Project Management/Resource Allocation

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Resource allocation or resource management is the scheduling of activities and the resources required by those activities while taking into consideration both the resource availability and the project time.[1]

Objectives and Skills[edit]

Objectives and skills for the resource allocation portion of Project+ PK0-003 certification include:[2]

  • Identify roles and resource requirements based on WBS and resource availability
    • Identify existing resource availability
    • Identify training needs / outsourcing requirements
    • Assign resources to scheduled tasks
  • Coordinate human resources to maximize performance
    • Assemble and develop project team, build team cohesiveness, perform individual performance appraisals
    • Identify common causes of conflict:
      • Competing resource demands
      • Expert judgment
      • Varying work styles
    • Detect conflict and apply conflict resolution techniques:
      • Smoothing
      • Forcing
      • Compromise
      • Confronting
      • Avoiding
      • Negotiating
  • Given a scenario, execute appropriate resource leveling techniques
    • Fast tracking
    • Crashing
    • Delaying
    • Optimizing
      • Use of tools as necessary

Objectives and skills for the resource allocation portion of Project+ PK0-004 certification include:[3]

  • Explain the importance of human resource, physical resource, and personnel management.
    • Resource management concepts
      • Shared resources
      • Dedicated resources
      • Resource allocation
      • Resource shortage
      • Resource overallocation
      • Low quality resources
      • Benched resources
      • Interproject dependencies
      • Interproject resource contention
    • Personnel management
      • Team building
      • Trust building
      • Team selection
      • Skill sets
      • Remote vs. in-house
      • Personnel removal/replacement
      • Communication issues
      • Conflict resolution
        • Smoothing
        • Forcing
        • Compromising
        • Confronting
        • Avoiding
        • Negotiating

Readings[edit]

  1. Wikipedia: Resource allocation
  2. Wikipedia: Professional development
  3. Wikipedia: Outsourcing
  4. Wikipedia: Human resources
  5. Wikipedia: Project team
  6. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  7. Wikipedia: Resource leveling

Multimedia[edit]

  1. Youtube: Conflict resolution techniques
  2. Youtube: Schedule, planning, archiving
  3. Youtube: How to manage resources
  4. Youtube: How to manage team performance
  5. Youtube: Creating high performance project teams
  6. Youtube: How to run team meetings
  7. Youtube: Managing a High Risk Project
  8. Youtube: Managing Project Resources
  9. Youtube: Resource leveling and Resource Smoothing
  10. Youtube: Microsoft Project 2013 Tutorial – Resource Basics

Activities[edit]

  1. Watch this tutorial and use Microsoft Project or another project management software to practice allocating resources to tasks.
  2. Resources can often become overallocated in Microsoft Project. Watch this tutorial video to learn how to manage resource over-allocations in your project.
  3. Review this web page to learn how limited resource allocation works in projects where there are insufficient resources. In your project management software, create a scenario in which resources are limited, and use the critical path method to assign resources to tasks.
  4. Watch this tutorial to have an understanding about resource leveling and allocate resources to your project to apply resource leveling techniques.
  5. Please review Conflict Resolution in Project Management and review the following scenarios of conflicts and try to resolve them.

Lesson Summary[edit]

  • Resource allocation or resource management is the scheduling of activities and the resources required by those activities while taking into consideration both the resource availability and the project time.[4]
  • In project management, Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a hierarchical list of resources related by function and resource type that is used to facilitate planning and controlling of project work. The Resource Breakdown Structure includes, at a minimum, the personnel resources needed for successful completion of a project, and preferably contains all resources on which project funds will be spent, including personnel, tools, machinery, materials, equipment and fees and licenses.[5]
  • In project management terminology, resources are required to carry out the project tasks. They can be people, equipment, facilities, funding, or anything else capable of definition (usually other than labor) required for the completion of a project activity. [6]
  • When using shared resources, the project manager will need to negotiate with department managers or other managers for resource availability.[7]
  • When using dedicated resources, the project manager has full access to the resource for the project.[8]
  • Interproject dependencies occur when one project must wait for another project to complete results that are needed by the first project.[9]
  • Outsourcing is an agreement in which one company contracts its own internal activity to different company.[10]
  • Human resources are the people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy.[11]
  • A project team is a team whose members usually belong to different groups, functions and are assigned to activities for the same project. A team can be divided into sub-teams according to need. Usually project teams are only used for a defined period of time. They are disbanded after the project is deemed complete.[12]
  • Team building is a never-ending process. Even after a team matures, team building efforts should be regularly renewed or continued. The project manager should work with team members to ensure that the team moves through the following team building stages in the Tuckman Ladder.[13]
  • Tuckman's stages of group development are as follows:[14]
    • Forming – The team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks.
    • Storming – the second stage of team development where the group starts to sort itself out and gain each other’s trust. This stage often starts when they voice their opinions and as a result of this a conflict may arise between team members as power and status are assigned.
    • Norming – This happens when the team is aware of competition and they share a common goal. In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team's goals.
    • Performing – a team-building stage where the team is motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision.
    • Adjourning – a team-building stage that involves completing the task and breaking up the team.
  • Compromising is also described as a "give and take" style. Conflicting parties bargain to reach a mutually acceptable solution. Both parties give up something in order to reach a decision and leave with some degree of satisfaction. [15]
  • It is important for a project manager to understand the dynamics of conflict before being able to resolve it. The internal characteristics of conflict include perception of the goal, perception of the other, view of the other's actions, definition of problem, communication, and internal group dynamics. [16]
  • Smoothing is also referred to as accommodating or obliging style. In this approach, the areas of agreement are emphasized and the areas of disagreement are downplayed. Conflicts are not always resolved in the smoothing mode. A party may sacrifice it's own concerns or goals in order to satisfy the concerns or goals of the other party. [17]
  • Forcing is also known as competing, controlling, or dominating style. Forcing occurs when one party goes all out to win it's position while ignoring the needs and concerns of the other party. As the intesity of a conflict increases, the tendency for a forced conflict is more likely. This results in a win-lose situation where one party wins at the expense of the other party. [18]
  • Avoiding is also described as withdrawal style. This approach is viewed as postponing an issue for later or withdrawing from the situation altogether. It is regarded as a temporary solution because the problem and conflict continue to reoccur over and over again. [19]
  • The goal is to achieve 100% utilization but that is very unlikely, when weighted by important metrics and subject to constraints, for example: meeting a minimum service level, but otherwise minimizing cost. [20]
  • Resource management is a key element to activity resource estimating and project human resource management. Both are essential components of a comprehensive project management plan to execute and monitor a project successfully.[21]
  • Resource leveling is defined by A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) as "A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply."[22]
  • Fast tracking means that you look at activities that are normally done in sequence and assign them instead partially in parallel.[23]
  • "Crashing" the schedule means to throw additional resources to the critical path without necessarily getting the highest level of efficiency.[24]

Key Terms[edit]

adjourning
a team-building stage that involves completing the task and breaking up the team.[25]
avoiding
The process of postponing an issue for later or withdrawing from the situation altogether. [26]
benched resource
Available resource for a project but not being utilized.[27]
collaborating
The process of two or more people or organizations working together to realize or achieve something successfully.[28]
compromise
The deal between different parties where each party gives up part of their demand. [29]
confrontation
The process of conflicting parties meeting face-to-face and collaborating to reach an agreement that satisfies the concerns of both parties. [30]
dedicated resource
A resource allocated to a single project. [31]
deputy project manager
Second in charge of a project under the project manager [32]
fast tracking
The Technique that is often implemented in crisis and/or crunch times so to speak as it involves in taking a specific schedule activity and/or work breakdown event that has been previously scheduled and/or is underway and expediting it in some way or another. [33]
forcing
The process of one party going all out to win it's position while ignoring the needs and concerns of the other party. [34]
forming
A team-building stage where the team meets and learns about the opportunities and challenges, and then agrees on goals and begins to tackle the tasks.[35]
human resources (HR) frame
The integration of human needs and organizational requirements. [36]
intrinsic motivation
The motivation to engage in a behavior arises from within the individual because it is intrinsically rewarding [37]
negotiating
A conflict resolution that brings two viewpoints together to discuss issues and reach a solution.[38]
norming
This happens when the team is aware of competition and they share a common goal. In this stage, all team members take the responsibility and have the ambition to work for the success of the team's goals.[39]
offshoring
The relocation of a business process from one country to another—typically an operational process, such as manufacturing, or supporting processes, such as accounting. [40]
organizational breakdown structure (OBS)
Hierarchical model describing the established organizational framework for project planning, resource management, time and expense tracking, cost allocation, revenue/profit reporting, and work management.[41]
outsourcing
The process of contracting out of a business process and operational, and/or non-core functions to another party. [42]
overallocation
Situation when assignments of more tasks than your resources can handle or reasonably complete within a standard eight hour workweek are assigned [43]
performing
a team-building stage where the team is motivated and knowledgeable. The team members are now competent, autonomous and able to handle the decision-making process without supervision.[44]
resource allocation
The scheduling of activities and the resources required by those activities while taking into consideration both the resource availability and the project time[45]
Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS)
A hierarchical list of resources related by function and resource type that is used to facilitate planning and controlling of project work.[46]
resource histogram
Tool that is often used by the project management team and or as a means of providing a visual representation to the team and to all of those interested parties [47]
resource leveling
A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply[48]
resource loading
The process of allocating resources to planned project activities[49]
shared resource
A resource used jointly between multiple projects.[50]
smoothing mode
The process of accommodating or obliging style. In this approach, the areas of agreement are emphasized and the areas of disagreement are downplayed. [51]
storming
the second stage of team development where the group starts to sort itself out and gain each other’s trust. This stage often starts when they voice their opinions and as a result of this a conflict may arise between team members as power and status are assigned.[52]
team development
Enhancement of the effectiveness of work groups, by improving goal- and role-clarification and interpersonal processes. [53]

Review Questions[edit]

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Click on a question to see the answer.
  1. ________________________is the scheduling of activities and the resources required by those activities while taking into consideration both the resource availability and the project time.
    Resource allocation or resource management.
  2. _____________________ are the people who make up the workforce of an organization, business sector, or economy.
    Human Resources
  3. Compromising is also described as a "­____________"
    give and take
  4. _______________ occurs when one party goes all out to win its position while ignoring the needs and concerns of the other party.
    Forcing
  5. _______________ is described as a withdrawal style approach because it postpones an issue for later or withdrawing from the situation altogether.
    Avoiding
  6. _______________ means that you look at activities that are normally done in sequence and assign them instead partially in parallel.
    Fast tracking
  7. The term "___________" means to throw additional resources to the critical path without necessarily getting the highest level of efficiency
    crashing
  8. A _______________ is a team whose members usually belong to different groups, functions and are assigned to activities for the same project.
    Project team
  9. _______________ sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another.
    Outsourcing
  10. ____________________ is a key element to activity resource estimating and project human resource management.
    Resource management
  11. _____________________ is an approach wherein the areas of agreement are emphasized, and the areas of disagreement are downplayed.
    Smoothing
  12. When using ___________ resources, the project manager will need to negotiate with department managers or other managers for resource availability.
    shared
  13. When using __________ resources, the project manager has full access to the resource for the project.
    dedicated
  14. __________________ is a document that breaks down allocated resources hierarchically by category and type.
    Resource Breakdown Structure
  15. __________________ brings two viewpoints together to discuss issues and reach a solution.
    Negotiating
  16. _________________ occur when one project must wait for another project to complete results that are needed by the first project.
    Interproject dependencies

Assessments[edit]

See Also[edit]

  1. Read Wikipedia: Resource (project management).
  2. Read Fast-tracking and crashing can get your project back on schedule.
  3. Read Manage Project Delays: Proactive Steps to Minimize the Unexpected.
  4. Read Optimizing Project Performance.
  5. Read Simple Ways to Optimize Your Project Plan in MS Project.

References[edit]

Nuvola apps edu miscellaneous.svg Type classification: this is a lesson resource.
  1. Wikipedia: Resource Allocation
  2. CompTIA: Project+ Certification Exam Objectives: PK0-003
  3. CompTIA: Project+ Certification Exam Objectives: PK0-004
  4. Wikipedia: Resource Allocation
  5. Wikipedia: Resource Breakdown Structure
  6. Wikipedia: Resource (project management)
  7. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  8. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  9. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  10. Wikipedia: Outsourcing
  11. Wikipedia: Human resources
  12. Wikipedia: Project team
  13. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  14. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  15. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  16. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  17. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  18. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  19. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  20. Wikipedia: Resource Management
  21. Wikipedia: Resource Management
  22. Wikipedia: Resource Leveling
  23. Fast-tracking and crashing can get your project back on schedule
  24. Fast-tracking and crashing can get your project back on schedule
  25. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  26. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  27. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  28. Wikipedia: Collaboration
  29. Wikipedia: Compromise
  30. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  31. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  32. Deputy Project Manager Job Description
  33. Fast Tracking
  34. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  35. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  36. REFLECTION 5: THE HUMAN RESOURCE FRAME
  37. What is Intrinsic Motivation?
  38. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  39. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  40. Wikipedia: Offshoring
  41. Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS)
  42. Wikipedia: Outsourcing
  43. Resource Allocation: Do You Overwork Your Resources?
  44. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  45. Wikipedia: Resource leveling
  46. Wikipedia: Resource breakdown structure
  47. Project Management Knowledge
  48. Wikipedia: Resource leveling
  49. What is the difference between resource loading and resource leveling?
  50. Robin Abernathy (2018). “CompTIA Project+ Cert Guide: Exam PK0-004 (Certification Guide) 1st Edition”. Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-7897-5883-0
  51. Conflict Resolution in Project Management
  52. Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development
  53. Team Development