Blog Post Image

Resource Management – Please Could I Get Some Feedback?

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 25th April 2016

Explain the following approaches to resource management:
Resource smoothing
Resource levelling.
Explain three approaches/tactics which a project manager might use consider to optimise resource allocation across a project (identify in your answer any assumptions/implications made).
1. Resource smoothing
Resource smoothing is where a project manager will assess the resources needed across the project, using the Resource histogram. They will share resources across the project to ensure that there are not great peaks and troughs in resource need. Project flat is utilized, so instead of three builders working on a wall in order to complete it in two weeks, one builder is used and it is completed in three weeks, this is fine as long as there is one week of float in the project.
I would say resource smoothing is when the available float is used to reduce the peaks in resource demand. However because the technique is limited to the available float is may not ne able to eliminate all the resource overload, so there may be some periods in which the resources exceed the available resource. the is especially true for activities which are on the critical path. (Paul Naybour)
2. Resource levelling
Resource smoothing is where a project manager, after assessing resource requirements, on the resource histogram, stretched the time taken to deliver a workpackage, this is important when there is little control over available resource and no tasks have free float. This ensures that the project is delivered within budget, but the project will be delivered late. The project sponsor will need to be made aware of the delayed finish.

I would say Resource Levelling  this is when priority is give to eliminating al the resource overloads at the expense of the project duration. This approach will extend the project duration by the amount required to remove all the periods in which the resources exceed the resources available. This can have a significant impact on the total project duration, or is not recommended unless the resource modelling is very good. (Paul Naybour)

Three tactics for optimising resource.
In order to optimise resource allocation the PM may need to de-scope the project. It may not be practical to complete all phases of the project at once. This will need discussion and approval from the project sponsor. For example in the building of a new website for a hotel, if the software developer resource is limited, and the website needs to go live when the hotel goes live,(a set date), the requirements could be looked at, and only the ‘Must Haves’ delivered, such as site with hotel name, address, description, rates and contact details, where a ‘should have’ category, such as online booking, couldn’t be removed from the scope, until a later phase.
The Project manager could request additional resource for the project, this would also require approval from the project sponsor. In the case of the hotel website, on order to be delivered on time, additional budget could be sought to hire additional software developers, or approve overtime to deliver the project to scope and on budget. It would be the sponsors roles to evaluate this against the benefits in the business case. It may be that additional resources may be a worthwhile investment in order to achieve the benefit.
The PM might see if efficiencies can be made to ensure the project stays on time and on budget. They could, in the hotel website example, seek to make savings by auditing the current teams skills, they could take their own photographs instead of contracting this out, using the teams design skills to create a logo and web design instead of using a design agency. Savings made could be used to hire in additional software resource. This approach could impact on the quality aspect of the success criteria, as the team skills may not be as effective as buying them in.