Goal: Assign resources to tasks

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003
Microsoft Office Project Server 2003
Microsoft Project 2000 and 2002

Now that resource (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) information has been entered into the project, you can assign resources to specific tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.). You can then check to see whether any resources are overallocated (overallocation: The result of assigning more tasks to a resource than the resource can accomplish in the working time available.) or underallocated (underallocation: Assigning a resource to work fewer hours than the resource has available.), add notes (note: Explanatory text that you can attach to a task, resource, or assignment.), and communicate assignments (assignment: A specific resource that is assigned to a particular task.) to the team members.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project. The project life cycle is outlined in The Project Map, where you can find a link to an article about each project management goal. Most of the articles include links to supporting information or procedures that you perform in Project or Project Server. These "goal" articles were designed to help you not only use Project but also better understand project management.

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See all goals on the Project Map

Project manager assigning human resources to project

number 1   Assign a resource     Assignments are the associations between specific tasks and the resources needed to complete them. More than one resource can be assigned to a task. Both work resources and material resources can be assigned to tasks.

Number 2   Refine resource assignments     You can make adjustments to the assignments you made, check for overallocations, and perhaps resolve overallocations by leveling (leveling: Resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks. When Project levels a resource, its selected assignments are distributed and rescheduled.).

Click in the following order:

  1. View a selected resource's availability if you want to find overallocated or underallocated resources in a project or across projects.
  2. Review resource workloads to see whether the assignments you just made have resulted in any overallocations or underallocations.
  3. ShowAdjust a resource assignment

Click all of the following that apply:

  1. Resolve resource overallocations by leveling if you want to even out the resource workload. Leveling (leveling: Resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks. When Project levels a resource, its selected assignments are distributed and rescheduled.) reschedules by using available slack (slack: The amount of time that a task can slip before it affects another task or the project's finish date. Free slack is how much a task can slip before it delays another task. Total slack is how much a task can slip before it delays the project.) time, 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.), and 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.) until the overallocations are resolved. Note that leveling can often push out the project's finish date.

Number 3  Add a note about resource assignments     You can attach a note, perhaps to describe project constraints (constraint: A restriction set on the start or finish date of a task. You can specify that a task must start on or finish no later than a particular date. Constraints can be flexible [not tied to a specific date] or inflexible [tied to a specific date].) or assumptions (project assumptions: Factors that, for planning purposes, are considered to be true, real, or certain. Assumptions generally involve a degree of risk.).

Number 4  Update resource information in a shared pool     If you are using Microsoft Office Project Standard 2003 and using resources from a resource pool (resource pool: A set of resources that is available for assignment to project tasks. A resource pool can be used exclusively by one project or can be shared by several projects.) or another project, you can update the resources' assignment information so that all the information is visible in the resource pool or shared project. This can help the project manager or resource manager check for overallocations across multiple projects.

Number 5  Communicate new assignments      You can communicate changes in assignments to the affected resources either by printing assignment reports (report: A format in which you can print schedule information that is appropriate for the intended recipients. You can use the predefined reports provided by Project or create custom reports.) or by using Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003 (Project Web Access: The Web-based user interface that is used to access information in Project Server.) to communicate assignment changes electronically.