I am trying to manage the workloads of several concurrent projects within Microsoft Project 2007. The following is true:
– Some resources are shared between multiple projects
– Several (currently 4) projects will be scheduled over the summer
– Several tasks on each project require the same resources (people, in this case)
– Most tasks are being handled/shared by multiple people
– They all have the same calendar
– They are all full time
– I want to level the projects to complete all the work as soon as possible without overburdening any specific resource whenever possible (i.e. they will not go over 100% utilization for any day they work).
– I want to avoid creating more than one instance of a task wherever possible (i.e. the schedule will be rendered virtually useless as a visual if the task list becomes keyed to individual resources)
– I want to be able to say that individuals availability to work on a task will change over time. This one is the kicker, and the reason I’m here asking this question. I’ll provide an example of the challenge…
— Resource A, let’s call him Scott, is assigned to a task in Project 1 along with two other people
— The task is scheduled to take 2 weeks
— The other two people will be working on only this task until it is complete, 100% the entire two weeks
— Scott will only be able to contribute half his time to this task for the first week, BUT he will be able to contribute 100% of his time during the second week
– I want to be able to control and tweak this availability for a range of time within tasks shared by several resources, including:
– Being able to update his availability as circumstances change
– Editing this information updates the task to reflect longer/shorter duration
So what is the best/easiest way to do this without sacrificing my goals (or sacrificing the fewest)?
Thank you all SO MUCH for your help.
Seth, yes you can do all (with caveats) that you are asking to do. The trickiest is the assigning of specific availability of individual resources to tasks. One question from above, why is it that Scott can only work on the second week? Is it because you leveled the project and he is overloaded or vacation or…? I recorded a three part series on leveling using Microsoft Project that might help a lot on the basics. That along with a shared resource pool (not sure I covered that in much detail) and task and project priorities and you should have most of what you need. It isn’t something I would tackle without a pretty solid understanding of Microsoft Project, but it is doable. Your question isn’t really for a forum to answer but the webinars should help, and then I’m glad to help if you have other questions.
Thank you for your response.
To answer your questions: Scott can only work the second week as that week overlaps with another project that has dates that cannot be altered, but the task on the mentioned project (and the other two workers assigned to it) must begin work on it immediately in order to come close to hitting the deadline (i.e. pushing them all back by a week would lose too much time).
I have not leveled the projects yet.
Where might I find the three part series on leveling using Microsoft Project?
Sorry, the sentence… “Scott can only work the second week as that week overlaps with another project that has dates that cannot be altered”… should read
Scott can only work the second week as the first week overlaps with another project that has dates that cannot be altered
Yea, that one’s a tough one unless you know that Scott can only work one of the two weeks. It’s kind of a catch 22. You are setting up your project so you haven’t leveled yet, but you need to know that he can only work one of the two weeks. That will need to be and adjustment to the leveled plan. Of course, then the plan changes and he becomes available here but not for another task. It’s kind of a circle, and depends on how much time you want to spend on it. The recordings are here: http://www.mpug.com/education/managing-a-resource-constrained-project/. Good luck and let me know if they help.