Have you ever been unable to change the start date of a task in Microsoft Project? You type in 11/2 for the start date and it changes back to 11/19. In most cases, Project is not misbehaving; you need to understand what Project assumes when it schedules tasks. In this three-part series, we’ll explore how Project’s scheduling algorithms use links, constraints, preset options, and dates to automatically set your task start and finish dates.
The process of ensuring that resources are realistically scheduled in your work plan is referred to as load leveling. When you level the planned load for your resources, you may have to balance several factors. These include:
- The amount of work a resource can do in a time period (e.g. Hours per day)
- The sequence of tasks in the project as defined by dependencies
- The skills required to perform particular tasks
- The expected timeline for the project
- The utilization rate for the resources.
Typically you will have to trade off some of these factors to arrive at the “best” schedule for your particular project. As we covered in our last post on Resource Workload Information, this means that you will have to check and adjust information across multiple views. (more…)