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Equipment as a resource - Microsoft Project

I want to show a piece of equipment (a paint booth) as being in use on a particular day. It can only have one task in it (painting) but it shouldn't add to the amount of work. How should I set it up so I can spot over allocation without ...

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  1. #1

    Equipment as a resource

    I want to show a piece of equipment (a paint booth) as being in use on a
    particular day. It can only have one task in it (painting) but it shouldn't
    add to the amount of work. How should I set it up so I can spot over
    allocation without adding any duration or work to the task?

  2. #2

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    Strange as it may seem, it is a work resource just like a person, and the
    number of "booth hours" has to be included in the total work just like the
    man-hours of a person's efforts would be. However you might not have to pay
    for it in the project budget - that's really the only reason work not to
    include its work in the total - but you can leave the std and ot rates for
    it at zero so the added work won't affect your costs. As for it not
    affecting duration, that's also not a problem. You have the painting task
    in the schedule. You've got your other resources assigned to it already and
    it has a certain duration. Simply use the advanced tab of the task
    information to mark the task "non-effort driven" before adding the paint
    booth resource to the task and then assign it at 100% effort. Duration will
    not change but you can still see overallocations if the booth is
    inadvertenly double booked during a time period.

    Steve House
    MS Project MVP
    Visit for the FAQs

    "Jim" <com> wrote in message

  3. #3

    Equipment as a resource


    It does in fact NOT have to be a work resource at all.
    Open the enterprise resource pool and make the equipment a
    MATERIAL resource.

    You have two types of resources in MSP. One is WORK and
    the other is MATERIAL.

    All work resources add to your work totals and the
    material resources do not.

    I have about 60 material resources for just this reason. I
    can assign a unit cost of $850 for airfare in the global
    pool and add "units" of airfare. Or you can make the
    standard cost of the paintbooth usage to be $1.00 and
    assign it to a task "Painting". Then in the units (not the
    work - although it will show up there) assign how much
    money you are budgeting. Although the money will show in
    the "work" field, it will not have "hrs" next to the value
    and it will not total in the "work" totals.


    being in use on a 
    (painting) but it shouldn't 
    can spot over 
  4. #4

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    You're overlooking one problem. Jim said, or implied, that he needed to
    schedule the paint booth by time and make sure it's not overallocated.
    Material resources are consumables that are used up by the task - lumber,
    bricks, fuel, video tape, etc. They affect costs but they do not affect the
    schedule. In effect, Project considers materials to be infinite in supply
    and instantaneously available whenever needed 24/7. They do not have a
    calendar of available times nor do they have a maximum allocation that
    cannot be exceeded. Equipment resources, on the other hand, are resources
    that in fact do work just like people - bulldozers, cameras, airplanes - and
    their availability affects the schedule, just like a person's will. You
    only shoot a scene in a movie during a time when you have a camera available
    but during that scene you can shoot as much film as will go through the
    camera. So they must have a calendar of times when they are and are not
    available (though it may be 24/7) and an indicator of how MUCH of the
    resource (3 cameras = 300%) is available at any one time. I don't
    understand why you seem to feel that the only work that should be included
    in the project's metrics is that performed by human beings. The total
    effort expended to dig a trench is the hours put in by the back-hoe operator
    and the hours the back-hoe is in use and both efforts contribute to the
    project's costs. Since work and duration are two entirely separate (though
    inter-related) measures, summing the human hours and equipment hours doesn't
    introduce any problems I can see, especially since with grouping (simply
    enter something like "Equipment" in the resource group field) allows you to
    break out the totals at will.

    Steve House
    MS Project MVP
    Visit for the FAQs

    "Matt Steele" <com> wrote in message

  5. #5

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    Thank you for the replies. Previously, I had tried both suggestions. Setting
    the paint booth as "material" didn't work because I need to check for
    accidental over allocation. Setting the paint booth as a resource didn't
    work because it changed my "estimated" work hours. Since over allocation is
    paramount, I will be setting the booth as a resource and manually backing
    out its hours so I have a true picture of the "estimated" work hours.

    "Matt Steele" <com> wrote in message

  6. #6

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    I'm curious why you don't consider that the hours the booth is utilized
    should be tracked as part of the total estimated work hours of the project?
    Remember work IS NOT a measure of time even though it is tracked in hours,
    nor is it really a measure of staffing consumption. Duration is the measure
    of time while work is a measure of energy expended. Work is what you pay
    for in the budget whether done by a person or by a machine (though in your
    case you don't need the cost of the booth, Project handles it the way it
    does so you could get that value if you needed it).\

    Steve House
    MS Project MVP
    Visit for the FAQs

    "Jim" <com> wrote in message

  7. #7

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    I am very new to MS Project and I am going about this in my "logical" way of
    thinking. Lets say we have bid the paint portion of a job at 100 hours
    because it will take 2 painters 5 days to complete the work (10 hour days).
    Of that two days, the paint booth will be used 1 day - 10 more hours and
    this needs to be there because no other job will physically fit in the
    booth. When I have the task rolled up (because there is prep time etc.), it
    will show 110 hours, not the 100 hours bid for the job. I have created
    templates for these jobs with the base work already setup (which obviously
    can be changed). At this time I am trying to validate why I need the "work"
    hours to be accurate. I am not using budgeting ($) as of yet. Everything we
    do here is based on labor hours - could it be as simple as doing a paradigm
    shift to think in $$ i.e.. instead of hours ?.
    Can you (or anyone) recommend a good book to understand this a little

    "Steve House" <> wrote in message

  8. #8

    Re: Equipment as a resource


    By all means, shifting to cost instead of work will solve your dilemma since
    you can assign cost to the humlan resources and no cost to teh equipment
    resource while still tracking overallocation.

    Jan De Messemaeker
    Microsoft Project Most Valuable Professional
    Project Management Consultancy
    Prom+ade BVBA
    32-495-300 620
    "Jim" <com> schreef in bericht

  9. #9

    Re: Equipment as a resource

    How can you submit a bid for x labour hours without knowing what those hours
    will cost you to generate? When the client writes the cheque to you to pay
    for it, how will he know how much to make it out for? Project will give you
    estimated costs to do the work and a time frame in which you can do it. You
    then add on the other prorated costs of doing business plus profit to form
    the bid you submit to the client.

    Think about your example if you didn't own the booth but instead had to rent
    it. Now your total cost of the project is based on 100 hours for painters
    at, say, $25 per hour plus 10 hours of booth at $10 per hour. If you ignore
    the cost of the booth, you loose money. So it isn't so far-fetched to think
    that the bid should be based on a total commitment of 110 resource-hours.
    Now it may be true you don't have to directly pay for this booth but the
    principle behind how project handles such scheduling still holds true. And
    frankly, if painting is a regular part of the work of your organization, as
    it sounds like it might be since you do it often enough to bother creating
    templates, that paint booth isn't really free. You had to buy it, you have
    to maintain it, and you'll eventually have to replace it. Each hour that it
    is use has a definite business cost associated with it that needs to be
    recovered in the revenues that result. I try to impress on students that
    project is really not a time and billing program and should *not* be used as
    such. But it does help you determine what the real costs of your projects
    will be, which in turn goes on to form the basis of your billing.

    Steve House
    MS Project MVP
    Visit for the FAQs

    "Jim" <com> wrote in message


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