Resources get overallocated, but the possible solutions are constrained by the nature of the tasks involved in the overallocation. The resource overallocation we’ve been examining until now is the result of too much work in one time period for the available resources in the Trainers group. Our choices are to hire or contract another trainer, or move one of the four training. The best place to assign resources to tasks is in a task view such as the Gantt Chart. We can move the training automatically by leveling the resources, which we’ll discuss in the next section. Delaying tasks is the way leveling handles overallocations.
To view overallocated tasks, switch to any task view (we’ll use the Gantt Chart view) and turn on the Resource Management toolbar (View> Toolbar Resource Management).
Click the Go To Next Overallocation button to move to the next task with an over allocated resource assigned to it. Use the Resource Allocation View button to switch to a combination view with the Resource Usage grid and a Leveling Gantt; the Task Entry view displays a Gantt Chart and the Task Form with the Resource Assignments. In either view, display the Assign Resources dialog box to add or remove resources
Set options for leveling overallocated resources in the Resource Leveling dialog box. Project 2000’s leveling feature is used to resolve resource over allocation by delaying or splitting tasks. You can level tasks within a range of dates or level the entire project.
Project uses a number of factors to select tasks to delay or split:
• Available slack time
• Task priority, dependencies, and constraints
• Task ID
• Scheduling dates
Before leveling a project, you should make sure that these factors are already set, particularly for critical tasks. See Chapter 8, “Scheduling and Linking Project Tasks,” if you need information about any of these task settings. Make a backup copy of the project
file before proceeding.
Using Project’s Leveling Feature
Select any task. Choose Tools> Resource Leveling to open the Resource Leveling dialog box, shown in Figure 11.9. The settings in the dialog box determine when and how Project 2000 levels resources.
Setting Automatic or Manual Leveling
With Automatic Leveling Calculation enabled, Project will adjust tasks as soon as you change a task or assign a resource that results in an over allocation. Project checks for overallocations after each entry, so with a large project, automatic leveling can slow down overall performance while you’re assigning resources or working with the schedule.
Also, remember that Project will level by delaying or splitting tasks, so if you’re really attached to your project’s finish date, don’t choose this option.
When you choose the default calculation option, Manual, you control when Project levels resources. Manual infers that you’ll have to grab a shovel and roll up your sleeves. All the Manual setting really means is that you’ll have to open the Resource Leveling dialog box and click Level Now to level resources ..
In the Look For Over allocations drop-down list, choose the time period that is an over allocation in this project. Project ignores over allocations with shorter duration than the sensitivity you select. If, for example, you check over allocations on a week-by week basis, a person can be scheduled to work 16 hours 2 days in a row, and still work fewer than the 40 hours in a week. If you look for over allocations on a day-by-day basis, the person is over allocated on both 16-hour days, so the tasks on those days would be adjusted during leveling. The five resource sensitivity settings are:
• Minute by Minute levels resources that are over allocated by a minute or more.
• Hour by Hour levels resources that are over allocated by an hour or more.
• Day by Day levels resources that are over aIIocated by a day or more.
• Week by Week levels resources that are over aIIocated by one week or more.
• Month by Month levels resources that are over allocated by month or more.
If you turn on Automatic Leveling, disable the Clear Leveling Values Before Leveling check box (which is selected by default). When the check box is enabled, Project clears delays created by previous leveling operations and the leveling delays that you entered manually, before it levels resources.
Setting a Leveling Range
The default leveling range is the entire project. To level over allocations in a specific time frame, select the Level From/To option and use the drop-down calendar controls in the Resource Leveling dialog box to select the beginning and ending dates between which Project should search for over allocations:
Setting Resolution Options
When Project 2000 levels resources, it makes two passes through the project. On the first pass, it identifies overallocations. On the second pass, it delays tasks based on the leveling order you select. There are some tasks that Project will not delay. Project will not delay tasks that have the following constraints:
• Must Finish On
• Must Start On
• As Late As Possible (for projects scheduled from the start date)
• As Soon As Possible (for projects scheduled from the finish date)
Project won’t delay tasks with a priority of 1000, nor will it delay a task that has already started. It will, however, split a task that has an actual start date.
There are three leveling orders: ID Only, Standard (the default), and Priority/Standard. With ID Only, leveling delays tasks with larger ID numbers. If a resource assigned to tasks 27 and 31 is over allocated, Project will delay task 31.
If you use ID Only, you’d better be very sure that your tasks were entered in order of importance. With the Standard leveling order selected, the task(s} to be leveled are chosen based on a number of factors:
• Dependencies: tasks without successors are delayed before tasks with successors.
• Slack: tasks with slack (tasks not on a critical path) are delayed before tasks that have 0 slack.
• Task priority and, if the project includes shared resources, project priority: lower-priority tasks are delayed before higher-prioritx tasks .
• Constraints: constrained tasks are delayed after non-constrained tasks.
• Start Date: tasks with later start dates are delayed before tasks with earlier start dates (which makes the end of the project even more interesting!).
When you select the Priority/Standard leveling order, Project gives primary consideration to the relative priority of two tasks when determining which task to delay.
The other factors in the previous list are given secondary consideration. If you haven’t assigned priorities to the tasks in your project (other than setting the priority for some tasks at 1000), stick with the Standard leveling order.
The settings of type three check boxes in this section of the Resource Leveling dialog box determine what Project can and can’t do to level resources. To prevent Project from moving the project finish date, enable the Level Only Within Available Slack check box.
This check box is turned off by default. If you don’t have much slack in your project, enabling this check box means that Project won’t be able to handle many over allocations through leveling.
The Leveling Can Adjust Individual Assignments On a Task check box is on by default. then this check box is enabled and multiple resources are assigned to a task, Project can delay the start of one resource’s assignment without adjusting other resources who are assigned to the task.
Leveling Can Create Splits in Remaining Work is on by default. When this checkbox is enabled, Project can delay a task that’s already in progress. Turn this checkbox off to prevent split delays on tasks where completion is greater than 0%.