Resource Allocation means finding out which resource is required for which activity at what time.
Resource is a physical or non-physical variable required for the completion of the project which includes time, space, material, machinery and manpower.
Due to limited resource or limited project duration, it is required to allocate resources in such a way that more or less a uniform demand throughout the project duration can be achieved.
Allocation of resource are expressed inform of a graph which shows variation in the requirement of resources with time is referred as Resource User Profile or Histogram.
Histograms are helpful to know the requirement of resources at different times in different activities.
Use of Computer for Resource Allocation
Most modern computer software programs have the facilities for resource allocation. In principle, the computer aggregates a particular resource in any time period and compares this with a previously entered availability level for that resource. If the availability of that resource is less than the required level, the software will either
- Show the excess requirement in tabular form: or
- Increase the duration of the activity requiring that resource to spread the available resources over a longer period, thus eliminating the unattainable peak loading.
Manual resource allocation is probably the most practical method, since such unprogrammable factors as working space, access, personality traits of foremen, hard-standing for cranes etc. can only be considered by a human when allocation is carried out.
Resource allocation Processes
Resource allocation can be achieved by following two processes:
1. Resource Smoothening
In resource smoothening, the total project duration is not change but the activities having floats are rescheduled such that a uniform demand for the resources are achieved.
- Here resources are unlimited.
- Project duration is not changed.
- Critical path remains unchanged.
2. Resources Levelling
In resource levelling, the activities are rescheduled such that maximum or peak demand of resource does not exceed the availability of resources. Available resources should never be less than the maximum quantity for any activity. Firstly, available floats are used then if needed duration of some activities is increased or decreased as per the resources requirement.
- Resources are limited in Resource levelling.
- Project duration might be unchanged.
- Critical path may get changed.
NOTE – Resource smoothening and resource levelling both are trial and error methods.
Whether the resources are ‘levelled’ to reduce the unacceptable peals due to resource restraints or ‘smoothed’ to produce a more even resource usage pattern, activities have to be readjusted along the time scale by utilizing the available float. To ascribe different meanings to the terms smoothening and levelling is therefore somewhat hair-splitting, since in both cases the operations to be carried out are identical. If the resource levels are so restricted that even the critical activities have to be extended, the project completion will inevitably be delayed.