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Resource Management – Smoothing And Levelling – Feedback

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 8th February 2016

Explain The following approaches
to resource scheduling

  • Resource Smoothing (10 Marks)
  • Resource Levelling (10 Marks)
Resource smoothing is used when the
end date of the project cannot change so we are time constrained. Smoothing
makes use of free float and total float reallocate the resources allocated to a
task around without having impacting the overall delivery schedule. For example
if we have a task which is originally scheduled to use 3 resources for 2 days,
by making use of float we can use 2 resources for 3 days).
Resource levelling is different
from resource smoothing as tasks are on the critical path. Therefore any
changes to the schedule and the completion of the tasks will mean a delay
within the overall project delivery as there is no float available. Resource
levelling should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted
and no additional resource is available as it will make delivery of the project
Explain 3 approaches / tactics
which a project manager might consider when optimising the resource allocation
for a project (identify in your answer any assumptions / implications made) –
30 marks
De-scoping – If resources
available and the timescales for delivery are fixed then the project manager in
conjunction with the sponsor may look to de scope some of the activity. For
example the implementation of a new computer system for a call centre must have
functionality to enable for queries and orders to be dealt with effectively,
but may choose to de scope up selling capability in order for the project to go
live. This may be because the outgoing system simply must be replaced because
it is no longer supported.
Splitting Tasks – The splitting
of tasks can be utilised when a resource is simply not available when it is
required to perform the activity. This can typically happen when a precious
resource  such as an expert may not be
available for a 5 day task in one continuous chunk but can do 3 days one week
and finish the task a couple of weeks later. This may allow delivery to be
achieved without affecting overall delivery, but this is less efficient as
their will be a mobilisation / re mobilisation effort associated.
Working Overtime – When the project
needs to be completed and there is no possibility to extend the deadline or
bring in additional resource at short notice. The advantages here are that there
is no handover of task to another resource needed. However the project manager needs
to be aware of working time regulations and the possible negative impact on
productivity if the use of overtime is becoming a regular occurrence to meet