This post discusses how to perform resource leveling in Microsoft Project. Before we perform the steps, we should first define resource leveling.
Resource leveling is the act of moving project tasks so that employees are not over allocated. In other words, tasks are moved to new dates so they are not all piled on top of each other. This ensures that resources have steady work without gaps and without excessive demand.
Microsoft Project can perform a one-time leveling, or automatically perform it each time a task is changed. Normally, resource leveling is most effective for projects that have tasks with constraints. For instance, a task may be set to ‘Start No Earlier Than’ a certain date. This constraint forces the task to start after a specified date. Other tasks may need to be split to start before and after this task. In fact, the example below demonstrates this exact scenario.
First, setup a new project:
- Create two new tasks
- Add resources to the tasks
- Set the task durations
- The tasks should look like the image below
Set a task constraint:
- Drag the first task to the right so it overlaps the second task
- Notice the task icon in the information column
- Double-click on the task to see the Task Information dialog
- Click the Advanced tab to see the task constraint
Level the tasks:
- Choose Tools, Level Resources
- Click Level Now
- The results will be a split task that allows the resource to work before and after the first task.