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Tools You Can Use to Level Your Resources

written by: Marlene Gundlach • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 10/16/2009

Resource leveling tools allow you to maximize the resources available to you, making you and your team more productive.

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    Resource Leveling Tools

    Resource leveling involves examining a project to see if an unbalanced use of resources exists; usually these resources are the people assigned to the project. The workload needs to be allocated equally to avoid overloading team members with too much work, while at the same time possibly leaving too little work for others. There are tools available to project managers to help with the process of resource leveling and each can make it easier to monitor the utilization of resources so that tasks are completed on time and deadlines are met.

    The first tool that can be used to level resources is Project 2007. Once you set task and project priority levels, you can then select Level Resources from the Tools menu. This allows you to look for over-allocations and choose to level any new or unleveled assignments.

    Primavera Project Planner is another resource available. Primavera Systems, Inc. is a leading provider of project management software solutions. Primavera Project Planner allows you to set up calendars that show the details of your employees work patterns. You can then manipulate assigned activities over the life of the project to strengthen the outcome of your project.

    Another program that I came across is called jx Project. Through the use of task ranking, the order and priority of resource work time is divided up between tasks. So, a task with a lower rank value will take precedence with resource work time. If Task A has a rank value of 3 and task B has a rank value of 4, task B could possibly delay its start relative to task A. This then regulates how and when resources are applied to any given task.

    Project Management Templates promises to provide you with the templates necessary to perform resource leveling tasks. You can produce a project plan and proceed to allocate resources as needed. Through the use of one of their templates, you can identify the number of available hours and determine which of those hours are already allocated to specific tasks. Simply put, if the number of hours allocated is greater than the hours available, your resources are not leveled. You can change tasks and the resources assigned to them via the templates until the resources are leveled.

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    Resource leveling is critical to the success of any project. By leveling your available resources, you are meeting the demands of a project without over-extending resources and manpower.