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Beginner Resource Leveling Issue

2 replies [Last post]
Joshua Topham
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Joined: 6 Nov 2019
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Hi, I'm fairly new to MS Project and have been doing some practice pieces before I look at using it for anything at work. To this end I've created a schedule for a large dinner I'm making over the course of a week - over 100 components so it is also useful to have a detailed prep plan - but really this is just to get my head around the system. I have looked up several guides and googled answers, but am now well and truly stuck.

File Setup and Context:

I myself am the main resource for the project, and have set available hours for myself from 15:00-23:00 Monday through Saturday, aiming to serve up at a deadline of 19:00 Saturday. Some tasks can go on by themselves, ie oven running for a few hours unaided, but most are set to utilize me at 100%. All the tasks are set to go as soon as possible, automatically scheduled, and run on the 24 hours calendar (I want my availability to be limiting factor. If the oven runs overnight so be it.)

Initially all my tasks were grouped at 8:00 Monday morning with a few pushed slightly later by dependencies on previous ones. I was over-allocated for most of Monday and then had nothing for the rest of the week. Then I tried to level resource...


I unchecked the option to split tasks (don't want to stop halfway through frying something and come back later for instance) and selected level all, expecting this would push all the over-allocated activities back across the week, conforming to my hours of availability, and resolving most if not all the over allocations.

Instead the leveling seems to have gone only across the Monday, leaving tasks utilizing me even before my 15:00 start of availability. There are still many over-allocations (naturally, since I have 13 hours of work on a day with only 8 hours of my resource available) and moreover the instruction not to split tasks has been ignored with seemingly arbitrary splits put into tasks. The whole project is squeezed into 8:00-17:00 on Monday which makes me wonder if something is constrained to this window, however each resource, the project itself and all the tasks are set to 24 hours with only me having a limit (15:00-23:00.)

I'm sure I must be missing something really obvious. Any troubleshooting hugely appreciated. 


Alexandre Faulx-B...
User offline. Last seen 22 hours 34 min ago. Offline
Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Posts: 1277

Hi Joshua,

your project is not as simple as looks to be:

for instance, I guess that the project calendar is in conflict with you own calendar; some relationships between activities could be optimized, and so on

further more, as far as resource leveling is concerned, Microsoft changed the leveling algorithm when MSP 2013 was introduced.

I am really curious to have a look at your project, as it could be a very good example for my trainees if you are OK for me to use it; you could send your file to, I will send my answer back within hours.

have a good day,


Tom Boyle
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Joined: 28 Nov 2006
Posts: 270
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Welcome to Planning Planet!  You've obviously done your homework, and there's nothing that jumps out as the source of your issues.  It would certainly help if you would:

  • Identify the MSP version you are using
  • show some screenshots (though you'll need to host the images somewhere else, unless the PP image hosting problem has been fixed).  Screenshots should show your options, setup, logic, task priorities, leveling options, etc. 
  • identify your leveling options exactly
  • Maybe narrow down your problem to two or three tasks that aren't behaving as you would like, then illustrate them exactly.

The leveler in MSP is pretty sophisticated (i.e. not typically for novices); there are lots of places you could go astray.  Also, depending on the MSP version, some of the leveling options seem to behave like preferences rather than hard and fast rules....

Good luck, tom