Deltek Cobra uses the Replace Resources tool to replace one resource with another, provided that the new resource is included in the resource file.
By Alan Kristynik, PMP
You can also merge several resources into a single resource. You can either replace resources one at a time, or you can merge multiple resources into a single resource using a comma delimited (.csv) file or Microsoft Excel (.xlsx) file. If you use the file method, the file must contain two columns: one for the original resources and one for the replacement resources.
In the following example, AERO01 and AERO02 would be merged into AERO, and MECH would be replaced with MECHENG:
|Original Resource Assignment||Replace with Resource Assignment|
When performing the resource replacement/merge process, if a resource with the same name as the new resource exists for a control account or work package/class combination, Cobra will combine the old data with the new resource name. If there is no existing data, the old data will be renamed to the new. Because this process just renames and combines resources, the following conditions exist:
- You must run the Recalculate utility after using the Replace Resources utility if the new resource definition references different rates and/or different results. This is necessary since the resource replacement process does not perform calculations on the combined/renamed data.
- Adjustments to the current period may occur the next time you calculate earned value since the resource replacement process does not recalculate earned value for merged resource data for work packages in progress or complete.
- You must run the Apportionment Calculations utility since the resource replacement process does not perform calculations on the combined/renamed data.
The following exhibit displays the current Resource Assigned and Budgeted to multiple planned work packages: SENG – Structural Engineers:
The scenario below demonstrates the process to replace SENG – Structural Engineers with SYSENG – System Engineers. As previously noted, you must affirm that the new Resource is configured in the Resource File assigned to the Project AND a Rate Set is applied to calculate the derived costs for the new resource assignment:
|Original Resource Assignment||Rate Set||Rate Value|
|SENG – Structural Engineers||SENG||$50.00|
|New Resource Assignment||Rate Set||Rate Value|
|SYSENG – Systems Engineers||SYSENG||$100.00|
To replace a resource with another resource or to merge multiple resources into a single resource, you must complete the information required on each page of the Replace Resources wizard.
Replace Resources Wizard
Click … to display the Project lookup dialog, where you can select a project. The Project lookup dialog displays only those projects that you are permitted to access:
Original — Click … to display the Resource Lookup dialog, where you can select the resource that you want to replace.>/p>
Replace With — Click … to display the Resource Lookup dialog, where you can select the resource that you want to use as replacement for the resource that you selected in the Original field:
This page informs you that Cobra has all the information it needs to replace/merge resources. If you need to double check the information you entered on any of the previous pages of the wizard, click Back until the desired page displays.
When you are sure that all the information is correct, click Finish to complete the process:
This page informs you that Cobra has completed replacing the resources for the selected project:
Click View Log to display processing and any error information:
Affirm via the Project View that SYSENG- Systems Engineer was assigned to replace SENG – Structural Engineers:
The Deltek Cobra Replace Resources Process provides a very quick and easy way to replace a single resource with another resource in the Assigned Project Resource File, and a process to merge multiple resources into a single resource via a Microsoft Excel File. As previously noted above, to complete the process, you must perform a follow-on process called Recalc. Stay tuned for my next article describing the Deltek Cobra Recalc Process!
The Deltek Cobra Replace Resources Process can also be a very useful and efficient management tool during the proposal phase when preparing pricing for the Cost Volume. Often times, the Proposal Manager will direct the Cost Volume Lead Team to “reprice” either PLC (Project Level Categories) and/or GLC (General Level Categories) gaining further insight to optimize resource allocation for the proposal enabling a “win-strategy” for the client. In short, Deltek Cobra becomes even a more beneficial tool—during the proposal phase in addition to the execution phase for Earned Value Management (EVM) during the project lifecycle.
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