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I am using Gantter and/or ProjectLibre (which are both almost identical to Microsoft Project in functionality). I think that if there is a solution to this in Microsoft Project, then it will work in either of these too.

Here is the scenario:
Task 1: Work 5d (40h): Resource A
Task 2: Work 2d (16h): Resource B
Task 3: Work 20d (160h): Predecessor Task 2: Resources A and B

I would like Resource B to start Task 3 at the end of 2 days and Resource A to start Task 3 at the end of 5 days.

Note that "Work" above is the effort estimated by us for the task.

Ideally, Task 3 should start on day 3 with Resource B who should spend 11.5 days on it and Resource A should spend 8.5 days once Task 1 is done.

However, when I allocate 2 resources to the task with 100% units, it gets divided equally into 10 days each. The Task 3 starts on day 3 and I get over-allocated resources message because Resource A spends 3 days on both Task 1 and Task 3.

I know I can do this allocation manually by detailing the resource assignment. The question is can this be automated in some way? It's bizarre that this has to be done manually. I assume that it must be a pretty common requirement? Or am I mistaken?

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1 Answer 1

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Ignore it. It doesn't matter. Chasing a perfectly leveled resource allocation will cost you a ton of effort to get it just right and will be perfect for one day--the day of baseline. The very second you start to load actuals and progress, your resource allocation will go up and down to some degree. You would never--hopefully--chase the leveling. Instead, you would use the tool's warning of a over loaded resource to see if you need to intervene. If you know you don't need to because of other known factors, e.g., resource A won't start for a few days, then you would simply ignore the tool's warning.

So load the scenario as you described in the tool, allow resource A to be "over utilized" a bit. Baseline and go. It will not materially affect your schedule analysis one bit.

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Hmmm ... so in short, there's no way automated way to do it? Though the engineer in me cringes at such inaccuracy, I agree with you that it's better to take a big-picture view and move on. –  Myu Zyc Nov 6 '12 at 3:27
    
I don't know if there is an automated way or not. I was only commenting on that it doesn't materially matter. Nothing wrong with having precision in your initial schedule, which you will likley have to do manually, I just would not recommend you putting too much time getting there based on the reasons I wrote above. –  David Espina Nov 6 '12 at 15:05

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