Goal: Resolve resource allocation problems

To get the best performance and results from resources, you must manage resource workloads to avoid overallocations and underallocations. If you change resource assignments, check the effects of your changes on the overall schedule to make sure that the results meet your project goals.

Tip   This article is part of a series of articles within the Project Map that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project.

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surveyor using equipment

number 1 Resolve resource overallocations     When a resource is assigned too much work in a given period, the most effective way to reallocate or reschedule the work is to examine all pertinent details and decide which trade-off to make.

Click all the following that apply:

  • Delay a task by changing its lead or lag time when the resource has more tasks assigned than can be completed during a given time period. The simplest way to correct that overallocation is to delay one of those tasks, ideally a task with lower priority than the others. If you add delay that is less than or equal to the amount of slack on the task, you will not affect the finish date of the project.

  • Substitute resources in a project automatically by using the Resource Substitution Wizard to search for specific resources based on the skill demands of the tasks in the project, the skills of resources in the enterprise resource pool, and the availability of those resources.

  • Control resource availability throughout a project to increase the amount of time the resource can work. Often the only way for a resource to complete all the assigned work over the course of a project is to increase the span of dates during which the resource is available, or to specify additional unit availability. Controlling resource availability is effective for resolving chronic overallocations over a period of time.

  • Find a resource with available time by filtering through a list of enterprise resources by skills and availability.

  • Interrupt work on a task so that part of it starts later in the schedule. However, if the work can be divided equally between the resources, just assign another resource to the task and Microsoft Office Project 2007 assigns equal shares of work to each resource automatically.

  • Decrease task duration to reduce the scope of a task. You can decrease task duration (if no actual work has been entered) to reduce the amount of work required of the resource who is assigned to complete the task. If actual work has been recorded, you must manually reduce the remaining work on the task.

  • Assign an additional resource to divide the work on a task between a resource already assigned to the task and another resource or resources.

  • Replace a resource assignment with a different resource that is better able to complete the task on time (for example, faster or larger equipment or a person with more available time).

  • Remove a resource assignment from an overallocated resource.

Number 2 Resolve resource overallocations by leveling     Project 2007 can automatically level an overallocated resource's workload by delaying or splitting tasks until the resource is no longer overallocated.

Number 3 Resolve resource underallocations     To maintain progress on tasks, you must make sure that resources are assigned to work consistently throughout the project and are not underutilized when work is needed.

Click all the following that apply:

  • Control resource availability throughout a project to decrease the amount of work for a resource. If a resource isn't needed as much as you had planned, you can limit the resource's availability and lower your project costs by reducing a resource's working days and times, shortening the span of dates during which the resource is available, and specifying less unit availability throughout the project.

  • Change a task duration if the scope of a task has increased. You can increase task duration (if no actual work has been entered) to change the amount of work required of the resource assigned to complete the task. If actual work has been recorded, you must manually enter the remaining work on the task.

  • Assign a resource to another task to increase a resource's workload.

  • Replace a resource assignment with an underallocated resource to more evenly distribute work among team members.

  • Remove a resource assignment from an underallocated resource so that the resource has more time available to be assigned to larger tasks.

Number 4 Evaluate the results of resource adjustments     After you level the schedule and correct any overallocations or underallocations, you should review the schedule to make sure that you will still meet the budget and planned finish date for the project and any related projects.

Click all the following that apply:

  • Review resource workloads in order to see that you resolved the overallocations and underallocations that you wanted to fix and to see whether any other resources are now overloaded or underutilized.

  • Determine whether the project end date has changed if you set a baseline for your project and you want to view the time difference between the baseline and the currently scheduled end date.

  • Show the critical path in order to check whether the critical path changed as a result of resolving any overallocations or underallocations. You might now see different dates, different tasks, and different resources associated with the critical path.

Number 5 Compare two versions of a project and report differences     If you have saved a backup copy of the plan, you can compare specific fields to make sure that the changes you made are what you intended.

Number 6 Communicate assignment changes     You might want to record changes that were made to resource assignments and the reasons for those changes so that you can remember details if you work on a similar project in the future or conduct a lessons-learned exercise at the end of the project.

  • Publish the latest plan and team assignments if you are using Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 to communicate the project information.

  • Add a note about schedule changes to log information about the changes that you made to optimize the resource workload. Such notes can be helpful when you are tracking actual progress, closing the project, or collecting data for the next project.

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Applies To: Project 2007, Project 2007 Standard



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