Resource Based Scheduling using Critical Path Method
Who uses resource scheduling?
Often, project managers are in charge of resource scheduling. There are specialized resource managers who handle resource scheduling in large organizations. The project manager must complete the project on schedule, within the allotted budget, and without sacrificing quality. Before the project begins, the resources must be effectively used and scheduled to prevent time delays and even project failure.
What is resource scheduling?
The process by which organizations efficiently distribute their resources to the tasks or projects they must complete is known as resource scheduling. It also entails planning the start and finish dates for each task or project in accordance with the availability and capacity of resources. Resources can be people (either employees or vendors), equipment, materials, funding, or facilities, depending on the industry.
Using two techniques, time-constrained and resource-constrained scheduling, resource scheduling incorporates decisions about capacity into the scheduling process. Time-constrained scheduling uses the time factor as its critical variable. On the other hand, resource-constrained emphasizes solving capacity overload issues as it focuses on the limited capacity of resources.
Why is resource scheduling important?
Project managers can now assign tasks to their team members based on their expertise and availability thanks to resource scheduling. This procedure enables you to keep an eye on a project from beginning to end to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Additionally, it provides your company with a way to allocate labor in the most effective way possible so that neither too much nor too little is done.
In comparison to managing other resources like equipment or materials, managing human resources is much more difficult. Therefore, effective resource scheduling makes sure that no one is overworked, their time is used effectively, and your budget is distributed as wisely as possible. Resource management can be a complicated and time-consuming process. However, it is an essential component for a project’s successful completion.
Resource scheduling is important for the following reasons:
What are the steps for effective resource scheduling?
Resource scheduling is more than timelines and deliverables. Additionally, it’s important to keep your team members engaged and challenged while never giving them more responsibility than they can handle. Here are six guidelines for efficient resource allocation, each with an illustration:
1. Break down tasks
Understanding the project as a whole and then decomposing each component into individual tasks is the first step in resource scheduling. Project managers use a work breakdown structure (WBS) to structure the project by breaking down all the functions to the most fundamental level, producing a comprehensive list of all the activities that need to be completed.
For instance, your task list might look something like this if your agency is creating a digital marketing strategy for a startup company:
When the list is complete, you can calculate how much labor and resources will be needed to finish the tasks.
2. Evaluate resource capabilities
The following step is to determine and assess the necessary resources. Equipment and human resources are typically required in projects. You must determine the type of software, hardware, or tools needed for the setup, as well as any particular versions or industry standards that must be adhered to. Another thing to think about is whether it makes more financial sense to buy them or lease them.
Examine your human resources and designate the best candidate with the necessary skills to complete the task. The quickest way to do this is to keep a database of all the team members’ skills so you can quickly match tasks with their availability.
Think about the knowledge, abilities, and certifications required, and decide whether to hire new people or use your current staff. For instance, you can check the skill database or hire a third-party contractor well in advance to find any highly skilled graphic designers for your team to work on a marketing campaign.
3. Assign tasks to employees based on their availability
After accurately assessing the resource capabilities, assigning the right person to the right tasks is based on that person’s availability. It would be ideal if you could accurately predict how long it would take you to complete each of these tasks. It is crucial to determine whether anyone is overworked, as some people may not have enough to do.
You also have the chance to change the size of your project team at this stage of the resource scheduling procedure as necessary. Consider a scenario in which you underestimated the amount of work involved in any project phase, such as graphic design or quality assurance testing. In that case, now would be a great time to add more resources.
4. Identify bottlenecks and adjust quickly in real-time
You must redistribute tasks or adjust deadlines if a team member goes on vacation or is ill. To help you plan, track, and analyze your projects, there are many project scheduling tools available. This software makes it simple to assign and manage tasks, manage team workloads, get notifications about project status updates, and keep track of resource availability (sick days, vacation days, and personal days).
Team members may frequently become bogged down on a problem or issue that they cannot solve. It’s critical to monitor your resources, time commitment, and prompt assistance.
5. Execute risk plan for critical resources
It’s possible that important team members on your project will be transferred to a higher priority project or won’t be able to work on it for some other reason. In these situations, it is crucial to implement a risk plan to identify the essential resources and create a cost-effective backup strategy.
Project planning involves identifying risks, assessing their effects on the entire project, and managing them without compromising your project’s objective.
6. Track the time spent on tasks and activities
Finally, keep a close eye on your project to make it even more successful. You can improve your future resource scheduling tasks by calculating how many resources you used on each task and how long it took to complete each one. The most efficient way to accomplish this is to incorporate a time tracking feature into your resource scheduling software.
Resource leveling vs. Resource smoothing
Both resource leveling and resource smoothing are employed in the practical world of project management. Resource leveling is the process of allocating resources in conflict. If resources are being overused, leveling is carried out to ensure equitable and effective resource use. Resource leveling can be accomplished by taking a variety of actions, including delaying the start time, extending the duration of the plan, allocating new resources, and more.
Resource smoothing primarily focuses on managing the project’s time constraints. It seeks to complete a project on schedule while preventing fluctuations in resource demand.
What are the types of resource scheduling methods?
- Improve efficiency and cost of the project.
- Prevent timeline delays.
- Prevent overloading people with too much work.
- Assign tasks and monitor projects from start to finish.
- Schedule labor based on skills and availability.
What are the benefits of resource scheduling?
- Delay in certain tasks being completed.
- Difficulty in assigning a different resource.
- Unable to change task dependencies.
- To remove certain tasks.
- To add more tasks.
- Overall delays and budget overruns of projects.
How do you make a resource schedule?
Resource smoothing (also known as time limited resource scheduling) and resource levelling (also known as resource limited scheduling) are two methods of resource limited scheduling that balance resource limits and time constraints.