Finally: The Resource Leveling Feature Explained

Door Sander Nekeman - Oprichter ms-project-elearning.com


You have a project with several tasks, and resources assigned to those tasks. Some resources are assigned to multiple tasks, which has resulted in some overallocated resources.

Resource leveling is the act of taking a resource-loaded schedule, and making it so that they don't have to work overtime. The main goal is to have a critical path that is corrected for resource dependencies. Furthermore, all other tasks and deliverables should have reliable finish dates.

Manual resource leveling means that you reassign or take action to resolve this. MS Project also has a feature that evaluates your work and resource allocations, and adjusts your schedule so that your resources have no over allocations.

Some people call this a bug, others are just afraid of it and again others can not live without it. How it may be (yet unexplained behavior is often called a bug ;-)), there is a lot of unclarity that needs to be explained. Because actually it is a simple feature, you just need to know a couple of things. Then again, if you are not aware of one of these things, MS Project might 'mess up' your schedule.

A question we hear quite often. If you have a tool at your disposal, why wouldn't you use this? A reason could be that you do not fully trust the tool yet. MS Project could come back with some strange results, but whether it does, totally depends on whether you have checked the completeness and correctness of your schedule's network logic (dependencies or links). If for instance you did not use a dependency to indicate that ‘reviewing document’ has to take place after ‘writing document’, resource leveling might put the order incorrect since it solely relies on the leveling algorithm.

Why do things manually if you can have the tool do it for you automatically? Automatic resource leveling will solve the overallocations based on the settings, just like Excel would do the calculation for you based on the formulas you put in.

As automatic resource leveling respects all settings within your schedule, your schedule should adhere to some basic guidelines as explained in our courses, such as proper use of links and constraints (level 3). Next to these settings, MS Project uses a certain logic to determine which task to put first and which ones to delay when resolving the overallocation. This logic, the leveling algorithm, will be explained in the next couple of pages.

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Tags: Gevorderd , MS Project , Planning , Capaciteitsmanagement
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