Resource Leveling

One of the most difficult things in project management is making sure that work is allocated equally. The last thing a project manager wants to do is to overload one or more team members while leaving others with too little work to do. The question then is how to make sure each resource has work equivalent to the amount of time available.

First of all, make sure the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is thorough and accurate, listing all resources and activities. Next, identify the most critical tasks and allocate your best resources for that work. By starting with the most important tasks first, the chance for successful project management is more likely. Now it’s time to begin resource leveling.

Check to see how many hours is available per team member for work then determine how many hours have been allocated to each person. If the number of hours allocated is above what is available they are over-allocated. If the opposite is true then there is under-allocation.

Tasks should then be adjusted so that the number of required work hours are equivalent to the number of hours available. Once this has been accomplished the critical project resources have been leveled. Next, do the same with the non-critical tasks.

During project management it is important to closely monitor resource utilization as tasks are completed. It might be necessary to make adjustments in allocations so that the project continues to run efficiently. However, if leveling has been carefully administered, these changes should be minimal.

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