Noob with Resource Allocation Issues RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi - I'm new to MS Project, and might be approaching my problem completely wrongly - any advice would be welcome...

    I have a single resource (me) to work on a bunch of project tasks.  One day a week, I can dedicate myself to my project work, but the other 4 days are split between project and support.  So I started by creating 2 new calendars, one that just has my project days, and one that has my split days.  I then created two resources, one attached to the project calendar with 100% max capacity, and the other attached to the split days calendar with 50% max capacity.

    I created a couple of tasks that were 4d duration (and 32h work), and assigned my 50% self to them.  

    What I got was just totally confusing - perhaps because my expectations are misguided?  It seemed to want to double book me and still use 100% of my time, and it therefore complained of over-allocation of the resource.  No amount of playing with levelling helped, and the only way to fix it was by manually creating task dependencies, which is not really a path I want to embark on to resolve resource issues.

    The Task Inspector gives an option to reschedule a task to the resource's next available time, which seemed like a sensible choice, but clicking this option didn't seem to do anything except bring up the resource over-allocated warning again, and make no difference to anything else at all.

    Am I being unrealistic in expecting Project to be able to read my calendar availability and schedule workload accordingly, or am I just doing it wrong?

    Thanks in anticipation


    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 4:10 AM

All replies

  • Your explanation is fairly clear but even so it is hard to pin down the exact problem and solution without seeing the file and the details.

    However, what I think you are describing is definitely possible in MSP.

    Are you aware that tasks can have calendars assigned to them as well? If you have tasks which can only be done on certain days you can create a calendar which allows only those days to be working days. If you have a task which can only be done on Monday and Tuesday, and a resource who will be assigned to them who is only available on Tuesdays, when the calendars are assigned to both the task and the resource the task will only be scheduled on the Tuesdays, when both the task and the resource are "available". You assign the calendar to the task in Task Information, Advanced tab.

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 6:37 AM
  • Project utilises the formula Work = Units * Duration when resources are assigned to the task.  Whether work, units or duration changes depends on whether the tasks is manually or auto scheduled, and if auto scheduled, whether the task is fixed units, fixed work or fixed duration.

    In your case, you have a single resource (you), so I would model this as 60% max units, (which is 3/5 of your week available for project work).  So, based on an hour day, you have at total of 8*60% = 4.8 hours for project work per day, or 24 hours per week.  Then you need to think about whether you estimate your activities by duration (ie this will take me a week working at 60%) or effort (this will take 1 day (8 hours) of effort. 

    Change your default task type to autoscheduled.  Enter the estimate value for the activity, eg 4 days duration, and work will be calculated at 4*4.8; or enter the work value of 24 hours, and duration will be calculated at 5 days. 

    If you choose to enter both, and then assign the resource, you may get a different value depending on the Task Type (fixed work, duration, units).  If you manually schedule the task, then, well, you are manually scheduling it and so project will be of limited help.

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014 8:41 AM