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Does a Task's 'Priority' Get Consider When the 'Leveling Order' is set to "Standard" in MS Project versions 2010 and earlier? RRS feed

  • Question

  • The other day I was doing some leveling on the latest version of Project Professional (ver.2016), and I was surprised to see that the 'Leveling Order' when set to "Standard" was actually taking the tasks' Priority into consideration.  I thought that Project only task Priority when the 'Leveling Order' option was set to "Priority, Standard".

    Does anyone have a version of MS Project 2010 (or an earlier version, e.g, 2007) where you can do a quick test for me to see if the 'Leveling Order', when set to "Standard", takes the tasks' Priority into consideration.  I am trying to ascertain if there has been a change in the leveling functionality with regards to the 'Leveling Order' options.

    I could swear that it did not do so in the past, but I could be wrong.

    Thanks in advance.


    \Spiro Theopoulos, Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 2:03 PM

Answers

  • Hi Spiro, 

    I did the same test with Project 2010 and 2016 and I got the same behavior. Indeed as you said, even when the leveling option is set to STANDARD, it still consider the priority if you change it of some tasks.

    I have to say that I'm not a big fan of autolevelling so I admit that I never test this behavior before.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 2:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Spiro --

    In addition to the excellent answer given by Guillaume, most people do not realize that the built-in leveling tool in Microsoft Project uses six leveling factors (aka "tie breaker rules") to determine which tasks to delay or split, and which tasks to leave alone.  These leveling factors are:

    • Start date - Tasks with a later start date are delayed before tasks with an earlier Start date.
    • Predecessors - Tasks that are not Predecessors are delayed before tasks that are Predecessors.
    • Constraints - Tasks without constraints are delayed before tasks with constraints.
    • Total Slack - Tasks with more Total Slack are delayed before tasks with less Total Slack.
    • Priority number - Tasks with a lower Priority number are delayed before tasks with a higher Priority number.
    • ID number - Only used if the other five factors cannot determine which tasks to delay.  Tasks with a higher ID number are delayed before tasks with a lower ID number.

    When you select the Standard order for leveling, Microsoft Project considers the first five factors, but Microsoft has never released the algorithm for HOW these factors are applied.  If you select the Priority, Standard order, this means that the software will consider the Priority number first before the other four factors.  Hope this extra information helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 4:06 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi Spiro, 

    I did the same test with Project 2010 and 2016 and I got the same behavior. Indeed as you said, even when the leveling option is set to STANDARD, it still consider the priority if you change it of some tasks.

    I have to say that I'm not a big fan of autolevelling so I admit that I never test this behavior before.


    Hope this helps,


    Guillaume Rouyre, MBA, MVP, P-Seller

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 2:26 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank Guillaume,

    Interesting you say you are not a fan of Leveling.  I am the opposite; I find it to be the most powerful of features in this product.  I can not see how I would do with out it.  I do agree that it can be somewhat involved to use correctly, but if one puts in the effort and understands the various options there are definite benefits. 

    Have you seen my video on Leveling?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqgdkRvtXvs

    ST


    \Spiro Theopoulos, Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 2:50 PM
  • Spiro --

    In addition to the excellent answer given by Guillaume, most people do not realize that the built-in leveling tool in Microsoft Project uses six leveling factors (aka "tie breaker rules") to determine which tasks to delay or split, and which tasks to leave alone.  These leveling factors are:

    • Start date - Tasks with a later start date are delayed before tasks with an earlier Start date.
    • Predecessors - Tasks that are not Predecessors are delayed before tasks that are Predecessors.
    • Constraints - Tasks without constraints are delayed before tasks with constraints.
    • Total Slack - Tasks with more Total Slack are delayed before tasks with less Total Slack.
    • Priority number - Tasks with a lower Priority number are delayed before tasks with a higher Priority number.
    • ID number - Only used if the other five factors cannot determine which tasks to delay.  Tasks with a higher ID number are delayed before tasks with a lower ID number.

    When you select the Standard order for leveling, Microsoft Project considers the first five factors, but Microsoft has never released the algorithm for HOW these factors are applied.  If you select the Priority, Standard order, this means that the software will consider the Priority number first before the other four factors.  Hope this extra information helps.


    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 4:06 PM
    Moderator
  • oh yes, I am aware.  Thanks for the details.  And you are correct and agree that most people do not know.

    \Spiro Theopoulos, Montreal, QC (Canada)

    Thursday, June 8, 2017 4:46 PM