How to use Maximum units and/or Assignment units (where units = %) RRS feed

  • Question

  • According to MS Project: (unit is a number or percentage)


    Maximum units - When you want to specify how much time a work resource has available for work on all tasks in a project, you specify maximum units in a resource view. This total is used to calculate how much time a work resource can spend on each task assignment (This is the percentage indicated in the grid above) .


    Assignment units - When you want to specify how much of a work resource's time is dedicated to a specific task, you enter assignment units. You also specify assignment units for material resources to indicate the quantity of material being used for the assignment. (This is not referenced in any of the views that I can see). Without this my duration is increased the duration. 

    I would like to show a resource in a task in 2 ways:

    1. the percentage of time the resource can devote to a task

    2. The percentage of time the resource is needed for the task.

    This allows for a more accurate schedule. Currently I can only see where the % of a resource availability can be used

    For example: 

    Document Functional Requirements level of effort is 15 days

    • I have 4 resources assigned to the task
      • 2 resources are 100% available
      • 1 resource is 20% available
      • 1 resource is 10% available (but is only needed for 40% of the task)

    Due to the way MS Project works, and because of Resource #4, the duration of the task is 120 days (w/o leveraging the 40% needed time)

    ie – Resource #4 – 15 days of effort @ 60 % of the time but is only needed for 20 of the task


    40%  Needed for 15 days of effort  is 6 days or 36 hours (6 hours /1 work day) of effort

    10% of availability for 36 hours adds 7.2  days of duration.


    So rather that the task taking 120 days in duration for 15 hours of effort (based on what I see in MS Project), I think it should only take 67.2 days of duration.

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 4:39 PM

All replies

  • Chris --

    I think you are intermixing Duration and Work in your description of the problem.  Duration is the "time window" during which the work will take place.  Work is the effort expended by the resources assigned to a task.  Using this information, is the Duration 15 days?  That is my assumption, anyway.  If this is true, here is how I would handle your situation:

    1. Using the Gantt Chart view, create the task and set the Duration to 15 days.
    2. With the task still selected in the task list, right-click anywhere in the Gantt Chart pane and select the Show Split item.
    3. In the Task Form pane (bottom pane), click the Task Type pick list and select the Fixed Units item, if not already selected.
    4. In the Task Form pane, click the OK button.
    5. In the Task Form pane, select all four of your resources and specify the Units values for them that you indicate in your question (100%, 100%, 20%, and 10%).  DO NOT click the OK button or click outside of the Task Form pane while doing this.
    6. Click the OK button to assign the resources to the task.

    Using this process, Microsoft Project will calculate the Work that each resource will perform during the 15-day window.  This means that the two resources who will work full-time will work 120 hours, the resource working 20% will work 24 hours, and the person who will work 10% will work 12 hours.

    Does that answer your question?  Please let us know and we will try to help you.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017 5:34 PM
  • Chris,

    maybe you're over-thinking it.

    "(This is not referenced in any of the views that I can see)". Use resource tab, assign resources button. This brings up the assign resources dialog where you can choose the amount of the assignment.

    max units in the resource sheet is used as a trigger level of assignment for when the resource is overallocated. It's kinda an indication of "availability" but it's only the starting availability, obviously not a current measure of availability if the resource has already been assigned to anything.

    Just start with an estimate of duration, then assign the resources. Whatever the work comes out to, that's the work.

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 11:18 AM