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.
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:
- View a selected resource's availability if you want to find overallocated or underallocated resources in a project or across projects.
- Review resource workloads to see whether the assignments you just made have resulted in any overallocations or underallocations.
Adjust a resource assignment
Click all of the following that apply:
- Assign an additional resource to a task when refining an assignment, especially if another resource is overallocated or needs assistance to complete a task on time.
- Replace a resource assignment to help balance the workload for specific assignments. It can also help control costs (cost: The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as "budget.") when you replace an expensive resource with a less expensive one. And you can increase quality (quality: The degree of excellence, or the desired standards, in a product, process, or project.), where needed, if you replace a lower-quality resource with a higher-quality one.
- Remove a resource assignment if a resource is overallocated during a certain period of time.
- Adjust the time that a work resource spends on a task by contouring (contour: The shape of how scheduled work for an assignment is distributed across time. Use a contour to control how Project schedules the work of a resource. Contour examples include flat, back-loaded, front-loaded, bell, turtle, and more.), which changes the distribution of work over time. You can also increase or decrease the resource's assignment units (assignment units: The percentage of a work resource's time, or units, that the resource is assigned to a task.) or have the resource start earlier on the assignment.
- Adjust the material consumption on an assignment by adjusting the total stock usage of a material resource (material resource: The supplies or other consumable items that are used to complete tasks in a project.), applying contours, and controlling the start and finish dates for a material resource's assignment span.
- 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.
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.).
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.
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.