Goal: Estimate resource needs

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003
Microsoft Office Project Server 2003
Microsoft Project 2000 and 2002

By now you have identified the project scope (scope: The combination of all project goals and tasks, and the work required to accomplish them.), including setting up the task list and estimating the task durations. You can use this information to make preliminary estimates, identify requirements, and start your staffing and procurement processes to acquire the resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) that you need.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project. The project life cycle is outlined in The Project Map, where you can find a link to an article about each project management goal. Most of the articles include links to supporting information or procedures that you perform in Project or Project Server. These "goal" articles were designed to help you not only use Project but also better understand project management.

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Calculator keys and figures of human resources

number 1  Identify and estimate resource requirements     After you establish the scope (scope: The combination of all project goals and tasks, and the work required to accomplish them.) and objectives (objective: The quantifiable criteria that must be met for the project to be considered successful. Objectives must include, at least, cost, schedule, and quality measures. Unquantified objectives increase the risk that the project won't meet them.) and set up the task (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) list in your project plan, you are ready to plan resources.

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The following process can help you identify the types and quantities of resources that you need to implement the project:

Number 2  Change a duration     Use the information that you collect about this project and similar projects to refine the task duration (duration: The total span of active working time that is required to complete a task. This is generally the amount of working time from the start to finish of a task, as defined by the project and resource calendar.) estimates. The accuracy of your duration estimates directly affects the accuracy of the resource requirements estimate.

Number 3  Develop proposed resources      At this point, you are ready to list the resource types and quantities. For human resources, you know the job titles, skill sets, and experience level. You know the type, brand, cost, and capacity of the equipment resources that are needed. You know the amounts of consumable materials (material resource: The supplies or other consumable items that are used to complete tasks in a project.) that are required. You can enter and compile this resource information in Project and submit it as part of your resource proposal.

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Number 4  Obtain approval for your estimated resources     Submit your resource proposal to stakeholders (stakeholders: Individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected by the project.) to obtain approval for the resource estimates.

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After you identify the types and quantities of people, equipment, and material resources (material resource: The supplies or other consumable items that are used to complete tasks in a project.) that you need to implement your project, you might need to obtain approval for staffing and procurement from stakeholders (stakeholders: Individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected by the project.) within your organization or with outside customers. If you are bidding for this project, the following process can help you set the requirements, assumptions (project assumptions: Factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.), and budget for your proposal:

Number 5  Update the resource estimates based on approval     After you obtain approval for using resources and have new information about them, you can update your resource estimates.

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