a) Explain the following approaches to resource scheduling:
• Resource Smoothing
• Resource Levelling
b) Explain three approaches/tactics which a Project Manager might consider when optimising the resource allocation for a project. (Identify in your answer any assumptions/implications made)
Resource Smoothing is an approach to Resource Scheduling. The Project Manager can move his resources to optimise them by moving tasks with in their total float. Resource Scheduling does not affect the end date of the project because this does not effect the critical path. For example, the Project Manager may choose to use two bricklayers on a building site over three weeks instead of three bricklayers over two weeks.
Resource Levelling is also an approach to Resource Scheduling. This approach however is forced upon the Project Manager and will have an effect on the end date. This is because the overloaded resource sits on the critical path and has no total float. For example, this could be caused by a crane scheduled to arrive on the Monday being delayed by a week and so work could not continue on the building site.
B – i) The Project Manager may consider optimising the resources by increasing the work to include Saturday working. This would potentially cost more but would reduce the length of the project. The assumption that the Project Manager would make with this decision is that there are resources available.
ii) The Project Manager could provide better working facilities. For example, kitchen and rest areas which would allow the staff to work these extra hours. These new and better facilities would allow for the staff to take more breaks which would be needed if they were working longer hours and help reduce the possibility of health and stress issues. The assumption of providing these extra facilities is that the staff would be willing to work the extra hours.
iii) Situational Leadership will allow the Project Manager to tailor their leadership skills to the team members. More experienced members of the team will not require as much direction and support as newer, less experienced members who maybe have just joined the project. For example, the Project Manager might assume that all members of the team can use the equipment required to do the tasks to which they are assigned on the building site. This is not always the case and the Project Manager may have to provide extra training.