```MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Objectives



assignments
Apply a preset resource contour to change work value distribution
When planning a project schedule, adjustments are often needed to reflect necessary changes in project
scope, assignments, etc. In MS Project, when an assignment is changed, the schedule is recalculated to
display the changes. You can work with the scheduling method and the task type settings when making
changes to the initial resource assignment.
In the previous lesson, the initial resource assignments were made for our project. But we need to learn
how to make adjustments to how those resources are used. It is important that you read every part of this
lab carefully, if not twice.
Working with Effort-Driven Scheduling
How a task reacts to the addition and removal of resources is defined by the scheduling method and the
task type settings. In MS Project, the default scheduling method is effort-driven scheduling. Effortdriven scheduling extends or shortens the duration of a task to accommodate changes to resources but
doesn't change the total work for the task.
Work is the amount of effort, or number of hours, resources put into a task.
The total work for a task is determined by the duration estimate for the task and the initial resource
assignment using the following formula:
Work = Duration * Units
For example, say you give a task the duration of one day (or eight hours based upon a normal working
day). If the initial resource assignment is two units (200%) of a particular resource, the total work for the
16 hours = 1 Day (8 hours) * 200%
As resources are added or removed after the initial assignment, the amount of work is not recalculated, but
redistributed among the resources. In other words, the duration is recalculated, not the work:
Duration = Work / Units
So if you assign two more units of the previous resource or two different resources, the total work remains
16 hours; however, the 16 hours is now redistributed among the four resources (16 hours divided by 4 units
equals 4 hours of work per resource). The duration is now .5 days (4 hours).
.5 Day (4 hours) = 16 hours / 400%
Effort-driven scheduling assumes that the more (or fewer) resources you assign to a task will decrease (or
increase) the duration of a task. "If I can use more people, I can get done faster". The key to effort-driven
scheduling is when you make that first assignment (when you press assign or press enter when entering
resource assignments), that is when the amount of work is calculated and never changes when you make
additional assignments or subtract resources. This effect is very important to understand!
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
Page 1
MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Let's demonstrate this effect.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Log onto Windows and Open MS Project.
Open your project that you created for Lab 4 (MyLab4_XXX.mpp).
Save as MyLab5_XXX.mpp, where XXX are your initials.
Make sure you are in Gantt chart view and your table is the entry table.
From the View menu, click More Views. The More Views dialog box appears (figure 1). Select Task
Entry and then press Apply.
Figure 1
6.
You will notice that your screen "splits" into two separate windows or panes (figure 2).
Top Pane
Bottom Pane
Figure 2
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
7.
The top window or pane is your Gantt chart view with the entry table. The bottom pane is known as
the task form window and contains many different formats. The default format you are looking at is
known as the resources and predecessors detail view. We will use different detail formats in this
window in coming labs. For now, remember this is the task form window.
8. In the top pane, click on task #3, Inventory Current Equipment. Notice in the lower pane, the
resource assignment you made from the previous lab, System Administrator. Remember that you
initially assigned two units of this resource. The duration you gave this task was 3 days (or 24 hours).
When you made the assignment, the initial scheduling then calculated the work. Given the formula,
work equals duration times units, 24 hours times 2 units equals 48 hours of work. And that is what is
says in the work column for that resource.
9. Also notice the box Effort driven (next to the Previous button) is checked. That means that this task
is using effort-driven scheduling. Also notice the textbox below it labeled Task Type and the phrase
Fixed Units. We will be returning to this box shortly.
10. Again, making sure you have clicked on task #3, open the Assign Resources dialog box from the
standard toolbar (the one with the faces).
11. Change the number of units of the resource System Administrator to 300%. (Either type in 300 or use
the up arrow and then press enter). (Figure 3).
Figure 3
12. Notice in the lower pane the units of the resource changed to 300% and the work remained at 48
hours, but notice the duration of the task: it changed to 2 days. Why? Taking our formula that work
equals duration times units, when we make any change after the initial calculation of work, work is
not recalculated, but the duration is! Therefore (using our algebraic knowledge), duration is equal
to work divided by units, or 48 hours divided by 3 units equals 16 hours or 2 days. Got it? Also
remember the 48 hours is the cumulative amount of work for the three units.
13. But what happens if we now subtract some of the units? In your Assign Resources dialog box, change
the units of System Administrator to 100%. What happened? Your work is still 48 hours, but since
there is only one resource the duration is recalculated for 6 days (48 hours divided by 1 unit equals 48
hours or 6 days).
14. Change the units of resource for System Administrator back to the original 200%. Your duration
15. Since this was the same resource, what would happen if we added a different resource?
16. Click on System Analyst and make an assignment of 100%. (Click Assign button or Press Enter).
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
17. You should now see in the task form the name of System Analyst appear and in the work column the
48 hours of work is now distributed evenly among the three resources, but it still totals 48 hours.
The duration is now 2 days, because each unit will be working 16 hours or 2 days.
18. Keep this assignment of the System Analyst to this task. (Duration for project is now 40 days).
Effort-driven scheduling can be turned off for individual tasks (or all tasks when you first created a project
in the Tools - Options - Schedule). When effort-driven scheduling is turned off, total work increases (or
decreases) when units of different resources are added (or subtracted) from the task. To see this effect,
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Click on task #4, Access Current Department Needs. In the lower pane (in the task form), uncheck
Effort driven.
Press the OK button to affect the change. (You must do this!)
Making sure you've clicked in the task #4 in the upper pane, open the Assign Resources dialog box.
Add one unit (100%) of the System Analyst and one unit (100%) of the System Manager to this task.
Notice the duration remains at two days, but each of the units is assigned the same amount of work (16
hours). You would do this if you know each of your resources is doing different work within the
task's duration and they are a different resource. (See figure 4).
Figure 4
6.
7.
Keep these assignments for this task.
But what if we turn off effort-driven scheduling, but add additional units of the same resource? What
happens? Here is where it can get confusing and you must reflect on what is happening behind the
scenes and the effect task type has on scheduling.
8. Click on task #7, Research Products and Services. Your task form should show the resource Systems
Analyst, 50% under the Units column and 28 hours of work (50% of 7 days/56 hours, is 28 hours).
9. Uncheck the Effort driven box in the task form and click on OK.
10. Click again on task #7 and open your Assign Resources dialog box. Change the 50% to 100%. What
happened? Notice the work stayed at 28 hours (in other words, work was not recalculated), but the
duration changed to 3.5 days! We would have expected that work should have been recalculated to
56 hours and the duration to stay the same. Argh! Can you determine why the duration was
recalculated and work was not?
11. Keep this assignment.
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
The task type setting also has an effect on how tasks are scheduled. There are three task types: Fixed
Units, Fixed Duration and Fixed Work. Using one of these types, any variable in the standard equation of
Work = Duration * Units can be controlled.
When Fixed Units task type is used (and it is the default), the duration of the task is affected. Fixed Unit
the schedule, not the work! Therefore, work remains at 28 hours, but duration is recalculated by dividing
the work by the new number of units (28 hours divided by 1 equals 28 hours or 3.5 days). To help you,
here is a table to explain the effect of effort-driven with fixed unit task type:
Example: Task X has a duration of 2 weeks, and initial resource assignment of one unit of
Resource A, and therefore an initial total work of 80 hours.
Fixed Unit With Effort Driven
Duration
Units
Work
Add one unit of same resource (A)
1 week
200% of Resource A
40 hours each
80 hours total
Add one unit of different resource (B)
1 week
100% of Resource A
40 hours
100% of Resource B
40 hours
80 hours total
Fixed Unit Without Effort Driven
Duration
Units
Work
Add one unit of same resource (A)
1 week
200% of Resource A
40 hours each
80 hours total
Add one unit of different resource (B)
2 weeks
100% of Resource A
80 hours
100% of Resource B
80 hours
160 hours total
At this point, this all seems very confusing I assure you. Actually, fixed units sounds like a bad term for
this task type. But if you notice from the table, the key is really effort driven. If a task is effort-driven, the
philosophy says that the more resources, regardless of being the same resource or a different resource, work
remains the same, but the duration will be affected. If a task is not effort-driven, but a fixed unit or
resource-driven task, duration will only be affected if you add or subtract the number of units of the same
resource!
But what if you want to ensure that the duration of a task never changes? You can control that by
changing the task type to Fixed Duration. Let's see that effect:
1.
2.
Keep the assignment you just made on Task #7 (100% of System Analyst), and now click on task #9,
Issue RFPs. The resource assignment is the Project Manager. The duration is 7 days therefore work
has been calculated as 56 hours of work based upon 1 unit (100%).
In the task form in the bottom pane, change the task type to fixed duration by choosing from the pulldown menu. (Leave as effort-driven). (Figure 5)
Figure 5
3.
Press OK to affect the change.
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
4.
5.
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Click on task #9 (Issue RFPs) and open your Assign Resources dialog box.
Click on Financial Officer (100%) and press the Assign button. What happened?
Figure 6
If a task has the task type Fixed Duration, the duration of the task remains the same (fixed) when resources
are added or removed; however work for each resource could be allocated differently depending on
whether it is the same resource or a different resource. Here is a chart of how effort-driven scheduling
could affect the workload of a resource (but not the task duration) when designating a task type of Fixed
Duration:
Example: Task X has a duration of 2 weeks, and initial resource assignment of one unit of
Resource A, and therefore an initial total work of 80 hours.
Fixed Duration With Effort Driven
Duration
Units
Work
Add one unit of same resource (A)
2 weeks
200% of Resource A
80 hours each
160 hours total
Add one unit of different resource (B)
2 weeks
50% of Resource A
40 hours
50% of Resource B
40 hours
80 hours total
Fixed Duration Without Effort Driven Duration
Units
Work
Add one unit of same resource (A)
2 weeks
200% of Resource A
80 hours each
160 hours total
Add one unit of different resource (B)
2 weeks
100% of Resource A
80 hours
100% of Resource B
80 hours
160 hours total
Let's try this table to see if we can predict the effect of our scheduling:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Click on task #9 (Issue RFPs) and open Assign Resources dialog box.
Select the Financial Officer and press Remove.
The task form should show the Project Manager back to 100% assignment and 56 hours of work.
In the task form, uncheck the effort-driven box and press OK.
Click on task #9 again. Bring up the Assign Resources dialog box for the Issue RFPs task and select
the Financial Officer and assign him back to the task (100%). What happened?
According to the above chart, if effort-driven is turned off and the task type is Fixed Duration, adding
one unit of a different resource will not change the duration (it is still 7 days), but each resource will
be assigned the same amount of work, 56 hours. (Keep this assignment as is).
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
Page 6
MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
The last task type is Fixed Work. Fixed work means the total work for the task will remain the same
when resources are added or subtracted. Only the duration and units are affected in a Fixed Work type
To see this effect:
1. Click on task #10, Evaluate Bids. Notice that the Project Manager was initially assigned to this task
for 100% or 40 hours of total work.
2. Change the task type to Fixed Work in the task form and Press OK. (Notice the effort-driven
checkbox is grayed out).
3. Assign one unit (100%) of Financial Officer to this task. What happened? Notice the work stayed at
40 hours, but the work was distributed between the two resources and the duration was changed to
2.5 days. Why is the duration 2.5 days or 20 hours? (Keep this assignment change).
4. Click on the task #13, Purchase Equipment. Notice we have assigned .5 (or 50%) of the Financial
Officer to this task. Since the initial duration was given as 4 days, 50% of 4 days is 2 days or 16 hours.
5. Change the task type of this task to Fixed Work. Press OK.
6. Change the percentage of the Financial Officer from 50% to 100%. What happened? Why did
duration of the task change to 2 days?
7. Change the percentage of the Financial Officer back to 50%. (Very important for the next section).
Duration changed back to 4 days. Why? (Keep this assignment as is).
Note: Your project should now be at a total duration of 39.25 days; if not, check previous instructions. If
it appears that Fixed Work is similar to effort-driven, you are not far off the mark.
Again, all this is very confusing, I assure you, but hopefully it encourages you to think about your initial
Another chart you can use to determine what changes in MS Project when you change task types and what
is recalculated is:
If your
Type
is…
Fixed Duration
Fixed Units
Fixed Work
And you change…
Duration Units
Work
Work
Work
Duration
Units
Duration
Work
Units
Duration
Duration
…then
MS Project
Recalculates this
Perhaps the best advice is the following:
1.
2.
Profkc
Leave all tasks as effort-driven, fixed units unless the duration absolutely needs to remain fixed.
Fixed durations are rare. Tasks such as waiting 1 hour after swimming may seem like a fixed
duration, but can be best handled by using lag times. (Actually the above is really not a task). A
better example of a fixed duration task would be driving a truck. If we estimate that to drive a
truck from Kansas City to St. Louis will take 4 hours, it does not matter how many drivers we
assign to the task, it will still take 4 hours.
If you want to assign two resources (or people) to a task and each is doing different work, it is best
to split the task into two tasks. For example, in the current project, we have assigned the Project
Manager and the Financial Officer to the same task, Issue RFPs. If the Project Manager is working
on the technical section of the RFP and the Financial Office is working on the financing
requirements of the RFP, then it is best to split Issue RFPs into two different tasks (such as Write
Technical Requirements and Write Financial Requirements) and assign each resource to the task
for which they are responsible.
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Resource Contours
One other assumption made by MS Project when you assign a resource to a task: that work is evenly
distributed throughout the duration of the task. For example, in our previous task, Purchase Equipment, we
said that the Financial Officer would be devoting 16 hours over 4 days to complete the task. Those 16
hours are then evenly distributed over the 4 days (or 4 hours per day). This is known as a flat contour. A
contour defines how scheduled work is distributed over the duration of a task.
You can change this distribution or use several preset contours to a resource. To see this contour:
1.
2.
3.
From the Window menu, click on Remove Split.
You should now have just the Gantt chart view on your screen.
From the View menu, select Task Usage. Your screen should look similar to figure 7. (You may need
to use the vertical and horizontal scroll bars to get to the top of the table and to see the appropriate
dates on the right).
Figure 7
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
On the left you will see your tasks and under each task are the names of the resources assigned to the
task. On the right are the work details in calendar form.
Move the divider between the left and right panes so that the only columns showing on the left are the
task name, work and duration. Expand the task name column so that you can see all of the
information.
Using the right scroll bar, scroll down to the task, Purchase Equipment and click on it to highlight it.
Click on Financial Officer directly below.
On the standard toolbar, click on the Go To Selected Task button. (Figure 8).
Figure 8
Figure 9
9.
To the right, you will see the 16 hours evenly distributed over four days (4 hours per day). (Figure 9).
However we can change that distribution manually.
10. In the first cell that says four hours (make sure you stay in the same row as the Financial Officer,
change the first day to 6 hours, the second day to 5 hours and the third day to 1 hour. (Figure 9) The
fourth day we will not change.
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
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MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Figure 10
What we have done is created a custom contour, and while MS Project has preset contours, I recommend
that you do these manually. Keep in mind, however, that your duration may change based upon the task
type.
At this point, return to the Gantt chart view. Save your file and print out the following reports: (use
1.
2.
3.
Project Summary.
A Resource Usage Report (under Workload category).
Checkpoint (From Project Information Statistics)
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
Page 9
MGMT404
V2005
Lesson #5 - Scheduling With Resources
Due Date: Check Class Schedule/Syllabus
MS Project
Review Questions
Name ____________________________
Answer the following questions (use MS Project help if necessary):
1) Define effort-driven?
2) Under what circumstances would you turn off effort driven scheduling?
3) Use a real-world example of when you would make a task as a Fixed Duration type task?
4) What is the formula for calculating duration?
5)
Using MS Project's Help, what are the eight preset work contours and what are the
procedures in applying them to a resource on a task?
Attach your three printouts, in print order, to the back of this sheet and submit by the
lesson due date.
Profkc
MS Project Lab #5
Page 10
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