In project management, resource leveling is defined by A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) as “A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply.”(1)
When performing project planning activities, the manager will attempt to schedule certain tasks simultaneously. When more resources such as machines or people are needed than are available, or perhaps a specific person is needed in both tasks, the tasks will have to be rescheduled concurrently or even sequentially to manage the constraint. Project planning resource leveling is the process of resolving these conflicts. It can also be used to balance the workload of primary resources over the course of the project[s], usually at the expense of one of the traditional triple constraints (time, cost, scope). When using specially designed project software, leveling typically means resolving conflicts of over allocations in the project plan by allowing the software to calculate delays and update tasks automatically. Project management software leveling requires delaying tasks until resources are available. In more complex environments, resources could be allocated across multiple, concurrent projects thus requiring the process of resource leveling to be performed at company level.
Resource leveling techniques are closely related with critical path calculations. For that reason, total float, activity sequences and logic of the network diagram effect the required resource quantities per time.(2) Resource Leveling, called Resource Leveling, is a technique that avoids over-allocation. Resources are taken from non-critical activities and allocated to critical activities. However, while leveling ensures that resources are not overestimated, avoiding spikes, the method typically increases project time. Therefore, cost and time analysis should be done before leveling and rechecked after applying the method.
Resource leveling Techniques
Critical path is a common type of technique used by project managers when it comes to resource leveling. The critical path represents for both the longest and shortest time duration paths in the network diagram to complete the project.
However, apart from the widely used critical path concept, project managers use fast tracking and crashing if things get out of hand.
Fast tracking: This performs critical path tasks. This buys time. The prominent feature of this technique is that although the work is completed for the moment, possibility of rework is higher.
Crashing : This refers to assigning resources in addition to existing resources to get work done faster, associated with additional cost such as labor, equipment, etc.(3)
- “126.96.36.199 Resource Optimization Techniques”. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (5th ed.). Project Management Institute. 2013. p. 179. ISBN 978-1-935589-67-9.