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In one classroom session during the second intensive for this subject, you were provided with a schedule and a resource allocation table for the schedule activities, and took part in an exercise to calculate the forward and backward pass for the schedule and the total float available for each activity.  You also produced an early start resource histogram and a late finish resource histogram during that exercise.

Your assignment now is to:

  • Complete a resource levelling exercise presuming no additional resources are available, and to do this by moving activities within available float time, with the objective of attaining the most effective levelling of resources given the time and logic constraints on the project as provided in the exercised instructions
  • Present a completed bar chart showing your final result together with a copy of the levelled resource histogram that would be achieved by the bar chart you present
  • Computer software is NOT to be used for this exercise and hand drawn diagrams are required
  • Spend some time reflecting upon the component of the exercise completed in class and comment on the following:
  • Team dynamics with reference to aspects of exercise experience that are explained by, or demonstrate aspects of, principles of communication and/or team development learned in class
  • Thoughts and feelings you might have experienced regarding the attitude and behaviours of those you were working with, how you responded or behaved in response to those thoughts and/or feelings and what might have been a different and/or better manner in which to respond, based on what you have learnt during the course
Project Resource Planning

Resource planning is the process of allocating resource to a project so that to enable optimal control of utilization of these resources by all the project teams. Accordingly, resource planning helps to ensure that the project can meet customer satisfaction and ensure that it has reduced the expenses incurred on the project staff (Lock, 2017). The ability to track the project's resource at a certain interval as well as making regular adjustments to the resources it increases the probability of delivering a project on time and within the set-out budget. On the same note, resource planning helps to decline the chances of avoiding predictable resource conflicts in addition to low resource usage as well as economic inefficiency. In this sense, resource planning call for the ability to prioritize the right processes. The ability to prioritize a project’s resource at a regular interval aid in ensuring that most significant projects are always allocated with the necessary resource requirements (Abu-Hussein, Hyassat, Sweis, Alawneh, & Al-Debei, 2016). Therefore, the coordination of different project processes helps project managers in the ongoing adjustments of resource planning for the entire project. Therefore, project resource planning involves a range of activities of scheduling tools. Some of these scheduling tools include an easy-to-use worktable which is used in the developing and adjusting of the online plan. As a result, it is essential to optimize a project regarding date synchronization, impact analysis features and cultured simulation to guarantee the delivery of the project product on time, within budget and satisfy the client’s needs as planned.

Project resource planning begins with the preparing of a project by describing the project scope and the resolution of the project. During planning, it is projected that the project should consist of a project team and a comprehensive and well thought out understanding of the client wants (Tarhini, Ammar, & Tarhini, 2015). Consequently, resource planning necessitates analysis of the risk log. During planning the project managers is required to calculate the cost relative to the project and at the same time defining the “who, why, what, when, and how” of the project. Before the commencing of development of the project, the project team and the project manager have to walk through the project for a comprehensive planning way to pinpoint all the desirable specifications like what should be done, the person who will be in charge and by what time. For that reason, planning plays a core part in the managing of the project resources, budget, and time as well as schedule preparation (Martinelli, & Milosevic, 2016).

“What ifs” Analysis: resource planning allows for a range of tools to be used in developing of the “what is” activities in addition to analyzing the impact of these activities. Addition, simulation is used to aid project managers in determining if the project meets the anticipated changes to the planned project (Holliman, Thomson, & Hird, 2017). Consequently, at this point project managers employ multi-level fixing which provides an all-around perceptibility to elements in a bill of the resource. The project manager will conduct an impact analysis to aid in illustrating a crashed, multi-level effect that is likely to result in project delay. Therefore resource planning works to make sure that there is reconciliation among dates between different project tasks, discrepancies, and contracts. As a result, resource planning works to see to it that it is possible to synchronize project dates with regard to a range of choices to arrive at the most suitable project plan requirements.

Components of Project Resource Planning

Continuous service planning: Project resource planning provides an extensive set of planning implements for material-driven, service-plus material and service only projects. As a result, project resource planning gives plans, re-plan for activities, synchronize dates, perform impact analysis in addition to simulation to make advancements and timely completion of projects (Chang, Kuo, Wu, & Tzeng, 2015). Hence with the existence of a project management interface application, resource planning finds it easy to gaining access to Microsoft Project which helps in enhancing project intercutting of a different task, scheduling and graphically displaying of the task. With the ability to link routings, bills of the project resources with the assistance of service elements, resource planning ensure that all the project resources and materials arrive at the right time and the desired place.

Lot-for-lot vs. SEITAN: To make sure that the project running in a cost-efficient way in its purchases and production, project resource planning allows the project manager to craft a lot-for-lot or merged plan (Chang, Kuo, Wu, & Tzeng, 2015). During the lot-for-lot, the project manager makes an order of quantities and organize them in line with demand qualities using variables such as scrap being put into consideration. As a result, this organization enables multi-level nailing, which is particularly beneficial for engineer-to-order and make-to-order components. Similarly, merged scheduling can be addressed using the SEIBAN operation. SEIBAN entails the allocation of a distinct number to an assembly element. And then the entire project components. Therefore, it is possible to assign a cost to every single element and then roll out with the assistance of the SEIBAN costing.

Workbench effectiveness: The workbench provides a single entry point for the development and project plan revising as well as access to the needed files of data. Subsequently, the workbench allows the project manager to utilize the project resources in an ideal manner which corresponds fast and properly to any adjustments to the project schedule (Umulisa, Mbabazize, & Shukla, 2015). As a result, the workbench involves a number of workbench actions that is carried on the different projects items. These workbench actions are:

  • Initial dates establishing
  • Performing project simulations
  • Re-planning of project dates
  • Creating SEIBAN
  • Production of supply order
  • Performing impact analysis
  • Dates reconciliation

After the workbench actions there is a workbench display which displays different items of the project resource plan as follows:

  • Critical items only
  • Exceptions alone
  • Single level
  • Multi-level
  • Multi-level position by client
  • Multi-level prominence by distinct demand such as project agreements
  • Workbench by date range, customer or SEIBAN.

Date Planning: project resource planning is set out with the help of planning for projects dates. The most common planning dates include:

  • Contract material line modules like scheduled commencing date, planned completion date, planned material expected date; simulated material expected date, simulated start date, simulated end date, projects dates according to supply orders; simulated material expected date; and planned material expected date.
  • Contract service line components like planned start date, planned end date, simulated start date and simulated end date.

 Options for date reconciliation: During date reconciliation, project resource planning will have to synchronize dates in accord with one of the following options:

  • Dates can be reconciled to come into agreement with the contract item dates
  • Contract item dates should be reconciled to match with the task dates
  • Task dates are reconciled to equal those of the supply orders
  • Material line items are reconciled to ensure that they are in line with the delivery timeline dates of the product.

Indeed, project planning and resources scheduling play a substantial part in project management, which helps in recognizing the scope of the project before the actual period in addition to managing and resource allocation in an organized manner. Similarly, planning and resources scheduling gives an overview of the persons responsible for delivering what and by when (Kerzner, & Kerzner, 2017). That is to mean that planning and scheduling provides one with a clear picture of all the things that are taking place in the project lifecycle, which helps in the management of every task through clear communication and coordination.

Resource leveling exercise

Scheduling of Resources:  The scheduling of resources aids in assisting the project manager in several ways such as

  • Offering a platform to monitoring and control of dissimilar project tasks
  • It helps the project manager to be in the position to determine the manner in which to assign resources and tasks to the project teams in the most suitable way that will enable to accomplish the primary purposes of the project.
  • It aid in the easement of time delays as well as the identification of its impact on delivery of the project.
  • Gives the project manager the capacity to track the progress of the project as well as the project’s condition.
  • Enables the project manager to familiarise with the project so that to understand and evaluate if the project has extra resources to be allocated to other projects or tasks.

Resources levelling is a technique applied under project management to oversee the assigning of resources in addition to resolving any possible conflicts that are likely to arise due to over-allocation. Thus, resource levelling work to ensuring that the project manager always has a project plan when undertaking a any given project to enable them allocate resources in an organized manner to each task (Kyriklidis, & Dounias, 2016). Consequently, resource levelling give project managers the opportunity to avoid running into conflicts and delays in delivering project products. Hence, resource levelling is an essential stool for controlling resources in developing a project (Bianco, Caramia, & Giordani, 2016). The problem of not allocating resource in a rightful manner can lead to incurring of problems such as over-allocation of resources on certain tasks and under-allocation of resources on some tasks. Consequently, such issues if not checked early enough can amount to projects experiencing financial constraints that in the long run result in late delivery of the project product.

The primary objective of resource levelling is to enhance effective and efficient resource assigning to project task to allow accomplishment of the project within the given timeframe and within budget. Thus, resource levelling has to be split into smaller manageable components. For example, projects that can be completed using all the allocated resources and those which get accomplished without exhausting the allocated resources. However, in case a project does not utilise all its allocated resources it has to be extended for a given period to ensure that it uses all the assigned resources. Nonetheless, it happens that a project has exceeded the allocated resources and yet it is not complete the project can have to be shelved until later.

Resources levelling allows the project to make use of the prevailing resources to the maximum hence the perspective behind resource levelling is to reducing resource wasting such as to avoid over-allocation of resources to some tasks and under-allocation of the same (Markou, Koulinas, & Vavatsikos, 2017). Indeed, the project manager has to identify all the resources that have not been used and take measures to prevent such from happening and taking advantage out of it.

The most common type of technique applied by project managers in resource levelling is the critical path method. The critical path outlines both the shortest as well as the longest duration paths in a network diagram taken to accomplish a given project (Braglia, & Frosolini, 2014). Apart from the use of critical path idea in resource levelling other techniques used include crashing and fast tracking at times when things get out of hand.

Crashing: it is the process of assigning resources extra resources to the existing ones with the target of getting the work done quickly (Cheng, Prayogo, & Tran, 2015). The process comes with incurring of extra expenses like equipment and labour.

Fast tracking: this process performs a critical path task however, this process takes a longer time.

In conclusion, the chief goal of resource levelling is ensuring efficiency during the process of project performances to maximize the usage of existing resources. Additionally, with proper resource levelling, it helps to prevent experiencing additional expenses.   

Activity

Predecessor

Duration per days

Cost/Day

A

-

3

400

B

A

3

500

C

B

5

500

D

C

4

300

E

C

7

200

Project resource planning foster a collaborative communication whereby different project teams’ work in unity to increase productivity to ensure the project is completed in time, on budget and satisfies the client requirements. 

Accordingly, during the process of resource levelling I experienced a lot of cooperation from the team I was working with in creating the project Gantt chart as well as the histogram.  

References

Abu-Hussein, R., Hyassat, M., Sweis, R., Alawneh, A., & Al-Debei, M. (2016). Project management factors are affecting the enterprise resource planning projects’ performance in Jordan. Journal of Systems and Information Technology, 18(3), 230-254.

Bianco, L., Caramia, M., & Giordani, S. (2016). Resource levelling in project scheduling with generalized precedence relationships and variable execution intensities. OR spectrum, 38(2), 405-425.

Braglia, M., & Frosolini, M. (2014). An integrated approach to implement project management information systems within the extended enterprise. International Journal of Project Management, 32(1), 18-29.

Chang, B., Kuo, C., Wu, C. H., & Tzeng, G. H. (2015). Using fuzzy analytic network process to assess the risks in enterprise resource planning system implementation. Applied Soft Computing, 28, 196-207.

Cheng, M. Y., Prayogo, D., & Tran, D. H. (2015). Optimizing multiple-resources leveling in multiple projects using discrete symbiotic organisms search. Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering, 30(3), 04015036.

Holliman, A., Thomson, A., & Hird, A. (2017). Engineering design resource planning: A case study in identifying resource forecasting opportunities in research project planning. In DS 87-2 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 2: Design Processes, Design Organisation, and Management, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08. 2017.

Kerzner, H. (2018). Project management best practices: Achieving global excellence. John Wiley & Sons.

Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Kyriklidis, C., & Dounias, G. (2016). Evolutionary computation for resource leveling optimization in project management. Integrated Computer-Aided Engineering, 23(2), 173-184.

Lock, D. (2017). The essentials of project management. Routledge.

Markou, C., Koulinas, G. K., & Vavatsikos, A. P. (2017). Project resources scheduling and leveling using Multi-Attribute Decision Models: Models implementation and case study. Expert Systems with Applications, 77, 160-169.

Martinelli, R. J., & Milosevic, D. Z. (2016). Project management toolbox: tools and techniques for the practicing project manager. John Wiley & Sons.

Tarhini, A., Ammar, H., & Tarhini, T. (2015). Analysis of the critical success factors for enterprise resource planning implementation from stakeholders’ perspective: A systematic review. International Business Research, 8(4), 25.

Umulisa, A., Mbabazize, M., & Shukla, J. (2015). Effects of Project Resource Planning Practices on Project Performance of Agaseke Project in Kigali, Rwanda. International Journal of Business and Management Review, 3(5), 29-51.

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