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Resource allocation questions

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  • #413514 Reply
    TJ
    Guest

    I have a task that is fixed work with 3 resources and 20 hours assigned to it. 2 of the resources work 8 hrs per day and one or the resources works 4 hours per day. MS project seems to want to divide the hours so that it creates the longest duration. What it does is to schedule the 2 resources that work 8 hrs per day with 6.25 hours and schedules the resource that works 4 hours per day for 7.5 hours. This extends the duration an extra day since the 4 hour resource has to work 2 days to work 7.5 hours. Instead of splitting the hours evenly across the resources is there a way to tell MS Project to divide the hours in a way that creates the shortest duration? In this case that would be the 2 resources with 8 hours per day working full days and the 4 hour per day resource working 1 full day.

    #413515 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    TJ, great question. Microsoft can be pretty tricky on how it reacts to assigning resources. There are so many options in task types, effort driven, and the multitude of options to enter resources (task sheet, assign resources, split screen). I can tell you that Microsoft does what you tell it to do and is consistent in its method.
    Anyway, I tend to use a split screen with the task details to enter and manage resources because it provides the most flexibility. It’s a few more keystrokes, but works best if you need the flexibility (which it seems to in your case). If in doubt, enter both the units and work for each resource and Project will solve the duration. I keep tasks as Fixed Units, not Effort Driven and use the task details pane. Best tip is to learn the split screen to assign resources. Entering just units, just work, or both can solve most scenarios. Hope that helps…

    #413516 Reply
    TJ
    Guest

    Larry,

    Thanks for the fast response. The big push for us to go to project was so we could schedule many different projects and see what impacts taking on more work would cause. This is why I wanted to keep everything in auto scheduling and fixed work, effort driven. We would also use this as a quoting tool when we need to see what our overall capacity is and what the impacts are when we take on another project. We build 50 big projects a year and are being pushed to take on more and more. The first schedule that I created looked like a spider web so I don’t think that I could schedule it all manually and get anywhere close to being right especially when you take into account the 49 other major projects and there intertwining schedules. I’m pretty new to project but it seems like the problem that I described above is a major flaw.

    #413522 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    TJ, I apologize for the confusion. I use resource leveling by default and can’t imagine managing a large project/program any other way. Task Type and Effort Driven matters when you assign resources, as long as you aren’t using fixed duration (in my experience). Leveling works the same no matter Type/Effort Driven. If you are comfortable with Fixed Work then use it. Fixed Units / not Effort Driven gives me more control on how I assign resources, at least in more scenarios than Fixed Work.
    Keep doing what you’re doing. My main point is to use the split screen to solve the scenario you mention above. Hope that helps…

    #413523 Reply
    Larry ChristofaroLarry Christofaro
    Participant

    PS – Your comment that it’s a major flaw. It is how Project works for the key strokes you are using. You are telling Project to do something and Project gives you a result. You just need to give it the correct information to get the desired result. I suspect Effort Driven is part of the problem, but hard to tell without knowing the key strokes. Fixed Units allows Effort Driven to be turned off. Again, neither one of them changes how Project levels a schedule, and you can always turn it back to Fixed Work after you assign resources. Sorry for rambling…

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