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Project Management - Resource Leveling

Essay by   •  June 23, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  2,264 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,870 Views

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Project Management

Resource Leveling

Contents

Abstract: 3

Introduction: 4

Main Body: 5

Example: 7

Conclusion: 9

References: 10

Abstract:

Project Management has been a necessary process from ages as it undergoes planning. Each and every task that starts needs to be planned. Project Management has undergone these planning criteria from many years with developing stages. To plan a project the necessary means are time, cost, quality and schedule. Since it is a developing age, time is to be measured instantly. Scheduling resources for a project with time allocation at an initial stage is a first task to be done while commencing the planning.

Thus, allocation of resources with a time period is done with the entire project. But where the problem occurs is, whether the allocated time is sufficient with the categorised resources? Such errors occurred, affect the project's finish date and bring a failure to the project. To overcome such problems some algorithms are developed which are mentioned in this white paper providing some examples and case studies.

Keywords: Resource allocation, Resource levelling, Project Management.

Introduction:

Considering a project management approach, it covers all the fields including IT, engineering, construction, and other industries hardware and software development. Taking into considerations the needs that sponsors and stakeholders demand from a project, the design of the project should be flexible and innovative mention Lacerda R., Ensslin L., Ensslin S. (2011). For an instance Jian-wen Huang, Xing-xia Wang and Rui Chen (Dec 2010) argued that while the construction project are undertaken, many requested resources are not sustained because of some interfering factors. These lacks of requirements brings a hindrance in the achievement of the project objectives and also reduce the benefits to be achieved. Hence for a project to be well planned allocation of resources is a necessary task to be considered.

Moreover handling resource levelling in a single project is still managed by certain developed algorithms based on mathematics solutions and steps. But still these steps are not helpful in handling multiple projects and thus the problem is left unsolved. Still Pennypacker, James; Dey, Lowell (2002) argued that handling of such multiple projects is possible with certain techniques. We discuss these techniques in further body of the paper.

Main Body:

Considering resource levelling as an important task of the project, we can define it as a process that arranges the project activities in a way that manage all dependencies of activities and the availability of resources. It helps in planning the project in proper time duration with allocation of all the tasks with proper resources at a proper time. Still as discussed above, many projects fail due to the resource allocation process and still there is no optimal procedure found that could reduce the errors of the levelling resources completely. Still we are mentioning some algorithms that help in minimisation of this task but they lack behind while scaling the complex projects that have complicated dependencies and need of allocation of multiple resources at a same time (Bodea C., Niculescu C., 2007).

According to a data collected (Standish Group, 1994 and 2001, cited by Lacerda R., Ensslin L., Ensslin S., 2011) only 28% of projects have been completely successful, 23% had flaws and 49% were partly successful. The reason for such induces in project is the defined requirements and its incompletion in the given time period. Moreover a revised report also did not make much change (Standish Group, 2009, cited by Frederick Zarndt, 2011) considering years from 2001 to 2009 recording 32 % completely successful and 24% failures of projects.

Many IT gadgets are also developed to help the project managers. The well known tools are Primavera Project Planner and Microsoft Project. Still the most well known is the Microsoft Project which is best in all the aspects. Moreover many other algorithms are also developed namely Operational Research that has two sub categories: CPM and PERT. Much project software has automated software that level the resources that are over allocated, or show an error during allocation process. This help in reducing the errors of allocation during planning process. Also such software's aware the project manager about the delays that are going to occur and keep the plan history updated (Bodea C., Niculescu C., 2007).

Pennypacker, James; Dey, Lowell (2002) as we learnt above, argued that handling many projects simultaneously is a difficult task and the difficulties faced are categorised in three main parts:

1.) Schedule slippage

2.) Resource utilization

3.) In-process inventory

It is the organisations decision to select one of the appropriate from the above three that can undergo and solve the difficulty the organisation is facing.

Explaining the difficulties Pennypacker, James; Dey, Lowell (2002) commence with schedule slippage; it is termed as the most important of all the three and is helpful when dates of projects are slipped before the completion date. Also this slippage can cause an extension in the time consumption of other projects also. Resource Utilization is also a category that affects the projects or multiple project organisations. When resources are used extensively or when asked on uncertain demand, can cause a high cost and in turn affect the project cost. In-process Inventory is the concern that a project faces when there is a lack of resource; the amount of waiting time for a work to be done comes under this.

Hence Pennypacker, James; Dey, Lowell (2002), mention that optimizing all these criteria together is difficult at a same period of time. Thus as argued above, it is the decision of the organisation to see what problem they are facing

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