Leveling question: levels to end of previous task while time free RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Guess this is one I don't know how to approach it in the correct way. This is where MS P is all about.

    I have two tasks. Task one is a task in which I defined 4 hours a week over a period of 20 weeks for a total of 80 hours and assigned a resource. Task two is a task of 16 hours which can be done in one week. This week is also part of the 20 week span of task one and has the same resource assigned to it, so MS P tells me this resource is overallocated.

    When I have a look into the task usage, that makes perfect sense. Let's say task 1 and 2 both have the same start date. So at this first day task 1 is scheduled 4 hours and task 2 is scheduled 8 hours while working days are 8 hours. Now when I use leveling based on priority, standard and check the options (leveling can adjust individual assignments and leveling can create splits in remaining work) MS P shifts task 2 to the end of task 1. While in every week this resource only has 4 hours work of task 1 assigned and is able to do task 2 as well. The task type doesn't make a difference, tried fixed work and fixed units (which in my eyes makes no sense). Can anyone help me out?

    Thursday, January 8, 2015 7:51 AM

All replies

  • Hello again,

    This is normal behaviour.

    Since Leveling never adjust assignment units (it only can delay tasks to avoid overallocation), whenever task 2 coincides with the work on task 1 there will be an overallocation.

    To put it differently: Project translates "4 hours a week" into "6 seconds every minute" and since task 2 requires the resource to work 60 seconds every minute, the overallocation is inevitable for the whole duration of task 1.

    Can you solve it? Yes, by admitting that the resource will not work 6 seconds each and every minute, but 100% for smaller periods.

    Define task 1 as a recurring task happening 4 hours per week (select any day of the week, Wednesday may be fine). Let leveling split tasks, then look at the result. Isn't that what you want?


    Thursday, January 8, 2015 9:33 AM
  • Hi Jan,

    Thanks again! Using the recurring task makes it at least a lot more neat.

    I'm still stuck with one issue. I have a recurring task now every monday, lasting 4 hours/half the day with resource X assigned. When I plan a second task (it will start the same monday since it's the project start date) and assign resource X MS P tells me that this resource is overallocated. The same applies here, resource X can't work 12 hours in a 8 hour work day. Both tasks are fixe work. Now when I use leveling (with split option checked), it do anything.

    While typing this I checked this again with a completely new file and pool. There it does what I expect, levels task 2 to 4 hours on monday and 4 on tuesday. Seem to walk against this sort of bugs more and more. It seems like I have to do everything right the first time, because after changing the task type it doesn't know how to handle it. I'm gonna try a bit more and will report back here.

    Edit: Gues I found the reason, not what is causing it. In an attempt to solve the overallocation myself, I put the hours to the next day in task usage. When I wanted to delete the hours of the first day by selecting it and pressing delete, it deleted the hours on the second day I just added instead. Seems like there is some sort of restriction for the task to start on that first day. I checked for that, but couldn't found anything besides the most obvious. The task was set to as soon as possible, no deadlines, date in start field not manually set or whatsoever. I made a new task and deleted the initial one, no problems with that. If someone knows how this is possible, please let me know. Thanks in advance.

    Edit 2: It has to do with priority settings. Still figuring out what it is exactly but I think it was due to all tasks were set to 1000 priority. :|

    • Edited by Peperbusse Thursday, January 8, 2015 2:58 PM
    Thursday, January 8, 2015 1:20 PM
  • Hi,

    Maybe the following can help you understanding.

    The task may have been set to ASAP, when you move the first work to day 2 in Task Usage, implicitlty toy change the start and the task gets a SNET constraint. That then is exactly what you describe as  some sort of restriction for the task to start on that first day.

    And yes, my wrong, I should have warned you that recurring tasks get a 1000 priority. Can be changed if necessary. Insert the column "priority" in a task view. Values are 0-1000.

    And tasks with a 1000 priority are not leveled at all, whatever the overallocation. So if you have two simultaneous recurring tasks, even with the same resource, they won't be moved by leveling.


    Thursday, January 8, 2015 3:13 PM
  • Peperbusse,

    Only a few weeks ago you were a beginner and now you seem to be fully immersed.

    You keep referring to "bugs", but they aren't bugs. Sure, there are problems to solve, especially if what you want conflicts with what you can have, or if you try to force the model to do something impossible. Sometimes what looks like a solution to a problem is simply one more problem layered on top of the existing problem and the more you try to fix it the worse it gets.

    You refer to task type but I think this has nothing to do with the problem being discussed, and I think that you are changing it at random hoping it might be a factor.

    Thursday, January 8, 2015 11:24 PM
  • Jan: Bedankt! Will have a closer look at that SNET constraint.

    Trevor: I'm giving it my best efforts, but as an Apple fan (and easy adapter of new software) walking accross some typical MS aproaches which I think could be more user friendly. But that's just my humble opinion, indeed still as a beginner. One of those user friendly issues is the option level only within available slack. It just produces errors every time I use it and as far as I've seen, every single one on support forums advices to never use this option. Why is it even there then?

    I could have chosen to don't post these message, but this way other users of this forum may put some use to it as well.

    One of the bugs: I need to first enter the typical start time in options, click ok and than can adjust the end time. When I change them both at once, it only saves the start time and puts the end time back at the time it was after clicking ok. That's a bug in me eyes. Another one is in resource usage view when the time scale says it's on weeks, but it's on days instead. After clicking the drop down and selecting weeks it switches to weeks.

    • Edited by Peperbusse Friday, January 9, 2015 7:08 AM
    Friday, January 9, 2015 6:30 AM
  • Everything levels without errors now. Great!

    To avoid high remaining availability you have to put the option split tasks in leveling on. Downside of this is the multitasking that occurs in the results. Nowadays you can't avoid it, but the way it is leveled I really don't like. Some tasks are split in 3, even with (multiple) weeks in between. That's something which in reality isn't working. In between there are task that are recuring and non recuring. I think the problem is mostly caused by the recurring tasks and for the resource's task also assigned to these recurring tasks. This recurring tasks are the project management hours, say 20 hours a week, or 2,5 days. This resource is also working on other tasks, so the remaining availability is needed. I tought of altering his available units compensating for this project management tasks and leaving these recurring tasks out of the planning. Is this a way to go?

    Also, is there any way to have more control over the way MS P splits tasks?

    • Edited by Peperbusse Friday, January 9, 2015 9:39 AM
    Friday, January 9, 2015 9:33 AM
  • "I tought of altering his available units compensating for this project management tasks and leaving these recurring tasks out of the planning. Is this a way to go?"

    Most people do so; I don't like it because I try to avoid anything different from 100% because it doesn't reflect reality, but that is a personal view.

    If a task is systematically split way in the future, you can increase its priority (priority field in Gantt Chart, 500 is standard, between 501-999 is higher priority).


    Saturday, January 10, 2015 10:54 AM