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I am trying to load resources into tasks in MS Project 2013 Standard. The tasks have specific durations for when they should start and end. For each task, I would like to assign multiple resources and have them work a fixed number of hours distributed evenly across every day they are assigned to the task.

For example, say I have a task named "Task 1" that has a duration of 11 working days in the standard calendar. I have one individual has an estimated 24 hours of work to do on this task, a second individual that has an estimated 32 hours of work, and a third individual that has an estimated 15 hours of work. I would like each resource to allocate their hours evenly across the 11 working days.

I understand that the task should be set to "fixed duration", but my problem occurs after I load the resources to the task. If I say individual 1 needs to work 24 hours, it will assign them to work for 3 days, as their working calendar has them work for 8 hours a day. If I change the work duration for the resource on the "Assignment Information" display to 11 days, MS Project recalculates work to be 88 hours for the resource (11 days x 8 hours/day).

When I try to reconfigure the utilization of the resource to match the amount I want the resource to work, MS Project later changes the assignment hours when I later go to adjust other resources utilization, work hours, duration, etc. How do I fix this information so MS Project doesn't keep recalculating work for my resources when I adjust other assignments within a task? I think the root of my problem is that I don't know how to set different utilization targets for several resources at the same time.

Thanks for the help!

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An approach that works for me.

  1. Create the 11 day duration task and, as you noted, set it as Fixed Duration.
  2. Split the screen (right click in the Gantt chart area and choose Show Split) to show the Task Form.
  3. In the Task Form, click under Resources and select Resource 1, in the Work field enter 24.
  4. Click underneath Resource 1 and select Resource 2 from the list. In the work field enter 32 hours.
  5. Repeat for resource 3 entering the work. Click OK in the Task form to assign the 3 resources each with his/her amount of work.

If you view the Task Usage view you will see Resource 1 scheduled for 2.18 hours of work per day for each of the 11 days. Resource 2 is scheduled for 2.92 hours of work per day and Resource 3 is scheduled for 1.37 hours of work per day. If you add the Peak field to the table side (left) of the view, you'll see Project has calculated 27%, 36%, and 17% assignment units for each of the resources.

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MS-Project works from a task-centric model, rather than a resource-centric model.

That is to say, MS-Project works from the position that tasks require an intrinsic amount of work to complete, against which you allocate resources thereby subdividing the work amongst the resources. The converse model, as used by Project Managers Workbench (last time I used it), is that you have a bunch of resources who can do work, which you combine as required, with the work for the task being derived as the total of your resource allocations. They have subtly different consequences.

To model your task in MS-Project you need to start with how much work there is in the task. You have specified there are 71 hours. So start with a task that has a fixed-duration of 11 days, and 71 hours in the 'Work' column.

Then apply the resources to the task using the 'Assign Resource's window, and in the Unit column for each resource, put in the amount of hours they will work on the project using the format '24h' to mean 24 hours. It will automatically be converted to a percentage of the overall work by MS-Project.

You will see, by looking at the Resource Usage, that each Resource's workload has been evenly spread over the entire duration for the task as required.

But as far as I am aware a more generic solution does not exist because MS-Project doesn't work that way- You don't start with a bunch of resources spending known amounts of hours and work up to a task that is the sum total of the resource spend- MS-Project works the other way around.

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