Once the enterprise envelope is open, experienced Project users will find that working with resources in Project Server is almost identical to working with resources in Project 2000. Of course, generic resources are a new and welcome twist. The default Resource Sheet view is limited in that it doesn’t expose all the fields that you need to work with. You have the option of creating new views or altering the default Project Professional views if you prefer. Simply double-click a resource to open the Resource Information dialog box shown in Figure 11-3 to edit specific resource information.
Figure 11-3. The General tab of the Resource Information dialog box
Figure 11-3 shows a work resource. You select a resource type either in the Resource Sheet view or in the Resource Information dialog box. The Type field is on the right side of the dialog box. You know this isn’t a generic resource as the Generic check box is unchecked. As I mentioned previously, a correct e-mail address and Windows account are essential for human work resources. If you’re using a work resource to represent equipment or other asset usage, you won’t specify Windows authentication; instead, you’ll use Project Server authentication.
When working with a human resource, you may enter the Windows account or pull it from an available address book. If you have Outlook or any other Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI)–compliant mail client installed on your workstation, for instance, clicking the Windows Account button will give you options to connect to your address book in Outlook or Notes. Note that a mail client must have a Windows mail profile in order for Project to find it on the workstation. Lotus Notes, for instance, doesn’t create a Windows mail profile during installation; you must do this manually.
Making an entry into the first Units field sets the maximum units for the resource to the entered amount. You may contour availability by making time-bracketed entries into the Resource Availability grid in the lower-left quadrant of the Resource Information dialog box’s General tab. The system accepts up to 25 entries. The Group and Code fields are available, and they do show up in Project Center and Resource Center views, but you can’t apply value lists to these and they require adherence to Project templates to control their labels globally for the organization.
Use the Working Time tab to mark a resource’s calendar for vacation time. This is required for all your resources on an ongoing basis. Initially, your goal is to represent accurate near-term availability for your resources. The interface on this tab is identical to the one you used to set the default working time in the enterprise global.
Edit any of the five rate tables for the resource on the Costs tab. You can time phase each of these by setting ascending effective dates similarly to the way you create availability contours in the previous figure. Enter the standard and overtime rates, if applicable, in the appropriate rate table in the Costs tab display, as shown in Figure 11-4. Note that you can set a cost-per-use instead of or in addition to an hourly rate. Choose your cost accrual settings. The default cost accrual is Prorated, which distributes the cost evenly across the timeline. Select Start to accrue the cost at the beginning of the assignment or End to accrue the cost at the end of the assignment.
Figure 11-4. The Costs tab of the Resource Information dialog box allows you to date stage rates.
The Custom Fields tab is new in 2002. This tab accepts entry into enterprise custom fields. Be aware that this display contains enterprise fields only; standard custom fields don’t show up in the Custom Fields tab shown in Figure 11-5. You can use the rich-text features to add notes to the resource record through the Notes tab. Use this tab to present additional information about resources.
Figure 11-5. The Custom Fields tab of the Resource Information dialog box
When you select Material as the resource type in General tab of the Resource Information dialog box or you set this value in the Resource Sheet view, the system disables availability and working time inputs and activates the Material label field. The system also disables input into the Email and Windows Account fields, as shown in Figure 11-6. Whereas Project tracks human inventory in work units, it has no predefined units for material resources. You define your own units for material resources.
Figure 11-6. The General tab of the Resource Information dialog box for material resources
The Material label field allows you to define your own consumption units corresponding with the costs that you set. For instance, top soil for a construction project might be labeled “yards,” and an electronic component for a product might be labeled “each,” or “assembly.” The point is to make the label correspond to the cost. As with work resources, you may define multiple rate tables and time-phased rates as well as per-use costs for material resources.
Generic resources support key resource features in Project Server. They drive skill matching in the Team Builder and Resource Substitution Wizard, and they’re essential to rich enterprise project templates. Generic resources serve as placeholders for actual resources before actual resources are determined.
Unfortunately, you can’t use generic resources in the system to measure demand or availability, as these aren’t calculated by the system. This limits their value beyond early planning phases.
Generic resources are useful for modeling costs. When you assign them to tasks in project plans, Project calculates costs based on the rates set in the resource pool. Setting up generic resources is nearly identical to handling other work resources, save the Generic check box shown in Figure 11-6. In a resource view such as the Resource Sheet, you set this value by exposing the Generic column in the view, which offers and accepts values of yes and no.
When you define both generic and material resources, you must provide a value for any enterprise custom field or outline code that you marked as required. It’s very important to provide values for generic and material resources when defining your fields and outline codes. Otherwise, you’re likely to run into the errors shown in Figure 11-7. If you attempt to enter a value on the fly, you’ll also see the error illustrated in Figure 11-8.
Figure 11-7. The system validates enterprise resources for required field values.
Figure 11-8. Attempting to set enterprise field values on the fly generates an error.