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I have a requirement MS Project was probably not intended for, but maybe there is a tricky way to do this.

We have a lot of "resources" that are really software licenses. For example, if our license to use BigSoft 2.2 expires on 15 June, then all the projects using BigSoft 2.2 will grind to a halt the next day, 16 June. Our Contracts department does not always renew licenses on time. Similar resource behavior exists for things like server farms being turned off for good, etc.

The problem is that each one of the 70 or 80 ongoing tasks uses these resources, but the resources are never overcommitted, since they are, for all practical purposes, "Machine infinite". The only thing that kills us is when the resource literally goes bye-bye for, say, a month.

I COULD just state that each task uses, for example, 1/1,000 of the resource, but Project doesn't allow percentages that small. I COULD create a resource group with a pile of pseudo resources with similar names to avoid this, but that has the evil smell of a contrived work-around. Before I just go hog-wild into the world of workarounds, gray tape, and stitched-together solutions, I thought I would throw the problem out to the Community.

  • Hello, this site more focuses on the soft skills and processes as opposed to using a specific tool. You may have better luck with this question on a site devoted to MSP. – Joel Bancroft-Connors Feb 14 '15 at 0:59
  • Respectfully disagree with @JoelBancroft-Connors; I believe we should welcome tool specific questions like this. I also think this is a cool hack that could generalize into similar problems. – Mark C. Wallace Feb 17 '15 at 18:29
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You can set the availability of a resource to end using the Resource Information form. If the resource is assigned outside of the available date, the resource is shown as overallocated. Assuming you are using Project 2010 or 2013, the task will also show the overallocation indicator.

You can also increase the max units of the software resource to cover the overallocation that may be caused by assigning the resource to 70 or 80 tasks.

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I have to manage a large number of data vendors and software licenses so I had this exact same question. The solution I used, assuming you use a resource pool, is to make a "License Management" project with each license as a material resource. In this project, I made tasks such as "Renew License" and "Get Update".

Then in each project that uses a license or data source, you add the material resource to the project summary task. This allows you to see which projects are using each resource, who is responsible for renewing the license, how much the material cost is (flat fee and per use), and when each license needs to be renewed or update needs to be downloaded.

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