We started using MS Projects recently in our small consulting firm, and one of the types of projects we have are retainer(SLA) based, where the client has a contract for a certain amount of hours per month. Now my question relates to creating tasks on a Project we created for this client, what we are currently doing is we create a main task for each month and assign the amount of hours to that tasks, and then we create sub tasks on that, one for general development and one for business intelligence, what we want to do is share the 150 hours between the two tasks without having to specify the amount of hours for each, as we don't know before hand how they will be split for any particular month.

Currently the main task has 150 hours and both the two sub-tasks on that main task has no hours allocated towards it, each with its own resource assigned to a task.

But when I open PWA and view the projects it says 300 hours has been allocated towards this project.

So what would the best practice be for something like this? And if you have some sources on the internet of where to find more information for something like this, please let me know?


1 Answer 1


If I were in your situation, I would set up a resource with 150 hours available per month and assign it to all your tasks. Then you can use resource leveling using that resource to spread out your tasks such that only 150 hours per month is worked towards them.

In Project resources are not just people, they are anything that must be scheduled. Using "total consulting hours" as a resource is just like scheduling a project to have access to a conference room or a specialized tool.

I believe what is happening in your current approach is that you have scheduled a roll up task to take 150 hours of calendar time, but there are two sub tasks running concurrently, so each takes 150 hours of resources, thus 300 hours of effort in total.

  • Ok so basically the trick is to create a resource and log the hours with that resource, but how do we then track the hours of the two individual resources against that project
    – Armand
    Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 15:02
  • Resources are not exclusive. A task could have two people and a conference room assigned to it. What I suggested was one resource to track the total billable hours spent on the task, and the people resources can be managed normally when assigned to the same task. So a task might have the billing resource and one of your people assigned, and a different task would have a different mix of personnel resources. Note that if two people work the same task, you are billing 2 hours for each hour that the task is worked. You can assign the billing task at other than 100% to accommodate this. Commented Apr 11, 2013 at 15:18

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