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How do you limit individual resource work to 10 hours/day in a 12hr/day project calendar? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    For work I am supposed to plan tasks in a 12hr/day project calendar schedule, but limiting the working hours of each individual employee (resource) to 10 hrs/day as this is the legal limit. How should I proceed?

    I've tried several things, but I am just getting very confused.  I started with Project -> Change working time -> Options -> Hours per day to 8 hours, but that doesn't seem to do anything...

    I shouldn't change the schedule time as that is fixed, as it displays all the available working time. What is flexible is the amount employees work, ie a max. of 10 hours within that 12 hour scheduled time. I don't know what to do :(

    Help appreciated.

    This is in Microsoft Office Project 2010
    • Edited by forzainternl Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:43 PM
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 2:38 PM

Answers

  • forzainterml,

    First of all you need to create a custom working calendar that shows a 12 hour normal work day. That may be from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a one hour lunch break or whatever other combination nets 12 total hours. For guidance on how to do that, take a look at FAQ 5 - Default Working Hours on the MVP webpage at, http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm#Default%20Working%20Hours. Note that Project 2010 works the same as Project 2007.

    On the Resource Sheet view, set the Max Units for each resource to be 83% which is 10 hours out of the 12 hours in your day. As you assign resources you should assign them at a normal level of 83% or less, depending on whether they are assigned full time to a particular task or not. You should also set the view display option, (File/Options/Display group), to show time as well as the date. That will make it easier to manually shift a resource's start time during the 12 hour window. By default Project will start each resource's time at the beginning of a work day.

    By the way, make sure you have SP1 installed for Project 2010. If you don't have it, you can find it at, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ee748587

    Hope this helps.

    John

    • Marked as answer by forzainternl Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:14 PM
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3:15 PM

All replies

  • forzainterml,

    First of all you need to create a custom working calendar that shows a 12 hour normal work day. That may be from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm with a one hour lunch break or whatever other combination nets 12 total hours. For guidance on how to do that, take a look at FAQ 5 - Default Working Hours on the MVP webpage at, http://project.mvps.org/faqs.htm#Default%20Working%20Hours. Note that Project 2010 works the same as Project 2007.

    On the Resource Sheet view, set the Max Units for each resource to be 83% which is 10 hours out of the 12 hours in your day. As you assign resources you should assign them at a normal level of 83% or less, depending on whether they are assigned full time to a particular task or not. You should also set the view display option, (File/Options/Display group), to show time as well as the date. That will make it easier to manually shift a resource's start time during the 12 hour window. By default Project will start each resource's time at the beginning of a work day.

    By the way, make sure you have SP1 installed for Project 2010. If you don't have it, you can find it at, http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/office/ee748587

    Hope this helps.

    John

    • Marked as answer by forzainternl Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:14 PM
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3:15 PM
  • To add to John's excellent response, just one point.  If you change the Working Hours to  start at 0600, make sure you change the Project Start Date to reflect that 0600 start.

    Mike Glen
    Project MVP
    See http://tinyurl.com/2xbhc for my free Project Tutorials

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 3:58 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you very much for your answer John, extremely helpful.

    A little modification to what you said, I had to put 83.3 %, otherwise I got for some reason, an overallocation of the resources on my first task, fictitiously assigned to 10 hours... I am working with imaginary tasks at the moment to learn the working of the program better, so basically, when i assign the task within one day more than the 10 hours, it tells me I am overallocating. Is that the correct principle, what if I wanted to spread the work over more days? Before it was automatically assigning more days if i went over the scheduled time...

    If you can help me a little more, I had two more questions regarding the answer you gave me:
    1) How do I check if I have service pack installed? I downloaded the SP1 from the link you provided and when I tried to install it, the installation said: "There are no products affected by this package installed on this system." Does that mean it's already installed?

    I received the program through the internal network of the company, but I received no product key to install it, which by the way I did not require for the installation. This means that I have not registered the program with Microsoft, is that possibly why the service pack does not work? I installed Microsoft project 2010 today, and on my first time start up of the program, it said that it could not get updates, I assumed that is related to the fact that it has not been registered? I think I should ask the product key from the program provider.

    2) I was unable to do the second part of your answer:

    You should also set the view display option, (File/Options/Display group), to show time as well as the date. That will make it easier to manually shift a resource's start time during the 12 hour window. By default Project will start each resource's time at the beginning of a work day.

    I could not find, the option to show time and date, where you indicated (this could be due to the missing SP1). If you have time to explain this further I would be very happy to listen.

    Also, how do you change the project start Date or time?

    Thank you so much for the help.

    Regards,

    forzainternl

    PS: Thanks to Mike for the reply too.


    Stef


    • Edited by forzainternl Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:41 PM
    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 4:38 PM
  • Stef,

    Project is neither intuitive nor quick to learn, unlike most other Office applications. You would be well advised to take at least a 2 day class that includes a whole lot of hands on "playing".

    With regard to overallocation, you can set the level at which Project flags overallocated resources. Go to Resource/Level Group/Leveling options. You can set it for minute by minute all the way up to month by month.

    Project will automatically spread the task work over the duration based on total work content and resource allocation.

    It is odd that you do not have a product key but maybe your organization has a corporate purchase that allows for X number of licenses and the IT department keeps track of the number of users. You will have to confer with the IT department on that. As far as finding out if SP1 is installed, go to, File/Help and click on "Additional version and copyright information" below the About Microsoft Product heading. If SP1 is installed it will show up at the top.

    Oops, my error. The time setting is under File/Options/General group. Click in the date format selection box to find a format that includes the time.

    The Project Start date is set under Project/Properties group/Project Information.

    John

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 5:46 PM
  • Thank you very much John! Unfortunately I should be producing work by tomorrow evening, only got a 30 min introduction from my head of department :P!

    Anyhow, I'm in Germany and will be going to bed soon, so I'll look at it at work tomorrow!

    Thanks again,

    Stef


    Stef

    Tuesday, September 25, 2012 8:15 PM
  • The way you will know you have assigned more than 10 hours in day is if it shows as an overallocation. it will not stop you from assigning more than 10 but with the max units set to 83% of a 12 hour day it WILL tell you when you have assigned more than 10.06 hours in a day.


    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:26 AM
    Moderator
  • Stef,

    Just for reference a 30 minute introduction to Project isn't going to cut it. Either your department head doesn't understand Project or he/she is unrealistic in expectations. Oh, you might put something together and it might even look half reasonable, but there are so many nuances in Project that a 2 day immersion course is the accepted minimum to learn what you need to know.

    Nonetheless, you're welcome and good luck.

    John

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 2:45 AM
  • The way you will know you have assigned more than 10 hours in day is if it shows as an overallocation. it will not stop you from assigning more than 10 but with the max units set to 83% of a 12 hour day it WILL tell you when you have assigned more than 10.06 hours in a day.

    Yes, exactly. So, for my first task, I made it of 12 hours, assigned it Resource A (limited to Max. units of 83.3 %), so now I get an overallocation. The warning of an overallocation is good since it means that Resource A is being given too much work in that day. However, at this point I would like Resource A's last 2 hours of work on that task to be automatically rescheduled for the next day to complete the Task 1. I imagine the leveling out option would do this. However, I incur in the following warning:

    "The overallocation cannot be resolved 'A' is assigned at more than the resource's maximum units to Task 1 on (DATE of task).... Either reduce this resource's assigned units, or increase the resource's Resource Availability in the Resource Information dialog box."

    1) If I reduce the assigned units to the resource, it will mean I have to reduce the task duration and that is not what I want. Or is there another way to assign units to a resource?

    Ideally I would like to have say a task that requires 48 hours, be automatically rescheduled so that each day/Resource A is limited to 10 hours/day work. I imagine this works with leveling, but as aforementioned this does not seem to work in my case.

    2) If I increase the Resource's availability, that would mean increasing the maximum units a resource can work, ie more than 10 hours/day, and that's not what I want to achieve.

    Is there a way to achieve this?


    Stef


    • Edited by forzainternl Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:05 AM
    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:04 AM
  • Stef,

    Just for reference a 30 minute introduction to Project isn't going to cut it. Either your department head doesn't understand Project or he/she is unrealistic in expectations. Oh, you might put something together and it might even look half reasonable, but there are so many nuances in Project that a 2 day immersion course is the accepted minimum to learn what you need to know.

    Nonetheless, you're welcome and good luck.

    John

    Dear John,

    Thanks for the concern, apparently my head does not agree on me requiring a 2 day course. However, he has given me more time to work on the scheduling. So, hopefully I will be able to figure everything out. Are there any free online instructional videos of MSProject you could instruct me to?

    Thanks a lot,

    Stef


    Stef

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:07 AM
  • Stef,

    I'm sure there are plenty blogs and probably a few online videos but I don't keep track of those so I can't give you any specifics. Hopefully someone else will jump in with some links.

    I believe http://msprojectexperts.com has some on-line training courses. You could also take a look at former Project MVP Mike Glen's free tutorials at, http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009/LPMFrame.asp?CMD=ArticleSearch&AUTH=23. I'm not sure how up to date Mike's tutorials are but the basics of how Project works are well covered. Then of course, there is also this forum for help on specific issues.

    John

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 3:34 PM
  • John,

    Thank you very much for your help! I will have a look, I am considering buying some tutorials as well. Also, if you have the time could you reply to my post to Brian Kennemer, I would like to extend it to you too. It's just below your second to last message to me.

    Thanks a lot!

    Stef


    Stef

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:11 PM
  • Let me first ask why you have a 12 hour calendar when none of your resources can work 12 hours in a day?

    Is it because you have some that come in and work the 'first' 10 hours of that day and then some others that come in 2 hours later and work the 'last' 10 hours?

    This would be WAY easier if your calendars were 10 hours long. :-)


    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:24 PM
    Moderator
  • Stef,

    Again, you are welcome. I don't quite follow your comment about Brian's reply (?). Brian asks a valid question but I just assumed your company uses what we call "flex" work hours. The total work day is 12 hours even though workers are limited, perhaps by laws limiting straight time versus overtime pay, to 10 hours per day. With flex hours, those workers can chose the 10 hour period within the 12 hour day that works best for them.

    John

    Wednesday, September 26, 2012 4:38 PM
  • Dear Brian,

    I think it would be way easier if I put a calendar of 10 hours, however it would then not reflect reality. Since basically the whole point of my planning is to plan certain tests in a 12 hour daily time frame,  and limit the resources to 10 hours/day. However, the different tests (tasks) can last from 1 or 2 hours to days, ie you could puzzle a lot of different tasks/with different resources in the 12 hour available time frame for testing. Also, since tests can run in parallel, my goal would be to not overallocate within a day more than 10 hours of tests to 1 resource. However, maintaining the planning of the tests within the 12 hour calendar day.

    Hope that explains it...Bring me back to my problem, that if I schedule a task for more than the maximum units in a day  i get an overallocation, which I would like to level out/replan for another day automatically, but that does not work for me.

    Regards,

    Stef


    Stef

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 7:27 AM
  • Sure but do your resources just work any 10 hours or do they work a specific 10 hours within the 12 hour day? If they do then you could have severl different 10 hour calendars that represent specific start and finish times for the different resources. For example maybe half your workers start at 6am and work till 5pm with a 1 hour lunch. Maybe others start at 7am and work will 6pm with a one hour  lunch. If that is the case then your project calendar is 6am to 6pm with no lunch but your resources have one calendars that represent one of the two shifts above. that way the proejct is working a 12 hour day but the resources all have 10 hour calendars.

    Brian Kennemer - Project MVP
    DeltaBahn Senior Architect
    endlessly obsessing about Project Server…so that you don’t have to.
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 2:18 PM
    Moderator
  • Sure but do your resources just work any 10 hours or do they work a specific 10 hours within the 12 hour day?

    My resources work any 10 hours within the 12 hour project schedule.

    However, the point of interest in the project is the scheduling of the tasks (ie the tests, the resources are of importance as you do not want to overwork people but are of secondary interest, even though a much larger nuisance. To rephrase in another way you plan the tasks, what is limiting other than the schedule are the resources. ). So, within the 12 hour project schedule, many tasks/tests are scheduled to occur in parallel. Most tasks have only 1 or 2 people that can perform them, but I need to make sure that each resource works at most 10 hours. So, if the tasks to which the resource is allocated per day are larger than 10 hours, it means they will take too many hours, so some tasks will have to be rescheduled, or spread out over several days. I used the max. units of 83.3 % 10/12 to ensure this would come up on the Resource graphs. However, I would really be happy to hear another way basically, showing the overallocation.

    At the moment, I managed to do it for this 12 hour project calendar/ with over 200 tasks and 15 resources. However, the further difficulties lie in:

    1) Half of the people use Project 2003, whilst the other half use Project 2010, so it needs to be compatible in both versions, ie all deliverables need to be visible in both versions. But information is lost, when I convert it, so it's very challenging. (Project 2003 version I have is in German)

    2) This calendar needs to be overlayed/run in parallel with another 8 hour project, that uses different tests, but uses the same Resources. ie I am in very much need of help :)! (I tried assigning the tasks in this project the standard 8 hour calendar, which worked in Project 10 and still showed the overallocations in a 10 hr is max /12 window in the resource graph. But now I saved it in 2003 format since it needs to be compatible, and in Project 2003 it showed fine, I then resaved it there by mistake and reopened the project in 2010, and now 8 hours became the max units, (Ie 100 Max unit = 8hrs). So, I am kind of screwed to put it lightly! Obviously I will save from now on intermediate versions but I kind of threw away half a days work, which is quite a pickle of a problem). I imagine if I understand exactly how to do everything will make it quite fast to redo, but yah inefficiency isn't something anyone likes.

    Regards,

    Stef


    Stef



    • Edited by forzainternl Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:18 PM
    Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:14 PM
  • Stef,

    Again, you are welcome. I don't quite follow your comment about Brian's reply (?). Brian asks a valid question but I just assumed your company uses what we call "flex" work hours. The total work day is 12 hours even though workers are limited, perhaps by laws limiting straight time versus overtime pay, to 10 hours per day. With flex hours, those workers can chose the 10 hour period within the 12 hour day that works best for them.

    John

    Hi John,

    Well they do use flex time. But the point of the planning is to plan many tasks to be done, within a 12 hour time window (Tasks can occur in parallel, multiple tasks at the same time). However, once more than 10 hours of tasks are assigned to one person in a day, then any task that overshoots this, will have to be rescheduled for the day after or another time. Which is not a problem, you can just split certain tasks so that only 10 hours are worked per day. What I want to achieve is an overallocation warning, when I plan too many hours for 1 person on one day, which works with the 83.3 % max. units. My question at this point is, is there another way to do this?

    Also, there is a further complication in my situation. A different project that shares the same resources as the first project needs to be run in parallel, here tasks need to be performed in a 8 - hour schedule, so what I assumed was that if I maintain the Resource calendar the original 12 hour calendar, and keep the 83.3 % max. units, then any resource that totals more than 10 hours between the 2 projects, will show up. Which was the case,  until... see answer to Brian.

    Basically, the my project schedule needs to show these overallocations also in Project 2003 since, half of the future editors of the plan use it, so I saved it in Project 2010 but in the 2003 compatible version. When I opened this file in Project 2003 it behaved fine, however, i then stupidly saved it in Project 2003, and when reopening it in 2010, the overallocations had changed. From 10h+ showing as an overallocation to 8h+ showing as one, so yeah I am in quite the pickle.

    Regards,

    Stef


    Stef

    Thursday, September 27, 2012 4:36 PM
  • John,

    I think I figured it out. My requirements are:

    1) Project 1 and 2 (Since my Project Worksheet is divided into these 4 parallel projects) should have a schedule of 08:00-20:00

    2) Project 3 and 4 should have a schedule of 08:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00

    Resources should not work more than 10 hours, ie I can assign them any standard schedule of 08:00-18:00. This so, that maximum units will be 10 hours = 100 % working time.

    Ok. So, there are 3 types of calendars: A project calendar for the entire worksheet, a task calendar for each individual task and a resource calendar for each resource. In my case I do not think the project calendar is so much of importance, as I will be assigning all tasks to specific calendars.

    Now, basically if I set all my tasks in project 1 and 2 to follow the 08:00-20:00 calendar, by doing task->Information-> Advanced ->Calendar (select appropriate calendar), and then ticking the box Scheduling ignores resources calendar. Then the tasks will be scheduled on the 08:00-20:00 calendar, and any resource assigned a total number of tasks per day of more than 10 hours, will show up as an overallocation, as it overshoots the 100 % maximum units allocated in the resource calendar. 

    The same procedure can be done for tasks in Project 3 and 4, now the calendar for each tasks is made into the appropriate 08:00-12:00 and 13:00-17:00 calendar. Again the scheduling of the resources is ignored. Ie the resource will still show as overallocated if between Project 1 to 4 the total working hours in a day is more than the 10 hour resource limit.

    So, I think this should work. Do you see any possible problems? What should I set the Options -> Schedule, hours per day/hours per week, shall I just set them the same as the Project Calendar. So, as to not cause further confusions?

    Also, with the problem between 2003 and 2010, I decided to just learn a bit of German and created a resource column in that so when it was saved in 2003, it would display the resource properties, which previously didn't.

    So, thanks for your help. Hopefully this is the correct way.

    Best regards,

    Stef


    Stef


    Friday, September 28, 2012 9:38 AM