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Budget and Cost Resources

BY Collin Quiring

In our book, “Mastering Resource Management Using Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010” we concentrate on the tool itself and on Work Resources.  This document is an addendum of sorts to that and is designed to better define specifically the Budget Resource Type and the Cost Resource Type that are available in Project.

From Chapter 5 of the book:

A Resource can be defined as a Work, Material or Cost Type.  Material Resources are consumable items like concrete or paint.  Cost Type Resources are meant for controlling or reporting costs such as airfare or lodging.  Work Resources are people or equipment and can be generic or actual (sometimes called named).  A Generic Resource is a resource identified by the skill set or type of resource and an actual resource is a person.

For example, a Generic Resource might be called something like Carpenter, Painter, System Administrator, DBA or Project Manager.  The Generic Resource is then replaced by an actual resource with the appropriate skill set at a later time

To more deeply define the Cost and Budget Resources I have come up with this:

A Cost Resource is a specific cost that occurs that is usually related to a specific task.  For example, to accomplish a specific task you may incur some airfare.  But, throughout the life of the Project, there may be numerous times where airfare expenses are incurred – each one based on the deliverable for a specific task.  (Yes, if you want to, you can be more advanced and spread a cost across multiple tasks but that requires a bit more effort on your part and we are going to stay simple in this document.)

And, each time you assign the Resource to a task, you can put in the amount of the cost as it pertains to that specific task.  For example, I have created the Cost Resource named Airfare and on these two tasks have two different cost amounts for each ticket – the first one being $750 and the second being $250.  I assign the same Resource (Airfare) but with different costing.  When you enter the information into the Resources tab of the Task Information box the amount of the cost will appear in the Resource Name field.

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