Lesson 4: Tracking - Analyzing Overallocations


When the same resource is allocated to more than one task, overallocation may occur: i.e. the resource is supposed to work 4 hours at task1 and 8 hours at task2 in the same day. Therefore resource overallocation appears when there are assignments of more tasks than your assigned resources can handle or reasonable complete within a standard eight hour work week.​

Resource allocation is an important aspect that shouldn't be neglected and it reflects the health of your project. You should avoid overallocation pitfalls by addressing the resource overallocation aspect before it affects your project's health. Resource overallocation is most likely to occur when there are multiple projects in a company and might present a risk, especially if your resources are small and involved in multiple tasks. How you plan your resource allocation is a key aspect in keeping your project on track and on budget with the outcomes you expect.

After creating your schedule and assigning resources, you can check for over-allocation. To do this, click on "View" and select "Resource Graph". You can select each resource and view its allocation throughout the project. Each workday is shown along the horizontal axis, and resource usage is expressed as a percentage along the vertical axis.

Any point at which a resource exceeds 100 percent usage represents an over-allocation (meaning the resource can't possibly perform all the tasks assigned to it in the given time). Over-allocation is represented in red. To remedy this, increase the task durations, assign more resources to the tasks, or shift concurrent tasks to create less overlap.

Any point at which the resource is being used very little may point to inefficient under-allocation. Consider decreasing the task durations or using fewer total resources.

By default, the amount of time a work resource can work per day is set to 8 hours. Any resource cumulating more than 8 hours per day is said to be overallocated. Overallocation may have two distinct causes:

  1. The resource is assigned to several tasks that are scheduled during the same period;
  2. The Project Manager wants the resource to dedicate more time and assigns more than 100% units for that resource

Overallocation is signaled in Project Plan 365 in Resource Sheet and Resource Usage views by coloring in red the overallocated resources.

Overallocation can be solved by the Project Manager by moving the involved tasks to new dates (by setting new start dates or by linking tasks) or by changing resource assignments.

If the work assigned to a resource exceeds the time available, Project Plan 365 assigns the resource to the task and indicates that the resource is overallocated, so you can see that there is a problem and decide how to fix it.

icon_exercises.png        Practice

   1. On the current plan, switch to Resource Sheet view to see which resources are overallocated (overallocated resources are the ones colored in red). In the Indicators column, a special icon is displayed for the resources that are overallocated:

2. Switch to Resource Graph view to see graphically displayed the assignment units of each resource in your project. From the left side, select G.C. Project Management resource, which is written with red font, indicating that it is an overallocated resource:​
​ Switch back to Gantt Chart view.