depend on the duration of task, for example airplane ticket
  3. Material resource. This type of resource, also called consumable, is the resource you need to complete the task in a project, for example bricks, concrete etc.

First I will define resources needed for my task.

John the Trainer is Work resource and his standard rate is $100 per hour.
Airplane ticket is Cost resource and it does not have the defined price yet.

Now I will define task called Training

In the first example I will assign only cost resource to the task.

I assigned Airplane ticket to the task and I told MS project that it costs $1000.

Now I will switch the table to the Cost table:

and I get:

You can see that Total cost for The Training task is $1000, Baseline is $0 (since we did not create the baseline), Variance is $1000 (since we did not create the baseline), Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $0 (because we did not start with the task) and Remaining cost is $1000.

Now I will tell the MS Project that the task is 100% completed:

You can see that Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $1000 (because we have completed the task) and Remaining cost is $0.

O.K. everything works fine. Now let’s see another example. What happens if we assign cost and work resource on the same task?

I assign Airplane ticket to the task and I told the MS PROJECT that it costs $1000, and John the Trainer, and MS PROJECT calculate the amount of $2.400 (which is 3 days * 8 hours * $100 per hour = $2.400). So the total cost for the task should be $3.400.

Now I will switch the table to the Cost table again:

and I get:

You can see that Total cost for The Training task is $3.400, Baseline is $0 (since we did not create the baseline), Variance is $3.400 (since we did not create the baseline), Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $0 (because we did not start with the task) and Remaining cost is $3.400. Everything looks fine.

Now I will tell the MS Project that the task is 100% completed:

You can see that Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $2.400 and Remaining cost is $1.000. What does it mean? It means that MS project left cost resource unspent even though the task is 100% completed. It only spent work resource ($2.400 for John the Trainer) and not cost resource ($1.000 for the airplane ticket). And this (from my point of view) is BUG.

What can you do? Well, in our example, do not define or assign cost resource to the task. Instead of that assign only John the Trainer (Work resource to the task):

Then switch to the cost table and in Fixed cost field type $1.000. Fixed cost works the same as cost resources but with cost resources you can have “rollout” and analyze all (for example) airplane tickets.

You can see that Total cost for The Training task is $3.400, Baseline is $0 (since we did not create the baseline), Variance is $3.400 (since we did not create the baseline), Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $0 (because we did not start with the task) and Remaining cost is $3.400.

Now I will tell the MS Project that the task is 100% completed, again:

You can see that Actual cost (e.g. spent cost for the task) is $3.400 (because we have completed the task) and Remaining cost is $0. So, if you use fixed Cost instead of Cost Resource you will get the expected result.

And If you want to know where this $1.000 Fixed cost came from you can write it on task note:

See you..

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About Nenad Trajkovski

Location: Zagreb, Croatia Occupation: Project Manager Interests: Project Management and MS PROJECT He was born in Zagreb, Croatia at 1963. After completing his college he started working on projects in different business areas (banking, manufacturing, automotive industry, distribution, oil companies, etc.) developing and implementing ERP systems into different companies. He has got a lot of experience working with people in different business processes and also possesses great knowledge in information technologies and financial services. Today he works as a business consultant, adn Project Manager in PERPETUUM MOBILE d.o.o. Zagreb. He is a regular lecturer for Project Management in MS Innovation Center in Varaždin, Logosoft Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina and SEAVUS GROUP in Skopje Macedonia. He was named the best lecturer of WINDAYS 2008 while his lecture was also voted as the best. In addition, he was in TOP 10 lecturers at the MS SINERGY 2009 and MS VISIA 2009, 2010. Shares first place as the best lecturer of KulenDays 2009 and 2010 and PMI Conference 2009 in Zagreb. He is also a regular lecturer in the MS Community. He is a Certified Accountant and a PMP (Project Manager Professional) and a PMI-RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP, MCT, and Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist - Microsoft Project 2010. From 01.01.2012 awarded with MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Proffesional - Microsoft Project)!
This entry was posted in Microsoft PRoject 2010, MS PROJECT 2010, PMI, PRoject Management, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to About work and cost type of resources and problems when assigning them to the task.

  1. Alley says:

    Thank you Nenad, excellent!

  2. Reham says:

    I respect your effort.. Thank you 🙂

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