MS Project 2007 - scheduling help required

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herebutlost

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Joined
Apr 28, 2010
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I have a scheduling problem which my lack of experience with MS Project won't allow me to resolve.
My project is scheduled from the start. The project is effectively the work of a small team over the course of a year.
I have added to my plan:
  • Tasks (approx 350)
  • Durations
  • Dependencies
  • Constraints (only the bare minimum where tasks are actually fixed (meetings, events ,etc))
  • Resources (people only, no real materials to consider)
At this stage the vast majority of the work within the project occurs (as you would expect) at the beginning, or; “As Soon As Possible”.
Given that the work within the project is for a small team, most of the resources appear to be massively over allocated.
I have an idea of when I want the work to be completed during the year but have attempted and discarded the option of setting “Start No Earlier Than” or Finish No Later Than” constraints on my tasks as because:
  1. Doing so still didn’t give me the schedule I wanted (was still over allocated even after levelling)
  2. I want my plan to be as flexible as possible as I move forward. It may well be that some work finishes ahead of schedule and if I’ve set a SNET constraint on a task purely to give an indication of when I think it will/should happen, my plan won’t be able to move accordingly.
  3. Most articles I’ve read on the matter suggest that over-constraining is a bad idea, probably due to the point raised above.
I want MS Project to schedule my tasks for me – I really thought that this was part of the point. But, I want it to take into consideration the resource allocation when doing so.
What is my best course of action from this point?
I would be extremely grateful for any help here.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Messages
563
Hi herebutlost,

Your 1. above says you have used levelling, did you do it manually over the whole project, did you clear previous attempts first ?
Important, did you restrict Levelling to only within slack (if so then remove that restriction).

I suggest this because Levelling is specifically to remove over-allocations.

lol
Hew
 

herebutlost

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
3
Hi YG,

Firstly thanks V much for responding.

The leveling config was defualt and as follows:

manual: yes
allocations: day by day
clear leveling values before leveling: yes
level entire project: yes
leveling order: standard
level only within available slack: no
leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task: yes
leveling can create splits in remaining work: yes
level resources with the proposed booking type: no

I don't understand what all of those options do, but the book I'm reading (yes, I have a book; no, I wouldn't recommend it) suggested this config was what I needed.

After further research I think I need to assign priorities to my tasks. What do you think about that?
 

herebutlost

Thread Starter
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
3
I thought I would add a reponse to this thread in the hope that it may resurface.

Since I last wrote, I should add that:

  • One of my resources is currently assigned more work than is possible over the year. This particular resource is the only person who can perform the vast majority of the work assigned to him/her so there is not much opportunity to assign another resource in his/her place.
    • How should I approach this issue?
  • I have created a time Vs priority scale (.xlsx attached) where all tasks have been set to priority 1000 as a defaut and I plan to assign each task a priority value <1000, depending on when I want the task to begin.
    • Can anyone see any issues with this approach?
  • If the above method does not give me what I want, I plan to simply add the level delay column to my plan and manually delay my tasks so that they begin when I want them to.
    • Can anyone see any issues with this approach?
Thanks again.
 

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