Resolving Schedule Conflicts in Microsoft Project 2010

Microsoft Project 2010 provides several different techniques for you to overcome scheduling conflicts.

The most common ways of overcoming Schedule Conflicts in Project 2010 are:

  1. Adding Additional Resources – can reduce the amount of time required to complete the work for Effort Driven Tasks. Project reallocates the work amongst the additional resources and allows you to protect your project completion date. Learn more about Tasks in Microsoft Project.
  2. Approving and Using Overtime – when no additional resources are available, the next best option is to approve overtime and extend the work resources hours. The additional hours are added to the Ovt. Work field and calculated at the resources Overtime Rate defined in the Resource Sheet.
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  3. Adding Time to the Project Schedule – is when you have the luxury of being able to extend the duration of the work. Changing the duration of the task may allow you to access a resource that was not previously available, or to recruit a new resource. Remember that Duration and Work are different. Work is the amount of effort required to complete the task and the duration is the allocated time in which the work needs to be completed.
  4. Removing Tasks (Features or Deliverables) from the Project – you can do this by marking a task as inactive in Project 2010. Project does not remove the task from the entry sheet, however it does exclude it from all calculations, schedules and network diagrams. This is an easy way to perform scenario analysis without actually removing the task information from the project schedule.
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  5. Adjusting the Available Slackfree slack is the amount of time that a task can be delayed without having an adverse affect on any of its successors and the critical path. Tasks on the critical path almost never have any free slack. Project 2010 has a cool new feature for moving tasks – see the image below.
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    There is a similar option on the Project Tab of the ribbon to move the entire project.
  6. Changing Task Constraints – when you have a scheduled task with free slack, you can change the constraint from Must Start On to Finish No Later Than, which will give you a little more headroom in some cases.
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  7. Adjusting Task Dependencies – when you reassess the dependencies of tasks and remove any unnecessary dependencies that may be causing bottlenecks in your schedule. You may also consider moving around some tasks to where they may be better suited in the project schedule.
  8. Splitting Tasks – this is a really useful option when you have a large task that you are unable to complete in consecutive days due to resource constraints. Project 2010 has an option to split tasks.
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