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Resource allocation and how to resolve by leveling

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In this tutorial you will learn how to identify resource over allocation problems and resolve them by leveling.

Identify resource over allocation problems

MS Project Tutorial - Resources over allocatedIn order to find if there are any resource allocation problems we need to go to the resource sheet ( view > resource sheet ) and see if any resources are listed in red. This means that resources there are more resources assigned on tasks for a certain date then there are resources available. In our project “Design Engineers” and “Software Engineers” are over allocated.

MS Project Tutorial - Resources UsageTo find out where the problems are we need to go to the resource usage (view > resource usage) and look for dates marked in red. For “Design Engineers” this will be January 13th and 14th where we need 3 “Design Engineers” where there are only 2 available in our project so there is a conflict. For “Software Engineers” it is on multiple days where we need more then the available resources for “code A” and “code B”.

Another way to look at this is with the resource graph view, this shows the percentage of the available resources used for a certain date. When a resource is over allocated the percentage overused will be shown in red above the 100% bar.

resolve resource over allocations by leveling

MS Project Tutorial - LevelingOver allocation is a problem and needs to be resolved. You can chose to either level within slack or level outside of slack. When leveling within slack we absorb existing slack which can make the network more sensitive. When we level outside of slack we extent the duration of the project. First we will level within slack. Go to tools > level resources to open the leveling menu. You will see all kinds of options but the most import one are the check boxes below. “Level only within available slack” is an attempt to rearrange the schedule taking advantage of the slack that is available to see if we can resolve the problem without extending the project. We start leveling when we click on “Level now”, possibly a series of errors occur when it is not possible to solve a over allocation with the slack available. In our project this will be the “software engineers”. When we go back to the resource usage sheet you will notice the “Assemble Hardware” has moved due the slack available for this task.

To resolve the issue of over allocated “Software Engineers” we need to either add more resources or level outside the slack. Our original schedule will be extended and we will find out with how much by going back to the level resources menu and unselect the  “level only within available slack” checkbox. After clicking “level now” we notice the dates of our project have been extended and some of the over allocated tasks have been moved.

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Ms Project Tutorial created by Frederik van Everbroeck.