When one or more resources are overallocated (whether they are contained within a resource pool or not), you will need to do some fancy project management maneuvering to bring everyone's working hours back in line. Project can level your resources for you by using the resource-leveling feature.
The leveling feature in Project uses techniques such as splitting tasks or adding delay so that your work, generic, or committed resources that were once overallocated are no longer over-scheduled. However, because tasks can be delayed or split through the use of leveling, doing so might affect your project's finish date.
Leveling Work Resources
Microsoft Project levels only work, generic, and committed resources. This process does not level material, cost, and proposed resources in your project file. Check out this article for more Project Tips & Tricks.
Before you level your project file, it is a good idea to set your task priorities. Overall, when a project’s resources are leveled to address overallocation, Project will consider project-level priorities (on a 0 to 1000 scale) set in the Project Information dialog box over task-level priorities set in the Task Information dialog box when you level resources over several projects.
For example, if you don't want Project to level a specific task, you will want to set that task's priority level to 1000. To modify a task's priority level, follow these steps:
- Double-click the task you want to modify to open the Task Information dialog box.
- In the Task Information dialog box, set the Priority field to 1000.
Working with a Resource Pool
When you are working exclusively with a resource pool and you don't want to level the tasks in a sharer file, you will want to set the sharer file’s project priority level to 1000. This way, you are defining the priority level for the entire project within the scope of the shared resource pool. For example, if several projects share resources in a resource pool and one project is so important that you do not want its tasks leveled, set that sharer file's priority level to 1000.
To modify a project's priority level, follow these steps:
- Choose Project, and choose Project Information.
- In the Project Information dialog box, change the Priority field to 1000.
With permission from Microsoft Press, this article content was excerpted from the book, Managing Projects with Microsoft Office Project 2007 (Self-Paced Training Kit for Exam 70-632).