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MS Project - Lesson #5 - Resource Workloads

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View resource workloads Locate resource conflicts Use automatic leveling to resolve resource overallocations Manually resolve resource overallocations

When making resources assignments to tasks, MS Project tries to schedule the appropriate work for that resource; however conflicts can arise if a resource is scheduled to perform more work than the resource can accomplish. These conflicts can occur as a result of a single or multiple task assignment and are often a case of overallocation of the resource. (You can also underallocate a resource). The problem then becomes how to resolve those conflicts. With MS Project, some of these conflicts can be solved automatically or manually. For this lab, we will be using the MS Project Lab, MyLab4_XXX (where XXX are your initials) from where we left off in Lab 4. Included with this lab is an Addendum, where you can quickly check your project information prior to starting this lab.

Viewing Resource Workloads
Viewing resource workloads helps to identify to what extent a resource is overallocated or underallocated. When a resource is overallocated, the resource text is highlighted in red and a leveling indicator is displayed. To view the workloads: 1. 2. Log onto Windows. Open your completed file MyLab4_XXX.mpp. Check the addendum at the end of this lesson to make sure your beginning file is correct. Save as MyLab5_XXX.mpp, where XXX are your initials From the Task tab and the Resource Views group, select Resource Usage. This view shows each resource, total assigned for the entire project, each task the resource is assigned and total hours for each task, and on the right, a time graph showing the detail of how the work is divided up. (You may need to expand the columns and move the time graph to see all details). Notice the resource, Systems Administrator, is highlighted in red. This resource is overallocated. Also notice the icon to the left of Systems Administrator. This is the leveling indicator.

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Leveling Indicator 6. 7. 8. Select the Systems Administrator resource name. On the Task Tab and the Editing group, click the Scroll To Task button. The right pane timescale scrolls to the first work values for the resource.

Work Detail

MS Project Lesson #5

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showing you the first conflict in the schedule ( Figure 2). the timescale shows this resource working a total of 40 hours on Friday of that week. The resource allocation view is now displayed. The 48 hours were distributed over the three working days at 24 hours the first day.Lesson #5 . Scroll the timescale (at the bottom of the scale) until you see work values highlighted in red. ( Figure 1). 8 on Saturday and 8 on the following Monday. The tasks for the selected resource are displayed in the bottom pane along with the Leveling Gantt view. The 32 hours were distributed over the three working days…at 16 hours the first day. In the week of November 17. the select More Views and apply the Resource Allocation View. At this point. Install Hardware and Install Software are occurring at the same time. select Other Views. Install Hardware was initially scheduled for 2 units of Systems Administrator for 3 days for a total of 32 hours. MS Project Lesson #5 Page 2 . and 3 units can only do 24 hours of work in one day (3 * 8 is 24 hours). Unfortunately.Resource Workloads 9. we only have 3 units of resources total for these three days. By viewing this screen. From the View tab and the Resource Views group. we notice that the two tasks. Figure 1 10. Figure 2 12. 12 on Saturday and 12 on the following Monday. Install Software was initially schedule for 3 units of Systems Administrator for 3 days (or 48 hours total).MS Project . we have to decide what we want to do to alleviate this situation. 11. The breakdown is 16 hours on Install Hardware and 24 hours on Install Software.

Leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task . Leveling can create splits in remaining work Unchecked. It should read 11/26/13. Go back to the Resource tab and the Resource Allocation View will be displayed. Level manually scheduled tasks . Leveling is a strategy used to resolve resource overallocations by delaying or splitting tasks. MS Project Lesson #5 Page 3 .Checked..Unchecked.Unchecked. The resource dialog box appears: 3. the resource's selected assignments are distributed and rescheduled and the task and/or project schedule may change. and constraints. From the Resource tab and the Level group. View the Finish Date for this project. before you make changes. From the File Tab.. Level resources with the proposed booking type . 4.. time and task constraints.Lesson #5 .Manual. you should review all allocation problems. and it determines if a task can be delayed or split to resolve the conflict. MS Project examines all overallocations by looking at task dependencies. should be set for Entire Project. Level only within available slack . Look for overalloactions on a Day by Day basis. Overallocations can be resolved automatically or manually.Checked. Clear leveling values before leveling should be checked. click Leveling Options. dates. it may not be to your liking! When MS Project levels a resource. 2.Standard. you should try to resolve your resource allocation conflicts. priorities. etc. Leveling order .Resource Workloads Resolving Resource Conflicts Automatically Before you begin a project. 1. availability of resources. start times. Figure 3 The Resource Leveling window includes the defaults for the leveling process The settings should be: Leveling Calculations . Keep in mind that if you allow MS Project to determine how to level your resource workloads. If you do it automatically. Click in the bottom pane of your screen (the one that lists the tasks and Gantt chart)..MS Project . Before you decide to do either. check Project Information. Leveling Range.

You will notice that the Systems Administrator is no longer in red. let's see if there is a better way of leveling the workload without jeopardizing our schedule. 14. the Olive bars indicate the original start and finish dates. Make sure "Leveling can create splits in remaining work" is unchecked. This allows the user to make the leveling decisions. In addition.MS Project . MS Project will take over and not allow any resource overallocations. This could cause inefficiencies and should be avoided. Please follow these instructions carefully! (You may want to save your file at this point!) MS Project Lesson #5 Page 4 . 13. rather than MS Project. What this can do is to stop a task before it is completed. let's say we only have three on our staff! So we will make changes to their current schedule and make adjustments to the hours worked. When the Automatic radial is selected. When the above occurs. One note of caution… Note the Leveling calculations radial tab is set to Manual. (You can also click on Undo if it is still highlighted). to allow the user to control resources. and select Entire Project. Be sure the default options are selected as shown in Figure 3. 8. It is recommended this setting remains on Manual. In the Leveling group. 7.Lesson #5 . the blue bars represent the new start and finish dates.Resource Workloads 5. In this case. Click Level All. Resolving Resource Conflicts Manually Using MS Project to perform leveling operations might result in unwanted schedule adjustments or solutions that are not practical for the project. the Systems Administrator returns to overallocation “red”. From the File tab. as we shall see later. select Clear Leveling. to resume it later. Check to make sure your Finish date is back to 11/26/2013. But what if this is unacceptable? Can you undo automatic leveling? 12. Unfortunately. 6. be sure the lower pane is active (click in the bottom pane to make sure). 10. What happened? (Look at delay applied to Install Software). review the Project Information. other techniques can be used to manually resolve the overallocations. Go back to the Resource tab. But look at the workload detail in the top right pane and the Gantt chart in the lower right pane. 9. In the Gantt chart. Some suggestions for manual leveling include:         Increasing the maximum units of the resource Reschedule the task that has created the conflict Add overtime Adjust task dependencies or constraints Remove a resource that is not important to the task Replace the overallocated resource with an underallocated resource Make adjustments to the working days and hours Decrease the amount of work assigned to the resource Given our previous problem with the Systems Administrators. 11. while it would be nice to assign more Systems Administrators to the task. The finish date is now 11/28/2013. there may be some conflicts that MS Project cannot resolve. two days have been added to the project.

Saturday and Monday of November 22-25. 12. 2013. Click OK. The Resource Information box should open. November 25. change the working time for Monday. Change the working time for Saturday. It should say 24 hours. (This is because MS Project "front" loads all work). 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM . 2013 to reflect the time frames of 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. November 22. In the calendar. 2. 9. MS Project Lesson #5 Page 5 .MS Project . Install Hardware and Install Software are 32 hours and 48 hours of work respectively. click “Continue. make sure the timeline for the Systems Administrator reflects the Friday. and 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM.Resource Workloads 1. Make sure you are in Resource Allocation View and your screen looks like Figure 2. In the top pane. 7. we have added more hours to the working day and added a full working day on Saturday. 8. 5. Select the Change Working Time button. (Remember to click outside the10:00 PM box for this to "stick").Lesson #5 . Enter 12 in this cell. Saturday and Monday. and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM . November 25. Assuming that we have three units of Systems Administrators.” Check your project finish date from the Project Information. Figure 4 10. So. In the upper pane. 11. (For 12 hours). 3. You will notice that the change in the calendar has altered the amount worked on Friday. we should be able to adjust the load to make sure there are no overallocations. Finally. 2013 to reflect the time frames of 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. create a new exception for Friday. November 23. If you get a scheduling conflict error message. 4. 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM . That amounts to 36 hours (12 x 3) on Friday. Your current finish date should be Monday. Follow the next instructions to the letter. 2013 to reflect the time frames of 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Click on the cell for Friday work for the Install Hardware task. allow the scheduling conflict. and 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The two tasks. double-click on the name Systems Administrator. plus 24 hours (8 x 3) on Saturday plus 36 hours (12 x 3) on Monday for a total of 96 hours. 6. each one can work a 12-hour day on Friday an 8-hour day on Saturday and a 12-hour day on Monday. At this point you should save your file just in case… After making the above changes to the Systems Administrator working times (looks like we will be paying overtime). for a total of 80 hours. 2013.

great! We met our goal. save your file. In the cell for Monday. etc. your red should go away. 21.MS Project . 8 hours on Saturday and 12 hours on Monday. 11/26/2013? If so. 25.Resource Workloads 13. Carefully. Install Hardware and Install Software. If everything goes right. 19. (There currently is no number in the cell). MS Project Lesson #5 Page 6 . Staying in the Install Hardware task row. 24. regardless of method.Lesson #5 . Check your project information. without saving it and go back to instruction 7 of this section. It is best that when you make your initial assignments that you consider workload. availability. change the 36 hours to 24 hours (and hit enter). 20. Again. without overallocating resources. 15. 14. 22. move to Monday and enter 12 hours. 16. this resource is no longer overallocated and your screen should look like figure 6: Figure 6 The Install software task for the Systems Administrator has been modified to show 12 hours of work on Friday. If not. in case you make errors or do not like the results. Enter 12 for 12 hours. You will notice that the only number in red is for Monday. 17. Is your finish date back to Tuesday. Do not change Saturday at all. While what we did was an extreme. it gives you an idea of some of the things you can do to resolve resource assignment conflicts. click in the cell for Friday for the task Install Software. Staying in the Install Hardware task. If you decide to adjust your resources. Your screen should now look like figure 5: Figure 5 Install hardware task for the Systems Administrator has been modified to show 12 hours of work on Friday. verify that Saturday still has 8 hours. At this point. it is always best if you save your file before doing so. a total of 48 hours. 23. 18. You may have noticed the (pencil icon) next to the two tasks. you need to close the file. resource leveling (and what goes on "behind the scenes") can be a very complicated process. This indicates that the work assignment has been edited. 12 hours of work on Saturday and 24 hours of work on Monday.

This will be printout number 1.Lesson #5 . Be sure to include proper project header information. select the tab View and check Print All Sheet Columns). Print out the Task Entry Table and Gantt chart view. Make sure you widen the column showing task names and resource names. 3. 27. Keeping the Assign Resources dialog box open and while still on the task Research Products and Service. (Figure 8). click on Details 2 times remove Split. Click on the Assign Resources button on the Resource tab. select Systems Analyst and then click on Remove. (Hint: on Page Setup in Print Preview.Resource Workloads 26. Include all the columns of the Table: Entry and the Gantt chart. In the Assign Resources dialog box. Figure 8 MS Project Lesson #5 Page 7 .MS Project . Change to Gantt chart view. On your own 1. From the Task tab and the Properties group. 2. In the Gantt chart view. click on task Research Products and Services. Press Assign. select Systems Analyst again and enter 200 (for 2 units). Figure 7 4.

Is the name in red? The resource is now overallocated. yet another confusing. 7.5 days before proceeding. If you were replacing different unit allocations of the same resource. A very important. 9. What we have done is replaced an initial assignment. Close the Assign Resources window and make sure this task. If you were replacing one resource with another resource.Resource Workloads 5. Research Products and Services.Lesson #5 . Systems Analyst. 6. 12. Scroll down to Systems Analyst. perhaps because we assigned two units of a resource when we only have one unit available! Click on the name.MS Project . 8. you would use replace rather than assign. Change to Resource Sheet view. MS Project would have assumed effort-driving and would not have added 28 hours of work. If we had just changed the percentages from 100 to 200% without removing the initial assignment. 10. 13. Make sure the Systems Analyst is selected and click on the Level Now button. We have just told MS Project that rather than one Systems Analyst doing 28 hours of work. You should now see a MS Project alert message: MS Project Lesson #5 Page 8 . 11. From the Resource tab and the Level group. is still showing 3. but divided 28 hours of work between the two units. You should see the Level Resource dialog box. you would do the preceding instructions. point to understand about how MS Project views the information you enter. select Level Resource. we will have two Systems Analysts doing 28 hours of work each (total of 56 hours).

17.docx (where XXX are your initials) and submit this file to the Weekly iLab Dropbox. Check Point for the End of Lesson 5 MS Project Lesson #5 Page 9 . 16. Perhaps if you went to the Resource Sheet view and changed the maximum units for this resource? 18. Make sure to crop the screen to show only the report. Once you resolve the problem so that no resource is overallocated. How would you solve this problem? Without affecting the project finish date? Look at the suggestion that MS Project is giving you. So do it. 21. if you are not bringing them to class. Check point: 37. MS Project did not perform leveling because it could not do so. Press Skip. 22.MS Project . MS Project also tells you what the problem is and the date of the problem. Whenever you get this message. MS Project cannot resolve the problem automatically. from the Print Preview Page. resize the image appropriately. Save the Word document containing printouts as Week_5_Printouts_XXX. paste each page individually. When submitting required printouts. The above reports will be printouts 2 and 3 respectively. 15. (If you get another error message.Resource Workloads 14.5 days. (Plus see project statistics below). After cropping. Change the maximum units for Systems Analyst to 200%. Here. What happened? 19. The message however gives you suggestions on how to resolve the problem. Change back to Gantt chart view and save your file. take a screen shot (in Windows <ALT><Prt Scr>) of the report and paste the screen shot to a MS Word Document.Lesson #5 . just press skip until error messages stop). print out the following:  A Project Summary Sheet  A Task Usage Report (showing work by weeks) 20. Again make sure proper project header information is included. If the printout is on more than 1 page.

Resource Workloads MS Project Lesson #5 Page 10 .MS Project .Lesson #5 .

Lesson #5 . MS Project Lesson #5 Page 11 .mpp and submit the file to the Weekly 5 iLab Dropbox.Resource Workloads Addendum Task Information for the Beginning of Lesson 5 Project Information Statistics at the Beginning of Lesson 5 When you have completed this lesson please save it as MyLab5_xxx. Also complete the following page and submit the Review Question sheet to the Weekly iLab Dropbox.MS Project .

Resource Workloads Review Questions Name ____________________________ Answer the following questions: 1) What is resource overallocation? 2) What is resource leveling? 3) Under what circumstances would you want to manually resolve conflicts? 4) What would be the caution of adding more resources to a task to resolve resource conflicts? 5) What would be the caution of rescheduling a task to resolve a resource conflict? Turn in this sheet with your MS Project file to the Week 5 iLab Dropbox.Lesson #5 .MS Project . MS Project Lesson #5 Page 12 .