Project resourcing

This topic provides information about project resourcing.

One challenge for project managers and resource managers during the project planning stage is resource allocation, where they must determine and reserve the correct resource to work on a project. In Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations, Enterprise edition, resourcing capabilities for projects let you define roles that are treated as temporary resources that can be reserved for a specific engagement or part of an engagement. This type of resourcing lets project managers and resource managers complete the following tasks:

  • Define a role that has the required competencies, so that it's easy to match resources.
  • Use roles to define an initial engagement schedule that is based on reserved resources.
  • Estimate costs and determine an initial budget, based on assigned roles and resources for a project.
  • Use roles to estimate the number of resource reservations that are required for each engagement.
  • Estimate the number of resources that are required for the whole life cycle of a project.
  • Draft a work breakdown structure (WBS) by using the initial resource assignments.

Project life cycle

As project planning proceeds, planned resources can be replaced with staffed resources. The project manager can also go back and update the resourcing reservations during any project stage.

Set up project resources

You must set up a calendar and associate it with an employee or a worker. The calendar is used to schedule the project and the working time of the resources that are reserved for the project. During calendar setup, project managers can do resource leveling as part of resource optimization. Based on the calendar schedule, restrictions can be put on resources. You can set up a calendar on the Calendars page.

When you set up a worker as a project resource, you can select from workers who work in the company that you're setting up resources for. Alternatively, you can select workers from other companies in your organization. These workers are known as intercompany resources.

The following procedures explain how to set up a worker as a project resource in your company and how to set up an intercompany project resource.

Set up a worker as a project resource

  1. On the Workers page, in the Workers list, select the worker that you're adding as a project resource, and open the worker record.
  2. On the Action Pane, select Project > Setup > Project setup.
  3. Select a calendar, and then close the page.

You can also specify default projects for a resource as a type of pre-assignment. Pre-assignments can be used when the resource manager or project manager knows which projects the resource will be working on in advance. Pre-assignments can also be based on the request of a project sponsor or customer. To pre-assign a project, on the Assign projects page, on the Projects tab, in the Remaining projects list, select the appropriate project.

Set up an intercompany resource

When you set up a worker as an intercompany resource, you must complete the setup in both the lending company and the borrowing company.

In the lending company

  1. In Finance and Operations, verify that the lending company is selected, and then complete the procedure in the previous section, "Set up a worker as a project resource."
  2. On the Intercompany accounting page, select New.
  3. In the Legal entity ID field, select the lending company. Fill in the remaining fields as appropriate, and then select Save.
  4. On the Transfer price page, select New.
  5. In the Borrowing legal entity field, select the appropriate company.
  6. To lend the borrowing company only the resource that you created at the beginning of this section, in the Resource field, select the name of the resource that you created. To make all resources in the lending company available to the borrowing company, leave the Resource field blank.
  7. On the Project management and accounting parameters page, on the Intercompany tab, set the Enable intercompany resource scheduling and timesheets option to Yes.

In the borrowing company

  • On the Resources list page, in the search filter, enter the name of the resource that you created for the lending company, to verify that the name is included in the resource list for the borrowing company.

Manage resource competencies

Resource competencies are an essential part of resource management. Competencies can be used as a baseline to determine resources that have the correct balance of skills, education, certification, and project experience. You should set up this information for each resource and update it on a regular basis. In this way, you can maximize capabilities when specific resource competencies are matched during project resource assignment.

Examples of skills, certifications, education, and project experience

The following procedures explain how to set up some of the competencies for a resource.

To set up competencies for a worker, you can use either the Workers list page in Human resources or the Resources list page in Project management and accounting. For the following procedures, the Workers list page in Human resources is used.

Set up competencies: Certificates

  1. On the Workers list page, select the line for the worker to add certificate information for.
  2. On the Action Pane, on the Worker tab, in the Competencies group, select Certificates.
  3. Select New, and then, in the Certificate type field, select PMP.
  4. In the Start date field, select 10/1/2015, and select Save.

Set up competencies: Skills

  1. On the Workers list page, make sure that the worker that you used in the previous procedure is still selected. Then, on the Action Pane, on the Worker tab, in the Competencies group, select Skills.
  2. Select New.
  3. In the Skill field, select Project management.
  4. In the Level field, select 5 Expert.
  5. In the Level date field, select 1-/14/2014.
  6. In the Years of experience field, enter 10.
  7. Select Save, and then close the page.

Create a new project

  1. On the Project management page, select New project, and enter the following values:

    • Project type: Time and material
    • Project name: XYZ Upgrade Phase 2
    • Project group: TM_WIP
    • Project contract ID: 00000002
  2. Select Create project.

Assign a resource to a project

  1. On the Workers page, in the Workers list, select the record for the worker that you previously set up competencies for, and open the worker record.
  2. On the Action Pane, on the Project tab, in the Setup group, select Assign projects.
  3. On the Resource validation project assignments page, on the Projects tab, in the Add the project to selected projects field, filter on the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project.
  4. In the Remaining projects pane, select a project, and then select the arrow button to add it to the Selected projects pane.

You can also assign categories for a resource as you require. The category type is either Cost or Revenue. The category type is determined by your organization. If no categories are assigned for a resource, Finance and Operations looks up the default category on hour prices for cost and revenue.

Set up project resource and role characteristics

A project manager can use the project resourcing functionality to create the roles that are required for the project. Roles can be used if confirmed resources are still unknown when resources are being reserved. Roles can be temporarily reserved as planned resources, so that you can continue the project planning stages.

Example of a role

Scenario: Contoso was hired to complete a Time and material project that has an approved project charter. The junior project manager is still completing the scope of the project. The resource manager is currently identifying specific resources that will be reserved to work on the new project. Because of the critical nature of the project, the project sponsor requested Senior project manager as one of the roles. The resource manager must acquire the new resource and define the role in the system in case the junior project manager requires the resource information during project planning.

The following steps show how the resource manager can set up the Senior project manager role and associate resource characteristics with it. Later, the role can be used to search for available resources that match the required resource competencies.

  1. On the Setup roles page, select New, and enter the following values:

    • Role ID: Senior Project Manager
    • Description: Senior Project Manager
  2. Select Create.

  3. Select the Senior Project Manager role, and then select Configure characteristics.
  4. In the Characteristics type field, select Skill.
  5. In the Available characteristics field, enter the skill to search for.
  6. In the Characteristic type field, select Certificate.
  7. In the Available characteristics field, enter the certificate type to search for.

Assign a project resource to a project

  1. On the All projects page, select the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project.
  2. On the Project team and scheduling tab, select Add.
  3. In the Role field, select Team member.
  4. Select Book from calendar.
  5. On the Resource availability page, select View settings.
  6. On the Adjust view settings page, enter the following values:

    • Format for date range view: Day
    • Display availability descriptions: Yes
    • Display remaining capacity: Yes
  7. In the list of resources, select a resource.

  8. Select Hard book and Full capacity.

Assign a resource to a default role

To help project or resource managers can drill down further on the resources that can be reserved for a project. You can associate a default role with an existing resource or a newly acquired resource. For example, when Daniel was hired, he had the experience and skills to fill the Business analyst role. The resource manager assigned this role as Daniel's default role. Therefore, the resource manager added Daniel to a pool of business analysts who are available to work on projects.

During resource reservation, project managers can filter the role resources that are available to work on projects. They can use this information as one criterion when they perform multi-criteria decision analysis during resource fulfillment. They can also add other resource characteristics to the filter to search for resources that have specific skills, education, and experience for a given project.

Scenario: An approved project has started, and the Senior project manager role was reserved as a planned resource during the project planning stage. The resource manager has now acquired a resource to fulfill the Senior project manager role.

  1. On the Resources list page, select Daniel Goldschmidt.
  2. On the Resource role page, select New, and enter the following values:

    • Effective: Enter the current date.
    • Expiration: Enter Never.
    • Role: Enter Senior Project Manager.
  3. Select Save, and then close the page.

  4. On the Competencies tab, add the ProjectMgmt skill and the PMP certificate.

Set up role-based pricing

All cost, sales, and transfer prices can be set up for roles.

  1. On the Sales price (hour) page, select New, and enter an effective date.
  2. In the Role column, select a role.
  3. In the Pricing column, enter a price for the selected resource role.

Form a project team

To use the roles that were previously set up in a project, a project manager must associate the roles with the project. Multiple roles can be assigned for a project. To prevent confusion, Finance and Operations automatically labels these roles during reservation. For example, if the project manager requires three software engineers, three Software engineer roles that have software engineer 1, software engineer 2, and software engineer 3 as their labels are automatically generated. If role characteristics were previously set for the role, they are applied as a filter during searches for a resource. Additional characteristics can be added as required to further refine the search.

View settings can also be customized to give a better view of resource availability. There are options to show hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual availability. There is also an option to show available and remaining capacity on resources. This option is useful for time management, when you're estimating available time for activities or resource availability.

The project manager can select a role on the page and then, if there is an available resource that fits the requirement, select to reserve a resource to fill the role. Note that the resources don't have to be reserved at this point in the planning stage. When you create a WBS, you can replace roles with staffed resources for the project. If roles are replaced with staffed resources in the WBS, the resource setup automatically updates the project team listing and scheduling.

Project team listing that includes both roles and actual resources

The project manager has various options for booking a resource for a project, such as Remaining capacity, Full capacity, Capacity percentage, and Specify hours. These booking options can be canceled at any time if resource assignments change. Two types of booking are supported:

  • Hard Book – The resource reservation was approved and confirmed to work on the engagement for the specified duration.
  • Soft book – The resource reservations was tentatively set to work on the engagement for the specified duration.

The following procedure explains how to create a project team.

Create a project team

  1. On the All projects list page, select a project, and then select Edit.
  2. On the Project team and scheduling tab, in the Schedule end date field, enter the schedule start date plus one month. For example, if the schedule start date is June 24, 2017 (24/06/2017), enter 24/07/2017.
  3. Select Add.
  4. In the Add roles to the project pane, in the Role field, select Senior Project Manager.
  5. Select Required competencies.
  6. On the Choose characteristics page, the characteristics that you previously set for the Senior project manager role are selected by default. Select OK.
  7. On the Add roles to project page, in the Number of resources field, enter 1.
  8. In the Resource field, the lookup shows all resources that have the required competencies. Select Daniel Goldschmidt, and then select Create.
  9. On the Project page, select Add.
  10. In the Add roles to the project pane, in the Role field, select Team member. In the Number of resources field, enter 5.
  11. Select Create.
  12. On the Projects page, select Fulfill resource.

Resource capacity synchronization

The processes for resource synchronization help guarantee that information for the calendar and base calendar trickles down into project resource scheduling. If the calendar is changed, the processes make the required updates to the scheduling of project resources. The processes also help improve performance, because the calendar's resource information is synchronized in advance. Therefore, updates to resource scheduling information occur more quickly. We recommend that you schedule the processes as a batch instead of one at a time. Otherwise, there is a risk that someone will forget the inclusive dates when the information was last synchronized. If inclusive dates aren't used, gaps can occur during date synchronization.

Calendar synchronization

Synchronize resource capacity roll-ups

The synchronization process is designed to synchronize all resource calendar information. This information includes base calendar information about any changes to the project's Resource calendar capacity table. If new resources are added in the project, synchronization helps guarantee that the updated calendar information is available. This synchronization can be done at any time.

We recommend that you use a batch. The options are available during synchronization of capacity reservations.

  1. Select Project management and accounting > Periodic > Capacity synchronization > Synchronize resources capacity roll-ups.
  2. Set the options in the following table.

    Option Description
    Period code Optionally select the General ledger date interval code to set the start and end dates for the synchronization process for resource capacity roll-ups.
    Start date Enter the start date for the synchronization process for resource capacity roll-ups.
    End date Enter the end date for the synchronization process for resource capacity roll-ups.

Synchronization process

Set up roles on WBS templates

Project managers can set up WBS templates that they can apply when they create a WBS for new projects. Project managers can add roles when they create a template. Use the following procedure to assign a role to a WBS template.

  1. Select Project management and accounting > Setup > Projects > Work breakdown structure templates.
  2. Select Details for a selected WBS template.
  3. Select a task in the list, and then, in the Role field, select a role to assign to the task.

Work with a WBS

You can create a new WBS, or you can copy a WBS from an existing WBS template. A project manager can easily manage the resources by assigning roles to new tasks on the WBS. Roles can be replaced either after a resource is acquired or after a confirmed resource to work on the task is identified. This flexibility lets project managers perform the following tasks:

  • Identify the number of resources that are required for WBS work packages.
  • Estimate project costs.
  • Determine a preliminary budget.
  • Estimate activity duration, based on roles and resources.
  • Develop some project management plans, based on the available project information.

Additional options have been added in the WBS to better use the resourcing functionality.

Option Description
Resource assignments View the assigned resources, dates, number of hours, and booking type for tasks on the WBS.
Auto generate team Automatically add planned resources by using roles that are associated with a task. Finance and Operations automatically suggests planned resources by using multi-criteria decision analysis that is based on roles. After the roles and effort (hours) have been set for the tasks in a WBS, and after the structure has been released, select Auto generate team. The required number of planned resources is added to the WBS and the Project and team scheduling tab.
Resource (drop-down list) On the Launch resource assignment page, you can select resources to hard-book or soft-book, based on the specified duration. You can adjust the view settings to see and set the duration of resource activities. You can select and assign resources at the work package level by using the following options:
  • Accept – Confirm changes to the resource that is assigned to a task.
  • Cancel – Cancel changes to the resource that is assigned to a task.
  • Assign automatically – An available staffed resource that has a matching role is automatically selected and assigned to the selected task.
  1. On the All projects page, select the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project.
  2. Select Plan > Activities > Work breakdown structure.
  3. Select New to add the following level-one activities to the WBS:

    • Initiating
    • Planning
    • Executing
    • Monitoring and Control
    • Close
  4. Set the dates and effort (hours), as shown in the following illustration.

    Setting the dates and effort

  5. Select the Initiating task line, and then, in the Role field, select Senior Project Manager.

  6. Select Publish.
  7. On the same line, in the Resource field, select Daniel Goldschmidt, and then select Accept.
  8. Select the Planning task line, and then, in the Role field, select Business analyst.
  9. Select Publish, and then select Auto generate team.
  10. In the message box that appears, select Yes.
  11. In the Resource field, verify that the value is Business analyst 1.
  12. For the Business analyst 1 resource, open the lookup, and select Launch resource assignments. Then select a worker for the task.
  13. Select Soft assign > Full capacity.

    Note

    You don't receive a warning that the specified resource is now 2, because the number of resources remains 1.

  14. On the Work breakdown structure page, validate the resource assignment on the WBS, and then select Save.

Resource fulfillment for planned resources

A project manager can plan required resource roles for a project. The resource manager will see these planned resources as requests on the Resource fulfillment page and can assign actual resources.

  1. On the All projects page, select the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project.
  2. Select Project, and then select Edit.
  3. On the Project team and scheduling tab, select Add.
  4. In the Add roles dialog box, select the Software developer role.
  5. Select Create, and then close the project page.
  6. On the Resource fulfillment page, select Software developer 1 for the XYZ Upgrade project Phase 2 project.
  7. Select a worker, and then select Assign.
  8. Verify that the line for Software developer 1 has been removed for the XYZ Upgrade project Phase 2 project.
  9. On the Project team and scheduling tab, for the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project, verify that the worker that you selected in the previous step has been added as Software developer.

Requests for project resources

The functionality for project resource scheduling only lets resource managers distribute staffed resources on engagements or projects. To enable this functionality, complete the following tasks, or verify that they have been completed:

  • Set up number sequences.
  • Set up project management and accounting workflows.
  • Enable resource request workflows.

After the preceding tasks have been completed, you can complete the following tasks as you require:

  • Create a resource request from a soft-booked staffed resource.
  • Monitor resource requests.
  • Fulfill resource requests.
  • Request a staffed resource from a WBS.
  • Book resources to a project without having a request for a staffed resource.

Monitor project teams

  1. On the All projects page, select the Project ID link for the XYZ Upgrade Phase 2 project.
  2. On the Project team and scheduling FastTab, verify that the project resources that are listed are correct.