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Resource/Skill Allocation Analysis

Simple Allocation (No Optimization)

Using the demand data from the Effort Forecasts sheet in project priority order;

  1. Count all resource and skill assignment demand
  2. For each resource, “allocate” demand from the resource’s capacity up to the smaller of demand and capacity
  3. Continue down the prioritized assignments allocating demand from remaining capacity


In this standard case, skill assignments have no allocation and each resource with demand has allocation up to resource capacity.

View > Sheet Legend on the Effort Forecasts, Resource Utilization, and Project Demand sheets presents an information dialog with the current threshold settings.


Shortfall highlighting thresholds are set on the Color Options tab in the Tools > Options dialog.

Options Dialog_Color.jpg

The allocation analysis can be adjusted using the features described in the rest of this article.

Optimize Allocation



Optimization Options

  • Use Unused for Skills applies unused capacity to skill assignments.
  • Use Unused for All applies unused capacity to resource demand shortfall as well as to skill assignments.
  • Use Lower Priority Allocations executes the Use Unused forAll method and if any demand remains unsatisfied, it takes allocation of resources from lower priority projects and applies it to higher priority requirements.

resource%2Fskill_allocation_analysis_note+icon.png “Optimization” results will never be 100% optimal! The algorithms blindly make use of unused capacity and lower priority allocation. They cannot substitute for the experience and intelligence of your resource managers. But it does provide a first approximation to the limit of what can be accomplished with the resources and skills available.

Scope of Optimization Search

If this menu is checked and if any shortfall remains after executing the specified optimization options, the optimization procedure progresses systematically up the resource OBS tree searching for unused capacity (or lower priority allocation) that meets all optimization criteria.

This means that for each assignment with remaining shortfall, search first in peer or neighbor nodes and then progress up the tree if shortfall remains. Ultimately all resources in the Get Data will be searched until shortfall is satisfied or no resource can satisfy it.

Allocation Analysis of Skill Demand

The Allocation Calculation tab on the Tools-Options dialog provides two methods of calculating and highlighting skill assignment demand.

Options Dialog_Calc.jpg

  • Always RED - This puts a color highlight on every instance of skill demand (as opposed to resource demand, where a specific resource is assigned to a project) to highlight assignments of "generic" Skills that will need to be met by individual resources' capacities.
  • Ignore - Turns off color highlighting for all skill demand entries at all times.

Allocation Calculation

There are five calculation options:

Tools-Options, Allocation Calculation Tab, Allocation analysis of Skill Demand options

1   Always RED        Count skill demand                               No optimization

2   Ignore               Don’t count skill demand                        No optimization

Tools-Optimize Allocation options           Optimize                   

3   Use Unused Capacity (Skills Only) - Unused capacity for skill assignments (same as Calculate in the Tools-Options dialog)

4   Use Unused Capacity (All) - Unused capacity for skill and resource shortfall assignments

5   Use Lower Priority Allocation - Use Unused Capacity and transfer resource allocation on lower priority projects to demand shortfall on higher priority projects

There are three steps in allocation calculation:

1)  Allocate resources (count skill demand if RED option, stop if no optimization)

If optimization is on, using resources from the organization branch on assignments with unsatisfied demand:

2) satisfy {Skill | Skill & Resource} assignment shortfall from the remaining supply (unused capacity) of resources with the required skill

3) If any remaining shortfall, satisfy Skill & Resource assignment shortfall using any allocation to lower priority projects of resources who have the required skill

For example, if the higher priority shortfall is for Eng,,,,,,,<DBA>, and there is allocation to a lower priority project for Eng,SW,Appl,,,,Joe,VB, and Joe has skill DBA, the allocation of Joe will be moved to the higher priority project.

Ignore Option for Skills Assignments

NOTE: The Ignore option on the Allocation Calculation tab of the Tools-Options dialog causes skill assignments to be completely ignored in the calculation; they count neither in demand nor as allocation.

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