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Scheduling the project through Resource Levelling RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am using a Master plan with subplans imported.

    The Durations are set up correctly

    % work completed Is applied

    'Update Project' set to reschedule uncompleted work to start after today's date for the entire project

    When 'Level All', tasks with outstanding work are scheduled in the past- which isn't what i'm expecting.

    I can see no further constraints that would impact this issue.

    Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:53 AM

Answers

  • Your management's advice about date constraints is disappointing

    Yes, inputting scheduled dates in the start or finish columns in the entry table is a bad idea.

    But "actual" means something that has actually happened in the past, as distinct from something that is expected or planned to happen in the future.

    See the tracking table. The first two columns are actual start and actual finish. These are facts, and once they are in they don't change. Also, the actual and remaining duration columns are there as well.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 10:56 PM
  • Christine Abbott,

    What exactly do you mean by "durations are set up correctly" and "% work competed is applied"?

    However, something you need to understand is this. Leveling doesn't work on a dynamic master, unless you are using a resource pool (or the master itself is the pool). In a dynamic master, the subprojects are not actually part of the master, rather the master only contains pointers to each individual subproject.

    So, do you have a resource pool, either separate or the master?

    John

    Thursday, October 31, 2019 4:32 PM
  • Christine,

    Notwithstanding the key issues of linked master/sub project structures as John highlights, what you describe seems pretty standard Project behavior for any schedule when the resource leveler is set to automatic and the "clear leveling values before leveling" box is checked.  To avoid this condition, you need to ensure that no leveling delays are present when you run the Update Project tool.  I'd suggest the following as a normal part of your update process:

    1. Update progress on all tasks using actual start and remaining duration (or % complete if that works for you).

    2. Clear all leveling and set the leveler to Manual in the leveling options window.

    3. Re-schedule the (logic part of the) project.  (This may happen automatically if you've got that option set.)

    4. Run the Update Project dialog, with "reschedule uncompleted work"

    5. Go back to the leveling options and run the leveler manually. (As a rule, leave it on manual.)

    This will stop the scheduling of incomplete work in the past.

    The issue arises because the Update Project tool ignores (and therefore fails to set a SNET constraint on) unstarted tasks whose leveling delay pushes them into the future.  When the leveler is next run, the initial removal of the previous leveling delay moves the task back to the past, where it stays.  You might also avoid these issues by unchecking that "clear leveling values before leveling" box, though the resulting leveled schedule would likely not be optimal. 

    Good luck, tom 


    Friday, November 1, 2019 1:48 AM
  • Hi Christine,

    I suspect (and would hope) that your management's objection was against entering any dates into the Start (or Finish) field, as such entries would impose undesired constraints.  

    To your first question, yes as already noted, manually (or programmatically) entering Start/Finish dates - in the future - will impose undesired constraints on the automatic task scheduler (and the leveler, which is different.) 

    To your second question, the remaining duration is only relevant for in-progress tasks.  As long as the "split in-progress tasks" scheduling option is set, then yes only the un-completed, remaining-duration part of the task gets re-scheduled.

    I hope this helps, tom

      

    Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:11 AM

All replies

  • Christine Abbott,

    What exactly do you mean by "durations are set up correctly" and "% work competed is applied"?

    However, something you need to understand is this. Leveling doesn't work on a dynamic master, unless you are using a resource pool (or the master itself is the pool). In a dynamic master, the subprojects are not actually part of the master, rather the master only contains pointers to each individual subproject.

    So, do you have a resource pool, either separate or the master?

    John

    Thursday, October 31, 2019 4:32 PM
  • Christine,

    Notwithstanding the key issues of linked master/sub project structures as John highlights, what you describe seems pretty standard Project behavior for any schedule when the resource leveler is set to automatic and the "clear leveling values before leveling" box is checked.  To avoid this condition, you need to ensure that no leveling delays are present when you run the Update Project tool.  I'd suggest the following as a normal part of your update process:

    1. Update progress on all tasks using actual start and remaining duration (or % complete if that works for you).

    2. Clear all leveling and set the leveler to Manual in the leveling options window.

    3. Re-schedule the (logic part of the) project.  (This may happen automatically if you've got that option set.)

    4. Run the Update Project dialog, with "reschedule uncompleted work"

    5. Go back to the leveling options and run the leveler manually. (As a rule, leave it on manual.)

    This will stop the scheduling of incomplete work in the past.

    The issue arises because the Update Project tool ignores (and therefore fails to set a SNET constraint on) unstarted tasks whose leveling delay pushes them into the future.  When the leveler is next run, the initial removal of the previous leveling delay moves the task back to the past, where it stays.  You might also avoid these issues by unchecking that "clear leveling values before leveling" box, though the resulting leveled schedule would likely not be optimal. 

    Good luck, tom 


    Friday, November 1, 2019 1:48 AM
  • Hi John,

    Thank you for this.

    I have created a resource pool as a separate project plan and shared it to the master plan. This has, however it creates duplicate resources in my Master plan. When I 'Refresh Resource Pool' nothing seems to happen. My assumption is this will be causing a problem. Do you have experience in resolving this issue?

    My second hurdle is the Duration aspect, I'm using a bridging tool (Ceptah Bridge) to import the duration field from Jira. However this is only populating the duration field rather than the remaining duration, which I'm suspecting is an issue.

    Hoping you can continue your already helpful guidance,

    Regards, Christine.



    Christine@RaspberrySoftware

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 3:36 PM
  • Hi Tom,

    Thank you for this support.

    I'm fairly new to working with projects, and there does seem to be some clear rules that it works by.

    Its been suggested by my management not to use actual start dates on tasks as it will cause 'constraints' that will effect what we want Levelling to achieve.

    I.e. if I put dates in, they will prompt the work load scheduling rather than using levelling to achieve it- is this correct?

    As I've mentioned on my response to John, I'm using a Bridging Tool 'Ceptah Bridge' to populate my sub-plans from Jira. I've used sub-plans to be able to use different configurations from our Jira projects.

    It populates selected fields which includes the Duration field but not the remaining duration, Can I assume that it is the remaining duration field that will drive the scheduling?

    Apologies, if these seem like silly questions. I really appreciate the help.

    Kindest Regards,

    Christine.


    Christine@RaspberrySoftware

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 4:04 PM
  • Your management's advice about date constraints is disappointing

    Yes, inputting scheduled dates in the start or finish columns in the entry table is a bad idea.

    But "actual" means something that has actually happened in the past, as distinct from something that is expected or planned to happen in the future.

    See the tracking table. The first two columns are actual start and actual finish. These are facts, and once they are in they don't change. Also, the actual and remaining duration columns are there as well.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2019 10:56 PM
  • Hi Christine,

    I suspect (and would hope) that your management's objection was against entering any dates into the Start (or Finish) field, as such entries would impose undesired constraints.  

    To your first question, yes as already noted, manually (or programmatically) entering Start/Finish dates - in the future - will impose undesired constraints on the automatic task scheduler (and the leveler, which is different.) 

    To your second question, the remaining duration is only relevant for in-progress tasks.  As long as the "split in-progress tasks" scheduling option is set, then yes only the un-completed, remaining-duration part of the task gets re-scheduled.

    I hope this helps, tom

      

    Thursday, November 7, 2019 1:11 AM