Ask a Project PM: Resource Leveling

Well this took a little longer to get up here than I had anticipated, but at long last, here’s the first video in our interview series, “Ask a Project PM.” In this interview, Bonny Lau, Program Manager for Microsoft Project, fields your questions on resource leveling. Many thanks to those who submitted questions!
Ask a Project PM: Resource Leveling

Comments (11)

  1. Chocks says:

    Task  | Start Date| End Date | Predes. | Resource |Duration


    Task1 | 17-Aug-09 | 17-Aug-09|         |  R1      | 1 Day

    Task2 | 17-Aug-09 | 19-Aug-09|  1SS    |  R2      | 3 Day

    Task3 | 18-Aug-09 | 19-Aug-09|  1      |  R1      | 2 Day

    Task4 | 20-Aug-09 | 20-Aug-09|  3      |  R2      | 1 Day

    In this scenario when R1 completes task3 in 1 day then Task4 Start Date will change to 19-Aug-09. Where as actually R2 will be engaged from 17-Aug-09 to 19-Aug-09 in Task2. Which means R2 cannot work on 2 task simultaneously. How can I avoid such situation.

    NB: All task type are created as Fixed Duration

  2. In this case, it depends on whether you have leveling set to Automatic or Manual. If you have it set to Automatic, the availability of R2 will be taken into account and the start date for Task4 will remain at 20-Aug-09, even though the finish date for Task3 is 18-Aug-09.

    If you have leveling set to Manual, the start date for Task4 will be updated to 19-Aug-09, causing an overallocation of R2. When this happens, you can manually level the project to adjust the dates. On the Tools menu, click Level Resources, and then, on the Resource Leveling dialog box, click Level Now. This should push the start date of Task4 back out to 20-Aug-09.

    Hope that helps!

  3. FritzDS says:

    I level across multiple projects and utilize equipment and human resources.  Normally, I’ll want to have a series of tasks within one project use an equipment resource before another project’s tasks start to use the same equipment.  (A device undergoes a series of tests, i.e. tasks, in the test area, which is the assigned equipment resource.)

    However, levelling will intersperse tasks from multiple projects rather than letting one project finish all its tasks before the next begins.  I want to keep them grouped together because the series of tests must occur on one device (i.e. project) at a time.

    I’ve left the project priorities at 500 to force levelling to look at all tasks across all projects equally except where the task priorities differ.  By setting the task priority of project A’s tasks to 600 and project B’s to 500, I would expect all of A’s tasks to be grouped together and to start and finish before B’s tasks.  However, I’ll sometimes see 500 tasks intermingled with the 600 tasks.

    I do have the Leveling Order set to “Priority, Standard”.

    Can anyone help?  Thanks…

  4. Dave Underwood says:

    The video is playing in 2x speed – perhaps it’s an issue on my end?

  5. Hmm, I’m not seeing that Dave…anyone else having playback issues?

  6. Emeraldseas says:

    No problems with the video

    fantastic information. This is the first time I have received a complete tutorial that goes beyond the gloomy fog of resource leveling in MS Project. All this time, I was leveling projects manually. For years people who trusted leveling in MS Project sat outside and were banned from the local cafeteria here. Now things will change.

    Not even the manual explains as well as Bonny does. Wait, sorry, I just admitted that I read the manual…sorry.

    Excellent video thanks.

  7. This is really wonderful feedback, thanks! I’m hoping to do one of these interviews each month. Keep an eye out next week for a request for questions for next month’s interview!

  8. EmeraldSeas says:

    How does one account for efficiency in resources?

    Is this set by changing the person’s unit number? I’d like to keep the unit for the % of the person that is assigned to the task not the efficiency.

    Here is a scenario. Task A is assigned to Albert who is a whiz and can finish this in 5 days. But unfortunately Albert takes off to a job in Monaco for some reason. I hand the job over to Bob who, is here with me in Pittsburgh and works at a lower rate.  Both Albert and Bob are assigned at 100% units. What I would like to do is have the duration or effort change to reflect Bob’s efficiency. Currently, I just change the duration and or effort by a rate. Is there such a efficiency indicator that would automatically effect the effort?

  9. Jim says:

    Cannot view.  Anyone else not use Silverlight?

  10. Dustin C says:

    I have merged two projects created in MS Project 2010, to make one master project. But i want to share the resources, but i am not able to share the resources or know how to do that. So does anyone know how to share the resources of a merged projects in MS Project 2010?

  11. Dustin – This article tasks about how you can share resources –…/share-resources-using-a-resource-pool-HA010214871.aspx It was written for Project 2007 but applies to 2010 – just note that the Share Resource commands are on the Resource tab under Resource Pool.

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