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a) How have you optimised the time and the resources?
b) What is the duration and cost of the whole project and what is critical path and what are the critical activities?
c) What are the resources required and their numbers for this project according to your plan?

Effective Resource Utilization

For time and resource optimization, the current utilization of resources was first explored through calculations of total available force, effective force, and ideal force, based on which  effective workforce ratio and ideal force ratio was calculated.

The figure above shows the existing timelines and durations of the project schedule and based on the same calculations were made and scope for optimization was identified. One key method of resource optimization is resource levelling which involves critical path analysis, fast tracking of the processes, and project crashing (Alcabes, 2000).

Critical Path Method: Critical path method was used for determination of the exact durations of each project task and then a critical path was calculated to find out the maximum time tasks can take to proceed from initial stage till the last stage for the project. If there is any delay in this critical path, it can cause the delay in the entire project. Thus, most resources need to be given to the critical path (Rajguru & Mahatme, 2016).

The table below shows the critical activities or tasks of the project

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

Resource Names

Plans and site

36 days

Wed 28-02-18

Wed 18-04-18

   Create site plans

2 days

Wed 28-02-18

Thu 01-03-18

Draftsperson

   Arrange council permit

2 days

Fri 02-03-18

Mon 05-03-18

2

Draftsperson

   Prepare site

7 days

Mon 26-03-18

Tue 03-04-18

3FS+14 days

Labourer[300%],Carpenter[300%]

   Organize materials

4 days

Mon 26-03-18

Thu 29-03-18

4SS

Supervisor

   Lay foundations

7 days

Wed 04-04-18

Thu 12-04-18

4,5

Concrete,Carpenter,Labourer[200%]

   Plumbing for sewerage

3 days

Fri 13-04-18

Tue 17-04-18

6

Plumber

   Pour slab

1 day

Wed 18-04-18

Wed 18-04-18

7

Concrete[300%],Carpenter[300%],Labourer[300%]

   Foundations complete

0 days

Wed 18-04-18

Wed 18-04-18

8

To Lock up

25 days

Thu 19-04-18

Wed 23-05-18

   Erect framing

4 days

Thu 19-04-18

Tue 24-04-18

9

Carpenter[400%]

   Lay roofing

12 days

Wed 25-04-18

Thu 10-05-18

11

Roof Tiler[200%],Labourer[200%]

   Brick walls

6 days

Fri 11-05-18

Fri 18-05-18

12

Bricklayer[400%]

   Fit windows and doors

3 days

Mon 21-05-18

Wed 23-05-18

11,13

Carpenter[200%]

   Lockup

0 days

Wed 23-05-18

Wed 23-05-18

14

Fit out

89 days

Wed 28-02-18

Mon 02-07-18

   Electrical cables

2 days

Thu 24-05-18

Fri 25-05-18

15

Electrician

   Internal plumbing

3 days

Thu 24-05-18

Mon 28-05-18

17SS

Plumber

   Plaster walls

6 days

Tue 29-05-18

Tue 05-06-18

17,18

Plasterer[300%]

   Internal doors and trim

4 days

Wed 06-06-18

Mon 11-06-18

19

Carpenter[200%]

   Install kitchen

4 days

Tue 12-06-18

Fri 15-06-18

20

Cabinet Maker[200%]

   Install Bathroom

6 days

Tue 12-06-18

Tue 19-06-18

21SS

Cabinet Maker,Plumber

   Final electrical fittings

2 days

Wed 20-06-18

Thu 21-06-18

21,22

Electrician

   Final plumbing fittings

2 days

Wed 20-06-18

Thu 21-06-18

23SS

Plumber

   Paint

6 days

Fri 22-06-18

Fri 29-06-18

24

Painter[300%]

   Council approval

1 day

Mon 02-07-18

Mon 02-07-18

25

   Construction complete

0 days

Wed 28-02-18

Wed 28-02-18


Cross-Functional resource allocation:
 Further, cross-functional resource allocation was used to allocate the project resources to this critical path. For this, a plan was developed to create a team that collaborated and worked together to achieve common goals. For this, a project manager was allotted the work of bring coordination among different functional teams and resolving conflicts (Bishop, 1999). This project manager would guide the other team members working on the project including draftsperson, electrician, plumber, concrete, labourer, painter, supervisor, cabinet maker, roof tiler, bricklayer, and plasterer. Project manager would take a project tracking meeting at the end of each major milestone including planning, lock up and fit out completion. Besides these review meetings, there would also be technical meetings conducted every week in which technical details and problems of the project would be discussed and resolved (Gupta, 2016).

Fast Track Scheduling: As the new resource added due to the leaving of old draft person, the project schedule was likely to get increased and in order to prevent this from affecting the whole project timeline, fast track scheduling was applied. For this, a phased approach to designing and construction was used. In the earlier process, one task of designing or construction was completed and then only the second would start but to reduce the timeline, design work was divide into packages including foundation, structure and exteriors. As soon as the site requirements were clear, the foundation design would start (Hutchison-Krupat, 2011). Upon completion of design work, construction would start and at the same time, designing of structure would begin. In the same way, with framing completion, the designing for fit out work would begin. This would compensate for the increasing tie requirement of the new draftsperson. In the same way, even the construction work was phased such that only the dependent work that needed preceding task to be completed first would have to wait for previous task completion while at the same time, other tasks would begin.

Task Name

Duration

Start

Finish

Predecessors

Resource Names

1

Plans and site

32 days

Wed 28-02-18

Wed 18-04-18

2

   Create site plans

1 days

Wed 28-02-18

Thu 01-03-18

Draftsperson, Project Manager

3

   Arrange council permit

2 days

Fri 02-03-18

Mon 05-03-18

2

Draftsperson

4

   Prepare site, site plan

7 days

Mon 26-03-18

Tue 03-04-18

3FS+14 days

Labourer[300%],Carpenter[300%], Draftsperson

5

   Organize materials

4 days

Mon 26-03-18

Thu 29-03-18

4SS

Supervisor

6

   Lay foundations

7 days

Wed 04-04-18

Thu 12-04-18

4,5

Concrete, Carpenter, Labourer[200%]

7

   Plumbing for sewerage

3 days

Fri 13-04-18

Tue 17-04-18

6

Plumber

8

   Pour slab

1 day

Wed 18-04-18

Wed 18-04-18

7

Concrete[300%],Carpenter[300%],Labourer[300%]

9

   Foundations complete

0 days

Wed 18-04-18

Wed 18-04-18

8

Project Manager

To Lock up

21 days

Thu 19-04-18

Wed 23-05-18

10

   Erect framing, start Lay roofing

4 days

Thu 19-04-18

Tue 24-04-18

9

Carpenter[400%], Roof Tiler[200%],Labourer[200%]

11

   Lay roofing

8 days

Wed 25-04-18

Thu 10-05-18

11

Roof Tiler[200%],Labourer[200%]

12

   Brick walls, Fit windows and doors

6 days

Fri 11-05-18

Fri 18-05-18

12,11

Bricklayer[400%], Carpenter[200%]

14

   Lockup

0 days

Wed 23-05-18

Wed 23-05-18

14

Project Manager

Fit out

89 days

Wed 28-02-18

Mon 02-07-18

15

   Electrical cables

2 days

Thu 24-05-18

Fri 25-05-18

15

Electrician

16

   Internal plumbing

3 days

Thu 24-05-18

Mon 28-05-18

17SS

Plumber

17

   Plaster walls

6 days

Tue 29-05-18

Tue 05-06-18

17,18

Plasterer[300%]

18

   Internal doors and trim

4 days

Wed 06-06-18

Mon 11-06-18

19

Carpenter[200%]

19

   Install kitchen

4 days

Tue 12-06-18

Fri 15-06-18

20

Cabinet Maker[200%]

20

   Install Bathroom

6 days

Tue 12-06-18

Tue 19-06-18

21SS

Cabinet Maker, Plumber

21

   Final electrical fittings

2 days

Wed 20-06-18

Thu 21-06-18

21,22

Electrician

22

   Final plumbing fittings

2 days

Wed 20-06-18

Thu 21-06-18

23SS

Plumber

23

   Paint

6 days

Fri 22-06-18

Fri 29-06-18

24

Painter[300%]

24

   Council approval

1 day

Mon 02-07-18

Mon 02-07-18

25

Project Manager

25

   Construction complete

0 days

Wed 28-02-18

Wed 28-02-18

Critical Path Method


Project Crashing
: This technique would involve reduction of the time duration of one or more of the critical paths such that the overtime duration of the project completion would be reduced. This would include reduction of the time needed for carpeting work as it would be clubbed with the work of other labours at the same time such that more work is completed at stretch  with utilization of available labour for support such that carpenter can finish the work faster.  However, this can incur crashing cost which would be adjusted along the project (Moschetto, 2014).

With the utilization of the three techniques of time and cost optimization, the project could be completed 8 days prior to previous completion data and the labour cost would be saved due to cross-functional team building and reduction of the waiting time for the workers.

Currently the project has a new draftsperson joining who would take 6 days to work completion instead of 4 days as was initially planned with the old drafts person. This would add delay to the project as all the project tasks could begin only after drawings are completed. However, with resource levelling applied, the draftsperson would get the support from a project manager as well as would be able to get time for task completion during the project. The draftsperson would finalize on the design for foundation in one day and the project would proceed. While the site is being prepared, the draftsperson who is otherwise ideal can utilize the time for development of the design for the framework and fit outs. Further, the other construction work is also packaged into plumbing, carpenter work, tiling, brickwork, electrician work, and painting.

The time for which the force is idea would be utilized to spread these packages to reduce the overall project time line and fast track the same. The three strategies identified in the report above were utilized to create optimized schedule with resource and cost optimization such that the overall duration the cost of the project were reduced. The total cost and duration for each major milestones identified in the project schedule earlier can be used to calculate and compare the differences between earlier process and the optimized process to see if there are benefits expected. Thus, a table is used for making this comparison for plans and site, lock up and fit out stages (MALPANI, et al., 2016).

 These strategies would change the durations as follows:

Task Name

Earlier Duration

New Duration

Deviation

Earlier HR Resource cost

New HR Resource Cost

Deviation

Plans & Site

36

32

4 Days

7128

6464

664

Lock Up

25

21

4 Days

2240

2240

0

Fit-out

89

89

0

7120

7120

0

Assuming the Cost project manager as $100 per hour

As per the changed durations and human resource requirements, the project would save on 8 days of duration and $664 of labour cost directly. Because of faster completion of the project, the cost of labour for the duration would also get reduced. The project resources could be released early and thus, hidden costs that would otherwise occur would be avoided.

References

Alcabes, J., 2000. Fast-track scheduling. Project Management Quarterly.

Bishop, S. K., 1999. Cross-functional project teams in functionally aligned organizations. Project Management Journal, 30(3), pp. 6-12.

Gupta, A., 2016. An Effective Model for Cross Functional Team, s.l.: Practical Management.

Hutchison-Krupat, J., 2011. R

Resource Allocation, Incentives And Organizational Structure For Collaborative, Cross-Functional New Product Development, s.l.: Georgia Institute of Technology.

Malpani, s. b., Deshmukh, s. .. & s.s.Kudale, 2016. Optimization And Leveling The Resources Of An Existing Buildingby Using Primavera Software : Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Moschetto, M., 2014. Maximize Your Workforce: Use Most Effective Strategy for Managing Time, Labor, and Leave , s.l.: Oracle.

Rajguru, A. & Mahatme, P., 2016. Effective Techniques In Cost Optimization Of Construction Projects. International Journal of Informative & Futuristic Research ISSN: 2347-1697, 3(5), pp. 1646-1658.

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