Oracle Primavera – Key Resource Loading Fields

Resource Loading in Primavera utilizes both Cost and Units Columns.  Knowing which fields are important is half the battle.  This page discusses some of the key fields / considerations to make when resource loading a schedule.  This document also discusses why some fields may be ignored when resource loading.

Key Table Columns

Having the right table columns is a necessity when resource loading in Primavera.  Generally, if you are cost loaded, you will want to show the roll-ups of cost.  As an example, Remaining Total Cost is the sum of Expense, Labor, Material and Non-Labor Costs.  It would be counterproductive to add all of these fields so Remaining Total Cost is used.  

  • Actual Total Cost – Actual Cost with all resources
  • Remaining Total Cost – Remaining cost with all resources
  • At Completion Total Cost – the sum of Actual and Remaining Cost
  • BL Project Total Cost – The cost of the baseline
  • Variance – The Difference between the Live and Baseline Schedule

Key Activity Detail Columns

Users should show the columns that are complimentary to what is being shown at the table level, whether that be cost, units or both.  In addition, specific fields change the behavior of resources.  As an example, Calculate Costs from Units breaks the tie between effort and rates.  

  • Resource Name – the name of Resource as created
  • Role – which Role the Resource is assigned to
  • Rate Source – Whether the rate is coming from the Resource, Role or Override
  • Rate Type – Which rate is to be used
  • Actual Units – actual hours expended on the task
  • Remaining Units – remaining hours on the task
  • At Completion Units – the sum of Actual Units and Remaining Units
  • Remaining Units / Time – the utilization of the resource
  • Actual Cost – actual cost expended on the task
  • Remaining Cost – remaining hours of the task
  • At Completion Cost – the sum of Actual Cost and Remaining Cost
  • Calculate Costs from Units – whether rate is tied to hours
  • Auto Compute Actuals – whether Auto Compute is on for the Resource

Putting it all Together

A Resource / Role pool is created so that a company can use that pool to establish both, demand on a company, and supply for that demand.  The demand is typically represented as roles whereas the the supply is where the resources are used.  Note there is no requirement that a role must be used in a schedule and resources may be loaded regardless of role.

Roles are always labor while a resource can be labor, nonlabor or material.

Within the settings of a role / resource, a rate is added.  This ‘burdened’ rate, multiplied by the hours of a resource, establishes the budget of a resource.  Multiple resources loaded onto a single task roll up to the budget at the activity level and ultimately the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) / Project Level.

Once all columns at the Table Level and the columns at the Activity Detail level have been set, you can then save a layout so these do not have to be recreated. 

Some Fields are Less Useful

While Cost, Units and Demand are all needed when Resource loading, there are a few fields that can be confusing but may ultimately go unused:

  • Budgeted Units – An option exists at the project level which populates the Budgeted Units based on what is in the At Completion Units field.  Once an activity has started, the tie between the Budgeted Units and At Completion units is broken.  This can cause problems when the Actual Units and Remaining Units do not add up to the original At Completion Units.  We also do not progress Budgeted Units.  When we progress a task, the Actual Units Increase which the Remaining Units decrease.  The sum of the two is At Completion Units, not Budgeted Units.
  • Budgeted Cost –  An option exists at the project level which populates the Budgeted Cost based on what is in the At Completion Cost field.  Once an activity has started, the tie between the Budgeted Cost and At Completion Cost is broken.  This can cause problems when the Actual Cost and Remaining Cost do not add up to the original At Completion Cost.  We also do not progress Budgeted Cost.  When we progress a task, the Actual Units Increase and the Remaining Units decrease.  The sum of the two is At Completion Cost, not Budgeted Cost.
  • Planned Start / Finish – Planned dates in Primavera are just that, a plan.  On a task that has no progress, Planned Dates are the same as Start / Finish. Once started, the Planned dates are separated from the Start / Finish and are static.  We should already have a baseline for this purpose.
  • Original Duration – Much like planned dates, this is a date that are in synch with tasks that have no progress.  Once started though, Original Duration is locked in place.  Our opinion is that we would have a baseline in place to serve this purpose.

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