Getting Rid of Resource Overallocation Indicators in Project

For schedules where you display the Indicators column, you might be unhappy to see a column filled with Overallocation Indicators (looks like red stick figure people). Even if the issue is only with one resource on one day, all tasks during that timeframe display an indicator. When I show my schedule to others, I find that missed deadlines indicators or note indicators are extremely useful but the overallocation indicators can be very distracting to the viewer. This blog focuses on getting rid of those overallocation indicators in a quick simple fashion without spending too much time in the tool solving all the causes of the overallocations.

Resource Overallocation Indicators

Recommended features to assist you are available when you right click in the indicators cell. Tip – A very fast way to get rid of the indicator is to simply choose “Ignore Problems for This Task” and it goes away!

Right click option

Tip – Another very fast tip to get rid of these indicators is to simply increase the overallocation threshold for the resource. That threshold is the Max Units on the resource sheet. Increasing the number to a larger number will eventually get rid of the indicator.

Resource sheet with max units

Both of these tips are fast ways to hide the indicator if that was your goal but the negative behind these techniques is you might need to do this a number of times across multiple tasks and resources  to get the results you want.

A hidden option that many users are not familiar with is you can change the timeframe sensitivity of the overallocation. What this means is you can instruct Project to identify when any one day on a task exceeds the threshold (typically an 8 hour day) or you can instruct Project to evaluate when one week exceeds the threshold (typically a 40 hour week). Tip – A task where you are scheduled to work 10 hours on Monday and zero hours the rest of the week would appear as overalloacted by day but not overallocated by week since you are within the 40 hours available for the week. Resources are typically very skilled at balancing out their workload even if the resource assignment isn’t scheduled this way. To make this change on the Resource tab, click Leveling Options and find the section Look for ovallocations on a _____ basis. Switch Day by Day to Week by Week and then click OK.

Leveling Options

Tip – Even if you never use Level All, the settings you select in Resource Leveling are being applied. In my experience, this one change alone will reduce the number of overallocation indicators in your schedule without a lot of effort on your part. Now you can focus on the critical overallocations that can’t easily be resolved by the individual. This should also make you feel better when reporting to others as the long list of overallocation indicators has been reduced.

Less Resource Overallocation Indicators

If you have tried any of these techniques, I’d love to learn what worked well for you.

 

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One thought on “Getting Rid of Resource Overallocation Indicators in Project

  1. Cindy, I have met countless users who obsess over Red over-allocated resources. Setting the resource leveling granularity to week by week tends to eliminate a lot of red situations. I tend to create a copy of the resource usage view with two additional fields displayed, remaining availability and over-allocation so that even if a resource shows red it may be marginal, sadly Project does not allow tolerancing however users can exhibit a degree of judgement and as long as overallocations “oscillate” over time this will be tolerable, after all the data shown is indicating a situation that is forecast assuming things go exactly to plan and our estimates are 100% accurate. Project is a guide after all.

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