Goal: Assign resources to tasks

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 within the Project Map 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.

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Assign resources to tasks

number 1  Assign a resource or a team     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 that 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 resource workloads and availability if you want to find overallocated or underallocated resources in a project or across projects, and to see whether the assignments that you just made have resulted in any conflicts.
  2. Adjust a resource assignment    

Click all of the following that apply:

  • Assign an additional resource to a task when you refine 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 when you replace an expensive resource with a less expensive one. And you can increase quality, 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.
  • Reassign the remaining work on a task to control which of several resources does what portion of the remaining work, or to specify exactly when the remaining work will be done.
  1. Resolve resource overallocations by leveling if you want to even out the resource workload. The leveling process reschedules by using available slack time, splitting tasks, and adding 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 or assumptions.

Number 4  Update resource information in a resource pool     If you are using resources from a resource pool, you can update the resources' assignment information so that all the information is visible in the resource pool. 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 to communicate assignment changes electronically.

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Applies to:
Project 2007