ResourceFirst 8.5 Knowledge Base

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ResourceFirst Introduction

Introduction to the ResourceFirst product and PDWare’s resource-centric philosophy.


ResourceFirst is a powerful resource planning tool for aligning resource capacity with demand to ensure that your project portfolio is achievable. It includes dynamic portfolio and scenario planning for what-if analysis and comparison to financial and FTE targets. It also works for both waterfall-based projects and team-based Agile projects.

ResourceFirst is available for cloud and on-premise installations. It provides first-line functional managers, executives, and PMO / EPMO functions the ability to optimize results in the face of fluctuating work priorities, schedules, demand, and staff capacity.

PDWare Approach – Getting Started

The PDWare philosophy is to enable effective resource planning and allocation that has optimum positive impact on portfolio and strategy execution. It’s why we called our flagship solution ResourceFirstTM.

Traditionally, organizations have viewed resource planning as an afterthought, focusing primarily on project management. It’s no wonder “inadequate resources” is consistently at or near the top of the list of reasons why projects fail.

About ResourceFirst

ResourceFirstTM was designed with several different types of users and stakeholders in mind:

  • Team-Members
  • Resource/Functional Managers
  • Project Managers
  • PMO/Portfolio Managers
  • Product Portfolio Teams
  • Financial Managers
  • Mid to Senior Executives
  • Administrators,
  • And more

In the application interface, the role-based functions are provided in an “area” for each function.

The main system areas include:

  • Home (Team member)
  • Resources
  • Projects
  • Financials
  • PMO/Portfolio Analysis
  • Reporting (Qlik)
  • Actuals (aka Timesheets and Time Reporting Management)
  • Administration

See ResourceFirst Navigation for an overview of how to navigate around the system.

Foundational Data in ResourceFirst

Our approach is that the software product should be simple, practical, and not get in the way. While ResourceFirst is a powerful, dynamic software product, its key functions rely on a simple set of foundational data:

  • Project data – including charter information, key attributes, budget, major schedule dates, & more
  • Resource data – including skills, rate, cost centers, total availability for project work (i.e., capacity) and other attributes
  • Assignments (Labor and Financial Forecasts) – Time-phased labor FTEs or hours, by project and resource or skill required, and time-phased financials by project and financial item.

To learn more about each of the main areas in ResourceFirst, visit the respective sections in this site, where you’ll find a wealth of how-to content, best practices, and more.

About “Organization Breakdown Structures” (OBS)

A typical corporate org chart is an example of an Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS). The org chart is a “tree” structure – each block on the chart is a node which has a parent node (except the top node) and which may have child nodes.

ResourceFirst provides two primary Organization Breakdown Structures; the resource OBS (ROBS) and the project OBS (POBS). Every resource is a member of a single ROBS node; every project is a member of a single POBS node.

A resource OBS typically represents how resources are organized in the company (usually by a hierarchy of divisions and departments). A project OBS node can be similar or can be arranged by some other characteristic such as product line.

An example of node hierarchy might be:

ABC Enterprises

——  Division 1

———–Department A

—————-Team 123

——  Division 2

———–Department B

When projects or resources are created, they are created in the node at the appropriate level in the structure.

OBS’s play a role in system configuration (defining what system features users see), access permissions (defining the projects and resources users are able to see or modify), and user specification of what data to load.

For more on OBS nodes and how to set them for your session, see the Filters/Get Data section in the ResourceFirst Navigation article.

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