When we think about resource utilization, we often times do not realize all that goes into that calculation.  Is it only billable projects, is it a non-chargeable and billable?  But what really goes into it, and more specifically within Dynamics 365 for Project Service Automation (PSA), how does the Resource Utilization grid populate the data.

Recently, I’ve had numerous individuals come up to me and say:  I’ve created a project and tasks within PSA, entered and approved time for resources, but the Resource Utilization Grid is not populating


It’s not as simple as stating, well I submitted time against a project, project task and it was approved.  Here is all you need to know, if you want your organization’s resource utilization board to correctly populate the data:

Start with your Resources

If you want the Resource Utilization to report accurately, there are several pieces of information you must set up on every resource where utilization is important to track:

  1. Target Utilization.  On the resource, at a minimum, you must populate a number in this field.  This field is located in the Project Service area.  If you do not set this, don’t panic, yet.
  2. If you don’t set the utilization on the resource, but use Resource Roles (and utilization by role) then the resource should have at least one role assigned that has a utilization rate.  The caveat here, when adding a role to a resource, ensure the resource has one of the roles selected as the default role.  That will populate the target utilization field on the resource record.  See the screenshot below.  resource role
  3. Work Hours.  Yes, the working hours for a resource IS important.  This allows the engine behind the scenes to understand how many hours this resource normally works in a given day.  Based on those details, the board knows if the resource is under, near or at/above utilization for any given period.  work hours

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’re setup for resources is now complete.

Projects – Contract / Contract Line(s)

Many, at this point, have ask, now we can accurately calculate utilization for a project?  My answer to that is, well maybe.  The second key to calculating resource utilization for PSA is the Project Contract and Contract Lines.  Yes, every project, where you want to have the system generate utilization must have a contract and at least one contract line.

I’ve run into scenarios where folks said, well we don’t really use contracts / contract lines in our implementation; all of that is handled in our ERP.  My answer is, well that’s great, but if you want to use the out of the box resource utilization board, you need a contract and a contract line (there are ways to automate this with a simple plug-in and rudimentary Contract/Contract Lines record for such projects, but that’s a topic for another day).

The Project Contract captures key metrics for a project, such as billing progress and the actual effort spent (are you under, over or on target).  The contract lines provides the meat and potatoes of a contract:  the overall contract line amount, billed amount, estimated cost, costs incurred to date, gross margin, and expected margin.  Bottom line, it is the gateway to all the financials for a project, AND is required for resource utilization calculations.  (Note, there is more to setting up the financials for a project in PSA, including Project Contract Line Details, where you would setup details per role and transaction class.)

Once those pieces are setup, you can happily submit and approve time and see the data on the resource utilization board start updating.

Utilization 2Utilization 3


Again, there is more that goes into setting up projects, project contracts and even resources (bill vs. cost rates etc).  This will get you going in the right direction to hopefully seeing less red on your utilization board and lots more green.