Understanding How Resource Conflicts Occur

As you assign resources to tasks, Project checks the resource's calendar to make sure that the resource is working. However, Project doesn't assess whether the resource is already obligated when you assign the resource to a new task; Project enables you to make the assignment. Be aware, though, that the additional assignment may lead to overallo-cating the resource. Overallocation occurs when you assign more work to a resource than the resource can accomplish in the time that you've allotted for the work to be completed.

For example, if you assign Mary to work full-time on two tasks that start on the same day, you actually assign Mary to 16 hours of work in an 8-hour day — not possible unless Mary is a really dedicated employee who has no life outside work. On the other hand, if you have a group of three mechanics and you assign two mechanics to work on two tasks that start on the same day, you still have one spare mechanic and no overallocation.

In This Chapter

Understanding how resource conflicts occur

Spotting resource conflicts

Figure 10-1 shows a series of tasks under the Plan Entertainment and Public Relations tasks that begin on the same day. By assigning the same resource to them, an overallocation is inevitable. And, overallocations can cause delays in the project schedule.

Figure 10-1: Assigning the same resource to tasks that run simultaneously causes an overallocation.

To calculate the scheduled start date for a task, Project checks factors such as the task's dependencies and constraints. Project then checks the resource's calendar to identify the next regular workday and assigns that date as the start date for the task. If you haven't assigned resources to the task, Project uses the project's calendar to calculate the next regular workday. But when Project calculates the task start date, it does not consider other commitments that the resource may have outside of the current project.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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