The Priority field indicates the level of importance given to a task, which in turn indicates how readily a task or assignment can be delayed or split during resource 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.). You can also assign priorities to tasks in order to assess their relative values as part of your project management strategy.
Priority levels range from 0 - 1000. The lowest priority is 0. The default priority is 500. This wide range allows for the greatest flexibility when leveling.
There are several categories of Priority fields.
Data Type Enumerated (enumerated field: A type of field whose content is selected from a list of predefined choices. For example, in the Accrue At field you can select the way resource costs are accrued from a list that includes Start, Prorated, and End.)
Priority (task field)
Entry Type Entered (entered field: A field in which you may type or edit information. This is in contrast with a calculated field, in which Project calculates and enters information.)
Best Uses Add the Priority field to a task view when you want to display, filter, or edit the importance of a task as it would affect leveling resources or as it would help you assess the relative value of tasks.
Example Three tasks are scheduled at the same time for one resource. Because this is causing the tasks to be overallocated, you decide to have Microsoft Office Project level the resource for these tasks. The "Write proposal" task has a priority of 500, the "Coordinate trade show" task has a priority of 1000, and the "Research new prospects" task has a priority of 100. Because of these priority settings, the resource is leveled so that the "Coordinate trade show" task is scheduled first, the "Write proposal" task is scheduled next, and the "Research new prospects" task is scheduled third.
Remarks Tasks with a priority of 1000 have the effect of "Do Not Level," meaning that Project will never delay or split this task when leveling tasks that have overallocated (overallocation: The result of assigning more tasks to a resource than the resource can accomplish in the working time available.) resources assigned.
Priority (assignment field)
Entry Type Calculated (calculated field: A field in which the value is determined by Project based on information in other fields. Project may recalculate the value automatically or when you specify, depending on your choice of calculation settings.)
How Calculated The value in the Priority field for the assignment is taken from the value in the Priority field for the task.
Best Uses Add the Priority field to the Task Usage or Resource Usage view when you want to display or filter the importance of an assignment as it would affect leveling resources.
Example Sean is assigned to the "Write proposal" task, which has a priority of 500; the "Coordinate trade show" task, which has a priority of 1000; and the "Research new prospects" task, which has a priority of 100. They are all scheduled for the same period of time, and they are causing Sean to be overallocated. You decide to have Microsoft Office Project do resource leveling for Sean. Because of the priority settings, Sean's assignments are leveled so that the "Coordinate trade show" task is scheduled first, the "Write proposal" task is scheduled next, and the "Research new prospects" task is scheduled third.
Remarks To change the priority for the assignment, you must change it for the task. You can review the Priority field for both tasks and assignments in the Task Usage view.
Those assignments with a priority of 1000 have the effect of "Do Not Level." This means Project will never delay or split (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.) this assignment when leveling overallocated assignments.