Resource Leveling

Posted on July 24, 2009 by

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The project management technique of Resource Leveling examines the possible need for adjustments to a schedule already constructed using the Critical Path Method based on the availability of resources. The fourth edition PMBOK® defines it as “any form of schedule network analysis in which scheduling decisions (start and finish dates) are driven by resource constraints.” It is listed as a technique of the PMBOK’s Develop Schedule and Control Schedule processes.

Although typically the resources are people, other types of resources may also be leveled. If the schedule was constructed assuming that a project team of ten would be working forty-hour weeks, it will need to be adjusted if the team is only available to work mornings or if the team has been reduced to eight people. Also, a highly skilled person may be needed to perform several activities which are currently listed as occurring simultaneously, and there are simply not enough hours in the day for that single person to accomplish all the work. Another situation which may require Resource Leveling is if the team is unwilling to work varying number of hours (for example, the schedule may currently require 20 hours of a person’s time during some weeks, and 60 hours of that person’s time during other weeks). In this situation, the schedule could be adjusted so the resource(s) work the same number of hours each week. Often the project schedule will need to be extended to account for these constraints.