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I've got a situation where I'm planning a job running two crews on a 10 on, 4 off roster (days). This means that over a two week period, there are three days where I have both crews working. I am trying to utilise them as a single resource to allow for leveling as either crew can perform the task. If I operate them as separate resources with different calendars, tasks are put off till the resource comes back (even though the other crew can do it).

Is there a way I can allow over allocation of a resource for a three day period (reoccurring over the life of the project)? If possible, is there a way to ensure that allowing over allocation to be for concurrent tasks? putting both crews on a single task would not yield any increase in efficiency.

I'm assuming this can be done and my skills are not up to the task so if anyone can walk me through it, that would be great.

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You can do what you ask by simply using "manual schedule" mode and not auto leveling. With that answered I would like to point out the following: Ms project cannot use resources on "whoever is available" basis. A task need a certain amount of work to be finished lets say 10hrs. If you assign 2 resources to that task then MsProject will give you 2 options: Either the resources will work %50 capacity to finish 10hr work, or it will make the work require 20 hrs and assign both resources full time to finish the task on 10 hrs. If you want MsProject to tell you who is available to work or not, you have to create their calendar respectively, assign 1 resource to each task and see the result. If there are slack times (gaps) change the assignments or divide the tasks further in order for MsProject to optimize the resource usage.

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I believe if you create a calendar for the resource and assign the correct working / non-working days, MS Project should level correctly.

Dependent on how the Project and task calendars are defined, they also may need to be amended.

When setting up the resources, you can define the correct resource max units to the crew size.

These two help files should advise how to create and assign calendars:-

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Add-a-resource-s-vacation-time-8240adc0-692b-4d23-827b-a81fb560945d?ui=en-US&rs=en-GB&ad=GB

https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Assign-a-calendar-to-a-resource-or-task-224ceac2-a9ba-47aa-90a6-b6185f3c54f9?ui=en-US&rs=en-GB&ad=GB&fromAR=1

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I suggest to consider managing crews as separate resources and assigning tasks that can be performed by either crew to both crews.

See below a sample project with task assignment and resource utilization (I used 5/7 schedule for the sake of simplicity).

Task assignment

Resource utilization:

Resource utilization

[upd]: At first glance this may seem not what you want (project will try to schedule tasks so that they do not overlap => could seem that no real parallel work is done), but if you also set proper constraints you will achieve what you need.

See a small example here.

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