In this video, we explain how to use resource optimisation to make sure your projects run effectively.
- Resource optimization is another scheduling related activity that you'll need to be able to do to make sure your projects have run successfully. The APM defines resource optimization as, "A collective term used to describe the methods for ensuring that labor and non-labor resources are matched to the schedule." Optimization can be based on factors, like target end dates and the maximum level of resources available. As a project manager, you must ensure that these resources are available at the required time, the required quantity of resources are acquired, and the right quality of resources are allocated. There are two generic types of resource that any project will use, replenishable resources, like materials or money that are only available in certain amounts, and once they're used you'll need to replenish them. Reusable resources, like people, machinery, facilities, and equipment, can be used for the project until it's completed, and also during the project for other work when they're in use. Once you know what kind of resources you need for a project, there is a basic three step process you can use for scheduling these. First, allocate the resources, next, aggregate the resources by units per time period to create a resource histogram, and record these figures, last, schedule the resources to optimize delivery based on availability. Let's explore each of these steps in a bit more detail. As I mentioned a moment ago, you need to start by allocating resources. This can be challenging because you'll probably need to make trade offs, like getting the right quantity at the right time, but not the right quality, or the right quality at the right time but not the right quantity, or even the right quality in the right quantity, but not at the right time. It's also worth noting that this process looks a little different in a linear and iterative life cycles. In a linear life cycle, resources, i.e. cost, are allocated per phase or in total for the project. Projects using an iterative lifecycle, ensure requirements are prioritized and implemented within pre-allocated resources. This varies the scope and the quality achieved within the time box sprint. Okay, so that's resource allocation, let's move on to resource aggregation. This basically comes down to displaying how the resource allocation can be shown in a time-phased histogram. Yes, I know that sounds like some serious jargon, but all this really is, is a chart that shows the total number of resources used by a period in conjunction with the resources per individual skillset. This is great because it lets you see at a glance where resources are overloaded, or conversely, underutilized. Finally, for this video, let's talk about resource scheduling. If you create a schedule that looks great but doesn't take into account when those resources are actually available, your schedule will fail. You also want to avoid instances where resources are either over or under utilized. There are two ways you can do this. The first is called resource leveling, which involves scheduling the activities so that that defined resource limit isn't exceeded. Resources are subject to a fixed limit, which will affect the sequenced and/or the duration of activities. Leveling may ultimately delay the project to keep within the resource limits. Alternatively, you can use smoothing. Smoothing is used when the end date is fixed and the resources are to be expended to meet that end date. Activities are rescheduled within their available total float to achieve a profile which is as smooth as possible. And that's it for this video. Staying on top of project resources is another critical element for project success. In this video, we've covered the different kind of resources you'll need to leverage in any kind of project, as well as the three step process you can use to optimize the resources you have available to you.