View resource workloads and availability

As a project manager, one of the most important aspects of your role is to monitor the assignments for each of your resources so that you can effectively balance their workloads. Some resources might be overallocated (overallocation: The result of assigning more tasks to a resource than the resource can accomplish in the working time available.), and others might be underallocated (underallocation: Assigning a resource to work fewer hours than the resource has available.). You can review how efficiently your resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) are being used in your project, and whether you need to make any adjustments, by viewing their workloads and availability in Microsoft Office Project.

What do you want to do?


Review resource workloads by using the Resource Usage view

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Usage.
  2. Review the resource names and their assigned tasks in the table (table: A set of columns that shows specific information about tasks, resources, and assignments in a sheet view.) portion of the Resource Usage view.
  3. Review the timescale (timescale: The time period indicator at the top of the Gantt views, the Resource Graph view, the Task Usage view, and the Resource Usage view. You can customize it to show up to three tiers that can display various time units: top, middle, and bottom.) portion of the view to see how work is allocated over the selected time period.

In many resource views, including the Resource Usage view, overallocated resources are shown in red. An overallocation occurs whenever a resource's maximum units (maximum units: The maximum percentage or number of units that a resource is available to be scheduled for any tasks. The maximum units value indicates the highest capacity at which the resource is available for work; the default value is 100 percent.) have been exceeded for any period of time. In resource sheets, the indicator field (indicators field: A field containing a graphical indicator that provides information about the state of an assignment, resource, or task. For example, a check mark indicator shows that a task is completed.) for overallocated resources also includes the Resource leveling indicator (indicators: Small icons representing information for a task or resource that are displayed in the Indicators field. The Indicators field is located to the right of the ID field and appears in a number of tables.) Resource leveling indicator, which indicates that the resource be leveled (leveling: Resolving resource conflicts or overallocations by delaying or splitting certain tasks. When Project levels a resource, its selected assignments are distributed and rescheduled.). Check for the indicator, and review the task assignments to assess whether the overallocation is acceptable.

For example, suppose that two tasks have a duration of four hours, and that they both start and finish at the same times. If you assign both tasks to Bob, he is technically overallocated, because during that four-hour span of the two tasks, Bob is working at 200 percent. However, if leveling is set to a day-by-day basis, Bob does not need to be leveled, because during the whole day he doesn't exceed his total eight-hour capacity to work.

 Note   Along with resource assignments for tasks in the currently opened project, the Resource Usage view also displays summary resource assignments. Summary resource assignments indicate the total amount of work a resource is assigned to in all other projects. Summary resource assignments are only shown if you are connected to Microsoft Office Project Server and if you have an enterprise project (enterprise project: A project that is stored in Project Server to ensure information integrity. To make changes to an enterprise project, users with access permissions are required to check it in and out from Project Server.) open. If you don't want summary assignment rows to affect the totals shown in the Resource Usage view, you can select the summary assignment rows and then press DELETE.

You can also display and modify the Resource Usage view to see all of the resource assignments and their percentages of work allocation in a timesheet. This view shows all assignments by resource, and shows how fully these resources are allocated to assigned tasks over time.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Usage.
  2. On the Format menu, click Detail Styles.
  3. In the Available fields list, click Percent Allocation, and then click Show.
  4. Review the timescale (timescale: The time period indicator at the top of the Gantt views, the Resource Graph view, the Task Usage view, and the Resource Usage view. You can customize it to show up to three tiers that can display various time units: top, middle, and bottom.) portion of the view. In the % Alloc. row that you've just added, you can see the percentage of the resource's total available working time (working time: Hours designated in a resource or project calendar during which work can occur.) that is allocated to assignments during the selected time period. In addition, the timescale portion of the view shows both the resource's overallocated work and its allocation percentage in red, making it possible for you to pinpoint exactly when the resource becomes overallocated.

 Tip   You can zoom in on the time period shown in the timescale (for example, you can change the view from days to hours) by clicking Zoom In Button image. Likewise, you can zoom out from the time period (for example, you can change the view from days to weeks) by clicking Zoom Out Button image.

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Review availability for enterprise resources by using Project Web Access

To find overallocated or underallocated resources either within a project or across projects, you can access Microsoft Office Project Web Access from Project and view a graph and table of resource availability.

  1. On the Collaboration menu, click Resource Center.
  2. Select the resource whose availability information you want to view by selecting the check box next to their name, pointing to Go To, and then clicking View Availability.

To select adjacent resources in the list, hold down SHIFT while you click the first and then the last resource. To select nonadjacent resources, hold down CTRL while you click each resource.

  1. In the Choose a view box, click a resource view.
    • To display assignment work grouped first by resources and then by the projects that the resource appears in, click Assignment work by resource.
    • To display assignment work grouped by the projects that the resource appears in, click Assignment work by project.
    • To display the amount of time that the resource has available to work during a specified time period, click Remaining Availability.
    • To display the amount of work that the resource is assigned to do, click Work.
  2. If you selected multiple resources on the previous page, you can use the legend on the chart to select the resources that you want to view in the graph.

The table below the graph shows a timescale that displays how much work the resource is assigned to during the specified time period.

 Tip   To see a different date range in the chart, click View Options View Options, and then select new dates in the Date range boxes.

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Use a graph to view individual workloads

The Resource Graph view displays a bar chart (chart: A view or part of a view that represents project information graphically. For example, the Gantt Chart view consists of a sheet and a chart pane where tasks are represented as horizontal bars.) view of an individual resource's workload and availability. This view allows you to quickly discover whether the selected resource is overallocated or underallocated for a specific period of time. You can also see the percentage of units (units: The quantity of a resource assigned to a task. The maximum units is the maximum number of units available for the resource. For example, if you have three plumbers, the maximum units is 300 percent or three plumbers working full-time.) allocated for assignments, along with the resource's maximum units (maximum units: The maximum percentage or number of units that a resource is available to be scheduled for any tasks. The maximum units value indicates the highest capacity at which the resource is available for work; the default value is 100 percent.) availability.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Graph.
  2. Review the name of the first resource in the Resource Graph view.

If the resource name is listed in red, then the resource is overallocated. Resources listed in black are allocated (allocation: The percentage of a resource's capacity that is designated for a specific assignment.) either exactly at or under their full capacity.

  1. Review the bar chart to see the level of overallocation or underallocation.

Blue bars (by default) indicate the amount of allocated work that is at or below the resource's maximum unit (maximum units: The maximum percentage or number of units that a resource is available to be scheduled for any tasks. The maximum units value indicates the highest capacity at which the resource is available for work; the default value is 100 percent.) and working time (working time: Hours designated in a resource or project calendar during which work can occur.) availability for that time period. Red bars (by default) indicate that the resource is overallocated because the resource has exceeded their maximum unit and working time availability for a given time period.

  1. Review the highest allocation percentages that occur in the time period shown — that is, the peak units (peak units: The highest level at which a resource is scheduled for all assigned tasks during a given period of time. Peak units are expressed as a percentage, number of units, or consumption rate.) for the resource in the time period.

Peak units are listed at the bottom of the graph.

  1. To view the bar graph for the next resource, either press PAGE DOWN or use the scroll bar or the arrow keys.

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View a list of resources who are overallocated

You can see a list of only those resources that are overallocated by displaying the Resource Sheet view or the Resource Usage view, and then filtering (filter: Specifies which task or resource information should be displayed or highlighted in a view. For example, when you apply the Critical filter, only critical tasks are displayed.) for overallocated resources.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Sheet or Resource Usage.
  2. In the view, click Filter, and then click Overallocated Resources.
  3. To see the full list of resources again, click Filter, and then click All Resources.

 Note   Even without filtering for overallocated resources, you can easily see which resources are overallocated, because their names are shown in red 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.). Also, in the Resource Sheet and Resource Usage views, an indicator (indicators: Small icons representing information for a task or resource that are displayed in the Indicators field. The Indicators field is located to the right of the ID field and appears in a number of tables.) Resource leveling indicator appears in the indicator field (indicators field: A field containing a graphical indicator that provides information about the state of an assignment, resource, or task. For example, a check mark indicator shows that a task is completed.), indicating that overallocated resources be leveled.

Task views (task view: A view that displays task information. Task views include three task forms; examples include Calendar, Detail Gantt, Gantt Chart, Milestone Rollup, PA_PERT Entry Sheet, Task Entry, Relationship Diagram, Task Sheet, and Task Usage.) can also be used to display overallocations, though they don't show overallocations in red the way that resource views do. If you are working in a task view, you can step through each task that has resource overallocations, though a task view won't show you which resources (or how many) are overallocated.

  1. While in any task view, such as the Gantt Chart or Network Diagram, on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Resource Management.
  2. On the Resource Management toolbar, click Go To Next Overallocation Button image.

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Group resources who are overallocated

In the Resource Sheet or Resource Usage view, you can group (group: To combine or rearrange tasks or resources in a project according to specific criteria, for example, task duration, priority, resource overallocation, or finish date; do not confuse this with the Group field, which is a resource field.) resources who are overallocated. You can also group resources by their peak units (peak units: The highest level at which a resource is scheduled for all assigned tasks during a given period of time. Peak units are expressed as a percentage, number of units, or consumption rate.), which indicate their maximum percentage allocations on assignments during the project. Reviewing overallocated resources by the extent of their overallocations can help you to focus on the most extensively overallocated resources first.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Sheet or Resource Usage.
  2. On the Project menu, point to Group by, and then click Customize Group By.
  3. In the Field Name box, click Overallocated.
  4. In the Order box, click Ascending or Descending.

If you click Ascending, the group of resources that are not overallocated appears first and the group of overallocated resources appears second.

  1. To create a nested grouping of peak units (peak units: The highest level at which a resource is scheduled for all assigned tasks during a given period of time. Peak units are expressed as a percentage, number of units, or consumption rate.), click the Then by box, and then click Peak Units.
  2. To save this grouping, click Save. Supply a name for the grouping, and if you want the grouping to show in the Group by menu, select the Show in menu check box. Click OK to close the Save Group dialog box.

The view is grouped according to your specifications. Any resource that has any assignment exceeding 100 percent of peak units at any time during the project is grouped under Overallocated: Yes. If you specify a nested grouping of peak units, you might have additional groupings under headings such as Peak: 200%, Peak: 300%, and so on.

  1. To see resources listed in their original order in the Group by box, click No Group.

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Find resources who have available time

If you have resources who are overallocated, you might want to identify resources in the project who have available time, so that you can distribute the workload more evenly. This capacity is also useful if there are additional unassigned tasks and you want to find out who is available to take on more work.

Resource availability is calculated using the following formula:

Resource Availability = Resource Capacity - (Summary Resource Assignment + Calendar Exceptions)

The Summary Resource Assignment is the sum of all work done by the resource, and Calendar Exceptions are any exceptions on the resource's base calendar.

To find resources who can work additional hours on a job, you can display and modify the Resource Usage view to see the amount of time (hours, days, or weeks) that a resource has available for additional assignments (assignment: A specific resource that is assigned to a particular task.). You can also use this view to redistribute work from overallocated resources to underallocated ones.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Usage.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Details, and then click Remaining Availability.
  3. In the Rem. Avail. (remaining availability) row, review the amount of work that represents remaining availability, or underallocation, for each time period.

You can also display and modify the Resource Graph view to view a bar chart of an individual resource's workload, which can help you to discover who can work additional hours on a task. You can review information about one underallocated resource at a time in the Resource Graph view. You can see the amount of available work by time period.

  1. On the View menu, click Resource Graph.
  2. On the Format menu, point to Details, and then click Work Availability.
  3. For the selected resource, review the amount of available work shown in the bar chart. Scroll through the timescale (timescale: The time period indicator at the top of the Gantt views, the Resource Graph view, the Task Usage view, and the Resource Usage view. You can customize it to show up to three tiers that can display various time units: top, middle, and bottom.) to see underallocations during varying periods of time.
  4. Review the amount of available time for the selected resource at the bottom of the graph (graph: A view [such as the Resource Graph] that presents schedule information graphically.).
  5. To move to the next resource that has available time, press PAGE DOWN or use the scroll bar or the arrow keys.

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Applies to:
Project 2007