There are several approaches to this, but here's some food for thought:
From an MSP perspective, you'll probably want to use a resource pool...
especially if you have multiple projects lined up. Two main approaches to
setting up your resources for forecasting are a) generic resources by labor
category or skill set or specific resources. There are advantages to both
where "a" is probably easier / quicker to set up and gives you an "FTE"
approach to forecasting and "b" can be more realistic and shows over
allocations for specific resource much easier. Either approach can handle
rates using the Cost Rate tables where you can set up to 5 different rates
for each resource and also can set date ranges where the rates can change
based on contractual terms, fiscal/calendar years, etc.
You'll need to set up your schedules with tasks where you assign resources
to them. Whether or not you develop high-level / top-down estimated
schedules or detailed schedules, you'll need to have resource assignments for
a greater degree of accuracy. I prefer the "b" approach because you can
re-use the resource or actually start managing and tracking to the schedules.
Conversely, the generic resource method is for estimation / forecasting and
would take a little effort to convert to specific resources.
This is high level and there are certainly other approaches / methods.
Other considerations / views/ tools to use are a master schedule with
inserted "sub" schedules. This gives you a portfolio / program view of your
schedules and is also another way to see resource allocations across all of
Hope this helps!
Ian Coletti, PMP