Setting Threshold Levels in Utilization View

MerlinSchnappschuss014One of the benefits of using Merlin is tracking resource utilization*.

Just take a look in the Gantt chart  of the Utilization view. Color coded bars and percentage information visualize overall resource utilization in the current scale of the timeline.

Related to this feature, we often hear from customers who wish to customize the threshold levels controlling the yellow-green-red colors.

The default setting in Merlin has over-utilization defined as greater than 100% (red) and under-utilization defined as less than 25% (yellow). Note that utilization levels falling in the acceptable range will be green. You may wish to change this option, and the resulting display in the Utilization View.

The steps to do so are quite simple as illustrated below.


You can access the settings to set the project utilization threshold level by selecting “Edit > Resource Leveling > Leveling Settings…” from the Merlin menubar. The diagram above shows under-utilization set at under 25% and the resulting Utilization View display (with 16% utilization displayed in Yellow). This means that both the HR Manager and the Hiring Manager are being under-utilized.

Now let’s see how easy it is to customize the Utilization View based on different values we would like to use. In this case, we will change the default values such that any resources at under 40% are considered under-utilized.


Notice the effect of this change to the Utilization View. Both the HR Manager and Interviewer are being utilized at 34% on July 14th, and this utilization level is now displayed in Yellow to indicate this falls below the minimum utilization rate for the project.

Note: This setting becomes particularly critical when executing resource leveling, so be sure you set these threshold utilization levels carefully as they can very easily impact the overall schedule of your project!


*) Tracking resource utilization  is especially handy when working with so called ‘Master’ projects; Merlin projects in which other Merlin projects are combined and linked. In such projects Merlin consider resources having the same name as ‘Master’ resources and accumulates in the timeline their utilization for all assignments on all combined projects.

5 thoughts on “Setting Threshold Levels in Utilization View

  1. Is there a way to auto correct this and evenly distribute the resources that are over 100% on some days?

  2. Dear Vicky,

    I had some A4 paper to assign to a task. So, I fixed the default utilization of such a consumable in the related resources sheet view (0,25 A4 ream per day that’s 125 sheets, ok…).

    Now, I realized that on a specific date there was an overload as I entered the work value of “0,5” A4 ream, so the resource was scheduled at 200% on that date.

    When I tried to manually level this resource I was not able to lead the assignment to 100%.

    My intention is to avoid any over-allocations neither by reducing the given work value nor by automatically leveling or modifying the given duration, but through increasing the utilization on that specific date (and only on that day).

    Here’s the procedure I followed:

    1) In the Utilization view, I resized the resource row to obtain the histograms relating to the resource allocation;
    2) In the outline belonging to the same view, I pointed to the task assigned with that material resource (duration: 1 day);
    3) I modified the Utilization value in the Assignment Plan Inspector (from 0,25 A$ ream – that is the Default Utilization value – to 1 A4 ream that is the units of assignment value I chose for that specific date);
    Even if the new utilization value was registered effectively in the Assignment Plan Inspector, nothing happened to the resource allocation that still remains overloaded. That’s all.

    Please, Vicky, may I ask you your help? Thanks very much in advance.

    Best regards


  3. Hello Marco and thank you for your comment.

    …but through increasing the utilization on that specific date (and only on that day).…

    This is not possible sorry. Merlin cannot vary the utilization percentage throughout the assignment’s duration. You may cut the task into sub parts and assign your resource by a varying utilization to those sub tasks.

    I hope this helps you further,

  4. Dear Vicky, thanks for having solved this issue. Further breaking down is helpful indeed. So the scheduling technique you suggest allows differentiating or delaying resource’s units of effort, on one hand, and splitting the task on the other one. I’ve experienced that breaking the task down (i.e.: 2 or 3 sub-taks) won’t only serve as a manual work contour technique, but will also be equivalent to task-splitting in MSProject. Again, thank you so much for this smart tip! Best regards. Marco.

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