How to fix a common scheduling challenge in Microsoft Project

In this video we show a common scheduling scenario. How to deliver on time, but without overloading resources. This video runs through three options to resolve the issue:
  • Change the project logic
  • Level resources
  • Add procurement

Video - Resolving resource scheduling issues

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Video transcript

Welcome - Resolving resource scheduling issues

The skill in project planning comes in balancing two key factors: time and resource.

This simple example illustrates a common challenge.

Let’s say that you are laying a new garden wall.

You are going to use reclaimed bricks, which require cleaning and you need to lay a foundation. You will start on Monday 16 July and you want to complete the wall by Wednesday 18 July in time for your barbecue.

The dependencies are:[image]

If we put this in Microsoft Project we can immediately see a resourcing problem

Select the View menu > Select the Resource Usage menu

To finish the wall by Wednesday 18 July I have to work two 12 hour days! How could you resolve this scheduling issue?

Change the project logic

Change the predecessor for Lay foundation so that it can only start after the bricks are prepared

Select the Resource Usage menu

The resourcing issue is solved, but the wall won't be finished in time for the BBQ You could move the date of your BBQ, but if that isn't possible what else could you try?

NOTE: Microsoft Project has a function to automatically 'level' resources. This process smooths out workload across the project.

What else could you try?

Level resources

Select the Tools menu

[Level resources selected][Level now button clicked]

Project has split the task Lay foundation

I no longer have to work 12 hour days, but the project still can't finish on time

Microsoft Project assumes that Laying the foundation can be split into two. In reality this might not be appropriate.

Add resource or change resource

[subcontractor added to resource for Lay foundation] Select the View menu

The subcontractor isn't over allocated

I am not overallocated

The work can be finished in time for the BBQ.

End video

Scheduling problems - references

Read more guides on using Microsoft Project

Recommended reading on Microsoft Project

Marmel, E. (2010). Project 2010 Bible, John Wiley & Sons

Daley, S. (2013). Project 2013 In Depth, Que.