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You have an interesting question, but it’s very difficult to give you a specific recommendation, not know all the intricate details.
A few questions/considerations first.
– Is the drill a hole 20 hours calendar duration regardless of how many resources assigned? Meaning will assigning 1 vs 3 resource make the drilling process go faster? I’m assuming it’s 20 hours wall clock duration to Drill and 8 hour wall clock duration to Log.
– Is the “Log a hole” performed immediately after drilling completes or does it start at the next day shift? Meaning, if the drill starts at 6AM and finishes at 2 AM, does the second shift logger start Logging the hole immediately? Or does Log start with the next shift?
– Are we setting up the MS Project plan to basically manage when holes will be started/completed, or is it also being used for more detailed resource scheduling/planning?
I don’t necessarily want answers to all these questions. I’m simply illustrating the complexities that could influence how this might be done.
It sounds like the critical aspect is of the schedule is having the tasks schedule correctly (with uninterrupted duration) and that the resources can be fluid being assigned as needed when needed. Therefore, I might start experimenting with a more Task based approach to the problem.
– Try using task calendars instead. For example; Set up a Drilling calendar that is 24/7.
– Set up a Log calendar that is 12h/day. Assuming it’s always done on first shift. Set it up as 24/7 (or use the same calendar) if it can start immediately after drilling completes.
– Assign the correct calendar to each task.
– Set up each resource with 24/7 calendars. Two key reasons for this suggestion. First, it sounds like the assignment to the task needs to control when the task can be completed. Meaning 24/7 or first shift only. Second, resource/task assignments work based on the intersection of both calendars. If the task calendar is 24/7 but the resource calendar is M-F 8-5, then the work is only scheduled M-F 8-5.
– If needed, try configuring the task to ignore resource calendars. In this case, the task calendar alone will drive when the task schedules/completes. This may be needed if the resource are also used on other non Drill/Log tasks that should only be completed on their normal shift. In which case the resources could have their calendars configured for their specific shifts to handle all other tasks, but when assigned to the Drill/Log tasks, the task calendars override.
– Configure the Drill task as Fixed duration – 20 hours, the Log task as Fixed Duration 8 hours.
– Assign the resources to the task as appropriate. It sounds like 2 day shift loggers drill from 6 AM to 6 PM with 1 night shift logger finishing the drill for the remaining 8 hours. So if three loggers are assigned, they would be allocated 12, 12, and 8 hours respectively. Project will show all three starting at the same time, but in reality the night shift logger wouldn’t log hours until 6PM. The key is that the task has a fixed 20 hour duration.
– Add the Drill/Log dependency which would then start the Log the Hole task at 6 AM the next morning.
– Set the Log the Hole task up similarly.
Again, it’s a complex problem that will be difficult to provide a specific answer in a forum like this. I would start with an approach similar to what I suggested and experiment, tweaking as necessary.
Hope this helps!