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Viewing resource capacity
Viewing resource capacity
Recall that the amount of time that a resource is able to work on tasks in a project is called
its resource capacity , and in Project, this is measured in units. By default, such units are
presented as a percentage value, with 0% meaning no capacity and 100% meaning the
full or maximum capacity of a single resource with a normal working schedule of 40 hours
per week. In Project, a resource’s maximum capacity to do work is tracked as the resource’s
maximum units (labeled Max. Units) value.
Even experienced project managers have been known to overestimate resource capacity
for the people allocated to work on a given project. This can lead to problems during the
execution of a project and unhappy resources, especially when the project manager has
also underestimated the amount of work required to complete the tasks in the project.
There are many legitimate reasons to expect some variability with task work estimates—
especially in the initial planning stage of a project. Resource capacity, however, should be
easier to estimate more accurately. This section introduces some useful tools in Project that
can help you better see and understand resource capacity.
Viewing the working capacity per resource gives you a better understanding of overall
capacity for your project. This, in turn, can help inform you and the project’s stakeholders
about any possible adjustments to the scope of the project to better match that capacity
of the team (or vice versa). Normally, you can expect one of the following conditions for
resource capacity:
Planned work is less than the working capacity of the team. You might be able to use
some portion of your resources’ time for other projects or to do more work in this
Planned work exceeds the working capacity of the team. You might need to reduce
the scope of work or secure more resources.
Planned work is approximately equal to the working capacity of the team.
TIP This way of understanding project scope and resource capacity is explored more in
Appendix A, “A short course in project management.”
The scenario: At Lucerne Publishing, at this point in the planning for the new children’s
book project you’ve set up an initial task list and initial resource details. Now you’ll examine
resource capacity in detail.
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