Project resources can be used to find overallocation of people and help produce costs for the tasks involved if you need them. But, if you haven’t come across Microsoft Project before you need to know what it does! It is Project management software. It creates a timeline for project plans which automatically updates when you change something (if you set it up correctly). In addition, it allows the resourcing options already mentioned. Costing does not need to be added to a plan unless it is required but the type of resource allocated is based on how that costing would work if it is.
There are 3 types of resource:
Work resources are allocated to the project and would be charged to the project based on the time they spend on a task or are used on a task. These include people who could be charged by the hour or the day for example or equipment that can be hired in a similar way. If the task they are allocated to is extended then the task and ultimately the cost to the project will automatically increase. There is also an option of adding a cost per use for this type of resource which will be assigned every time a resource is used on a task. This would be used for call out charges for tradespeople or a resource which is always charged at a fixed cost for each and every task they work on in the project. Overallocation of resources is only shown for this type of resource.
Material resources are charged to the project due to the amount of the material that is required. For example, if the task was painting a room and we had a material resource of paint then the cost of the paint would be due to the number of litres we used. The amount of the material used is allocated at the time of assignment of the resource to a task. This also has the option of cost per use but it is seldom used on this type of resource.
Cost resources are charged to the project at a different rate every time they are allocated. This is the most flexible resourcing option. It is often used for expenses such as hotel rooms and travel costs which could vary on a daily basis.
If a project is created where costings are not required then, if resources are used at all, the only resource that is normally allocated is the work resource. Resources do not have to be added to a project. If a timeline is the only result required then they could be left out. In this case the timeline created would assume that the people required to work on the tasks are always available when they are required.