Alright, so several people have agreed that resource leveling is a hot topic. I’ve lined up an interview with Bonny Lau, a Project PM who has graciously agreed to answer your questions.
That said, I need your questions! Add them as comments to this blog entry, and I’ll compile them for my interview with Bonnie. Questions can range from very basic (“what’s resource leveling?”) to more complex (“how many resources does it take to screw in a light bulb?” …err, wait, no…). I’m excited to hear what you’ve got!
I’ll be gathering questions together at the end of next week, so keep those suggestions coming!
Thanks for putting this together.
I would be interested in hearing about resource groups. We employ alot of different subcontractors who in turn have alot of different types of operatives. I would like to find out how to view resource graphs at subcontractor level(resourse group) as well as at operative level (resources).
Another feature I would like to hear more about is how to use using levelling delays to manually level resources.
I'd be interested in the comments regarding levelling across multiple projects. I tell my customers never to do this, and yet the functionality is built into the system, and even encouraged via MS5928. What are the scenarios and best practises that should be applied for successful resource leveling?
How do we handle the RCPSP (Resource Constrained Project Scheduling Problem) via MS Project?
I am also really interested in understanding firstly whether levelling is worth doing (having been advised by MS Project experts not to do it, because the levelling engine is stupid)and secondly, if it is worth doing, what is the logic behind the engine.
By way of background, I have had many years of using Artemis and it has a pretty good scheduling engine (in my opinion). So, I hoping that the Project engine has improved over the years and is usable now.
I'd also be very interested in the scenarios and best practises that should be applied for successful resource leveling.
I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on this technique that I've tried in several projects.
Assuming that you have
a. resources (MS Server, or MS Project or as sharer files) listed already, and
b. the corporate, task and person calendars set, AND
c. you've the tasks in the activity list:
DO not let MS Project level resources automatically,
DO not level the resources at the end: do it dynamically
a. With your Gantt open, split your window and open up the resource sheet in the lower window pane.
b. assign the resources to the tasks in the upper Gannt chart pane
c. Immediately when the resource is over allocated (high lit in red) level the resource Chose one (or more) of the following.
I. If you can afford to crash the schedule, assign another resource to this task. Risks and costs may go up.
II. Re-sequence (or I’ve heard the words De-parallel and Slow-track for this) the affected tasks so that the same resource does this in sequence and is not over loaded. Cost should go up.
III. adjust effort, unit, duration: For the over allocated resource: reduce the unit so s/he spends less time on this activity, OR decrease the task effort/work so that the team assigned completes it sooner or increase the duration so that they have more time allocated to it.
IV. Allow this over allocation by changing resources calendar for the period that task is assigned (task calendar) or for the duration of the project (resource calendar). Account for overtime if needed; your project cost will go up.
Will we see resource links in MSP 2010?
The current leveling (afaik) adds leveling delay.
If resource links are difficult, can you just add a custom flag on dependency link, so that we can use macros et. el. to handle these?
You all know, project is an uncertain environment and scheduling a future tasks is pure forecasting (estimate after all is a probability). The resource constraint may exist for a span of time (may not be always).
Instead of having delays, it would be nice to have resource links, which managers can add/edit/delete depending on the live environment.
Current leveling feature is like uncontrolled nuclear reaction. You re-level and you don't know what all will change.
Currently I use my own algorithm to detect resource links and add them has HARD links. difficult to manage
We haven't added Resource Links to Project 2010. Leveling will still add leveling delay.
We have improved resource leveling in general with other feature additions - check out the posts on the Team Planner and User-Controlled Scheduling.