Resource levelling is a technique used to address the peaks and troughs in resource demand throughout a project's timeline. We use resource levelling to balance our teams’ workload by redistributing resources to reduce overloads during the project. The aim is to ensure that resource usage remains steady to prevent anyone or anything from burning out. This technique is particularly valuable in projects where resource constraints, such as limited manpower or equipment availability, is a problem.
On the other hand, resource smoothing focuses on maintaining a consistent level of resource usage throughout the project duration, primarily to avoid abrupt fluctuations in resource demand. This technique is especially beneficial in projects with limited resources and fixed deadlines. Resource smoothing allows project managers to adjust the project schedule within the defined constraints, ensuring a steady and sustainable pace of work.
To achieve efficiency in project management, a balance of both resource levelling and resource smoothing is required. Some strategies to achieve this balance are:
Detailed Resource Planning: Carry out a detailed analysis of project requirements and also your resource availability (do this as early as possible in the definition or initiation phases).
Flexibility in Task Sequencing: Create your schedule to be adjustable, adaptable and flexible. Ensure you have wiggle room to allow tasks to be rearranged without impacting the overall project timescale.
Continually Monitoring: By staying on top of things and maintaining control you can identify potential issues early and make changes before they come to fruition. *Reminder; you should be continually monitoring all aspects of your project regardless.
Communication across all parties: Ensure there is frequent and clear communication among team members. A well-informed and engaged team is far more likely to respond to changes well and work together to maintain/increase efficiency.
Resource levelling and resource smoothing are invaluable techniques for creating efficiency in projects. By balancing resource allocation and maintaining a steady workflow, project managers can avoid problems and strains all while keeping people happy and motivated.
To learn more about how and why we balance resources, join me on my next APM training course. Call 0800 151 0140 to check the dates I am available and push your career forwards by learning many more fantastic techniques.
Having worked in the industry since 2016, Harley’s experience is vast and knowledge of project management methods is of an elite standard. He has covered a wide variety of roles in a plethora of projects and has worked with some incredible project professionals over the years; there is seldom a scenario that Harley has not encountered.
Residing in Poole, Dorset Harley has specialized in maritime projects and programmes in and around the stunning natural harbour. From project managing major yachting events, to advising on risk management approaches, the natural elements have thrown endless challenges into projects where Harley has strategically extracted the best outcomes from each scenario. These tales make up some of Harley’s most interesting examples used when delivering his training of which attendees enjoy.
SPOCE is proud to have industry leading pass rates for delegates in the PRINCE2® and APM methods which Harley has played a vital part in achieving. Starting his training career in 2019, he would run sessions such as “what makes the perfect business case?” and the much loved “PRINCE2 Practitioner exam workshops”.