Using Resource Curves ?
Firstly can I just say that I am a not greatly experienced P6 user and this might be something fairly simple I am doing wrong.
Here goes - Can anyone suggest how I best achieve my desired report or view? To explain - I have a number of future projects that currently only have Level 3 WBS with a few high level activities added. At this time these projects are held in the PMDB and are really only used as placeholders for future work. Each of the Activities at Level 3 are representations of the various phases the project will be required to pass through. The particular phase I am discussing is the ‘Construction’ Phase. Some projects will be deemed as being no longer viable and be deleted but some go ahead will be developed into full blown programme schedules at some stage in the future. In order to give an indication of future labour resource requirements I have created (or will) an activity and make it a ‘WBS Summary’ in each of the projects just below the Level 1 WBS. There are some 50+ of these projects in the portfolio. No two of project durations are the same and range anywhere from 6 months to 4 years. However they do all use a fairly standard set of Labour Resources. For this example I'll use the Civil Engineer Resource or Role.
In preparation what I have done so far is to gather the % of the Civil Engineer’s time spent on historical projects by month. I have 6 sets of data from these completed projects. Ideally I wanted to get an average time by month a Civil Engineer spent across these 6 projects. However as they were all varying durations, some have 6 months and others have 12, 18 months etc. So it was difficult to get an average by month. I thought using the 'Create Resource Curve' in P6 was the way forward. For example where a historical project had an overall duration of only 12 months I interpolated the 12 values to create 21 data points and represented them as % of the engineers time. Similarly for a 6 month project I interpolated to get the 21 data points. In short the end result was that at 5% of the project duration the Engineer was spending 27% of his time for eaxmple, by 40% he was spending 35% and so on. By creating a common denominator if you like of 21 points I was able to total and get an average from the 6 historical projects. This gave me in Excel a Profile of the engineer's time at 21 points across the 0%-100% of the project duration. I should say at this point that I am aware of the limitations and the level of accuracy this approach is likely to give but it is only intended to be a rough cut at this time for the guys at the top of the totem pole. As a project gets the green light it will be expanded in detail and resource loaded in the normal way.
So, armed with 21 average data points for a Civil Engineer I then tested the approach on 4 projects. I created them such that they all had varying duration WBS summaries. My thinking was that as the curve X axis was 0% - 100% then the duration wouldn't matter as the resource requirement would be shown by month be it 6 month or 24 months. I had hoped that by then opening all 4 of the test projects simultaneously each with the Civil Engineer assigned to the Summary WBS and each with the newly created Resource Curve (Civil Eng Profile) I would get a picture , screenshot or be able to create a report that tells me my Civil Engineer requirement is OK or if I have an over allocation at some stage across all 4 projects. What seems to happen in P6 is the Resource Curve for the Civil Engineer is quite happy to allow an over allocation. I have tried various different changes in Duration Type , Tried changing the ‘Remaining Units / Time % (or Xd/d) In summary what I want to achieve is to be able to see my resource requirement by month across all four projects (prior to rolling it out across all 50 ) . I need to see my over allocation in any given month and I need to repeat this for the entire set of resources - Electrical Engineer, SCADA engineer etc etc. It's not an option to use the normal bottoms up approach of allocating resources to a 'Task Dependant' activity as these have not been fully added to all 50 programmes at this time. If anyone has a solution or any ideas I would welcome any input.
Thanks & Regards