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Project Management Focus: Evaluating Resource Allocation
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It is tempting to say that fully allocating all resources on every occasion is every project manager s goal, but that would be an oversimplification. Depending on the nature of your project and the resources working on it, some underallocations might be perfectly fine. Overallocation might not always be a problem either, depending on the amount of overallocation. If one resource is overallocated for just a half-hour, Project will flag the overallocation, but such a minor overallocation might not be a problem that you need to solve, depending on the resource involved and the nature of the assignment. Severe overallocation for example, a resource being assigned twice the work he or she could possibly accomplish in one week is always a problem, however, and you should know how to identify it and maintain strategies for addressing it. This chapter helps you identify and remedy resource overallocation. In this exercise, you look at resource allocations and focus on a resource who is overallocated. SET UP Start Project if it s not already running.
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Examining Resource Allocations over Time
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You need the Advanced Plan_Start project plan located in your 10 practice file folder to complete this exercise. Open the Advanced Plan_Start project plan, and then follow these steps.
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1. On the File tab, click Save As.
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The Save As dialog box appears.
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2. In the File name box, type Advanced Plan, and then click Save. 3. On the View tab, in the Resource Views group, click Resource Usage.
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The Resource Usage view appears.
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4. On the Task tab, in the Editing group, click Scroll to Task.
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Project scrolls the right side of the view to show some assignment details.
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On the left side of the view is a table (the Usage table, by default) that shows assignments grouped per resource, the total work assigned to each resource, and each assignment s work. This information is organized into an outline that you can expand or collapse. The right side of the view contains assignment details (work, by default) arranged on a timescale. You can horizontally scroll the timescale to see different time periods. You can also change the tiers on the timescale to display data in units of weeks, days, hours, and so on. Notice the name in the first row, Unassigned. This item lists any tasks to which no specific resources are assigned.
10
Fine-Tuning the Project Plan
Next, you will collapse the outline in the table to see total work per resource over time.
5. Click the Resource Name column heading. 6. On the View tab, in the Data group, click Outline and then click Hide Subtasks.
Tip You can also do this by pressing Alt+Shift+ .
Project collapses the outline (assignments per resource) in the Resource Usage view.
7. In the Resource Name column, click the name Carole Poland.
Resource assignments are currently hidden in the Usage table, and the resources total work values over time appear in the timescaled grid on the right. Next, you will look at two work resources and their allocations.
8. Point to the M column heading (for Monday) for the week of April 1 at the top of
the timescaled grid. A ScreenTip appears with the date of the assignment: 4/2/12.
In timescaled views, you can get details about dates by placing your mouse pointer over the timescale.
Such ScreenTips are handy in timescaled views, such as the Resource Usage view or the Gantt Chart view.
Examining Resource Allocations over Time
Currently, the timescale is set to display weeks and days. You will now change the timescale to see the work data summarized more broadly.
9. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, in the Timescale box, click Months.
Project changes the timescaled grid to show scheduled work values per month.
Notice that the names of Carole Poland and some other resources appear in red. The red formatting means that these resources are overallocated: at one or more points in the schedule, their assigned tasks exceed their capacity to work. As you can see in the timescaled grid, Carole Poland is overallocated in April and June. She is underallocated for the other months in which she has assignments. Notice that Carole s June work value of 44 hours is formatted in red. Even though 44 hours within a month isn t an overallocation for a full-time resource, at some point in June (perhaps even for just one day), Carole is scheduled to work more hours than she can accommodate. You will focus on Carole Poland first by changing the timescale settings.
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