Defining the Project Resources
Help for defining the project resources in the project planning and management template for Excel
Key parameters and resources for the project can be entered into the 'Resources' sheet. To get started planning and managing a new project, the Project Parameters and Human Resources sections on this sheet should first be completed.
The Project Parameters section is used to specify parameter information for display purposes, emailing and schedule calculation. These parameters are:
- The project's name and manager's name are used for status reporting and email content.
- The project's start date, reporting date, and deadline are essential parameters for schedule timing processes and the progress reporting of the project.
- The scheduling frequency is used to create the Gantt schedule and can be Days, Weeks or Months.
The Human Resources section allows the listing and management of participants available to undertake tasks within the project. This plays an important role in the scheduling functionality of the model and must be populated before tasks are defined and entered into the 'Tasks' sheet. The number of working hours per day is specified here, as well the ability to manage the list of participants with their respective details and availability. Clicking on the 'Manage' button presents a form for managing the list of human resources. An existing person can be chosen to edit, or a new person can be specified to add. The required parameters for the participant are:
- Email Address. This is for emailing task lists to the participants able to be done from the Control Panel.
- Resource Productivity Factor. This specifies the amount of time per day that the participant is available to work on the project and plays an important role in the automatic scheduling functionality of the model. If, for example, the number of working hours per day is 8 and the participant can devote half of their time t the project (4 hours per day), then the productivity factor should be 50%. It should be noted, however, that values of greater than 100% can be used here. If the participant is responsible for managing 3 full time people for a specific area of the project then a value of 300% can be entered here. The scheduling will then utilize the resource accordingly. This enables the maximum amount of flexibility to delegate project responsibilities at all levels. The productivity factor can also be automatically calculated by specifying the number of hours available per day.
- Cost/Hr. The cost per hour is used to calculate operating expenditure for tasks based on time, and for budgeting purposes. This can be left as zero, in the event that internal costs are not to be included in the project analysis.
- Action. The 'Update' action updates existing participant's details and adds new participants. The 'Delete' action removes an existing participant.
The Financial Resources section allows the listing and management of the project's budget items. While the budget may be managed directly here, it is also possible to manage the budget items while entering and updating tasks in the 'Tasks' sheet. This enables the creation and development of the project's budget as tasks are defined and specified - often a more practical approach to project planning and budgeting. The currency input denomination is also specified here for display purposes throughout the model. Clicking on the 'Manage' button presents a form for managing the project budget.
The parameters in the Operating Costs area are:
- Unit Type. An existing unit type can be chosen to edit, or a new unit type can be specified to add. The pre- existing 'Hours' unit type cannot be removed and is used for time based task budgeting.
- No. Units. This is the number of units to modify the budget with.
- Unit Cost. This is the cost of each unit for which the budget will be modified with.
- Action. Units can be added to, or deleted from the existing budget. Furthermore, a unit type can be completely removed from the budget, providing that there are no tasks dependent of the unit type in the 'Tasks' sheet.
- Contingency. This is a percentage of the total cost which can be specified as risk cover in the event of budget overruns.
- The parameters in the Capital Costs area are:
- Capital Expenditure. The amount of capital expenditure for which the budget will be modified with.
- Action. Whether to Add/Delete the specified amount to/from the budget.
The Control Panel section allows the project manager to access the main functions of the model. While these processes are also available in subsequent sheets, the Control Panel offers the manager one place to control and monitor the performance of their project. This section offers the ability to:
Screenshot: Defining the Project Resources
- Pre-define input parameters including public holiday dates, emailing texts, project phase titles (up to 10), and task titles within each phase. Note that the model is pre-populated with common, generic project phases and respective task titles.
- Manage the project task list by adding and editing tasks directly in the Task sheet.
- Create the Gantt timing schedule in the Schedule sheet, based on the scheduling frequency specified.
- Run the project status report in the Status sheet as at the reporting date specified.
- Email a project participant or create individual workbooks to communicate task lists or request for progress reports.
- Recuperate task progress details from remote participant workbooks.