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I would like a resource to work on multiple tasks at the same time without an over allocation warning. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've edited the title from multiple projects to multiple tasks, that may have been confusing.

    I am sure this has been discussed many times, but, I have a resource that has max units set to 20% and using the default calendar. So as I understand it that means this resource will be working on projects 20% of 8 hours daily, which if my math is right should be 96 minutes. The rest of the day is used for maintenance items.

    Now if I have another project come up and I decide to pull this resource off of some maintenance work and assign him to another project or task it shows that there is an over allocation.

    Leveling the resource doesn't help because it waits for free time to assign this resource.

    Is this just a warning I should ignore or is there a way to tell Project that this resource will work on task 55 from 8am until 10 am, and then this resource will work on task 100 from 10 am until 1 pm?


    • Edited by zmag Saturday, February 25, 2012 9:33 PM I've edited the title from multiple projects to multiple tasks, that may have been confusing.
    Saturday, February 25, 2012 4:20 PM

Answers

  • zmag,

    I very much agree with Greg's comments about the project manager needing to actually manage the project. Some new users erroneously expect the Project will manage their project for them but Project is only a software application with zero intelligence. Keep that in mind and you will be on the right track.

    I do however want to correct something you stated in your original post. You said you set your resource for 20% max units and that you understood that means that resource will be working on tasks 20% of the time. Not true. The max units parameter tells Project how many hours per day a resource is available. For example a resource who only works half-time should have a max units value of 50% while on the other hand a three man crew of masons would probably have a max units value of 300%. In your example I'd say your resource should not have a max unit value of 20% and in fact it should probably be 100%. He may only work on a particular task 20% of the time and do something else (i.e. different project, different task, etc.) the other 80%. By setting up the resource this way, you can easily assign him to other tasks without hitting an overalloction, unless he actually gets assigned more than 8 hours in any given day. Even then, you can adjust the overallocation function to look at overallocation at a weekly or monthly level instead of a daily level.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Sunday, February 26, 2012 5:16 PM

All replies

  • As I was browsing this forum I came across the same question, the answer is that I should click on "ignore problems for this task". I imagine that as I get used to working in Project I will find ways to see where real oversights are as opposed to intentional scheduling overlaps. Here is the link.

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/projectprofessional2010general/thread/68a896e8-0c7e-46a3-8fec-93b460d8bca0

    Saturday, February 25, 2012 10:48 PM
  • zmag,

    Bear in mind that the tool (Project) is there to provide calculated information, based on your input.  Nothing takes the place of the Project Manager's best judgement or the expert judgement of the SME's.  In this case, the tool is designed to let you know when you have assigned a resource above their availability (20% in this case).  What you do about correcting it is up to you.

    Not all overallocations require action.  The first question you should ask yourself when reviewing overallocations is "Is this something that I should worry about?"  The "law of diminishing returns" has real-world application here.  If you spent 30 minutes trying to correct an over-allocation that was caused by a 15 minute overlap, this was probably a waste of your time.

    In this situation a Start No Earlier Than (SNET) constraint (on task 100) would work.  You would however want to also give it a specific time to start.  Do this in the Task Information dialog box, on Advanced tab.  First change the constraint field to SNET, then in the constraint date field, enter the date, then a space, then the time - such as: 3/1/2012 10:00AM.

    Hope this has helped.


    Gregg D. Richie, PMP, MCTS; Author, Microsoft Project 2010, Microsoft Official Academic Course Series

    Saturday, February 25, 2012 10:51 PM
  • zmag,

    I very much agree with Greg's comments about the project manager needing to actually manage the project. Some new users erroneously expect the Project will manage their project for them but Project is only a software application with zero intelligence. Keep that in mind and you will be on the right track.

    I do however want to correct something you stated in your original post. You said you set your resource for 20% max units and that you understood that means that resource will be working on tasks 20% of the time. Not true. The max units parameter tells Project how many hours per day a resource is available. For example a resource who only works half-time should have a max units value of 50% while on the other hand a three man crew of masons would probably have a max units value of 300%. In your example I'd say your resource should not have a max unit value of 20% and in fact it should probably be 100%. He may only work on a particular task 20% of the time and do something else (i.e. different project, different task, etc.) the other 80%. By setting up the resource this way, you can easily assign him to other tasks without hitting an overalloction, unless he actually gets assigned more than 8 hours in any given day. Even then, you can adjust the overallocation function to look at overallocation at a weekly or monthly level instead of a daily level.

    Hope this helps.

    John

    Sunday, February 26, 2012 5:16 PM