Guide to Resource Loading: Definition and How To Calculate

Resource loading is a process used in project management that fills team members’ total available time with assignments throughout a workweek. Project managers typically assign team members a percentage of a project or objective per day until they reach 100% of their weekly work capacity.
  1. estimate all the work needed (each day) and divide by the resource’s full capacity (8 hrs per day).
  2. Alternatively, estimate the work needed on the project tasks and divide by the resource’s availability to do those project tasks (usually much less than 8 hrs per day).

Resource Allocation & Leveling – Project Management – Tutorial & Example

Factors that influence resource loading

Here are some factors that may influence resource loading:

What is resource loading?

Resource loading is a project management technique that involves assigning tasks to team members’ total available time over the course of a workweek. When a team member reaches 100% of their weekly work capacity, project managers typically assign them 100% of the project or objective. The project manager typically begins delegating tasks to additional team members once a team member’s capacity reaches 100%. Additionally, resource loading entails allocating the tools and other resources needed to finish a project.

Some project managers aim to give team members up to 75% of their available work time so they can use it for other tasks like attending meetings or covering for absent workers. Additionally, this guarantees that each worker has a manageable workload and can accomplish their goals.

Resource loading vs. resource leveling

The initial distribution of personnel and other resources is referred to as resource loading, and the most effective use of those resources is known as resource leveling. By prioritizing specific projects, project managers use resource loading to increase the amount of time that employees can work and to concentrate on project timelines and budgets. The most important projects frequently receive more funding and resources in order to be finished on time.

How to calculate resource loading

By dividing the total number of hours of work assigned by the total number of hours available to complete that work, you can determine resource loading. The formula would look like this:

Total assigned work hours / Total available work hours equals resource loading.

You may use the available hours each day, each week, each month, or for the entire project. You can use the following steps to think about specific project aspects and determine a resource loading baseline:

1. Consider two calculation methods for resource loading

The first method of resource loading involves estimating the amount of work that needs to be done each day and dividing that amount by the resources’ capacity, which is typically eight hours per day. That formula would look like this:

Resource loading is equal to Estimated Work to Be Done / Resource Capacity.

By estimating the amount of work that needs to be done for each task within a project, you can also determine resource loading. Multiply this amount by the resources that are available to handle those tasks. This typically consists of fewer than eight hours per day, and the calculation would be as follows:

Resources available for tasks / Amount of work to be done = Resource loading

2. Examine other situations that use resource time

Assignments of resources can be impacted by certain circumstances, such as when team members are unavailable. These periods may include meetings, sick and vacation days, additional tasks and projects, and bathroom breaks. It’s crucial to keep in mind that some activities, like meetings and other projects, cannot be avoided when resource loading. The amount of time needed for a worker to complete the project for which resources are being allocated is impacted by other tasks.

3. Make sure resources have the time they need

The amount of time it takes an employee to complete a task is determined by the total amount of work required, divided by the employee’s availability to complete the task. For instance, if you have an eight-hour task and spend two hours working on it each day, the project will be finished in four working days. The formula looks like this:

Total hours worked divided by employee availability (hours in a workday) equals the number of days.

The duration of a project for an entire team is equal to the total number of assignments divided by the sum of everyone’s daily availability. It’s important to take into account everyone’s skills and availability to ensure they have the time they need. Project duration is frequently determined by examining who has the most work to do and their availability. By taking into account the estimated number of hours needed to complete the project and team members’ availability, you can decide how much to load a resource.

4. Determine other factors that may affect project resource balance

The availability of resources and project controls are two examples of factors that can help a project’s resource balance. It may be beneficial to assess potential under- or overestimations of the length of time required to complete each project task. You may also consider the estimation of employees available time. By maintaining or advancing a project’s schedule while leaving space for unforeseen events, using a forgiving approach when calculating these factors can reduce overloading resources.

Using a resource loading chart

Project managers can more effectively distribute tasks and resources by seeing each team member’s available time and the project schedule using a resource loading chart. Project managers can view each resource’s skills, all of their assignments, and costs in detail using charts. These charts’ main purpose is to increase project benefits and scheduling accuracy, which ensures management effectiveness. This indicates that it’s critical to regularly update the resource loading charts. Here are some benefits of creating a loading chart:


What is a resource loading?

An employee will typically be given a portion of a project to work on, and they can then be given additional project portions to work on until they have completed 100% of their hourly work week capacity. An employee is effectively booked once they reach 100%, so no additional work should be scheduled for them.

What is a resource loading schedule?

Over the course of the project, information about resource constraints from period to period is provided by resource loading. Resource leveling aims to increase resource utilization while lowering the project’s overall cost.

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