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An Ultimate Guide to Resource Leveling

Curious to know what resource leveling is and its role in project management. Read this article to learn everything about resource-leveling.

Do you know overwork is the most common cause of work stress? Overwork may be applauded, but nobody can deny its consequences, i.e., decreased productivity and health. This is where resource leveling comes in.

Many companies are unaware of the resource leveling definition. Resource leveling is a crucial factor in project management and can benefit you by the smooth workflow without any late or low-quality delivery and overworked workers.

In this article, we will take to everything about resource leveling and the role of resource leveling in project management. Keep reading.

resource leveling

What Does Resource Leveling Mean in Project Management?

Resource leveling is a project management technique used to even out resource usage throughout a project. By leveling resources, project managers can avoid spikes in resource usage, which can lead to resource shortages and other problems. Leveling resources can also help to improve project quality when the resources are evenly used throughout the project.

There are several different ways for resource-leveling project management, but the most common approach is to level across all projects. The resource leveling definition means that resources are assigned to projects based on availability rather than specific skills or knowledge. This approach can effectively ensure that resources are used efficiently, but it can also lead to silos and other problems if not appropriately managed.

Example of Resource Leveling

If you are still confused about resource leveling, then the best way to understand them is through the resource leveling examples.

Consider John, who usually works at a digital marketing company for 8 hours. He is exceptionally competent and known for his quality work. His boss assigned him two projects suddenly, which would take 40 hours to complete, and the deadline was three days.

To complete the project, he will need to work 16 hours a day which is physically and mentally impossible. Even if he does the work, the quality would be severely compromised. In this case, the best resource leveling technique is assigning him only one project at a time.

Resource Leveling Vs. Resource Allocation

Resource leveling and resource allocation are always confused as one, but there are significant differences between the two terms. Here is a details overview of resource leveling vs. resource allocation.

Resource leveling Resource Allocation
Resource leveling is applied to evenly distribute the workflow among the resources to prevent any undue disruptions during the project.Resource allocation is applied at the start of the project, and it is done to decide who will be doing the project and when the project will be done.
An example of resource leveling is you have a project to design two websites. You can divide the work among the two resources or extend the time duration, so the works get completed without any resource constraint.An example of resource allocation is you have an agency full of web designers, writers, and markets. You get a web design project. You will assign it to the person who is an expert in web design.
It is done after the resource allocationIt is done before starting the project.
It is done to maintain a smooth workflow to maintain the quality and prevent burnout among the resources.Resource allocation is done to check the availability of the resources.

Resource Smoothing Vs. Resource Leveling

Here is a detailed overview of resource smoothing vs. resource leveling so you can know the difference between them and when to apply them.

Resource leveling Resource Smoothing
Resource leveling is defined as adjusting the project timeline according to the resources available to maintain the optimal workflow.Resource smoothing is applied when the project timeline can’t be changed, and the project manager has to optimize the resource usage within that timeline.
One example of resource leveling is if you have a worker named Sam. If he is an expert in web design and you assign him a web designing project which needs 40 hours to complete. You give him the deadline of 3 days to complete it. To achieve this task, he will need to work 13 hours daily, significantly altering the work’s quality. So you can extend the time to 5 days so he can conclude the job smoothly and efficiently by working 8 hours a day.An example of resource smoothing is when you have a project which needs to be completed within four days. The project requires 40 hours to complete and you assign this project to your employee. He can complete this project by working a bit overtime, but if he cannot manage, you can divide the work between the two employees to prevent bad or poor quality.
Resource leveling is applied when there is a resource constraint.Resource smoothing is applied when time is constrained.
The timeline of the project can be changedThe timeline of the project remains fixed

What Are Advantages of Resource Leveling?

You may already be aware of the  benefits of resource leveling by its definition of it, but here is a detailed list of them:

Prevents the Over Allocation

 Over allocation of the resources can lead to project delays, which can severely impact the image of your business. One of the advantages of resource leveling is that it prevents the over-allocation of the task and maintains the smooth running of the project without any delays and undue interruptions.

Helps to Maintain the Quality

Quality is the thing that shouldn’t be compromised no matter what the conditions are. When resource leveling is not done right, the uneven distribution of the resources can lead to low-quality work. The proper resource leveling can help the project managers maintain the work quality because the work is equally distributed among all the resources.

Prevents Burnouts and Stress

When you are not strategic in resource leveling, one of the consequences is that the person you are making to work more than his or her capacity will end up burned out. If you strategically distribute all the work within the capacity of your resources, then all the workers will provide the level best quality without burning out at the end of the project.

Keeps the Morale of Resources High

One of the benefits of resource leveling that is often overlooked is that it keeps the morale of resources high. It is considered a good gesture when you are conscious of the productivity and health of the resources. When the confidence in your resources is high, there is more opportunity for your workers to keep providing you with quality work.

What Are Resource Leveling Techniques?

Here are the resource leveling techniques you can apply for the smooth running of the project:

Crucial Path

A crucial path is a resource leveling technique in which the project managers see the time needed to complete a project. The project duration is calculated by taking into account the period to complete all the activities in a particular project. The resources aren’t taken into account at this time in this method.

After predicting the duration to complete the project, the project manager then indicates the start and finish date of the project depending upon the resource availability and capacity.

If the predicted date is within the deadline and the workload is heavier, the project managers can allocate the work evenly between the workers by extending the finish date. But if the predicted time doesn’t correspond with the deadline, the project managers have to use resource smoothing.

Fast Tracking

When the work timeline is short, you can use the fast-tracking method. In this method, you can run the activities or tasks in a parallel manner than in a subsequent way. The fast-tracking process should be carefully monitored as it can result in similar work for different tasks.

Crushing Method

When the duration of the project management is shortened, or the primary resource is unavailable, you can use the crushing method instead of the fast-tracking method.

The crushing method means adding an additional resource, increasing the workload within the resources, or outsourcing your work to someone else. The crushing process is handy in crises, but extreme care is needed for this method to work.

How to Perform Resource Leveling

If you are confused about how to perform the resource leveling, here are the easy steps for the project resource leveling.

  • Prioritizing tasks based on resource availability
  • Scheduling tasks based on resource availability
  • Adjusting task duration to match available resources
  •  Using resource substitution to replace scarce resources with more readily available ones

Final Words

So that’s all about resource leveling and what resource leveling means in project management. Resource leveling plays a vital role in the smooth running of the projects without any delays, poor quality, and burnouts.

There are many ways to do them, and we hope now you can adapt the resource leveling in your projects and manage them as smoothly as a highway.

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Lean Vs Agile: A Definitive Comparison

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