Call us for more information:

Role Limits in Primavera P6

Resource Management is integral part of successful Project Management. Primavera P6 is well equipped to help you manage resource across multiple projects. The P6 Resource Management module includes the Resource Usage Profile, which can be utilized to effectively analyzing resources and role utilization.

The Resource Usage Profile enables you to view resource or role usage within a single project or across the entire enterprise helping you to identify resource and role over-allocation and underutilization. When used in conjunction with the Role functionality in P6, the Resource Usage Profile can be utilized to determine whether you have the capacity to fill various roles required for future projects. “Role Limits” can be established to help you to identify areas of role over-allocation or underutilization. This tutorial identifies the two available methods for establishing Role Limits to support effective Resource Management.

What is a Role?

Roles are project personnel job titles or skills, such as mechanical engineer, inspector, or carpenter. They represent a type of resource with a certain level of proficiency, rather than a specific individual. Roles can also be assigned to specific resources to further identify that resource’s skills. For example, a resource may have a role of a engineer and manager.

You can create a set of roles to assign to resources and activities in all projects in the enterprise. P6 will let you establish an unlimited number of roles and organize them in a hierarchy for easier management and assignment. The set of roles you assign to an activity defines the activity’s skill requirements. You can also define unique price per unit rates for each role for accurate cost planning.

Roles can be temporarily assigned during the planning stages of the project to see how certain resources affect the schedule. Once you finalize your plans, you can replace the roles with resources that fulfill the role skill levels. Five proficiency levels can be assigned to roles: Master, Expert, Skilled, Proficient and Inexperienced. Roles can be assigned in the Resource Details window or from the Roles dialog box.

Resource/Role Usage Profile

The step by step process below will help illustrate the options for displaying Role Limits in the Resource/Role Profile to assist you with effective resource/role planning.


Step 1: Open a project (or multiple projects) and select a layout. The image below displays a layout with no bottom layout.

Step 2: Display the Resource Usage Profile by accessing the Layout Options Bar, Show on Bottom, Resource Profile.

Step 3: The Resource Usage Profile is now displayed in the bottom. The profile for the resource, Oliver Rock, is currently displayed. The profile can be modified to view resource or role profiles.

Step 4: To display the Role Profile view, access the left pane display options, select the Role View.


Step 5: Select the Role that you would like to view. The image below is displaying the profile for the Purchasing role. We can see that the Purchasing role is over-allocated during the weeks of January 17, 24, and 31. The over-allocated units are displayed as RED. The black horizontal line depicts the limit for this role. Anything beyond the black line is considered over-allocated.

Step 6: Users can select which method they prefer for viewing Role Limits on the Resource/Role Profile by accessing the Edit menu, User Preferences, and the Resource Analysis tab.


Step 7: The Resource Analysis tab, in User Preferences, identifies the two methods for identifying/viewing Role Limits. You can select to display the Role Limit based on a Custom Role Limit or based on the Calculated primary resources’ limit.


Step 8: The first example that we will explore is to utilize the Calculated Primary Resources’ limit. The image below depicts the Roles dialog box, which can be accessed from the Enterprise menu, Roles. The Purchasing Role is currently selected, and we can view the detail tabs on the bottom layout. The Resource tab in Role details displays those resources that can fill the Role of Purchasing. We can see that Jill Morgan and Oliver Rock can both fill this role. However, the Purchasing Role is the Primary Role for Jill Morgan, but not for Oliver Rock.  When we base the Role Limit on the Calculated Primary Resources’ limit, P6 sums the resource limits for all resources for whom this is their Primary Role. This is the Primary Role for Jill Morgan so the calculated role limit will be based on Jill Morgan’s limit. If this was the Primary Role for other resources, P6 would sum their respective limits to arrive at the Role Limit. The next step displays where you can determine the resource’s limit.


Step 9: You can view the Resource’s limit by accessing the Resource window (Enterprise menu, Resources). Select the appropriate resource (such as Jill Morgan) and choose the Details tab. Notice that Jill Morgan’s calendar is the Standard 5 Day Workweek, therefore, Jill Morgan’s calculated limit is 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.


Step 10: The image below displays the Role Profile for Purchasing based on the Calculated Primary Resources’ Limit (ie.  Jill Morgan’s limit of 40 hours per week).


Step 11: We will now explore the second method for establishing and viewing Role Limits on the profile. Access User Preferences from the Edit menu & select the Resource Analysis tab. Choose to Display Role Limit based on Custom role limit.


Step 12: Access the Roles window from the Enterprise menu, select the Role and display the Limits tab in Role details. Notice that you can identify an effective date and max units/time for the selected role. This will function as the custom role limit. By default, role limits are calculated based on the limit defined for each role’s primary resource, which may not accurately reflect a role’s planned allocation. In P6 Professional click on the User Preferences and navigate to the Resource Analysis tab. This is where you can choose to display role limits based on the custom role limits you define on this tab. In the example below, the Custom Role Limit for Purchasing is 32 hours per day or 160 hours per week.


Step 13: The Role Profile displayed below is based on the Custom Role Limit of 32 hours per day/160 hours per week. Custom Role Limits can be very useful when planning projects in the future. For example, you may have future plans to hire additional resources to fill the role of Purchasing. You can incorporate those future hiring plans within the custom role limit so that you can better evaluate future project plans.

Are you a new P6 user? Do you need Primavera training, but do not have the time to take away from work, or the budget available for classroom training? MSS Inc. offers a low-cost online training course that is tailored to help users understand the fundamentals of project management in P6. Visit our Project Management training page to read more about the course and get access to a free sample video lesson.

Free P6 Course Lesson