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I can't figure out how to represent salaried employees in Microsoft Project. I created a 24 month schedule, and assigned a $100/year resource to a 12-month task. I ran into two problems:

  1. I expected the cost of the task to be $100, but it was $92.31.
  2. I was not charged for idle resources (the remaining 12 months), but I should have been.

How do I correct this?

UPDATE: I figured out #1. Project calculate durations in terms of 7 days per week, 4 weeks per month. When you enter a duration of 12 months you're actually getting 336 days, not 365, hence the difference between the resource's annual cost and task cost over 12 month.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Glad you found a solution to #1.

My first reaction to #2 of your question was that it should work no problem.

After about a hour of investigation in Project, I began to look online and found this which appears to indicate that Project does not care how much actual time is spent on a task.

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Seems like your answer was truncated; I'm not sure I follow the last sentence. – Mark C. Wallace Feb 4 '13 at 11:39
Was just a typo but thanks for pointing it out. – Sal S. Feb 5 '13 at 4:23

Resource underallocation

Regarding your question #2, this kind of situation is referred to as resource overallocation or underallocation by MS Project. The stress is typically on resolving overallocation without delaying the project completion.

The situation you outline is one of underallocation. In MS Project 2010 you can see this in the Team Planner view. You can also drag and drop tasks from one resource to another. Here is an article with more details about resource management using MS Project. How to utilize resources who are underallocated is entirely up to you. You may assign them to other projects.

However, if you want MS Project to include their idle time cost in the cost of this project, you have to create a task, say "Idle time", and assign them explicitly to that task.

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