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Resource Management

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 31st January 2014

I am due to take the APMP Exam soon and am working through the exam questions from the sample paper on the APM website.  I would be very grateful for any feedback on my answer, from anyone.  In particular whether the answer:

1)  Answers the question asked

2)  Has sufficient content for they key words used in the question (eg list, state, describe, explain)

3)  Could be improved by including . . .

Thanks

Question 1

Part a

 Explain the following approaches to resource scheduling:

  • Resource smoothing
  • Resource levelling

Ensure that your answer distinguishes between the two approached.

Part b

Explain three approached/tactics which a project manager might consider when optimising the resource allocation for a project.  (Identify in your answer any assumptions/implications made.

Answer a

Resource smoothing is a technique used in resource management to optimise resource efficiency.  It takes the resource histogram and smoothes out peaks and troughs in resource allocation where there is flexible resource and a fixed timescale.  The end date of the project’s critical path remains the same.

Resource levelling is similar to resource smoothing in that it is a model to optimise resource efficiency.  It takes the resource histogram and smoothes out peaks and troughs in resource allocation where there are fixed resources and a flexible timescale.  This results in the end date of the project extending beyond the critical path.

Answer b

1)  The project manager may wish to take advantage of any free float, in the project schedule to move resources or tasks to obtain the smoothest histogram without extending past the end date.  Free float is the amount of delay an activity can absorb before it delays the start of the next activity.  This model assumes there is unlimited flexible resource available.

2)  The project manager may have limited access to a specialise resource, such as machinery, or labour with appropriate training and skills, that is only available at a given time in the project’s schedule.  This will force the project manager to use smoothing or levelling techniques because the schedule planning needs to be flexible around this fixed resource.

3)  The project manager may want to alter the schedule to reduce the resources required and to optimise the costs.  When this happens, it often results in the end date moving out of time.  It assumes the resources have the capability to undertake all the work.

  1. Student says:

    Paul
    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and for the steer on this and the other examples I posted. I wasn’t very confident that I was on the right track with the answers and you have confirmed this. The examples you have provided are really helpful.

  2. Paul says:

    Linda

    I think the second part of the question (Explain three approached/tactics which a project manager might consider when optimising the resource allocation for a project.) is asking about other tactics that can be adopted to optimise resources other than leveling and smoothing which you have already described in the first part.

    I would talk about allocating the work to another resource, hiring additional resources, changing the phasing of the project to use the resources ina more effective way such as deferring part of the work to a latter project.

    I hope this helps.

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