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What are the ideal settings for the leveling options screen

Next to the regular scheduling options (constraints, dependencies) and the leveling algorithm, it is important to discuss the resource leveling options. What are the ideal setting for the leveling options screen?

Resource Leveling options

The resource leveling options can be found by clicking Resource tab > Leveling Options:

Automatic vs Manual – Choosing ‘automatic’ will calculate and level your schedule automatically each time something changes. When choosing ‘manual’ you need to click the level resources button.

Day by Day, Week by Week, etc. – Determines when the red puppet will appear. Day by day basis means that puppets will be red at more than 8 hours on a day. Week by week more than 40 hours in a week, etc.

Clear leveling values before leveling – Having this option on makes sure each leveling action uses a new start, instead of continuing on top of the already leveled tasks.

Leveling order – Choosing ‘ID’, it will only use the location in the schedule to determine which task goes first. Choosing ‘standard’ will use the algorithm logic as explained in the previous paragraph and weighs in the priority field for the leveling score. Choosing ‘priority, standard’ means that the priority will always preceed the factors of the standard algorithm.

Level only within available slack – Having this option on will not increase the duration of your schedule. This also means that it will only solve the overallocation up to the point that there is available slack.

Leveling can adjust individual assignments on a task – Having this option on allows that resources could start on a task when they are available. This means that tasks which are scheduled to start at the same time could start at a different moments depending on the resource availability. Additionally, if you have more than one resource assigned to a task, this allows one person to already start and another person to join when available.

Leveling can create splits in remaining work – Tasks are allowed to split for another task or meeting and resume at a later moment. Without this option ticked, a 10 day task would be planned when there is a 10 day gap in the availability of the resource. With this option ticked, it will split the work over shorter periods of availability. This means that this option ticked will create much shorter lead times for the schedule.

Level resources with the proposed booking type – MS Project has the ability to indicate whether an assignment is only proposed or definitively booked. Default is always definitively booked. This option will have no consequences for you, if you did not change the booking type of the resource.

Level manually scheduled tasks – Manually scheduled tasks are not moved by MS Project. With this option you can have MS Project level these tasks as well.

Personal settings

These settings are personal, so you can choose to deviate from the default settings where you prefer. In this image you see our preferred settings.

What are the ideal settings for the leveling options screen1

The settings can also be applied on a task level, by inserting the column with these names in your view.

What are your preferred and personal setting in the resource leveling screen? Share it in the comments below.

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