Sharing Resources Using a Resource Pool

Typically, when you create a project file, you set up and schedule your tasks and then add resources and assign tasks to them. Often however, resources are assigned to tasks in multiple projects. You might be the manager of these different projects and use the same resources in all of them. Or multiple project managers might share the same resources for their projects.

To prevent conflicts between projects and avoid resource overallocation among multiple projects, you can create a resource pool. A resource pool is a project file that's devoted to maintaining information about resources, including their availability, costs, and current usage or allocation.

Any project manager who wants to use the resources in the resource pool file can link the project file to the resource pool file and make the project file a sharer file. When you link a project file to the resource pool file, the resource names and other information appear in your project file. You can then assign those resources to tasks as if you originally created them in this project file.

Using this local resource pool for multiple projects is similar in concept to using the enterprise resource pool. If you're set up for enterprise project management using Project Professional and Project Server, your enterprise resource pool consists of all resources identified as part of the organization. With the enterprise resource pool, you can check skill sets, availability, costs, and other resource information to find the right resources for your project.

Because of this access to the enterprise resource pool, local resource pool functionality is disabled whenever you work with enterprise projects.

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For more information about the project administrator setting up the enterprise resource pool, see "Creating the Enterprise Resource Pool" on page 599. For information about project managers using the enterprise resource pool, see "Building Your Enterprise Project Team" on page 655.

Setting Up a Resource Pool

Resource pools are easier to manage in the long run if you have a project file whose only job is to serve as the resource pool file. However, if all the resources you need for the pool are already in a project you're executing, for example, you can use that as your resource pool file as well.

To create a resource pool in its own dedicated project file, follow these steps:

1 On the Standard toolbar, click New. A new project window appears.

Click View, Resource Sheet.

Enter the information for all work or equipment resources you want to be included in the resource pool.

This information includes at least the resource name, maximum units, and standard rate. If different from the default, also enter the cost per use, cost accrual method, and calendar. Enter the initials, group, and overtime rate if applicable to your projects. If you want material resources to be a part of your resource pool, enter at least the material resource names, identify them as material resources; then enter the material labels and the unit costs.

On the Standard toolbar, click Save. Select the drive and folder in which you want to store the resource pool file.

If other project managers will be using this resource pool, make sure that you save the file in a location to which you all have access, such as a central file server or a shared folder.

Enter a name for the resource pool file in the File Name box and then click the Save button.

Give the resource pool file a name that identifies it as such; for example, ResPool.mpp or Marketing Resources.mpp.

For more information about entering resource information, see Chapter 6, "Setting Up Resources in the Project."

If you already have resource information in an existing project file, you can use it to create your resource pool file and cut down on your data entry. One method for doing this is to copy the existing project file and then delete the task information from the new copy. To do this, follow these steps:

1 Open the project file that contains the resource information you want to use.

2 Click File, Save As.

3 Select the drive and folder in which you want to store the resource pool file.

4 Enter a unique name for the resource pool file in the File Name box and then click the

Save button.

5 Display the Gantt Chart or other task sheet.

6 Click the Select All box in the upper-left corner of the sheet, above the row 1 header.

The entire sheet is selected.

7 Press the Delete key.

All task information is deleted.

8 Display the Resource Sheet and check the resource information.

Update any information as necessary, including adding or removing resources.

9 On the Standard toolbar, click Save.

Another method of using existing resource information is to copy and paste information from the existing project files to the new resource pool file. To do this, follow these steps:

Open the project file that contains resource information you want to copy. Display the Resource Sheet.

Select resource information by selecting the row headers.

To select adjacent resource rows, drag from the first to the last row header. Or click the first row, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last row.

To select nonadjacent resource rows, click the first row header. Hold down the Ctrl key and then click all other rows you want to select. ^

Be sure to select the row headers, not just the task names. Selecting row headers copies j|

all the necessary information—including maximum units and costs—associated with °

the resource, even if that information isn't displayed in the sheet.

On the Standard toolbar, click Copy. On the Standard toolbar, click New. A new project window appears. Display the Resource Sheet. On the Standard toolbar, click Paste.

The resource information you copied from the other project file is inserted into the appropriate fields in the Resource Sheet.

Click File, Save As.

Select the drive and folder in which you want to store the resource pool file.

Enter a name for the resource pool file in the File Name box and then click Save on the Standard toolbar.

Linking a Project to Your Resource Pool

After the resource pool is set up, you can link project files to it. The project file that uses a resource pool is called the sharer file. As long as the resource pool and the sharer file are open at the same time, the resources in the resource pool file appear in the sharer file as if they were originally entered there. Even if you have resources in your project file, you can still use resources from the resource pool.

To link your project to a resource pool, follow these steps:

1 Open the resource pool file.

2 Open your project file that you want to share resources from the resource pool.

In this project file, click Tools, Resource Sharing, Share Resources (see Figure 14-14).

Copy a

Paste

Figure 14-14. Use the Share Resources dialog box to specify that you want your project file to use the resource pool.

3 Select the Use Resources option.

4 In the From list, click the name of the resource pool file. All open files are displayed in this list.

5 Specify how you want any resource information conflicts to be handled.

If you want the resource pool information to be the final authority in a conflict, select the Pool Takes Precedence option. This is the default, and it is the recommended option.

If you want the resource information in the sharer file (your project file) to be the final authority, select the Sharer Takes Precedence option.

6 Click OK. Your project file is now designated as a sharer file of the resource pool, thereby linking the two.

Now all resource information in the resource pool appears in your project file (see Figure 14-15), and any resource information in your project file is added to the resource pool.

O

Resource Name

Type

Material Label

Initials

Group

Max. Units

Std. Rate

1

David Barber

Work

DB

100%

125.00/hr

2

Ido Ben-Sachar

Work

IBS

100%

$35.00/hr

3

Eva Corets

Work

EC

100%

128.00/hr

4

Clair Hector

Work

CH

100%

$39.00/hr

5

Brenda Diaz

Work

BD

100%

145.00/hr

6

Brian Or nth

Work

BG

100%

120.00/hr

7

Andrew Dixon

Work

AD

100%

125.00/hr

8

David Wright

Work

DW

100%

145.00/hr

9

Wendy Wheeler

Work

WW

100%

146.00/hr

10

Tony Wang

Work

TW

100%

143.00/hr

11

Jeff Pike

Work

JP

100%

130.00/hr

12

Barry Potter

Work

BP

100%

132.00/hr

13

Daniel Shimshonl

Work

DS

100%

132.00/hr

14

Alan Shen

Work

AS

100%

132.00/hr

Figure 14-15. With the resource pool and sharer file linked, the resource information for both files is merged.

Managing Master Projects and Resource Pools

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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