Microsoft Project 2010 : Setting Up Resources - Entering Resource Pay Rates

1/14/2012 11:34:54 AM
Almost all projects have some financial aspect, and cost limits the scope of many projects. Tracking and managing cost information allows the project manager to answer such important questions as the following:
  • What is the expected total cost of the project based on our task durations and resource assignments?

  • Are we using expensive resources to do work that less expensive resources could do?

  • How much money will a specific type of resource or task cost over the life of the project?

  • Are we spending money at a rate that we can sustain for the planned duration of the project?

You can enter standard rates and costs per use for work and material resources, as well as overtime rates for work resources.

When a work resource has a standard pay rate entered and is assigned to a task, Project calculates the cost of the assignment. Project does so by multiplying the assignment’s work value by the resource’s pay rate—both using a common increment of time (such as hours). You can then see cost per resource, cost per assignment, and cost per task (as well as costs rolled up to summary tasks and the entire project plan).

Project handles overtime expenses differently. Project will apply the overtime pay rate only when you specifically record overtime hours for an assignment. Project does not automatically calculate overtime hours and associated costs because there’s too great a chance that it would apply overtime when you did not intend it. In the new book launch project plan, Jun Cao’s working schedule provides a good example. In the next exercise, you will set up a working schedule of 10 hours per day, four days per week for Jun. This is still a regular 40-hour workweek, even though 2 hours per day could be mistaken for overtime with the normal assumption of an 8-hour day.

In addition to or instead of cost rates, a resource can include a set fee that Project accrues to each task to which the resource is assigned. This is called a cost per use. Unlike cost rates, the cost per use does not vary with the task’s duration or amount of work the resource performs on the task. You specify the cost per use in the Cost/Use field in the Resource Sheet view.

In this exercise, you enter standard and overtime pay rates for work resource.

  1. In the Resource Sheet, click the Std. Rate field for Jun Cao.

  2. Type 42 and press Enter.

    Jun’s standard hourly rate of $42 appears in the Std. Rate column. Note that the default standard rate is hourly, so you did not need to specify cost per hour.

  3. In the Std. Rate field for Sharon Salavaria, type 1100/w and press Enter.

    Sharon’s weekly pay rate appears in the Std. Rate column.

    Entering Resource Pay Rates
  4. Enter the following standard pay rates for the given resources:

    Resource Name

    Standard Rate

    Toby Nixon


    Toni Poe

    Leave at 0 (Toni is the book author and you’re not tracking her rate-based costs in this project plan)

    Zac Woodall




    Entering Resource Pay Rates

    As you can see, you can enter pay rates with a variety of time bases—hourly (the default), daily, weekly, and so on. In fact, you can enter pay rates in all the increments of time for which you can enter task durations—from minutes to years.

    Next, you will enter an overtime pay rate for one of the resources.

  5. In the Overtime Rate field for Jun Cao, type 67, and then press Enter.


    If you work with a large number of resources who have the same standard or overtime pay rates, you can set up Project to apply these pay rates automatically whenever you add a new resource. You do this in the Advanced tab of the Project Options dialog box, which is accessible from the File tab.

Project Management Focus: Getting Resource Cost Information

Work resources can account for the majority of costs in many projects. To take full advantage of the extensive cost management features in Project, the project manager would ideally know the costs associated with each work resource. For people resources, it might be difficult to obtain such information. In many organizations, only senior management and human resource specialists know the pay rates of all resources working on a project, and they might consider this information confidential. Depending on your organizational policies and project priorities, you might not be able to track resource pay rates. If you cannot track resource cost information and your project is constrained by cost, your effectiveness as a project manager might be reduced, and the sponsors of your projects should understand this limitation. If you do include cost details in your project plan and this is considered sensitive information, consider requiring a password to open such project plans. To set a password, click the File tab, and then click Save As. In the Save As dialog box, click Tools and then click General Options.

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