By: Brian DeVault

Resource Leveling & Controls in Project Management 

This week for NETRIO’s White Board Wednesday episode, Brian and Mike have moved on to the fourth tenet of good project management – Resource Leveling & Controls. If you have missed the previous three tenets, check out NETRIO’s blog to read about project plan initiation, project planning and project execution. 

In order for a project to be managed effectively, it needs to have strong resource leveling and controls. However, it is not always an easy task. This blog post will discuss what resource leveling is and why it is so important to the overall outcome of the project. 

What is Resource Leveling?

According to Forecast, “Resource leveling, by definition, is a resource optimization technique that answers when the project can be finished with the available resources without overbooking them or spreading them too thin. Resource leveling will generally aim to distribute work between resources fairly, which not only contributes to a healthy work environment, but also makes the project schedule realistic and achievable.” 

Resources help the team get the project completed. When defining a resource, it could be many different things. Many people think of a resource as a team member, and that is a very important aspect. However, resources can also be things like systems, processes and facilities.

Why Resource Leveling is Important 

Many people think resource leveling and controls are most important at the start of the project. While they are very important at the beginning, it is more important as the project unfolds. Ensuring your company has a strong resource-leveling plan will allow for intermittent check-ins that prove to make the project advance smoothly and efficiently. 

As the project unfolds, your team should be looking at things like performance vs budget. Each person working on the project costs money, and staying within the budget is important. You also want to ensure that each employee is not being overworked or overwhelmed to avoid burnout and maintain a happy work environment. Another thing to compare against is performance to schedule. How is the project going according to the agreed-upon project plan? 

Example of Resource Leveling

After taking these things into account, you would be able to decide which action needs to be taken to meet the end goal. For example, if you have a hard deadline, and the budget conflicts slightly, you can add a resource at an hourly cost into the middle of the project to speed it up.

Resource leveling is going to be situational. It comes down to adding, removing, or changing people, processes, and assets involved in that resource pool.

Resource leveling and controls is a way to increase efficiency in projects with the resources your company has available. If resource leveling is done properly, no resource will be overextended. Project managers should take into account different factors to pinpoint dependencies and avoid delays and maintain promised deliverables. 

This blog post is part of NETRIO’s weekly White Board Wednesday series. Follow along on Linkedin and YouTube each week as Brian and Mike discuss use cases, new technology, and trends. The goal is to provide insights for enterprise customers and channel partners, trying to solve complex problems using technology.