Resource Management Dashboard with MS Project

As a project manager or resource manager you want to have easy and informative resource tracking report which allows you to make better decisions. MS Project 2013 reports provide an excellent set of reports which can help you creating a dashboard style report.

Resource Management Dashboard
Resource Management Dashboard

Advantages of creating a resource management dashboard in MS Project

  1. It is create once and run every time. Unlike other tools the dashboards created in MS Project can be run in seconds.
  2. MS Project has a rich set of reports which can be customized
  3. Can be easily copied to the a PPT.
  4. Bundled with MS Project at no additional cost.

# : The Scenario

For the sake of this article we will consider a hypothetical scenario where we have four teams working on three different projects and we need a dashboard which will display the team workload, availability and allocation.  

The four teams are - IT, OPS, Legal and Services

The three projects - New Business, Test Project and New Product Launch.

We will assume we have a common resource pool and master project plan which includes all the three projects. It is recommended that you read the below articles before you proceed with creating the reports.  
This is the most important step as it will lay the foundation for the dashboard to be generated. You will need to create one filter each for the teams and a group on Resource Groups.

You will need an IT Team, Legal Team, OPS Team and Services Team filter. Also,  a group based on Resources Group and Resource Name. Please see the below articles on how to add filters and groups.

# Creating the dashboard reports

We will now look at how we can create 3 different sets of reports for resource management dashboard - 
  • Team Work Load Report - A report which will provide a view of the the team work load. 
  • Resource Allocation Report - This report will help in understanding how the resources are allocated. 
  • Resource Availability Report - This report will show if any resources are available.

Team Work Load Report

Team Work Load Report
To add the team workload dashboard click on Design and a add a new Chart. Select the type of report you need to use. 

And select the fields as shown to the image to the right to see the report which is based on resource groups.

The report will be based on the group that you select. You can add formatting options by right clicking on the report. You can add legends, chart titles, data values etc.

Resource Work Load Report
Team Workload Report

Resource Allocation Report - Entire Resource Pool

Resource Allocation Report
The resource allocation report on the dashboard will give a view of how much work each resource has been assigned. Two values are shown for each resource - Work and Remaining Work

Work is the work assigned and the remaining work is the work still remaining. This report will help a project manager in deciding if any of the resources are overloaded.

Select the fields as shown in the image to the left. The key is to select the options right as that will decide what is displayed on the report.

Resource Workload Report
Resource Workload Report

Resource Allocation Report - Time phased Report for Individual Teams

Resource Allocation Report
The above report on the dashboard gives you a good idea about how all the resources are allocated. 

The report is a very high level report and does not tell you when the resource is free.  To find out when the resource is free we will use the Time option. 

Also remember that if you try to do this with the entire resource pool the report or the chart might get very big and become difficult to read.

In this example I have used the IT Team filter and the group by ResourceName which will group the data by resource names. 

First report on the dashboard below gives a picture of the availability of resource times. Second Report the Work Allocated gives an idea about how much work each resource has been allocated.  

The second report is generated with all the same selections as field dialog expect the field to be displayed is the Work Assigned. Comparing both the graphs will give a project manager a clear picture about the resource allocations.

Resource Allocation Report
Time Phase Settings

One of the settings is the time phase. The time phase can be selected by clicking on Edit beside the in the Fields options box. Clicking on edit will open the Edit Timescale dialog.

Units will be the duration, in this case it is months, count the number of units(2 months, week etc) then Start and Finish Date.

Resource Allocation Report
Resource Allocation Report

Resource Allocation Report
Resource Allocation Report

Resource Availability Report

Resource Availability Report
This is one of the key reports on the dashboard as most of the managers and senior management are interested in finding out which resources are available.

We will look at two versions of the report - one at team level and one at resource pool level. 

The first report can be generated with the same options as above Resource Allocation report with the only difference being the display field selected as Remaining Availability. 

The second report can be generated by selecting the options as shown in the image to the right. The key difference would be to select All Resources and then group by Resource Group.

Resource Availability Report
Resource Availability Report

Resource Availability Report
Resource Availability Report

After generating the above reports you should be comfortable with the key process of generating reports which is to use the  Fields List effectively.  If you practice using the Field Lists you will be able to generate a lot of different types reports.

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