Project Management

Create a resource management model in Microsoft Project 2007

WBS using Matchware MindView

I received an email from an employee in the United States Central Command inquiring about how to use Microsoft Project to track personnel on a military base and monitor resource levels as units deactivate during a base closing. The goal was to measure the total number of personnel at any given point in time and track the resources as the base downsizes.

I developed a quick resource management model in Microsoft Project 2007 that will produce this information. Since Microsoft Project supports resource assignments and resource pools, developing an ongoing model was relatively easy. This example creates a work breakdown structure (WBS) that is comprised of teams or units that are allocated to different tasks.

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Step 1: Develop the WBS

The first step is to develop a WBS that resembles the location hierarchy. I like to think visually before detailing the work in Microsoft Project, so I used Matchware MindView to develop a hierarchical WBS.

The base (the top level WBS deliverable) was divided into regions. Each region was comprised of specific buildings, and each building was further defined into specific floors. A general term "location" could also be used if resources were not assigned to a specific building but rather another ambiguous sub-region. The level of detail can be extended to individual offices or cube locations.

Screenshots by Andy Makar for TechRepublic

By Andrew Makar

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of How To Use Microsoft Project and Project Management Interview Questions Made Easy. For more project management advice visit