Do some of your work resources (work resource: People and equipment resources that perform work to accomplish a task. Work resources consume time [hours or days] to accomplish tasks.) have too much work assigned? You can resolve resource conflicts or overallocations by using the resource-leveling feature in Microsoft Office Project. Leveling works by splitting tasks (split task: A task whose schedule is interrupted. For example, a two-day task that does not require contiguous work might be split so that the first day of work is scheduled for Monday, and the second day is scheduled for Thursday.) or by adding delay (delay: The amount of time between the scheduled start of a task and the time when work should actually begin on the task; it is often used to resolve resource overallocations. There are two types of delay: assignment delay and leveling delay.) to tasks until the resources that are assigned to those tasks are no longer overloaded. Because of these changes to the tasks, leveling can delay the finish date of some tasks and consequently also the project's finish date (finish date: The date that a task is scheduled to be completed. This date is based on the task's start date, duration, calendars, predecessor dates, task dependencies, and constraints.).
When it is leveling, Project does not change who is assigned to each task. Project levels only the work resources (work resource: People and equipment resources that perform work to accomplish a task. Work resources consume time [hours or days] to accomplish tasks.), generic resources (generic resources: Placeholder resources that are used to specify the skills required for a specific task.), and committed resources (committed resource: A resource that is formally allocated to any task assignments they have within a project. This is the default booking type.). It does not level the material resources (material resource: The supplies or other consumable items that are used to complete tasks in a project.), cost resources, or proposed resources (proposed resource: A resource with a pending resource allocation to a task assignment that has not yet been authorized. This resource assignment does not detract from the availability of the resource to work on other projects.).
Tip You can quickly find an overallocated resource in any resource view (resource view: A view that displays resource information. Resource views include the Resource Sheet, the Resource Graph, the Resource Usage, and the resource forms views.), where the names of overallocated resources are highlighted in red.
Prior to leveling, you may want to set the task priorities (priority: An indication of a task's importance and availability for leveling [that is, resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks]. Tasks with the lowest priority are delayed or split first.), which are an indication of a task's importance and its availability for leveling. The priority value that you enter is a subjective value between 1 and 1000, which enables you to specify the amount of control you have over the leveling process. For example, if you don't want Project to level a particular task, set its priority level to 1000. By default, priority values are set at 500, or a medium level of control. Tasks that have lower priority are delayed or split before those that have higher priority.
You can also set an entire project's availability for leveling by setting the project's priority. For example, if you are sharing resources with another project that serves as a resource pool, and if you don't want to level the tasks in one of the sharer files (sharer file: A file using resources from another file, which can be another project file or a file containing only resource information, called a resource pool.), then set that sharer file's priority level to 1000.
What do you want to do?
Set the task priorities
- On the View menu, click Gantt Chart.
- In the Task Name field, select the task whose priority you want to change, and then click Task Information .
- Click the General tab, and then type or select a priority in the Priority box.
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Set the project priorities
- On the Project menu, click Project Information.
- Type or select a priority in the Priority box.
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Distribute the project work by leveling
- On the Tools menu, click Level Resources.
- Under Leveling calculations, click Automatic or Manual.
Manual leveling (the default) occurs only when you click Level Now. Automatic leveling occurs instantaneously whenever you change a task or resource. Use automatic leveling if you want to reschedule tasks whenever resources are assigned more work than they have the capacity to complete.
To prevent the finish date of your project from being delayed, select the Level only within available slack check box.
- If you choose automatic leveling, clear the Clear leveling values before leveling check box. When this check box is cleared, Project levels only new and unleveled assignments. This check box is selected by default, but when leveling automatically, leaving it selected can significantly slow down your work in the schedule because all tasks are leveled. In the Look for overallocations on a box, click a time period, or basis, for the sensitivity with which leveling will recognize overallocations. Day by Day is the default. This setting establishes the point at which you want leveling to intervene: when you have an overallocation within just one minute, one day, one week, or one month.
- Under Leveling range for, select to level the entire project or to level only those tasks falling within a specific time range.
- In the Leveling order box, select the leveling order that you want:
Note If you select this check box, you may get error messages indicating that Project can't level the entire schedule. Project may not level the schedule because there is seldom enough slack in a schedule to reschedule assignments without running out of slack time.
- To allow leveling to adjust when a resource works on a task independently of other resources that are working on the same task, select the Leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task check box.
- If you want leveling to interrupt tasks by creating splits in the remaining work on tasks or resource assignments, select the Leveling can create splits in remaining work check box. If a resource is assigned to tasks concurrently beyond what the resource's schedule can handle, then a task that has remaining work can be split and worked on when the resource's schedule will allow it.
- To include proposed resources (proposed resource: A resource with a pending resource allocation to a task assignment that has not yet been authorized. This resource assignment does not detract from the availability of the resource to work on other projects.), select the Level tasks with the proposed booking type check box.
- If you want to clear the previous leveling results before leveling again, then click Clear Leveling.
- If you are leveling manually, then click Level Now. If you are leveling automatically, click OK.
The Level Now dialog box appears if a resource view that has selected resources was showing when you opened the Resource Leveling dialog box. Click Selected resources if you want to level only the selected resources. Otherwise, click Entire pool.
- To clear leveling immediately before doing any other action, click Undo Level. If you don't undo the leveling, you can also click Clear Leveling to clear the previous leveling results.
- If you level tasks in projects that are scheduled from a finish date, then negative delay values are applied from the end of the task or assignment, causing the task or resource assignment's finish date to occur earlier.
- To see the changes made to tasks by leveling, on the View menu, click More Views, click Leveling Gantt, and then click Apply.
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