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Getting full resource utilization RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello:

    I'm using MS Project 2010.  I have a project schedule where resources are assigned to all tasks, but I'm having trouble getting things to a point where 4 resources with the same skill set are working 8 hours a day, every workday.  As an example of some issues that I'm having, let's say I have resource A starting work on task A, which is 4 working hours on 6/7/2012.  Now I want resource A to begin working on task B, which is 4 hours on the same work day, after he is done with work on task A, to give me an 8 hour day for resource A on 6/7/2012. MS Project won't let me modify the start date of task B to begin on the same day as task A.  Whenever I try, the date keeps reverting to the next day, 6/8/2012.  I've tried with and without auto-schedule. I'm still a MS Project novice and this is driving me crazy. I am also daunted with having to do this for what will amount to 6 months worth for 5 resources. If I can get a technical solution on the the problem I'm having above (as to what settings I should have, how to get start dates to line up where they should, etc.) and also guidance on how to get full resource utilization. 

    Thanks.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012 7:26 PM

Answers

  • Hi all,

    I did receive the file; let me first say that it is a nicely construed proejct plan and that there are no impossbilities for leveling.

    Hence, this is what I have answered to Peter's request for having all resource @ 100% all of the time:

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Peter,
     
    First, with the links and units you have introduced you cannot do any better; 100% al the time is simply not feasible. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the tasks nor Leveling - technically it's OK.
     
    Let me give you an example to show what happens. Suppose you have a project about building a house. You are in the very early stages - say prepare the foundations. Somebody comes in and tells you you are not using resources efficiently because the plumber doesnt have any work to do.
     
    What can you do? You can't start the plumbing because there is physically nothing to be plumbed.
    So this is the major "problem" with your project: you have introduced links between tasks such that, even when a resource is free, its next task cannot be started because of the dependency.
     
    So you may try two things: review the dependencies or review assignments.
     
    I can't judge whether your dependencies are of the plumber type (it is impossible to start the task before the end of its predecessor task), in which case you can do nothing about it - or it is of the "I would prefer this to be done first" type; then do not hesitate and eliminate the dependency. You can still give the "I would prefer this later" task a lower priority.
     
    Then there is the matter of resource replacement (i.e. by someone with similar skills). Project does not have any logic to look for that automatically, and I appreciate your point that checking that manually for about 1000 tasks is daunting. If you have people with identical skills, Leveling may give better results if you replace those people as a resource by the generic (skills) name, with this skills resource having max units equal to the sum of the max units of the individuals. Then you can decide who does what for the very short term (one or two weeks) manually.
     
    Finally, if you assign a resoruce to a task @ 50% units, Leveling will respect that and not shorten the task @ 100%!
     
    Greetings,
    Monday, June 4, 2012 8:31 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hello Epora75,

    Is Task A the predecessor to Task b?  Does task A only take 4 hours in duration?  If so, when Task A finishes, Task B should start.

    You should not be entering start and finish dates -- as by default, you are getting the start of the work day (08:00) and the finish of the work day (17:00).  Change your display so you see date and time (File > Options, General).

    Start there and post back once we know what you are getting for start and end times.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012 10:38 PM
    Moderator
  • No. Task A is not a predecessor to task B.  They could start in either order.  Work in task A is 4 hours, resource 1 working 100% so duration is 4 hours, resource 1 working A is also assigned 100% to task B.  Their start dates don't match in MS Project.  How can I get them both in 1 day, so resource 1 shows having worked 8 hours for the day?
    Sunday, June 3, 2012 12:35 AM
  • Hi,

    If you want to do that manually (without automatic resource leveling) you can always, everywhere, enter dates including time of day (like 3/6/12 9:40).

    If you want Project to calculate that you can either link the two tasks in such a way that B starts when A finishes (Day 1 at noon) but when this link doesn't reflect reality I do not recommend this "solution"

    Or you use Resource Leveling (I have the impression you are doing this). Then make sure the constraint on task 2 is "As soon as possible" so do not enter any date. Leveling, if no other tasks are competing for Resource 1's time, will place B nicely after A, at least when leveling's granularity is smaller than day by day (hour by hour will do).

    If with all this you still have different dates, you have entered data that you do not tell us; the send me the file at

    jandemesATprom-ade.be

    and I'll have a look.

    Greetings,

    Sunday, June 3, 2012 7:47 AM
    Moderator
  • I'm sorry that I forgot to thank you Julie for your reply.
    Sunday, June 3, 2012 2:48 PM
  • You're welcome, Epora75 and thank you for the feedback.  It looks like Jan has chimed in with good answers.  Let us know if you have any further questions we can help with.

    Julie

    Sunday, June 3, 2012 6:13 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi all,

    I did receive the file; let me first say that it is a nicely construed proejct plan and that there are no impossbilities for leveling.

    Hence, this is what I have answered to Peter's request for having all resource @ 100% all of the time:

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hi Peter,
     
    First, with the links and units you have introduced you cannot do any better; 100% al the time is simply not feasible. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with the tasks nor Leveling - technically it's OK.
     
    Let me give you an example to show what happens. Suppose you have a project about building a house. You are in the very early stages - say prepare the foundations. Somebody comes in and tells you you are not using resources efficiently because the plumber doesnt have any work to do.
     
    What can you do? You can't start the plumbing because there is physically nothing to be plumbed.
    So this is the major "problem" with your project: you have introduced links between tasks such that, even when a resource is free, its next task cannot be started because of the dependency.
     
    So you may try two things: review the dependencies or review assignments.
     
    I can't judge whether your dependencies are of the plumber type (it is impossible to start the task before the end of its predecessor task), in which case you can do nothing about it - or it is of the "I would prefer this to be done first" type; then do not hesitate and eliminate the dependency. You can still give the "I would prefer this later" task a lower priority.
     
    Then there is the matter of resource replacement (i.e. by someone with similar skills). Project does not have any logic to look for that automatically, and I appreciate your point that checking that manually for about 1000 tasks is daunting. If you have people with identical skills, Leveling may give better results if you replace those people as a resource by the generic (skills) name, with this skills resource having max units equal to the sum of the max units of the individuals. Then you can decide who does what for the very short term (one or two weeks) manually.
     
    Finally, if you assign a resoruce to a task @ 50% units, Leveling will respect that and not shorten the task @ 100%!
     
    Greetings,
    Monday, June 4, 2012 8:31 AM
    Moderator