Resource leveling is a kind of adjustment in start and finish dates based on resources limitation.
Resources, whether it is humans, tools, equipment, or machines, all are essential parts of any project. Project management is the way by which the project objectives and goals are accomplished by controlling and managing the projects to achieve the expectations of the customer.
In one of the articles we talked about the constraints such as the cost, time, and scope or quality, however these influence the projects in a way that there may require more resources working or fewer resources working to complete the task based on the constraints.
One of the duties of the project manager is to use the resources optimally to achieve the goals without exceeding the value of the constraint already defined. You can refer to the overview of PMP certification to master the duties of a PM.
No project is foolproof, there are many times you might have heard that the projects have failed due to escalation of the cost, the delay incurred in the project, the scope is changed significantly or the quality is not met.
Of course, we will come to resource leveling, let me point in above descriptions that all the three constraints may happen if the resources are not managed properly.
So what is resource leveling? Resource leveling defined in PMBOK as - “A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints to balance the demand for resources with the available supply.”
Resource leveling is important because to manage the resources efficiently to structure the project in such a way that the cost overruns and delays in delivery time are not encountered at the same time the resources are used optimally to bring more stability in the project with the best available resources.
You can use any resource-leveling technique for achieving this. Let’s take one example for better illustration. Let us say you need to make a website in 1 week with available cost and scope, you can employ a resource who can do this in 1 week, now there is a requirement for 2 such websites, again you can employ 2 resources to complete the 2 websites in 1 week, instead if you do resource leveling you employ single resource to do the 2 websites in 2 weeks instead of doing the 2 websites in same 1 week.
If you have understood my example above, then you will know that when resources are scarce resource-leveling is done. When there is a demand for resources more compared to the available supply again resource-leveling comes into the picture.
From the example above, instead of using an extra resource to do another website, you allow the same resource to do the job in 2 weeks this is where the resource leveling comes into the picture. It is not the case with human resources; you need double of every infrastructure, servers, work stations, and software for website development which can be avoided by resource leveling.
The accomplishment of Resource leveling in project management.
The cons of the resource leveling if poorly executed are as follows,
The resource leveling techniques are as follows,
1. The critical path -This method is used to calculate the minimum duration of the project. It estimates the early start and finish dates for the activities and the late start and finish dates of the activities without considering the resource limitations.
2. Critical Chain Method - This process adds the duration buffers to the critical path and the feeder process. It adds dummy activity to balance the overall path.
3. Pure Resource leveling - This is the technique that is used to straightway balance the available resources with the demand of the resources.
4. Resource smoothing - It is similar to leveling in which there are specified limits to the resource requirements. For example, if a resource is required for 47 hours for the first 3 weeks and 22 hours for the next 2 weeks the resource smoothing will "smooth" the process for 38 hours per week for the 5-week duration.
5. Fast Tracking and crashing - There are 2 procedures used in emergencies such as Fast-tracking and Crashing.
Resource leveling in project management is an important project management concept as advocated by the PMI in PMBOK. At this point, we recommend each and everyone who has read this article to go and explore more in learning and get a PMP certification. StarAgile is a training partner for PMI to provide online training for the professionals in this area. StarAgile has excellent consultants to train professionals. To enquire about the training and for registrations click on the links provided in this article.
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