MS Project Pro 2010 - Linking tasks that have no dependency but have the same resource RRS feed

  • Question

  • Trying to determine realistic target date for a project. 

    Primary resource is estimated to have 30% availabilty.

    There are many tasks that have no dependency to others and can basically start at any time.

    Tasks are all set to Fixed Work.

    However choosing no constraint date results in the resource being over allocated.

    What is the best way to setup the plan so that it reflects the contraint of availability?

    Thank you in advance,


    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:08 PM

All replies

  • Sophia,

    Do not link tasks if they have no logical dependency. Linking is not for resources, it is for describing the flow of tasks.

    You're right in that a resource will be overallocated if he/she is assigned to multiple tasks that could be done at any time and in any order. There are various ways to handle this. Let me give you a few options.

    Although tasks may be independent, it is possible that some are more important than others. In that case, you could assign a priority then then use Project's leveling feature to spread the work such that overallocation is avoided.

    Of course you can always manually "load" the schedule by using constraints to spread the tasks in such a manner that none are done simultaneously.

    Here's an approach I never use but it could be warranted in this case. Set up a summary line with all the detail tasks under it. Assign the resource to the summary line and not to any of the detail tasks. You may have to play with it a bit to get everything to come out the way you need.


    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:24 PM
  • Thank you John. 

    In this situation the summary line approach won't work due to multiple resources assigned to the detail tasks below.

    I am hoping to avoid overusing constraints because it seems to results in a higher maintenance plan to sustain (ie when a date needs to shift then MS Project can't auto update the plan).

    I am not familar with the priority feature , I am going to look at that as an option.

    Thanks again



    Thursday, May 9, 2013 5:56 PM
  • Sophia,

    Okay I guess I misunderstood. I thought you only had the one resource (e.g. "primary resource") for the group of tasks. A variation of the summary line idea would be to group all those tasks done by one particular resource, another summary group for the next resource and so forth.

    But, try the leveling approach and see if that works.


    Thursday, May 9, 2013 6:07 PM
  • Once you get your tasks in, just run MSP's leveling. It will take care of the overallocations by moving tasks. Save a backup first. Also, don't let MS Project split tasks. I have yet to figure out exactly how Project decides which tasks to split and where, but it has seldom worked for me.

    As already noted, the dependencies should reflect actual project flow and not be entered just to level resources.


    Thursday, May 9, 2013 6:20 PM
  • Hi Mike,

    I tried to use leveling and I receive errors that Project can not level Jane Smith (example name of resource).  It will level some of the resources but not all.  I can't determine what is the reasoning but I assume it has something to do with the way I have the resource or task configured.

    One thing I have noticed is that Project will reduce the available units for a resource that is overallocated.

    But not all the time, not sure what causes the change in availability.

    For example for the resource in question it change her from 30 to 19% available.  I assumed this was to increase the duration. But it doesn't resolve the over allocation issue. 


    Thursday, May 9, 2013 7:12 PM