Project Management: What is Resource Loading?

Week 6: Chapter 9 Assignment

What is resource loading? How does it differ from resource leveling?

Resource loading is the amount of a resource necessary to complete a program during a particular period. Project managers allocate each type of resource depending on the scheduled period, whether for a unit or several tasks. The process gives the manager an idea of the funds required to complete a project.

While resource loading deals with allocation, resource leveling is about timelines and resources. The latter breaks down the project based on the time and resources required to complete the work by a particular date. Leveled resources have a cost implication because once the process starts, the project team must also level the cost of labor.  

Describe the concept of “critical chain” in your own words

Critical chain project management (CCPM) is a method used by supervisors to plan, execute, and manage projects depending on the availability of resources. The team leader considers the available resources and allocates them to projects. The approach delays the use of resources, especially if they are inadequate for the activities. The schedule and pace of the project depend on the funds available. Therefore, the manager can delay the project in case resources are insufficient to complete the work within a given deadline. The team leader determines the critical chain during the project planning phase after evaluating the nature of the project, the necessary and available resources, and the schedule.

Week 6 Discussion

When might a firm choose to crash a project? What factors must be considered in making this decision?

Project crashing is a technique applied by managers to shorten the duration of a project by reducing the scheduled time for one or several important activities. It occurs when the leader needs to moderate the amount of time required for a project to minimize costs. Therefore, crashing is critical whenever the deadline is revised, the initial time is overestimated, or the project falls behind time and the manager needs to shorten the period to maintain the schedule. The project team considers important factors when making a crash decision, including a tradeoff between time and cost. The choice has direct and indirect cost implications such as overheads that the team should understand and account for. In addition, the team should consider resource availability when deciding to crash a project.

Week 6: Chapter 10 Assignment

Describe the three variances of an earned value chart and explain their significance

The three aspects include schedule variance, cost variance, and time variance. Schedule variance is the difference between secured and planned value. Time variance is the difference between scheduled and varying time, while cost variance is the difference between earned value and the overall cost of a project. A positive schedule variance suggests that the project is ahead of time and will be completed within the schedule. A positive cost variance means that the project operates within budget. A positive time variance indicates that the project will be completed in time. The variances provide important information on the progress of a project.

Describe the various ways that earned value can be found

Project managers can apply different approaches to find earned value, such as the percent-complete method, milestone technique, a 50/50 approach. The first technique considers the fraction as representing the number of tasks completed and the time and resource implications of that percentage. The milestone method assumes that earned value is zero until the activity is completed. Hence, the cost is determined once the operation is done. The 50/50 approach indicates that the acquired value is zero before the operation, 50 percent after commencement, and 100 percent upon completion. The choice of the method depends on the potential for accuracy.

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