How to Level Resources in Project 2013 - dummies

How to Level Resources in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

Project 2013 calculates resource leveling to try to resolve resource overallocations in the project. The feature works in two ways: by delaying a task until the overbooked resource is freed up or by splitting tasks. Splitting a task involves (essentially) stopping it at some point, thereby freeing the resource, and then resuming it later, when the resource is available.

You can make these types of changes yourself or let Project 2013 make the calculation. Project first delays tasks that involve overallocated resources to use up any available slack. When no more slack is available on these tasks, Project makes changes based on any priorities you’ve entered for tasks, dependency relationships that are affected, and task constraints (such as a Finish No Later Than constraint).

Don’t worry: You can turn on leveling to see which changes Project 2013 would make and then clear the leveling to reverse those actions if you don’t like the results.

To level the resources in the project, follow these steps:

  1. From the Resource tab, go to the Level group and select Leveling Options.

    The Resource Leveling dialog box appears.

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  2. Choose whether to allow Project to level automatically or manually:

    • Automatic tells Project to level every time you change the plan.

    • Manual requires you to click the Level All button in the Resource Leveling dialog box or use the Level All button on the Resource tab.

  3. If you choose to level automatically, select the Clear Leveling Values before Leveling check box if you want previous leveling actions to be reversed before you level the next time.

  4. Set the leveling range to one of these options:

    • Level Entire Project

    • Level <a date range>

      If you choose the latter option, fill in a date range by making choices in the From and To boxes.

  5. From the Leveling Order drop-down list, click the down arrow and make a choice:

    • Standard considers slack, dependencies, priorities, and constraints.

    • ID Only delays or splits the task with the highest ID number — in other words, the last task in the project.

    • Priority, Standard uses task priority as the first criterion in making choices to delay or split tasks (rather than using up slack).

  6. Select any of the five check boxes at the bottom to control how Project levels:

    • Level Only within Available Slack: No critical tasks are delayed, and the current finish date for the project is retained.

    • Leveling Can Adjust Individual Assignments on a Task: Project removes or changes assignments.

    • Leveling Can Create Splits in the Remaining Work: Certain tasks are placed on hold until resources are freed up for work.

    • Level Resources with the Proposed Booking Type: Booking type (proposed or committed) relates to the firmness of your commitment to using that particular resource. Allowing resource leveling to consider a resource’s booking type means that committed resource assignments are considered more sacred than proposed assignments when Project makes changes.

    • Level Manually Scheduled Tasks: Project moves the task even if you’ve scheduled it manually.

  7. Click the Level All button to have Project perform the leveling operation.

To reverse leveling, choose Resource Tab→Clear Leveling.

When you have only a few instances of overallocated resources, enter Team Planner view and choose Level Resource. Select the resource from the Level Resources dialog box and then click Level Now.

To be successful, take the time to find the best combination of all these methods. Solving problems is often a trial-and-error process. Although you may initially look for a single quick fix, the best solution usually results from making lots of small changes.