NRP = Network Resource Planning: operational software for open value networks and other next-economy organizations. This tutorial explains the NRP Resource Type and Resource models and shows how to set them up.
Resource Type Setup
Concepts & Tutorial
Resource type setup needs to be done to a basic level before using the NRP. You can of course also
make changes as needed whenever you want.
This covers setting up the resource types themselves, and also units of measure, locations, roles
agents can play regarding resources, and a set of categorization schemes to make the resource types
more usable within the application.
Resource type setup fits into the NRP here...
Units of measure are used for all resources
created or used, and for work. Each Resource
Type will be assigned a Unit.
Typical examples might be:
US Dollars (set up each currency separately)
Select Admin from the dropdown on the right of
the top navigation bar.
Select Units from the list, towards the bottom.
Add or change units on the admin page. You
can come back and add, change, or delete units
at any time.
Resource Type setup is an art and a skill. People
are trained and have full-time jobs in larger
manufacturing companies to do nothing but.
This document will attempt to give some
guidelines on how to think about it, in addition to
an understanding of what is available in NRP and
how to set it up.
Anything that is part of the value creation of the
network could be a resource / resource type.
These could be, for example:
● Products (physical, electronic)
● Components or parts
● Equipment and tools
● Types of work
A list of Resource Types can be found on the top
navigation bar under Resource Types.
Each Resource Type also has its
This page shows Resource Type
definition, and also shows
everywhere in the system this
Resource Type is involved at this
You can get to this page from a
Resource Type link on the
Resource Type page or Inventory
Resource Types and Resources
It is important, and sometimes difficult, to understand the difference between Resource
Types and Resources. The Inventory page (left) shows Resources by Resource Type.
The Resource Type is the definition of all of the Resources that belong to that Type. If
you are familiar with ERP systems, a Resource Type is like a Product Master or Item
Master, and resources are like Inventory Items. Or in books, an ISBN (International
Standard Book Number) is the ID of a Resource Type, and all of the individual books with
that ISBN are Resources. For another example, "Room 101" and “Room 102” might be
Resources belonging to a Resource Type called "Room".
Or at Amazon, you always buy a Resource Type. Amazon knows what Resources they
have in inventory for that Type, but you are not specifying which Resource you want. The
warehouse will determine that when they pick and ship.
Usually Resources would only be instantiated if they are inventoried: and usually, that is if
they exist physically and tangibly somewhere, and you want to know about it in the
Money is particular: a Resource Type that might be instantiated in a pile of cash, but
more often as the balance of a bank account or a number in a database.
Some Resource Types may never be instantiated: for example Types of Work.
Resource Types - Thinking about it
To decide how to create your Resource Types, it is helpful to think about how your production or service processes work. Here
are some possibilities:
● Manufacturing processes tend to require specifically defined resource types, which are used in specific recipes (also
called procedures or bills of material with routing). These must be defined to the level that someone can pick a any
resource of the specified type and use it to assemble something (called “substitutable”).
● Experimental processes (early R&D) tends to be too chaotic to define recipes before doing work. If you want to
inventory parts at a specific level, you may want some specifically defined resource types. But it may be most useful to
define more general resource types based on general output of stages of work (for example idea, design, prototype).
There are lots of gradations of R&D in between manufacturing and experimental.
● Input driven processes (like translating an original document or repairing a car) are best defined with a workflow
resource type that can be assigned stages of work on the same resource (like translation, proofed translation, edited
translation; or diagnosis, repaired vehicle, tested vehicle).
● Custom work where you do not need repeatable processes for specific products might also be good candidates for
workflow resource types for recipes, and specific resources types for managing inventory.
In NRP, a Resource Type can be flagged as “substitutable”. This means that any resource of that type can be substituted for
any other resource of that type. You can think of substitutable resource types as specific resource types, and non-substitutable
resource types as generalized resource types where the differences are defined by the resource.
Resource Type Categorization
Another aspect to think about is how you want to categorize your Resource Types. This will
affect what lists of Resource Types you have available as choices in different features of
NRP. You will also be able to filter Resources and Resource Types by these
categorizations. It is sometimes helpful to think about this after you have defined a set of
Resource Types - some of the categorizations may jump out at you.
Resource Type Categorization
NRP has a very powerful and flexible faceted structure for Resource Type
categorization. It can handle complex categorization, or can be set up very
minimally. The down side of the power and flexibility is that at least one person in
the network will need to spend time to understand how the categorization structure
Use Case: Process Logging
-Pattern: Electronics R&D
--Event Type: Produces
---Facet/Facet Value: Deliverable/Prototype
---Facet/Facet Value: Domain/Electronic
--Event Type: Cites
---Facet/Facet Value: Deliverable/Design
Resource Type: Widget Prototype
-Facet/Facet Value: Deliverable/Prototype
-Facet/Facet Value: Domain/Electronic
Resource Type: Widget Design
-Facet/Facet Value: Deliverable/Design
Resource Type Categorization - Facets
To create, go to Admin from the dropdown in the upper right, select Facets, and create
your Facets and Facet Values for each Facet.
The filter lists to the right show one simple categorization scheme and one more
The logic for facet value filtering if there is more than one facet is: within the facet it is
OR and between the facets it is AND. For example, (Deliverable: Design OR
Deliverable: Product) AND Domain: Electronic.
Facets and Facet Values are the sets of categories for the
Resource Types. You need at least one Facet, but can have
several if you have a complex set of Resource Types.
(Examples to the right.)
Resource Type Categorization - Facets
Resource Types can be added on the
Resource Types page. (Depending on
the nature of the work, these may be
added throughout the product life cycle.
But at least initial Resource Types
should be entered.)
When creating a Resource Type, you
can assign Facet Values to it.
You may find that adding Resource
Types and Facets/Facet Values
(previous page) is an iterative process
as you work through what might be the
most useful sets of categories.
There is an additional page where Facet Values can be assigned to Resource
Types in a table format. This makes it easier to get an overview of how the
Resource Types and Facet Values relate, and to assign Facet Values to
Resource Types in one place.
Select Patterns from the top right dropdown, then select Change Resource
Type Facets from the Patterns page.
Less is more when assigning Facet Values. You will find that similar
Resource Types will use the same set of Facets, and that if you deviate, you
will have too many selections in Resource Type dropdowns.
Resource Type Categorization - Patterns
Patterns provide a template that governs a particular page’s use of Resource Types.
Patterns are assigned to Use Cases. Some Use Cases are allowed only one pattern,
while others can have as many as desired.
Select Patterns from the dropdown on the top right. On the Patterns page, first select a
Use Case, which is a feature of the application. You can create new Patterns, change an
existing Pattern, or assign an existing Pattern to the Use Case.
Resource Type Categorization - Patterns
On the Pattern page, on the right, you can assign Facet Values to a Pattern. On the left side, you can see the effect this will have
on Resource Type dropdowns in the Use Case feature of the application, and which Facet Values make the Resource Type
match the pattern.
If the Resource Type
dropdowns are not what
you want, you may have
to adjust the Facet
Values assigned to the
Pattern, and/or adjust the
Facet Values assigned to
the Resource Types.
All aspects of the
categorization setup will
probably be iterative.
Locations Locations are optional. Use them if you will
want to keep track of or map resource
locations. And they can be set up at any
time. In the future, they will be able to be
used to map agents also.
Select Inventory from the top navigation
bar. Select Locations link on the Inventory
On the Location page, select Create a new
Include a mappable address, and the
location will show on the map.
Agent Resource Roles
Agent Resource Roles are useful as part of defining access rules for resources
- often equipment or tools. For example, you might require people to ask
permission of the Custodian (agent role) of a resource before using it.
They are also useful to define ownership for purposes of accounting. If there
are resource owners who are not the network or the commons, and you want to
run reports for them as owners, define an owner role here.
The above is optional.
To manage “virtual accounts” used in distributions of income, choose one role
that is designated as “owner”. This is mandatory to be able to use the value
equation feature. A “virtual account” will be set up as a resource and
associated to its owner agent.
To create the role types, select Admin from the top
right dropdown, select Agent Resource Role Types
from the list.
In Setup, you need only create the small list of role
types. When creating resources during operations,
these will appear as in the bottom image.
Accounting References are useful if you need to create reports for
accounting or governmental purposes, or if you want to import data into an
accounting package such as QuickBooks. This setup is optional.
An Accounting Reference can be set up for each account used in reporting.
Accounting References are then linked to Resource Types.
You will be able to report or export financially related events by Accounting
Reference and date range.
To set them up, select Admin from the top right dropdown, then select
Accounting References from the list. Add, change, or delete.
If you still have any questions about Resource
Type setup, or if you have suggestions, we’d
love to hear from you.