- Problem Definition.
Enough resources to support all projects are seldom available. Organization, however, tries to pursue too many projects at once. The key to manage multiple projects is the ability to allocate resources across projects, especially key personnel and to be able to set priorities among projects.
- Identify the Feasible Alternative.
Resource allocation methods to resolve resource constraints in multiple project management include:
- Critical Chain Techniques: Focus specially and explicitly on critical resources and resource management.
- Resource Loading Analysis and Histograms: Show the individual resources a project requires at specific time period.
- Resource Leveling: Address whether resources are over-used or under-used.
- Development of the Outcome for Alternative.
The objective is to resolve all resource constraints in the process of determining the project critical chain (CC). The critical chain techniques don’t protect individual project activities, they protect the project completion. Schedule blocks of time, called “buffers”, are used in critical chain techniques to ensure high probability of meeting the project delivery date.
- Project Buffer: is placed between the last project activity and the promised date to the Client.
- Feeding Buffer: Amount of buffer time at the end of a sequence of tasks. Protection every time a non-critical chain activity feeds the critical chain.
- Resource Buffer: Does not take time in the CC. Protection of the CC from the unavailability of resources. Flags to alert project management to make sure that the resource is ready to work on the CC activities as soon as the activity input is ready.
Activities are scheduled to start as late as possible, considering the feeding buffer.
- Selection of Criteria.
Resources Histogram describes when resource requirements will be met and shows the total resource requirements and provides the first step to reducing excessive demands on some resources. Also, to be updated continually during the project life cycle to support ongoing team member acquisition and development action. The below graph is typical example for three moth project.
Graph 1 Illustrative Resource Histogram
- Analysis and Comparison of the Alternative.
A scheduling technique that normally addresses the problem of over-committed resources by adjusting the project schedule, typically by extending the schedule, when the schedule logic places a demand on a resource that exceed their availability.
- Selection of the Preferred Alternative.
Addressing the issues where a specific activity performer may be expected to work on several activities during the same period of time. This should be considered on an activity-by-activity basis as project team members are typically not interchangeable.
- Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result.
Monitoring and supervision should be conducted strictly during the execution of the project with weekly/monthly meeting and review. It is often less expensive to level labor resources to avoid the need for layoffs or new hires.
- Project Management Institute. (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (5th ed.).
- Resource allocation retrieved on July 30,14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_allocation
- LAUE, Satanford, H. J. (1967). Efficient Methods for the Allocation of Resources in Project Networks.