Hours assigned to Resources

Occasional Contributor

I have assigned a resource (with 3% units) to a task which has a duration of 3 months. When I generate a work report and see resource usage across two months, looks like the resource is working more hours in the initial weeks and then this tapers off. Is there a reason why this may be happening? I would want the resource to be employed equally across those 3 months.

8 Replies
From your brief description it sounds like the resource's work is contoured but there are many factors that can influence how work is distributed over the duration.

A screen shot might be helpful but take a look at the Resource Usage view and add the Work Contour field as a column. If it shows "Front Loaded" then that's the answer explaining what you see. By default Work Contour is "Flat" meaning the assignment work is spread evenly over the full duration.


This was helpful @John-project. I was able to check, and found the work contour as mostly 'Flat'. A bigger concern for me on closer evaluation is that for the same % units assigned to a resource for separate tasks, I see different hours in the work column. My current plan is ~2500 lines so I'm curious if there is a way to fix this? For example, if I mention 50% as the units for a task that lasts 10 edays, I want it to show 120 hours for all tasks which say 10 edays with 50% for one resource. Currently, this is different for some reason. Screenshot attached.


I like your term, "mostly flat". That might tell the whole story right there.


There are several factors that could influence what you show in the screen shot but without more information, I can only guess what might be causing the issue. For example, all your durations are in elapsed time, so what is your Project calendar? What is the base calendar of your resources?, Have you applied any task calendars? How exactly did you assign the resources?


I duplicated your example using the Standard calendar as the Project and resource Base Calendar. I assigned the resources via Resource > Assignments group > Assign Resources. This is the result as shown in the Resource Usage view. It would be helpful to see this same screen shot from your file including the field and details I show in my screen shot.



@John-project There was just one task which was not flat, and I changed that. Other than that, rest all were flat. But I think that issue looks resolved.

I have been building this plan for the last few months, but it mostly captured linkages, costs, ownership (in the resource column) etc. We recently decided to understand effort levels and accordingly put % for each owner based on how much time they would be spending on that task. During this process we added/removed names for multiple tasks. I have been using elapsed time, since it helped get more accurate estimates when dealing with longer time periods (weeks, 10s of months), and the default calendar is the standard calendar.

I'm okay with a 24 hr work level show for a 1 eday task. However, I'm getting different hours for the same amount of Units (%). I basically need to make sure 100% is 24 hrs (in elapsed time), 50% is 12 hrs, etc. across all tasks. I can then work from there on. Is there a fix for this

Unable to attach screen shot. Will try again.

@John-project Attaching Screen shots from dummy file here

The only reason an assignment would not have a flat work contour is if the user manually edited the work, so there must be more to the story than is being revealed.

It sounds like you've done a lot of massaging on the plan and that can always result in unexpected behavior. I'm not sure how using elapsed time would help get more accurate estimates. Using elapsed time shows work planned over non-working days but that conflicts with a resource whose base work calendar is the Standard (i.e. working days, not elapsed days). Accurate estimates are achieved when a plan is laid out according to how it will be performed. If indeed you need a 7-day workweek, then create a custom calendar for that and set that as the Project calendar. Elapsed days in the Duration field are best used for tasks that do not have resources assigned.

Unfortunately the screen shots you attached do not show the fields and timescaled details I requested. Perhaps it would be better if you could send me your file so I could see what I need to see. My address is below. I will ask some questions.
(remove obvious redundancies)
Thanks John. I'm not sure if your address had two 'dots'. Anyway, I figured the issue. My hours were changing because of chopping and changing of my durations and resource allocations. If I delete the resource allocation cells and then paste again, it gets realigned as desired. Thanks for your help!


You're welcome and thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you figured it out.