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
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
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.
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 (#2 in the series Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling
By Jorge Dominguez
Read the Complete Article
- 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)
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.
Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling – Part 1 (#1 in the series Project Scheduling And Resource Leveling
By Jorge Dominguez
We all know that in the real world we, as PMs, are given the finish date of the project before we even have a chance to plan for it. This is a good enough reason why we need to get better at scheduling our projects and leveling our finite resources.
Sure, there are tools that allow us to automate the process but a tool is as good as the knowledge of those who use it. All in all, all PMs have a tool and a method by which we create our project schedules. But… we all suffer from common mistakes such as having the wrong dependencies, excessive constraints, inadequate level of detail in the WBS, estimates too granular or inexistent, over allocated resources, etc. Ring a bell?
The tool that is most widely used is MS Project® (MSP). Read the Complete Article
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