Resource availability often restricts how much work is conducted in a project. When multiple projects are competing for the same resources, the problem is magnified. Microsoft Project 2010 addresses the problem by using resource pools and master projects, sometimes referred to as “Project Server Light”.
These features are powerful, but not difficult to use. There are only a few steps required to create the model:
- Create the resource pool and save it as a file.
- Create the projects and tasks that will share the pool’s resources.
- Connect the projects to the resource pool and assign pool resources to their tasks.
Once the files are saved you have the choice of leaving them as separate files or to consolidate them into one master file. Opening the resource pool file will offer you the choices. See the figure below.
Choosing the third option will consolidate the pool and all of the sharing projects into a single master project file. In the figure below note that the inserted field “Project” clearly identifies the project containing each task. Also note that there is a dependency between tasks in different projects. (Click on the figure to enlarge.)
In a resource pool assignments across projects can be looked at in terms of capacity and availability. The figure below shows an over allocated resource in a resource pool and assignment details that have created a problem. Now that the problem is highlighted, a solution can be found.
Give the resource pool a try. It’s a great tool for managing multiple projects without the benefit of multiple project teams.
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If you want to learn more about topics related to managing multiple projects, please join me in my free webinar: Bigger, Better Project Server 2010! on August 24, 2011 | 2pm EDT/11am PDT.
Register Here. (Do it soon because seats are limited and they fill very quickly.)