I am starting to get more and more impressed with the Resource Plan functionality. At the moment I have to implement Resource Management capability on a customer's site and we all know how hard resource management is. Project Server 2003 was ok but certainly not the start and end of resource management. Predominantly because resources had to be managed on a task by task bases. Not that this is bad, but lets face it, if you have a Project that lasts for a couple of Month or even years, you cannot plan all resources from the first to the last day of your project, not to mention the overhead involved to maintain the plan. So THANK YOU MICROSOFT for the great new functionality of calculating the utilisation either from the Project Plan ( as per 2003 ) or from the resource plan ( the new feature).
If you create a new Project / Proposal you can build your resource team and create a resource plan within Project Web Access. You can tell Project Server to use the resource plan information to calculate the utilisation of your resource(s) based on this resource plan, or use the Project Plan ( with the assignment to the tasks) to calculate the utilisation.
Furthermore you can have a choice of letting the utilisation calculate based on a project plan until a certain date and then use the resource plan to calculate the rest of the utilisation. This is especially beneficial if you have a long lasting project where you only have a detailed plan for "Phase 1" but dont have a detailed plan for "Phase 2". You can assign your resources for Phase 1 on a detailed task level ( which you want to do) and then you can say, "I believe I will need resource A for 2 days a week over the next 12 Month" in Phase 2. When you choose the option "Calculate resource utilisation from Project Plan until:" DD.MM.YYYY" Project Server calculates the utilisation based on the Project Plan for Phase 1 ( until the finish date of Phase 1 ) and then uses the resource plan to calculate the rest of the utilisation. This will give Resource Managers and Organisations a great forecast /outlook to their resource requirements.
Check out the MSDN Link which explains the Resource Management and Resource Plan in more details. It is cool stuff and certainly a big improvement from Project Server 2003