Project-level resource planning is typically used when you want to plan a project's resource requirements at a high level, rather than at the more detailed task level. You use the project Staffing screen to set up initial estimates for roles and resources, with anticipated Start and End Dates and demand (expressed in Hours or Headcount).
Sometimes organizations want their project managers to be able to create and staff demand, while others want the staffing function limited to members of the "staffing" department. For the purposes of this documentation, we refer to the former as "direct" staffing, and the latter as "managed" staffing.
Direct vs. Managed Staffing
Some organizations use a managed staffing approach to manage the staffing process. Others do "direct" staffing, where project managers create staffed or unstaffed allocations directly in the course of their project planning. Organizations using a managed process typically allow project managers to create demand and hand-off the staffing function to a resource management organization. In some cases, project managers have extended permissions that allow them to propose resources in their requests to the resource management organization, or even complete the fulfillment of the request themselves.
PPM Pro supports both direct (project-manager-centric) and managed resource planning. The interface for working with allocations in both types of environments are very similar; there are a few extra buttons and menu items on the interface that supports managed staffing.
If you are not familiar with the staffing screen, please take a look at Staffing Screen Quick Tour. If you are using the managed staffing feature, after you become familiar with the Staffing screen, then see About Managed Resource Staffing and Working with the Managed Project Staffing Screen to learn about the features specific to managed staffing.
Note: The Staffing screen is visible to full users with the appropriate permissions (Project > View > Staffing or Project > Edit > Staffing).
Roles and Resources
Project-level planning is high level; you may or may not know who will work on the project, but you are likely to know what kind of roles will need to be filled.
The Staffing screen allows you to allocate roles to a project either with specific resources assigned to the roles, or simply with resource placeholders. These placeholders can have estimated dates and demand, just like actual resources. This allows you to create role demand without having to specify individual contributors.
When you allocate a resource to a project on the Staffing screen, by default the resource is allocated under his or her Primary Organization Role. You can also allocate a resource to a role that is not his or her Primary Organization Role.
Note that you can allocate a resource to a project who is not a member of the project team. However, as a convenience, a resource will be placed on the project team as a result of being allocated to the project. You can remove the resource from the project team at any point.
Note: Your organization must have the billing rate feature enabled in order to use this feature. To see actual rate values, individual users must be in the Billable Rates group.
Billing rates are set on an Organization Role and/or the resource record. Each project has an associated billing rate table that is populated with a billing rate for each role/resource you allocate to the project. Once you have allocated a role/resource, you can modify the associated billing rate on the Billing Rates page; any changes you make will apply in the current project. In addition, you can create "standalone" rates, which are rates that are not associated with any one resource or Organization role. You can assign a standalone rate to any role or resource in the current project.
Allocations and Contouring
The project Staffing screen automatically contours allocations evenly across the date range for a resource, based on the project calendar's working hours, including exceptions. You can custom contour by allocating hours/headcount to specific weeks/months by simply turning on the Contours view and making edits inline. The allocated hours/headcount are displayed on all resource Capacity & Demand screens (all resources, individual resource). Allocated hours/headcount can be edited at any time on the project Staffing screen by all users who have rights to edit the project.
You can also create custom contours.
When you are ready to plan project Tasks, you schedule the same set of roles and resources you specified on the Staffing screen to the tasks (see Scheduling Resources to a Task).