Have you ever looked at the resource view in Microsoft Project? Many MS Project users rarely view their resources. When you do, you may be surprised to see the project resources are in the resource list multiple times. These small differences happen easily when you type in a unique resource name on a task line. Furthermore, it does not remove the resource when you delete the resource from all of the tasks.
Resource sheets often contain misspelled names, nick names and other unintended data because of this method of automatically adding, but not automatically removing resources from the resource sheet. This doesn’t have to be a problem because resources are easy to remove. You just have to go to the “Resources” view and delete the resources you are not using.
- Nicknames such Jim on some tasks and James on others. The same person looks like two different resources in your project.
- Correcting the spelling of a misspelled name after the resource was already entered leaves the misspelled name in the resources list.
- Using Jr., Sr., etc. with a comma separator creates two resources and splits the task as a 50-50 effort between them. John Doe, Jr. is actually two resources. John Doe gets assigned half of the work and Jr. gets assigned the other half.
- The task list is reused for another project team, sometimes even a completely different company. All data in the resources column is deleted to assign different people to the project, but all of the resources from the previous team remain on the list of resources.
You may never see this problem if you never have to manage resource assignment conflicts. It doesn’t matter that the name Jim and James is the same person if you never need to measure his workload to determine his availability. We’re seeing this as a problem more frequently, however, because project managers and executives alike are looking for better planning data and accountability to the project schedules.
An import of tasks from Microsoft Project into Project Insight reveals some of these common mistakes because Project Insight will prompt you for proper mapping of these resources.