Missing Resources in Microsoft Project Resource Pools

If you work with Microsoft Project and have ever leveraged the power of Resource Pools across multiple projects, you may have encountered a strange behavior when assigning those resources.

When you share resources between a Resource Pool file (a dummy project file that typically has no tasks but is merely a container for holding resources) and another project file, sometimes the resources don’t show up when it comes time to make the resource assignments.


This happens for a very simple reason; one which is easily corrected.

Let’s set the stage…

I have two project files open; one is the project file containing all of the tasks to be performed (but contains no resources), and the other project file holds all of the resources (but contains no tasks.)


Let’s open the files to see exactly what they contain.

Tasks project file – Construct Home.mpp


Resource project file – Resource Pool.mpp


Now assign all of the resources in the Resource Pool.mpp file to the Construct Home.mpp file. This is accomplished by selecting the RESOURCE tab, and in the Assignments group select Resource Pool and then Share Resources…


From the Share Resources dialog box, select “Use Resources…” and then select the Resource Pool.mpp file from the dropdown menu.


All of the resources from the pool file are now available for assignment in the tasks file.


Now on to the Missing Resources issue.

We will now close ALL of the Project files and reopen just the project file containing the tasks (Construct Home.mpp.)

We are immediately presented with the following dialog box:


If we select “Open resource pool to see assignments across all sharer files” all of our resources are available for assignment to our tasks.


Now close all Project files again.

Reopen the tasks project Construct Home.mpp but this time we will select “Do not open other files” from the dialog box.


When we attempt to assign resources to tasks, the resources have vanished.


So the moral of this story is: In order to assign resources utilized from a different Project file, both the file holding the tasks and the file holding the resources must be open at the same time.