I have a support project that starts on 9th Feb and ends on 30th Sep. Work has to be done every day except holidays and weekends.

I have three resources: Alice, Bob and Eve. Alice is working on the project by default.

However if Alice is on vacation Bob works on the project, and if Alice and Bob are unavailable (vacation, other projects etc.), Eve jumps in and works on the project.

How can I reflect this automatically, using priorities, resource pools or other features of MS Project 2013?

2 Answers 2


I'm afraid neither priorities (used only when leveling overallocated resources), resource pools, nor any feature in Project is going to handle this for you automatically. If you know when Alice is going to be on vacation, enter it in her calendar. If she is already assigned to tasks, filter the task list looking for the date range of her vacation and replace her with Bob.


I don't know if the tool has something to solve this problem, but I would approach this manually anyway. Vacations are generally known so you have the opportunity to load a vacation into the schedule with reasonable accuracy. For other absences that you cannot know in advance, you can load a multiple across the period of performance to handle the expected value of that risk.

For example, you can load Alice into the schedule using a percentage of full-time to accommodate unknown absences, such as 38 hours a week versus 40, across the period of performance. You can load Bob and Eve across the PoP using one or two hours each. Obviously, when they are not using any hours when not needed, you will be accruing variances against their names; however, when used, they will exhaust those variances.

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