Managing Time and Expenses for Project Resources

In order to estimate costs accurately for projects, you need to be able to accurately capture resource time entries for utilization and productivity on projects and assess how that time figures into each project.

First, the sections below describe what utilization and productivity are, in relation to project management. Next, you can read how to customize the input of this data using Classifying Time for Projects.


Productive time is time spent working on a project, but is not time spent toward completing a specific project task, such as time spent in training or in transit. Such factors can adjust costs because resources are not actually working their full assigned time.

You can adjust for productive time by having time classified as productive when resources make a time entry against a project. Then, run the Utilization by Resource Reports to assess time spent on projects.


Utilized time is time spent actually working toward completing a specific project task. Utilization factors affect the cost or duration of a task depending on the resource used. When managing projects, you need to consider resource utilization factors and their affects on tasks.

For example, when choosing which resource to assign, you should consider the experience or skill of each resource. A resource with more experience or skill than another may complete a task in less time or with fewer mistakes. This means a shorter task duration.

However, these resources usually also have higher hourly costs as well, so the project cost could increase as well.

For example, you need a resource to complete a project task and you can assign either Joe or Billy. Joe has many years experience and completed this task many times before. He is likely to complete it quickly and make few mistakes, but his salary costs are high. Billy is new and his salary costs are much lower, but he does not have much experience at this task. He will take longer to complete it and likely make more mistakes than Joe.

In light of such considerations, you may need to adjust schedules to adjust the cost based on who is going to do the work.

The Target Utilization field allows you to set how much of resources Total Hours can be described as actual work time. For example, if a target utilization of 85% is entered on a project resource employee record, NetSuite determines the available hours by multiplying the Total Hours on the employee’s defined work calendar by 0.85. Thus 85% of the resources time should be devoted to actual working (and should be entered to Timesheets), and the remaining 15% includes breaks, filling in timesheets and other work not connected to project. The Total Hours column reports the total number of hours from the defined work calendar. The Available Hours reports the specific number of hours which has to be tracked to get 100% utilization.

Time subtab on Tasks

The Time subtab on task records shows Planned Time and contributes to a real-time picture of project schedule.

Related Topics:

Classifying Time for Projects
Entering Time Against Projects
Restricting Time Entry on Project Tasks
Entering Project Expenses
Approving Time and Expenses for Projects
Project Management Reports

General Notices