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How To Manage Resources in Primavera P6

Effective resource management can greatly impact the success of a project. Resource overallocation is a common problem and is one of the main areas of a project that you need to track.

Here are 4 steps to resolve resource overallocation:

  1. identify resources that are over-allocated (or under- utilized)
  2. pinpoint the timeframe of the over-allocation
  3. determine the activities contributing to the over-allocation
  4. resolve the over-allocation

P6 Professional includes 2 tools (among others) to support this process: Resource Usage Profile and the Resource Assignments window. This tutorial will outline the use of the Resource Usage Profile and the Assignments window to support effective Resource Management. We will assume that the role functionality is being utilized.

The Resource Usage Profile

Use the Resource Usage Profile to analyze quantity or cost usage for resources or roles. You can view a resource’s or role’s cost and quantity data for a specific project or for all projects across the enterprise (total allocation).

Define the profile to specify whether you want to display cost or quantity information and set the timescale for displaying data values. Choose to display past period actual or actual to date values in bars and curves. Then select the option to display vertical bars to represent costs or units allocated to your resources for each time-period, and include cumulative curves to represent accumulated units and costs over time.

The Resource Usage Profile can help you:

  • calculate how many hours each resource is scheduled to work
  • identify overloaded resources
  • Track expenditures per time-period
  • Determine resource usage by late dates
  • create a “banana” curve to compare early and late dates
  • display different colors or patterns on the histogram bars when showing the stacked histogram

In addition to customizing data, the look of the profile can be switched by specifying display options. For example, the bar color and background line type can all be changed. You can also save a customized profile for later use or share the Resource Usage Profile with someone else.

The Resource Usage Profile is only available in the bottom layout of the Activities window. The bottom layout window is divided into two panes.

  • The left pane lists all the resources or roles stored in the hierarchy, based on your current view. In the stacked histogram view, the left pane lists all the resource or role filter/group names in the hierarchy.
  • The right pane displays the values for the activities assigned to each resource or role in the histogram, or resource or role filter/group name in the stacked histogram.


Resource Assignments window

Use the Resource Assignments window to view the resource assignments for all currently opened projects. This window displays resource cost and quantity information in a spreadsheet. You can also group, sort, and filter resource assignments customize columns, and open & save resource assignment layouts.

The Resource Assignments window provides the ability to:

  • use the Resource Usage Spreadsheet to show resource usage over time
  • display spreadsheet fields for budgeted or planned, actual, or remaining values
  • customize the spreadsheet fields

If you have the appropriate security privilege, you can manually enter/edit values for budgeted or planned and remaining (early) units. To show or hide the Resource Usage Spreadsheet, click the Layout Options bar, then choose Resource Usage Spreadsheet, or click on the Top Layout toolbar.

An example of the steps for using the Resource Usage Profile and Resource Assignments window

Step 1.  Display the Resource Usage Profile by accessing the Layout Options Bar. Show the Resource Usage Profile on the bottom. On the left pane, select the resource to be examined. The profile for the selected resource will display on the right pane. The image below illustrates that Oliver Rock is over-allocated during the weeks of Feb. 21 & 28 of 2010.


Step 2. Identify the activities contributing to Oliver Rocks over-allocation by using the filter checkboxes on the left pane. Mark the box to Display Activities for selected Time Period and then select the desired time-period on the right pane. The image below displays the activities (see the activity table) to which Oliver Rock has been assigned during the week of Feb. 21, 2010.


Step 3. Select 2 activities (BA4020 and BA 4030) currently assigned to Oliver Rock and replace him with another resource qualified to fill the role of Cost Engineer. Highlight the activities (shift-click or control-click) and then select the Rsrc by Role icon on the command bar. This will display the roles assigned to these activities, and the resources that can fill this role. If you click on the resource, their profile will display, allowing you to determine if they are available during the desired time-period.


Step 4. The image below denotes that Paul Kim is available to replace Oliver Rock during the week of Feb. 21 & 28, 2010.


Step 5. Waylan Smithers is also available to replace Oliver Rock during the week of Feb. 21, 2010.


Step 6a. To replace Oliver Rock with Waylan Smithers, select Oliver Rock and click the red X to remove Oliver. Then, assign Waylan to these activities.


Step 6b. After assigning Waylan to replace Oliver, you can view Waylan’s profile to see that he now has work assigned during the week of Feb. 21.


Step 6c. View Oliver’s profile to see that he is no longer over-allocated during the week of Feb. 21, 2010.  However, the over-allocation for the week of Feb. 28, 2010 still needs to be resolved. This issue can be resolved using the Resource Assignments window.


Step 7. Group and sort the Resource Assignments window by Resource. This will enable you to view the activities assigned to each resource and the distribution of the labor units over time, based on the timescale selected in the Resource Usage Spreadsheet. You will be able to view the total labor units per week for each resource to identify areas of over-allocation and availability. The image below illustrates that Oliver Rock is over-allocated during the week of Feb. 28, 2010. You also see the activities contributing to the over-allocation. Reassign the work on activity BA6070 Review Bids for Flooring to Waylan Smithers.


Step 8. Highlight the activity that will be reassigned to Waylan. Click the Browse button on the General tab in details to select a different resource. When the Select Resource ID Name dialog box appears, click on the Display options and select Current Role to view the resources that can fill the role of cost engineer.


Step 9. The image below displays the resources that can fill the role of Cost Engineer. Select Waylan Smithers to replace Oliver Rock.


Step 10. After assigning the work to Waylan, you can see that most of Oliver Rocks over-allocation during the week of Feb 28 has been resolved.


Step 11. We can also view Waylan’s allocations to see that he has been assigned more work during the week of Feb. 28, 2010.


Are you new to the Resource Management functionality in P6? MSS has created a free video guide that covers 5 Resource Management topics in Primavera P6 Release 7. Click on this link to access the free video guide.