When I first began my career in planning, I was initially puzzled by the project management team’s constant requests for the latest updates on the resource profile report. However, it quickly became clear why this information is so valuable to them.

The reason?

These reports are key for management to make smart decisions about resources. These decisions can significantly impact the success or failure of the business.

One thing’s for sure: no matter the project, portfolio, or operational environment, you’ll definitely be asked to provide a resource report that effectively supports the project team.

With the resource report, you can advise your team:

    • The risks of excessive resource supply can lead to lower productivity and wasted resources.
    • Resource demand because the lack of resources will lead to project delays. Consequently, it could result in financial loss and loss of reputation.
    • Opportunity to get the job done early or allocate the resource elsewhere.

Challenges and Opportunities for You

One of the trickiest parts of project management is not being able to see clearly how resources are being used and how they move around, especially in large projects with many different elements.

Most organisations don’t have unlimited resources, so knowing where and how to use what you have is crucial. It’s a key concern for project leaders.

Now, imagine you’re the one who brings clarity to this with top-notch resource reports, based on accurate data. You’ll be seen as a real pro and a leader who’s truly helping the team succeed.

So, where do you start? Begin by creating a resource profile report in P6. Once you’ve got that down, you can branch out to other reporting tools. With P6’s resource profile, you can:

    • Analyse resource requirements,
    • Check the bottom neck of the recourse,
    • Perform resource optimisation
    • Report the resource profile directly in P6 or exporting P6 data to EXCEL or linking with visualisation tools (Power Bi, TIBCO Spotfire, etc.)

Here I will cover how you can develop a resource histogram/S Curve report directly in P6. Follow the steps below.

1 – Complete Creating Activities and First Phase of Activity Sequencing

Before you start working on the resource profile report, make sure the first phase of activity sequencing is complete. Ideally, most of the activity sequence should depend on the tasks at hand.

After reviewing the resources, you have the opportunity to adjust the sequence or the duration of activities. This adjustment is key to optimising resource usage and the overall schedule.

2- How to Review Existing Resources and Add New Resources

To view the resource profile, your project should have resources assigned to the activities or at least WBS summary activities.

So, if you pick up the project from someone else, first check if resources have already been assigned to activities in the project. This step is crucial before creating new resources in the resource library.

Then, follow the steps below to determine if you need to create new resources.

a) Go to Enterprise > Resource to view “Current Project Resources”.

    • Note: When you click on the “Current Project’s Resources” display, you will find the resource if the project got the resource assigned. See the figure below.

    • However, you will only get a blank project resource dictionary if no resource has been added to the current project. See the below image.

b) Add New Resource with New Resource Wizard Form

If you can find the resources you can use and assign to your project, skip this step and move on to the next. But if you can’t find the project resource, add the new resource to the resource library.

When you try to add a new resource, you will get a message like, “In order to add resource, the filter will be changed to display all resources”. Then, you will see all resources for all the projects. New Resource Wizard will be prompted and follow the wizard. You will be asked to enter the following,

    • Resource ID,
    • Resource Name,
    • Allocate Resource Type (Labor, non labor and material),
    • Rate (Price/Unit), Default Units/Time and Max Units/Time,
    • Contact address if applicable
    • Resource roles which describe their skills
    • Resource Calendar
    • Select “Auto-compute” if you want actual units to be updated by Primavera.
    • Select “Do not auto-compute actual” if you can update manually for actual man-hours spent.

c) Group them as per your project’s organisational structure

After entering all data, you will notice that the newly added resources need to be in the desired location. Therefore, allocate those resources according to their resource level.

For example, Pipe fitter, Rigger/Signaler, General worker, Fire watches man, Workshop labor, Painter, etc., are allocated under the construction department of Petrochemical Projects. See figure below.

3) How to Assign Resources in the Activity Detail Section

You can assign the resource directly in P6 or import the resource using the excel import feature in P6. Here, you will learn to assign the resource directly in P6.

> Go to the Activities page > Select the activity that you want to add a resource

> Go to the Resource tab, which is next to the Relationships tab

> Click “Add Resource”, which is located near the bottom of the activity detail box

> Select the required resource and assign it. You could also assign resource details such; as resource curve, budgeted units and actual units.

► Or, you could add the resource by right-clicking on the selected activities.

> Go to the Activities page > Select the activity you want to assign the resource. Select more than one activity if you add the resources to multiple activities.

> Right-click, then select “Assign”, > select “Resources”, select the resource (Const-Instrument work Labor, in the screenshot below), then click plus sign (+) to add.

4 – How to View and Analyze Resource Histogram and S Curve

Once you have assigned the resources to the project, you are ready to review the resource profile.

  1. a) To view the resource profile, 1) Click the resource profile icon on the toolbar or (2) View >> “Show on Bottom”, then select Resource usage profile.

  • (a) Filter the resources by selecting “Current Project’s Resources” on the left side of the resource histogram. For instance, the individual loading chart welder’s resource profile is shown in the following figure.

TIP:

Here’s a handy tip: Keep in mind that you can’t see a combined histogram chart displaying resource data for materials, labour, and non-labour resources together. Why not?

It’s because they each use different units of measure. So, you’ll need to view them one by one instead.

 

c)Customize the appearance of the bar chart by modifying the Resource Usage Profile

    • So, Right Clickon the bar chart area to find Resource Usage Profile Options.

 

    • Select “By date” to see interval data – (Histogram Chart) and “Cumulative” for (S Curve) to see total manpower unit. And select “Budgeted” to show the quantity of the budgeted unit (resource quantity). Finally, choose “Remaining Early” to show the remaining resource to complete the remaining scope of the project.

d) How to Show Manpower rather than Manhour Units

Check the “Calculate Average” and “Based on the Hours Per Time Period” checkboxes in the “Graph” tag of “Resource Usage Profile Options” − to show the manpower resource profile instead of man-hour. P6 will calculate the total men per period (interval) based on working hours and total man-hours per period.

For example:

P6 will show the total man per week as 10 men for the total man-hours for that week is 400 and 40 hours work week.

e) Select all resources in the resource filter to view the overall manpower histogram.

f)How to read the histogram resource chart

    1. The left side of the chart is for the histogram – the interval manpower (i.e. weekly, monthly resource data), and
    2. The right side is for S Curve – total manpower quantity. The screenshot below shows the total resource requirement for the project is nearly 17,600 people.
    3. Select one of the histogram bars and double-click to see the resource data by month and cumulative resource quantity for that month.

g) How to check if your project schedule has got overloaded with resources

The key reason for developing resource histograms is to identify overallocated resources – checking whether the resources are overloaded (too much work than they can handle). To view any overallocated resources in your project,

    • Go to the Datatag on the “Resource Usage Profile Options” window, then select Show Limit and Show Overallocation. Any resource unit above the limit line (black line) is over-allocated. Usually, the overallocated resource is shown in the red bar. See the below snapshots.

 

5) How to Develop “Stacked Histogram with S Curve

Did you know that looking at your resource profile from a new angle can reveal some great insights? Let’s explore another perspective: examining resource issues and opportunities with a stacked histogram.

This type of histogram shows you trends rather than precise numbers of resources needed. It’s a way to get a broader view of your resource needs.

Unlike a standard histogram chart, the stacked version lets you track the movement of individual resource profiles in just one report. It’s a different, more dynamic way to understand your resource allocation.

To develop the” Stacked Resource Histogram” for this manpower allocation,

    • Right-click on the bar chart area to find “Stacked Histogram”.
    • Next, click on the “Stacked Histogram” tag, and then go to “Resource Usage Profile Options.

    1. Go to the “Data” tag in the “Resource Usage Profile”
    2. Add the “Resource Filter/Group” Name for each resource you want to show on the stacked histogram resource report.
    3. Have a different pattern and colour for each resource to see them as individual resources stacked together.
    4. Select “Total cumulative curve” to show the total man count for the project.

    • Finally, you will get a “stacked histogram”, as shown below.
6) How to read (interpret) “Stacked Histogram Resource Profile

The stacked resource histogram is a tool that lets you quickly see each resource’s start and end dates, and identify when resources are at their peak, all in one report.

It also reveals the movements of individual resources and which ones contribute most to peak times. This means you don’t have to print out multiple reports to understand each resource profile and the overall resource needs.

Take this example:

  1. In the stacked histogram, you’ll notice engineering labour is needed from the start to the middle of the project, but it’s much less than construction labour.
  2. A key observation is that most resources were mobilised in January 2013. During the peak, the project required 1,900 people. The major contributors at this time were piping, civil and structural labour, and tankage labour.

    This information is crucial for coordinating your schedule with site conditions, especially when considering if the site can accommodate 1,900 people at its busiest.

    1. The piling resource begins in Jan and ends in Sep 2012.
    2. The civil resource starts simultaneously with piling and goes to Jun 2013.
    3. The instrument labour begins from Jan to the end when the piping resource end.
    4. The piping commences in Oct 2012 until the end, when the painting and insulation team demobilises just before the commissioning. And three work fronts on-site require piping, tankage and civil resources starting from Oct 2012.

Bonus TIP:

If you ask me, Min, about the best graph for resource analysis, I’d suggest using both standard and stacked histograms. Here’s why:

While stacked histograms are useful, they don’t reveal overallocated resources. To see if a resource is overused, you should switch to a typical histogram. Simply uncheck the ‘Stacked Histogram’ option whenever you need to focus on overloaded resources.

7) How to Print Resource Histogram and S Curve
    1. Look for “File” on the menu bar to print the resource graph, then click “Print Preview” or click “Print View” from the toolbar.

    1. Next, go to “Page Setup” and click the “Options” tag. Then, select “Profile” and unselect everything else − Activity Table, All columns, Grid lines and Gantt chart.

      Then, set the “Timescale Start” to “PS-Earliest Project Start” and “Timescale Finish” to “PF-Latest Project Finish” to define the period of the resource report.

    1. Change the period of the histogram chart by changing the timescale to a larger scale (from week to month or month to quarter) if the print preview report doesn’t seem readable. To change the timescale,
      1. Right-click on the resource chart area, and then
      2. Adjust the date interval to Month/Week, Quarter/Month, etc.

  1. Go to Page Setup and play around with “Scaling” and “Paper Size” If you find the resource graph is showing across the two pages or too small to read.

8) How to Show the Resource Histograms/S Curve for Multiple Projects

As I said earlier, most organisations operate with limited resources, aiming to maximise their profits. When you’re involved in program and portfolio management, you’ll often find that resources are shared across different projects.

To view the resources requirements for a group of projects,

    1. Select all projects you wish to view the resource profile by pressing and holding the control key if you handle multiple projects. Next, click “Open Project”.

  1. Go back to Step 4 – “How to View and Analyze Resource Histogram and S Curve”,
    • Filter the resources by selecting “Current Project’s Resources
    • Select all resources in the resource filter to view the overall manpower histogram for multiple projects.

In summary, your ability to skillfully use P6 resource profile tools can greatly boost your career.

You’ll be able to guide your team through the risks of too many resources, the demand for resources, and the opportunities that arise from resource movements.

Being able to answer the questions that management frequently asks is a big plus.

You can achieve this expertise by following these steps:

  1. Finish creating activities and their sequencing.
  2. Review existing resources and add new ones if needed.
  3. Assign resources in the activity detail section.
  4. View and analyse the Resource Histogram and S Curve.
  5. Create a Stacked Histogram with the S Curve.
  6. Learn to read and interpret the “Stacked Histogram” Resource Profile.
  7. Print out the Resource Histogram and S Curve for reference.
  8. Display the Resource Histograms/S Curve for multiple projects.

Now, I’m curious:

  • What questions does your project team usually have about the resource profile report?
  • What are your biggest challenges in developing the resource report in P6?
  • And what kind of feedback do you often receive from your team?