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RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - LOADING & LEVELING

Updated on December 29, 2011

In a previous hub, we calculated slacks or floats.  If an activity has a slack, its start can be delayed.  For managing a project, there are various activities which have to be performed in some order.  This was explained in Net-Working Techniques.  There were some activities which were considered critical and hence cannot be postponed or delayed.  While some other, non-critical activities, can be slipped or postponed within a slack-time. So far we have been discussing planning. The next phase would be implementing which is covered by Resource-Management.  This is subject matter of this paper.

What is a resource?

Resource is a generic word and is used in various ways.  For our discussion, we would restrict it to 4Ms or Man, Machine, Material and Money.

 

What is management?

Once again, Management is a generic word.  To simplify, it is a process of planning, implementing and controlling the resources to achieve desired objectives.

What is resource management?

Resource Management is using resources efficiently and effectively.

While we talk of efficiency, we have some sort of input: output ratio in our mind. Supposing in yarn making, a 10% waste is normal. If we have 100 kg of cotton, we can produce 90 kg of yarn, 10 kg being the normal waste. If we can produce 91 kg of yarn from 100 kg of cotton, we would be considered efficient for having reduced the wastage to 9%. Also, we would be considered efficient, if we use only 99 kg of cotton for producing 90kg of yarn.

To sum up, efficiency is having more output for the same input or less input for the same output. Then what is effectiveness? It is acceptability, usefulness or suitability from the users or market point of view. An overhead bridge may be constructed most economically and in record time. But it may not be effective, if few people make its use because they find an alternate route much convenient.

In my class, I use multimedia which is much better or efficient than white board. But with frequent power interruptions, I find white board more effective. Let us take another example. A student gets high marks because of hard work. But when he goes to find a job, he is frustrated to find that what he had learned is not relevant to present job requirement. Remember Bill Gate. He was a drop-out butbecame very effective because whatever he learned he applied wisely.

What are Resource Management Techniques?

When we come to techniques, we would once again restrict ourselves to: Resource Loading and Resource Leveling as follows:

WHAT IS RESOURCE LOADING?

While making a budget, we estimated “Cost & Quantity” of each resource. If we want to add a room to our present setup in the university, we estimate how much money, men, materials and machines would be required. We would further estimate cost of furniture and gadgets for the room such as white-board, multimedia, clock, air-conditioners and tube- lights.

“Resource Loading” is assigning resources to activities. It is the same as budget but broken down in terms of activities like (a) get approval of building extension, (b) lay foundations, (c) build super-structure, (d) put on a roof, (e) plaster the walls and (g) complete finishing. The money, men, materials and machines, as given in the budget, would be re-distributed in terms of activities.

To sum up, “Resource Loading” is the process of assigning resources for each and every activity required for the project.

WHAT IS RESOURCE LEVELING?

Resource leveling is a sort of adjustment. If resources are provided as per schedule, there would be no need for resource leveling.  But when there is a mismatch between what is required and what is made available, we need to give priority to some activities, postpone some activities or do the job in small lots. The ultimate objective would be to complete the project within the same cost and time constraints. For this purpose, we slip or split the activities within margin or slacks available.  Let us first take an example of Slipping as given below:

A question?

 Just a cursory glance on the question would reveal that activity B has five days and needs two workers each day.  Before B finishes, C & D would also start and labor requirements would exceed the availability. So we need some re-scheduling.  Before, we can attempt it, we need to find out which activities are critical and which are not.  For this purpose, we would draw a Gantt Chart as follows:

We observe that B & E activities are on the critical path.  Moving them would increase the total duration beyond seven days. We mark them red.  We can now insert labor and get the following picture:

It is evident that on third day, we would experience shortage of two workers while on the last day, two workers would be surplus. If we can make necessary adjustment, we would level or smooth out the excesses and shortages.

Obviously, activities B & E cannot be moved. Moving A would not solve the problem as its shift would affect start of linked activities C & D. Even if there was no such linkage, moving A would not make any difference. This leaves C & D. We can move C for two days as there is free float for the same period. But it would result in increase of labor requirement for the subsequent period. So moving D for one day is cure-all. The revised Gantt Chart would appear as follows:

 

What is Slipping and Splitting?

In slipping, an activity is moved to another day. In other words, it is postponed or skipped. In splitting, an activity would be broken into small parts. If there is a seminar for three days, it can only be slipped to some other dates but would be carried out for three days in a row. If want to transport say twenty packages to a far-off place, we can transport them in any manners. While originally, these packages were to be transported on the same day, we can arrange their transportation in two or three or four lots depending upon the slack or cushion available.

A QUESTION ON SPLITTING?

The following chart shows: (i) Resource Loading, (ii) Critical Activities and (iii) Slack available against non-critical activities.

RESOURCE LOADING

 We can easily split activities U & X within the available slack as would be observed from the following:

LEVELED

A chicken feed?

So far examples have been kept simple to make it easy to grasp the subject. In real life, there are not 5 to 6 activities but in hundreds. For the sake of convenience, a project is divided into sub-projects and even further into tasks. Even than, things do no get as simple as that.

Try to solve the following question on your own and then consult the solution. I am sure it would NOT be a chicken feed this time.

A tricky question

SOLUTION

Both resource loading and leveling charts are given below:  It would be observed that in one case the an activity had to be adjusted within its Total Float (Late Finish - Early Start - Duration). Please note there can many solution not just one.  The aim is to compelete the project within the given time through a logical adjustment.

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    • profile image

      Muhammad Essa 7 years ago

      Very interesting thank you Hafeez Malik

    • khalid AKhter profile image

      khalid AKhter 7 years ago from KARACHI

      very informative .. like all other topics ..some of the confusion is still there ...

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 7 years ago from Pakistan

      What confusion? Please be specific.

    • mubin_ashraf profile image

      mubin_ashraf 7 years ago

      Yes, This is very informative as we take these things with our class lectures. This will help us a lot.

    • profile image

      MUHAMMAD DANIAL 7 years ago

      VERY INFORMATIVE. N VERY HELPFUL FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND THE WHOLE TOPIC. THANKS FOR SHARING ME

    • profile image

      Praneet Gounder 7 years ago

      This was a very informative tool for my exam prearation in project managenet, it has cleared my thoughts on resource scheduling.A plus for this.

      Thanks

      Praneet Gounder

      UWS Student

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for liking the material.

    • profile image

      Usman Siddiqui 7 years ago

      Sir, I read the complete article, very informative...it reminded me the project mgmt course we studied almost 5 years ago from u...i always used to enjoy studying and solving the problems...it was a great refreshing experience...

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you Usman for bringing back old memories.

    • Rufi Shahzada profile image

      Rufi Shahzada 7 years ago from Karachi

      Dear Sir,

      Such a realistic example, though we have studied RM in Operations and Production Management (OPM), but things were washed away....

      Now your HUBS are helping me revive those concepts effectively with simplicity.

      Thanks a Million!

      RUFI SHAHZADA

    • SHAHZAD,AHMED profile image

      SHAHZAD,AHMED 7 years ago

      Respected Sir,

      It is the article which does not only present the basic concepts regarding resource management but also give the concepts, the real picture through examples. In short, it is an immaculate article.

    • profile image

      ravi 7 years ago

      It's very good sir, thanx for posting !!!

    • profile image

      M.SHAFIQ KHAN 7 years ago

      A VERY AMAZING ARTCILE, IT HELPED ME IN UNDERSTANDING THE TOPIC

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 7 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Shahzad Ahmed, Ravi and M. Shafiq Khan for your nice comments.

    • projmanager_role profile image

      projmanager_role 6 years ago

      Nice to read article. The comments are also good to read. Good job.

    • profile image

      asif jamal 6 years ago

      nice article and provide amzing info

    • profile image

      Ume Salma 6 years ago

      Thank you sir for providing such informative topic really solved my problems and confusion dat i had. Hopefull i will do better in my Final paper dat is on 14 MAY

      Thank you so much sir

    • profile image

      Manoj Rathod 6 years ago

      Sir,

      Truly nice article. Would recommend putting images of network diagram (for each example) showing dependencies of each activity and some concepts of Critical Path (forward / reverse pass).

      Thanks,

      Manoj.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thank you Manoj Rathod. Please go to PERT / CPM

      https://hubpages.com/business/Case-Study-Using-CPM...

    • profile image

      Beatrice Ake 6 years ago

      Thanks a million this will be very helpful as i do my course work and prepare for my finals in November.Thanks again.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Beatrice Ake for your comments

    • profile image

      mahira 6 years ago

      sir this is very informative thanks for all notes you provide us.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Shoaib Ikram 5 years ago

      Do you want to say that during the start of project, two labors were required for activity A and 2 labors for activity B therefore total available labors are 4 otherwise why you have kept available labors 4 during all the days in the first question. Similarly why you have kept available labors 5,6 and 12 in the second and third question

    • profile image

      kamranqamar 5 years ago

      sir, this really requires concrete concentration.very interesting.thnx

    • asadayub profile image

      asadayub 5 years ago

      Respected Sir, i would mention that this hub is very helpful to me because of grasping different concepts which i'm unable to grasp in the class. Needless to mention that the examples are once again really good and helped me a lot in understanding this hub. Thanks a lot Sir.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Muhammad Shoaib Ikram for visiting my hub. Yes, in first question, it is written (may be hidden under "see all 10 photos" that four workers are avaiable. But as you would observe, requirements would increase to 6 workers on the third day, creating a shortage. By moving some non-critical activity under its slack, the problem could be solved.

      Availability of workers should be given in the question. As against 12 workers, the actual requirement may jump to much beyond. If what ever we require is available, there is no problem, no conflict, no need for any levelling. It is only when we find a mis-match, we resort to slip or split to tide the temporary difficulties.

    • profile image

      kisswani 5 years ago

      thanks for info

    • profile image

      bharat 5 years ago

      really all the topics r excellent n helpful.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Shoaib Ikram 5 years ago

      Good Evening,

      Sir, can you do me one more favor, if you get time, then please tell me that how we calculate Free float and Total float in Gantt Chart.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Shoaib Ikram 5 years ago

      Good Morning Sir,

      Without developing AON, how one can calculate total float in Gantt Chart

    • profile image

      Muhammad Shoaib Ikram 5 years ago

      Good Morning Sir,

      I think, now i have understood, i have to carefully consider succeeding activity for both free float and total float. Sorry for disturbing you

    • profile image

      Christian A 5 years ago

      Great explanation and graphs on Resource Loading/Leveling.

      Thanks!

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Christian for your comments.

    • profile image

      fahad 5 years ago

      dear sir,

      sir i have to ask the question of the above example in the 2nd question of splitting.

      IF ACTIVITY "U" has 14 days then why in solution it end on 17th day?.I think it should end on 16th day.

    • profile image

      abc 5 years ago

      given explanation is very good

      Thanks

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Fahad for pointing out a mistake. You may take U activity as 15 days. To check out whether it is 14 or 15, calculate total crane operators required for the entire project. It would be 126 which come with 15 days activity x 2 crane operator per days. All bar charts of loading and leveling support it.

    • profile image

      Shaheryar Abbas 5 years ago

      Thank u sir for providing this informative article;

      the wording and numercial r so easy that one can understand it easily.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Shaheryar Abbas for your comments.

    • profile image

      jafar 5 years ago

      there is a big mistake is q2 u have made .bcoz the 1 worker will be available on 7th day and u mensioned it on 9th day and that's why total wrong.........such a big mistake

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Dear Jafar,

      You are right. The statements are pictures. It would take sometime to correct them. Thanks for pointing out.

    • profile image

      shaista tabassum 5 years ago

      great work n effort

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks for your comments.

    • zohaib noor profile image

      zohaib noor 5 years ago

      keep on writing informative work sir great effort

      thank you for sharing with us

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Zohaib Noor for your comments.

    • profile image

      espengongo 4 years ago

      Dear Sir,

      Thank you for all your writtings.

      You are a very important source of information for us. May God keep you helthy for long time to continue promoting your science.

      I would like to submit a case for which I need your assistance to convince the executive board of a local company where one of my friends is working as sales manager. The company is planning to manufacture a new product and the Head of marketing has assigned to my friend to manage the project of engineering and manufacturing the new product. He was asked to develop a schedule and budget and present it to the executive management board within a week. After the meeting, one of the members of the executive management board (the head operations officer) give my friend the "go-ahead" for the project and ask to report directly to him and to personally approve each project step. In the same time, the head of operation will work on getting the approval from other executive members.

      My friend never led this kind of project over his 15 years of experience as salesperson, so it is difficult for him to achieve the goal and his risking to lose his job.

      I just give him some inputs, but I would like to help him on showing that his company didn’t follow best practices about how to manage a project

      I would like some of your inputs to show:

      - Examples of bad /good practice in the project described above

      - Bad project management principles

      - Role and responsibility not clearly defined

      - Project manager not qualified to conduct the project.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 4 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks Espengongo for your observations and comments.

    • profile image

      zohaib NOOR 4 years ago

      THANK U VERY MUCH TO SHARE THIS HUBPAGES SIR ...

    • profile image

      cedar 4 years ago

      in the last question, slack for activity C is 6, not 4 as far as my knowledge and understanding of the topic.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 4 years ago from Pakistan

      Dear Cedar,

      Thanks for visiting my hub. You are right that slack for activity C is 6, not 4. But this pertains to total slack not free slack.

      May I draw you attention to head of Gantt Chart which says- "extended by normal slack in green". At one place, normal slack does not meet the requirement and we have to resort to "Total Slack". Again this is specifically pointed out in next version of Gantt Chart.

      As you know we should first use normal slack which does not affect any other activity. On the other hand, if we use Total Slack, we have to see if the linked activity has corresponding float or not.

    • profile image

      Seema 4 years ago

      how do we come to know that now we have to extend to normal slack and total float?

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 4 years ago from Pakistan

      @Seema. As a rule, first consider the Normal slack as extending any activity within its normal slack or float would not affect any other activity. If it is not possible and you have to avail total float or slack, you have to consider if that particular activity goes beyond early start of the any linked activity. If so, the link activity should be moved accordingly.

    • profile image

      Ahmed 4 years ago

      1. What is the main differnce between labor & material resources ?

      2. What is the main difference in principle between the scheduler role when working with his own resources & when subcontracting every thing?

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 4 years ago from Pakistan

      (1) Labor is worker while material is raw material or construction material.

      (2) When one works with his or her own resource, he or she takes all responsibility of completing in time and within cost. On the other hand, in subcontracting risk is passed on to the contractor who is responsible for completing in time and cost even if the damages are to paid for late completion or extra cost.

    • profile image

      Ahmed 4 years ago

      Sorry, Correction in wording :

      1. What is the main differnce in principles between labor & equipment and material management ?

      2. What is the main difference between the scheduler role when working with his own resources & when subcontracting every thing?

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 4 years ago from Pakistan

      Almost same question. Labor comes under human resource management. Consult some good book or search for it on google.

    • profile image

      paramveer 4 years ago

      thanx a lot .it is helpful

    • profile image

      Emine 4 years ago

      Thank you for this information because this solution certainly WORKS!!!!

    • profile image

      Qualityguru999 3 years ago

      I was new member at hubpages. I was banned from site for some violation. When I asked for clarification about rules I have violated no body answers. I wonder what went wrong on first or second day of joining I am Senior management Profile. I have never been insulted before. ?Going legal is not financially advisable. Can anyone suggest me something.

      It not that i want to to get back to site. But I just want my clarification answered . Can anyone suggest something?

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 3 years ago from Pakistan

      No idea. I am myself victim of their self-made rules and one-sided decisions. I have removed all the advertisement and un-published many of my articles. I would shift the balance to other sites.

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 3 years ago from Pakistan

      I myself am victim of unknown charges. My income was frozen forcing me to withdraw my hubs one by one.

    • profile image

      MisterLB 3 years ago

      Thank you hafeezrm for these interesting examples. I don't understand the solution of question 3. It is stated that activity G has F as a precedent. So G should always start when F is finished. In your solution, you use total slack to slip F, but G starts (day 7) before the end of F (day 8). Is it a mistake?

    • hafeezrm profile image
      Author

      hafeezrm 3 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks @MisterLB for your going through my articles. There are mistakes and there is problem in correcting them as these are in pictures. To charge something in picture, old one has to be deleted and fresh embedded which calls for lot of effort. I am at the moment concentrating on travel writing.

    • profile image

      Sara 3 years ago

      Thank you, this work is comprehensive !

    • profile image

      MHEMERA MAKRINA 21 months ago

      Thank you for materials.

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