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Improving Project Portfolio Management Maturity: Resource Leveling

Improving Project Portfolio Management Maturity: Resource Leveling
By Claire Schwartz

A quick trip to Wikipedia yields the following definition for resource leveling: ‘a project management technique used to examine unbalance use of resources (usually people or equipment) over time, and for resolving over-allocations or conflicts.’ In other words, through resource leveling we can ensure that the project schedule is reasonable and realistic from a resource perspective – that the people or equipment needed to execute the work will be available when and where they are needed.

Sounds simple? The reality is that resource leveling needs to take multiple factors into account and can be anything but simple. And, like anything else that’s really complicated, most of us are looking for better tools to help us accomplish the task. That’s when the question about automatic resource leveling comes up.

While some project scheduling tools provide a process to see if resources are overloaded, others also provide a function that will recalculate the schedule to eliminate any overloads. Read the Complete Article

Project Management Foundations – Performing Resource Analysis and Creating the Resource Plan

Project Management Foundations – Performing Resource Analysis and Creating the Resource Plan
By Steve Hart

In a previous article, I talked about resource loading your project schedule (estimating the resource needs, and loading resource estimates into your project schedule). Before you call your project schedule “complete”, it is a best practice to perform resource analysis & leveling, and create the resource plan. The resource plan is utilized to confirm the project resource assignments with resource managers, and it is a direct input to creating the labor component of the project budget.

Again the best practices areas associated with resource planning are:

  • How to estimate the resource requirements for schedule activities
  • How to load the resource assignments and work effort estimates into the project schedule
  • How to perform resource usage analysis, and resource leveling techniques
  • How to create the resource plan utilized to finalize resource assignments, and provide a key input to create the project budget

This article is focused on the last two – performing resource analysis & creating the resource plan

Resource Analysis & Leveling

The first decision to make when performing resource analysis is what is the proper time period to use for resource usage optimization. Read the Complete Article

Work Leveling Your Lubrication Excellence Project

Work Leveling Your Lubrication Excellence Project
By Jason Kopschinsky, Noria Corporation

Recently I have written about the challenges we face when implementing a program of any kind. Lubrication excellence programs are especially difficult to plan for implementation. This is because most of the equipment involved in the program will need to be pulled off-line to do necessary work like minor modifications, oil or grease changeouts, etc. One of the best ways to plan the implementation phase is to level the workload.

Resource Leveling

In project management, when we plan for initiatives like program implementations, we attempt to level the work based on the resources available. Resource leveling, as described by the Project Management Institute, is “any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions are driven by resource management concerns such as limited resource availability.”

Most of us are trying to accomplish more with less these days, and limited resources are just another hurdle to jump over. Read the Complete Article

Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling – Part 2

Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling – Part 2 (#2 in the series Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling
By Jorge Dominguez

  • Assign resources

    Resources (typically human) are assigned to tasks, deliverables and milestones that need to be executed. At the beginning of the project, when named resources are not known yet, roles are assigned that can later be replaced with names (i.e.: the role of Analyst is assigned to a task during project scheduling and is later replaced with John Doe when he is the analyst assigned to the task)

  • Level resources

    Helps in utilizing resources consistently throughout the project. Ensures resources are not over allocated. Helps the PM avoid delays caused by bad allocations. Helps the PM identify and take advantage of unused times by analyzing task dependencies. MSP can automatically level resources based on resource calendar, task types, dependencies, and constraints, however, I have yet to find a PM that has felt comfortable with the way MSP does it.

Read the Complete Article

Resource Levelling

Resource Levelling
By David Stoneman

Resource Levelling is an often hotly debated topic!

To level or not to level?

Perhaps this story will throw up a helpful perspective.

“Review that!” Mac threw down a print of the project plan in front of John. It was a huge plan, that’s for sure. The thick pile of pages bulged with thousands of tasks. John looked at it in panic.

Mac was the veteran project manager on the system conversion project. He had slaved away at the plan for several days, finally coming up with his masterpiece. John, the new boy, recently qualified and at least twenty years younger than Mac, was providing project support.

At first glance, the plan looked incomprehensible. However, being methodical, John worked through some of the stages, comparing blocks of tasks. He soon discovered that many of the tasks apparently repeated themselves in different parts of the plan. This made it easier to read. Read the Complete Article

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