What is Resource Leveling and How is It Done?

Many new planners ask this question 'What is resource leveling'? Well, when we are developing the schedule, we are sequencing the activities. Moreover,  we are entering duration and also assigning resources onto the activities.  Now, while we are performing all these activities, our focus is generally to sequence activities based on our task dependencies (mandatory or discretionary).

Once all activities have been entered, their relationship set and resources assigned, we may end up developing a schedule where some of the resources are over allocated and some under allocated.  Now, we perform resource leveling to make sure all resources are leveled.

How to Level an Overallocated or Under-allocated Resource?

Resource can be leveled by many ways, and depending on the situation, priorities and requirements, we choose any of the best suitable options:

  • Reduce Resource’s Hours/Day.
  • Stagger work hours over one or more activities.
  • Increase Activity’s duration.
  • Change Activity date to a date when resource is available for more time. 
  • Add more resource to the activity, and reduce hours of the overallocated resource.
  • Increase availability of the resource.

The planner will decide the best suitable option(s) and until all the resources are not leveled, the project should not go onto the execution phase.

Purpose of Baseline in Project Scheduling

Baseline is a simple concept in project scheduling. If you are using scheduling software like Primavera, MS Project or any other, you will need to create a baseline before you enter actual work progress in the software. So what really the baseline is?

What is Baseline?

Baseline is really a copy of your planning, which includes your activities, their attributes like duration, dates and resources and costs. So why do we need to create a copy?
The actual reason is that we create baseline so that we could compare the actual progress with something (original plan).

You might ask that we already had a plan so why we would create its copy for comparison with actual progress. Well, in fact your planned data gets overwritten with the actual data that you enter. For example, once you enter actual start date for an activity, this date is written over your original start date. So then we have no original data to compare the actual data with. That's the reason we need to create copy of the plan.

How Do You Create Baseline?

In Primavera, baseline is created from Project menu -> Maintain Baseline. There you click Add and click OK to create a baseline. When you click Add, you will even see an option that says copy the project as a baseline.

If you're using MS Project, you can create baseline at Project tab -> Baseline -> Baseline 0 -> Click OK.

Now you know what baseline is. You may like to learn Primavera as it is globally used for project scheduling and here you can learn about the benefits that this software offers.

Benefits of Primavera P6 Software

Oracle Primavera has many benefits as it is an incredible schedule management software. It allows you to easily plan, manage, monitor and track your company's projects, whether they are IT, Civil, Mechanical or any other types of projects.  Primavera P6 is used by planners, planning engineers, schedulers and it is equally beneficial for planning managers, and any stakeholder involved in a project. Primavera has benefited every industry from aerospace to manufacturing, electronics to IT, Telecom to Civil, and list goes on.

Primavera P6 has been in use for decades. It's benefits to the organizations are many, including the following:

Benefits of Primavera

1.  It gives you project schedule and cost variance information.

2.  It reduces the risk of project cost overrun.

3.  It helps you easily plan and manage your project activities.

4.  It helps you optimize your project plan, costs and resource utilization.

5.  It gives you clear visibility of what is going on in the project.

6.  You can forecast costs, schedule.

7.  You can keep track of project period performance and view past period performances.

8.  It enables organizations to standardize method of planning their projects, generate reports, for better collaboration and communication.

9.  It helps you breakdown project work for better understanding.

10.  You can plan and track budget and actual costs of resources and other project expenses.

11.  It reduces the risk of project slippage.

These were the so many advantages of using Primavera.

Primavera Use Worldwide and Its Advantages

You just learnt that there are many advantages of Primavera. Now, be surprised to know that according to a recent survey, 475 of 500 top engineering firms in the USA use Primavera P6. Furthermore, all military and federal agencies also use and benefit from using Primavera P6. In addition to that, hundreds and thousands of companies in Europe, Australia, Asia, especially in Gulf use Primavera P6 software. There are tons of jobs available requiring people to have Primavera P6 skills. There are even jobs that require no degree but just Primavera skills. These jobs pay you very good and improve and widen your career prospects. After getting trained in Primavera P6, one can get a job of a scheduler, planner, planning engineer, project coordinator, etc.

It is imperative to mention here that there are many jobs that require Primavera P6 skills as well as want you to be a PMP. So, if you hold PMP credential and are also good in Primavera P6, there are many opportunities for you everywhere in the world.

You may also like to learn about the advantages of PMI-SP (` Professional) certification training. Read about it, here

Recommended Guides on Primavera

Recommended Book to Learn A-Z of Primavera


Recommended Primavera Book For Experienced Primavera Users

Tags: advantages of Primavera, benefits of primavera, project planning software, primavera p6 software

Primavera Activity Steps Feature Explained

The Steps feature in Primavera is available in the Activities window - Detail Tab - Steps tab.  This is quite useful feature to help you breakdown your activity or if you just want to specify steps to perform the activity. 

You can add as many steps for an activity as you want. You can also mark a step as completed when it is done. 

On the right-side of the bottom-window, you can click Modify to write a note against each step as well.

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