Project 2016: Prevent Resource Over-Allocation With Resource Engagements

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One of the ongoing challenges of Project Managers is making sure resources are not overallocated; i.e., assigned too much work within a given time frame. This is particularly tricky when you have several Project Managers assigning one resource to tasks that occur at the same time.

project 2016 resource engagement article

Resource Engagements – a Solution to Resource Overallocation


With Project 2016, users now have an efficient way of requesting a resource – Resource Engagements. This replaces Resource Plans from Project 2013. With resource engagements, Resource Managers (RM) and Project Managers  (PM) work to make sure key resources aren’t over-allocated.

Here’s the way it works.


  1. RM Sets Up a Resource Pool
    When the Resource Manager sets up a resource pool, he or she decides which resources need to be approved (Resource Engagement) before being assigned to projects.


  1. PM Submits an Engagement Request
    If a resource has been flagged by the RM as needing approval (resource engagement), a PM can’t simply just assign one to a project. He or she must first complete an engagement request. The engagement request includes the date(s) a resource is needed as well as hours or percentage of time.


  1. RM Makes a Decision
    After reviewing the engagement request, the Resource Manager makes one of three decisions:

    1. Approve
    2. Suggest Changes
    3. Reject

If the Resource Manager suggests changes or rejects the engagement request, the request is sent back to the Project Manager.

When the request is approved by the Resource Manager, the resource can be locked so that availability is guaranteed.  Project 2016 will notify other Project Managers if they try to over-allocate a resource.



NOTE: Resource Engagements are not available in Project 2016 Standard.


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About the Author of this  MS Project Tip.

Since 2001, Jackie Kiadii has taught employees of some of the largest employers in the Southeastern United States how to use MS Project. For more information, visit ProjectTrainingAtlanta.com.

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