Adding a temporary resources to lower duration of a fixed work task RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello,

    I have two problems that I think are somewhat related. Thankful for all help I can get.

    I am using MS project 2010, and I have a "fixed work" task that requires 20 man days of effort to complete. First I assign one resource and MS project correctly calculate the duration to 20 days. Then in order to speed up the task I add another resource and duration is changed to 10 days. Then I realize that the second resource is not available for the entire duration of the task, so I go to the resource sheet and right click on the resource name, go to "Information...." and edit the "Resource availability" and perhaps set the availability to just a few days within the time span of the task. Then MS Project complains that there is a conflict with the task and in the task inspector it says that "Resources are assigned in non working time". But I would like the first resource to work on the task for the entire duration and only get some help from the second resource for those days that person is available and then to complete and finish the task alone. Is there any setting I have missed? Basically I want to assign multiple resources to a task without necessary having each and everyone of those resources to be available for the entire duration of the task.

    The second question is what happens if I add multiple lines in the "Resource availability" box. Perhaps the resource is available to 50% for the first week and then 100% for all other weeks. No matter how I do it, it seems MS Project only takes the first line into account. So if the first line is valid for a week and says that the resource is available to 50% then that resource is assigned to the task at 50% for the entire duration of the task. I am clearly missing something there....

    Many thanks in advance!

    Friday, May 30, 2014 8:12 PM

All replies

  • per ini,

    It's likely Project complains about the second resource being assigned in non-working time because by using the resource availability table, you are telling Project that the second resource is ONLY available during the time periods you have entered. It would be easier, and less painful, if you used the Resource Usage view and manually edited the second, (or other multiple resources), work values in the timescaled area (right side) of the view, and not attempt to edit the work via resource availability.

    To address your second question, you might think that Project will automatically adjust a resource's assignment level based on the resource availability table, but it does not. The main purpose of the resource availability table is to indicate whether a resource is overallocated. The assignment level for a resource is determined by the resource calendar.

    Hope this helps.


    Friday, May 30, 2014 9:05 PM
  • Thanks John,

    I appreciate you help and your answers! But I don't quite get the result that I want. To test this I created a new fixed work task with the work value set to 20 days. I planned the task to start next Monday and assigned resources A and B (at this point as full time resources). This was nicely laid out as a task with 10 day duration of the next two coming weeks. Then I went into the resource usage view and could see that both A and B was used 1 day each for the coming two weeks. So far everything as expected. Then I adjusted B's availability by changing a few "1" to "0" for some of the days in the second week in the right hand pane (to indicate that B is not available as a full time resource). To my big surprise MS Project then adjusted the "work" value downwards to compensate for the fact that I had fewer resources. But it is a fixed work task. I simply want Project to make the duration longer and have A to finish the project alone for the rest of the days after the point in time where B is no longer available. Right now it feels like this is impossible to accomplish, and not being able to do this takes away the purpose to have a project planning software tool to me. The whole idea I thought was to input your tasks, input your resources and their availability, and have Project to work out a possible plan and duration.

    Once again, thanks in advance for the answers and support!

    Monday, June 2, 2014 7:43 PM
  • per ini,

    Unfortunately you're not going to get the type of schedule automation you want. After you edit the work for the second resource, you will need to re-adjust the total task work back to its original value, then Project will adjust the duration to accommodate the work and unit assignments.

    So Project does allow you to input your tasks, input your resources and their assignment level, and it will then calculate the schedule. Note however, that once the task is planned and then the work is edited, whether at task level or resource level, the "fixed work" parameter is no longer true, so the task must be actively managed.


    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 12:27 AM
  • Thanks for all your help John. I now have a much better understanding and more realistic expectations on what MS Project can do for me. Much appreciated!
    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 6:41 PM
  • per ini,

    You're welcome and thanks for the feedback. If I answered your question, please mark my response as the answer.


    Tuesday, June 3, 2014 7:12 PM