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Vacation/Out of Office causes resource over allocation?

edited 12/09/19 in Archived 2017 Posts

I hope someone can help me out here, or tell me how they approaches this :)

In my department we have some issues when people are on a project and then going on vacation or out of office, it will show as if the person is 185% over allocated. (for example if it is 85% project and 100% vacation)

Is there any workaround on this? Either putting a project on hold or having vacation be 0% or maybe anyone have some better ideas?

Any help, ideas or input would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you.



  • Shaine Greenwood

    Hi Mads,

    There are a few ways you can go about this.

    Keep them overallocated. Some project managers love seeing the red, it helps them draw attention to who's on vacation a little better. You might find the red helpful to make sure you don't overallocate them further. Especially because overallocated resources will show a red overallocation icon if anyone tries to assign tasks to them in the sheet.

    You can manually balance the resource by reducing their allocation percent for both the task and their vacation. If you set them to 50% on both, that'll come out to 100%. You can also think about 75% on the task and 25% on vacation—or any other combination that leads to 100%

    Otherwise, you can break the task up into "phases" on multiple rows and use dependencies with lag time to split the phases of the task across their out of office time. For example, you could have phase 1 of the task start before their vacation, allocate them 100%, then lag phase 2 of the task enough days to stretch beyond the vacation. (Details on dependencies and lag time here.)


  • J. Craig Williams
    J. Craig Williams ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Of the three options Shaine lists, I do not recommend #2.

    In the end, what the system is telling you is not that your resource is over allocated but rather that the project is under resourced.

    If you have a 3 week task and your employee goes on vacation for 3 weeks, how is the work getting done? The task schedule needs to shift or you need to allocated other resources.

    The same concept applies for a 3 week task when the resource is not available for a day, three days, or week. Did you plan for them to get the task done in whatever working hours were available? Then Shaine's option 1 is a reasonable solution. The work is still expected to get done, but it doesn't really take 120 hours to accomplish.

    Can it not get done in 3 weeks if they are off for a day or two? Then option 3 is likely best. Someone needs to step in for those days, taking them off other tasks, or the schedule needs to slip to the right.

    One aside:

    This is a common problem with most task management/project management software. I have 10 hour task that I chip away a few hours a week ... but if I don't do SOMETHING each week, it won't get done -- so I set my allocation to 6.25% (assuming 10 hours in 4 weeks) but the system doesn't know which days. To handle that, I may put a 2.5 hour task on Tuesday so that block of time is 100% allocated but the rest of the time is free, but many tasks don't allow that strict enforcement.



  • Mads

    Thank you both for the input. :)

This discussion has been closed.