The process of eliminating over-allocations of resources is known as resource leveling. Sciforma levels resource over-allocations that occur between multiple tasks by entering a Start Delay for those tasks that have not yet begun or by splitting tasks that are in progress (moving the uncompleted portion of a task to a later time period). This does not change the resource assignments; it simply moves the tasks to time periods where the resource assignments of multiple tasks no longer create over-allocations. If the resource over-allocation occurs between tasks with multiple resources, Sciforma allows the option of delaying the conflicting assignment only or delaying all the assignments in the task. Resource leveling is most effectively done on a weekly basis, although Sciforma allows project managers to level resources on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
Resource over-allocations can occur either between tasks or within tasks. Resource conflicts occur between tasks when a resource is assigned to simultaneous tasks. In this case, it is possible to level resources using delays so that one task can be shifted with respect to another task, eliminating any overlap. Resource over-allocations within a task occur when a resource is assigned to a single task at too high a rate. In this case no amount of task delay can remove the over-allocation, because the over-allocation exists no matter where the task is placed. Sciforma leaves it up to the Project Manager to solve these conflicts manually.
Sciforma uses the following criteria in determining how to level resource over-allocation:
Project Leveling Priority – The leveling priority that can be set for the projects ranges from 0 (highest priority) to 1,000,000,000 (lowest priority). The default that Sciforma sets for each project in the Leveling Priority field is 50.
Task Leveling Priority – Task priority is the next criteria that Sciforma follows. In the Leveling Priority Task field, the priorities can be set in the same way as for each project. If the task priorities are equal, Sciforma will next consider how the movement of tasks will affect the critical path and have the least impact on the project end date.
When selecting the Level Resources command, the Level Resources dialog box will be displayed, providing the following options:
Remove task delays
Removes any existing task delays when the automatic resource leveling function is used.
Remove pin dates in Critical Chain tasks
Clears pin dates on Critical Chain tasks prior to leveling. If this checkbox is cleared, critical chain tasks are not moved during the leveling operation. Alternatively, if the box is selected, critical chain tasks are moved as needed to level resources.
Remove remaining gaps
Gaps that exist in tasks that were inserted manually or automatically will be removed prior to resource leveling.
Save baseline 10 before Leveling
Before leveling Sciforma will save Baseline 10, which will allow Project Managers to view the impact automatic resource leveling has had on their projects.
Allows users to choose the minimum scale for automatic resource leveling.
Allow task splitting
Provides the following options:
Level between dates
Restricts the dates when tasks are leveled. This option is particularly useful for long projects where the level of uncertainty is high.
Use scaled availabilities
This option is useful when it comes to minimizing the consequences of the leveling process. For instance, it would not be advantageous to delay an entire task if there is little or hardly any resource over-allocation.
Honor calendar gaps
Recognizes periods of non-work defined in the assignment calendar for each assignment and is used when determining where to move over-allocated tasks. Typically this feature is used together with the Allow Task Splitting feature to insert a task’s work within another task’s calendar gaps. When using this feature, the Time scale setting determines how big the gaps must be before an over-allocated task can be placed within it. This setting, additionally, is used for specifying the minimum time increments to use when leveling resources. Clear this option to level resources without honoring non-work hours defined in the assignment calendars.