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  1. #1
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    Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    When entering resorces for a new project via the "Resource Sheet", you have two choices under "Type", "work or material", when a project employs subcontractors with large budgets they typically are not one or the other, rather both. Is there another way or classification for these instances? Or does work = labor and material?.....
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Work resources are scheduled around a resource calendar and have a work effort. Material resources have only a cost per unit. About all material resources allow you to track is items attached to tasks that indicate when you need to have these materials, and the costs of these materials to be used for cost analysis. You can get Project to calculate a variable material resource usage based on time, but I don't see it used often.

    For subcontractors what you do in the software depends on what you want to track. You could just assign a flat fixed cost to tasks using a subcontractor and just add the subcontractor resource with no cost factors on the Resource Sheet( this would allow you to add the subcontractor to tasks to display who is reaponsible for the work). If you want to track labor hours you can create a custom calendar for the subcontractor resource and track labor for the subcontractor. If the subcontractor uses Project you could insert their Project plan as a subproject within the master project.

    Carla

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    I use subcontractors as material resources. I usually have them plugged in as Level of Effort tasks that require payment monthly, so it all works out in the end. The government usually doesn't care about labor hours used by a contractor, they just want their task done for a certain cost.

    On the other side, I do feel your pain with the limitations of Project. Hopefully the next version will contain a little more flexibility...

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Carla,

    Intergrating a sub contractors project schedule was my first thought, it would seem a revison worthy of the next project version....maybe its my newness to project or maybe semantics....are work and subcontract work synonymous, better yet why not create another class called subcontract.
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Does this meet all your needs??? How about when you want to isolate cost, performance, schedule just for you subcontracted scope of work?? Lumping all together would seem to be cumbersome.....Material and subcontract costs are two different species.....especially major subcontracts.
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    It does for the most part. If it is truely a level of effort task (many of our subs are just providing analysis with monthly technical meetings to discuss findings) then it is easy to manage. When it is for a discrete item (they are making a widget for us and needs to be done by 1 June) then it gets into more detail for the schedule as we need to have a breakdown of what they expect to accomplish each month. If they will do 10% in month 1, 25% in month 2, 40% in month 3, and the remaining 25% in month 4, we schedule it that way, to include progress and payment. We use it for earned value reporting, so if they complete 20% of the work in the first month for 25% of the cost, they are 10% ahead of schedule and 5% over cost.

    The devil is in the details and with it stated by Carla that integrating their schedule into yours is an option, you will then be tracking their labor and materials if that is in their schedule. It depends on what information you can get from the subcontractor. If they can give you a detailed breakout of time-phased labor and time-phased material costs that you will be billed for, you can create 2 tasks. I do this with material resources in Project for both. Again, I don't care about their labor. If they are running behind and need to make it up by using overtime and eating the cost, it is their business. I want what they promised, when they promised it, for the cost they promised it for. Being in the government, we sometimes get away with having to pay them more money for more work, but sometimes, it will just be delivered late at their cost.

    I guess it all depends on what information you care to track. I like seeing, analyzing and reporting labor hours along with cost, but my PM doesn't care how many hours the contractor puts into the effort. The cost and performance are all usually rolled up to a higher level or just contains the subcontracted work anyway.

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    I guess it depends on what the deliverables are and the type of contract, cost plus fixed fee etc. In which case I would need more insight other than widgets delivered.......sounds like the only way to get this insight is via incorporating the subs project into the "master project". This would seem to be a necessity for a large complex project...ie aerospace or large construction projects.
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    I agree with Randy's strategy, and there is a definite correlation between the level of detail you want Project to display and the effort you have to go through to get it.

    One other strategy I have used with subcontractors I want to have more oversight with is to create a separate plan for the subcontracted work, if I cannot get it from the subcontractor. ( I work for a State agency and we require project plans to be submitted for subcontracted work so I usually have another plan available) then create a Master Project where I can see both pieces together. If subcontractor work drives parts of my Project in the Master Project I can create dependency relationships between the separate plans. This would allow me to see how the subcontracted work can impact future of my project. I did some consulting for a large hospital organization a couple of years ago and helped combine the various subcontracted groups for new construction into huge master projects managed from a central office. This required a dedicated administrative employee to update and manage the files. It was setup as a template scenario and they are still successfully using the same model so I have had good success with this.

    If you want to view the subcontractor resource usage separately from your own resource usage you can create a group called subcontractor in the Resource Sheet then see Summary information about the subcontractor group only.

    Carla

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Carla,

    A separate plan for each major subcontract appears to be the only way to get the required insight. Thanks for the suggestion concerning the subcontractor resource usage sheet.....

    Marty
    Regards,
    Marty

    "Aerodynamics Is For Those Who Cannot Build Engines" - Enzo Ferrari

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    I had an opportunity yesterday to see a Microsoft presentation on the next Version of Project and interestingly enough they are going to have a new type of resource called Cost. It is similar to material resource in that it does not have a calendar associated with it , but it probably will be just the type of thing you were looking for for your subcontractor.

    Carla

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Carla,

    That sounds like the idea of using a 'fixed cost' column in a project. The use of a fixed cost does spread the cost between the start and finish dates. This is how I used to set up the subcontractor costs without using a resource, but my Earned Value program wouldn't pick up the cost without a resource assigned.

    I would be interested in seeing the presentation you were lucky enough to see. Is it a PowerPoint, or is it a live show you got to see?

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Randy,

    This was a live presentation by Microsoft and Microsoft Partners at a Government Technology Expo. I understand you can see all the new features for the products at the Microsoft web site. I will look and see if I can find it.

    Carla

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Randy,

    Try this link:
    http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/pr...t/faq.mspx#ECFL

    There is also a new feature that is going to highlight everything that will have a cascading change in the plan when edits are made. Should be a helpful feature for those new to Project.

    Carla

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Carla,

    Thanks for the link and information. I tapped into one of the Project Blogs and found the following information that clears up the idea of using a Cost resource. I just hope my organization will upgrade to P-2007 when it becomes available...

    Cost Resources in Project 2007
    One of the new features of Project 2007 is a new type of resource called a Cost resource. Previously there was Work and Material resources. The Cost resource adds the ability account for costs on tasks that have no relationship to the Work assigned on the task.

    You might be saying to yourself that Project already had a feature that allowed you to do this called Task Fixed Cost and that this feature has been around since Project 98 (or was it Project 4? I can't remember.) If you are saying this you are right. However, Fixed Cost only lets you account for one 'lump sum' of this kind of cost per task. It was not very good for situations where you had more than one kind of cost per task. Cost resources make it easy to have multiple non-work related costs on a task and keep track of them easily. Even better they allow you to keep track the amount of each kind of cost across all the tasks. For example, if you have two Cost Resources, Travel and Hardware you can assign them to many tasks and then using the Resource Usage view you can see quickly how much money is scheduled to be spent on Travel and Hardware across all your tasks. You can even use the Resource Usage view to adjust where across the duration of the task the cost associated with the cost resource falls.

    Assigning costs to a cost resource is done the same way as Units are set for an assignment. In the Assign Resources dialog there is a new field called "Cost". It is only active for cost resources. When you assign a resource to a task you just enter the amount you want to represent for that cost resource and click 'Assign'.

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    Re: Resource Sheet-Labor/Material (Project 03')

    Randy,

    Thank you for the additional information. I think there are some really nice new features for Project 2007. I sometimes question the need for upgrades in software, but I am also am looking forward to the 2007 version.

    Carla

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