Resource over-allocation is a common problem on projects. Do you know how to investigate resource over-allocations in Microsoft Project?
You may have a highly optimized schedule that has fined tuned logic to complete the schedule in the least amount of time. Additionally, you may have accurate duration estimates provided the availability of critical resources. But therein lies the problem of most projects, a lack of resources. A project lacking sufficient resources is an unrealistic schedule, no matter how well optimized; it cannot proceed as desired.
Yes, resources are an essential element in successful projects. Acquiring resources requires engaging in the somewhat delicate process of negotiating with functional managers for limited personnel. Before negotiating for more resources let’s examine how to investigate resource distributions in Microsoft Project.
This article demonstrates how to investigate resource allocations in Microsoft Project 2013.
We have in Figure 1 our demonstration project.
Select the View tab, Gantt chart drop down menu, more views, and Resource Graph, Figure 2.
Right click on the Resource Graph and select Work from the pop up menu, Figure 3.
Next, again right click on the Resource Graph and select ‘Show Split’, Figure 4.
Right click on the Resource Form and select Gantt chart, Figure 5.
Click on the Resource Graph and click page until your resource of interest appears. Figure 6 displays the Resource Graph of the Cable Splicer resource.
The timescale is set to weekly. Right click on the Resource Graph date labels, Figure 7, and select Timescale.
In the Timescale dialog change the bottom tier Units to Days, Figure 8.
The resulting daily resource allocation of the Cable Splicer is displayed in Figure 9.
Yes, the Cable Splicer is over allocated; our current schedule requires the Cable Splicer to work 15-hour days, which is not realistic. For ways to handle resource over allocations refer to the following blog Ways to Handle Resource Over-Allocation in Primavera P6 Professional.
There are numerous ways to handle resource over allocation. The key is knowing how to investigate resource over allocations in your scheduling software. Microsoft Project enables displaying a Resource Graph and Gantt chart Graph on a split screen.
Employ any of the many ways to level your resources then inspect each resources allocation in the Resource Graphs using Days units for your bottom tier timescale. This way you can verify that your resources daily effort does not require an unrealistic amount of overtime.