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Leveling of resources

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Hlamalani Baloyi
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I am new on P6, on my program there are resources that are over-alocated and some resources that are under-alocated, how do i level these resources? Can someone help me with the steps please,

 

Thx

Replies

Anoon Iimos
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Try to consider the following:

1. Activity-logics; Activity type

2. Global Calendar

3. Resource dependencies

4. Resource Calendars vs. Activity Calendars

and most importantly;

5. Critical Path / Activities

Yes, it is really a nightmare, your resource leveling is as good as your resource loading. 

I supposed you will only level resources in the critical path, but remember that the critical path is also a changeable thing. So everytime your critical path changes, you will also need to level your resources. 

hope this is clear

Rafael Davila
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Automatic resource leveling means resources are leveled using sophisticated algorithms available to anyone by simply clicking the mouse once. To undo the mess it is enough to single click the mouse again.

If there is a mess it means something is wrong within your model. My experience tells me the issue that creates the most problems is that the scheduler model wrongs true resource assignments and that there is a particular difficulty with some low quality software to model partial assignments. By not modeling correctly partial assignments the software will correctly interpret there is an artificial lack of resources where there is no such lack, it is just an error on part of the scheduler or the use of incapable software. Anyway by manually moving the activities the scheduler will not solve the issue correctly.

For example, in our jobs we work reinforcing steel on several activities the same day and for simplicity say we use the same worker on five activities as there is only one available. The correct assignment is one such worker on each activity working 20% of the time on each activity. In real life you assign a whole crew 20% of the time on each activity and perhaps the supervisor of the crew a different percentage to supervise this crew, say 50% as the supervisor of this crew and 50% as the supervisor of a second crew that might be pre-fabricating some assemblies. Of course with the availability of today computing power it would be very stupid to make such crew assignments on every activity by repeating each resource assignment individually when by simply assigning the whole crew as a multi resource with such partial assignments shall do it.

Ancient software such as P3 and SureTrack would make it difficult, if not impossible to model in a simple and transparent way such everyday resource allocation. Our solution at the time was not to resource allocate in any way and use soft logic to prevent major conflicts but many times it proved wrong forcing us to constantly take corrective action because of our misses in the soft links and resources we missed could become driving.

Good resource modeling ==> at times a mess, be honest ==> click ==> un-level ==> re-work resources issues dummy, things do change ==> click ==> Good allocation.

You got to manage resource allocation, it is not a one in a time procedure but continuous.

You have no choice but trust the software.

But you shall study the results and may influence how the software will behave by selecting different priority rules (don't use P6 default - it is too bad), applying activity priorities, maybe adding soft links (not recommended - only if nothing helped). 

Hlamalani Baloyi
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Guys,

Manual levelling is a nightmare, especially in massive construction projects projects, however I don't want to mess my program. So what is the best way of levelling resources?

All of you gave good valid reasons but i am lost as to whether i should trust the software or should do it manually even though it seems impossible.

Anoon Iimos
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As loading resources in your schedule the first time, resource levelling also needs decision. I believe that the first time you draft your schedule, it is not possible to load resources automatically, you always load resources manually. 

So I may not really believe in automatic resource levelling, as there is no such thing as automatic decision. 

In my opinion, resources are dependent on activity logics, unless you do the reverse - activities will depend on your resources. 

I supposed in automatic resource levelling, the idea is to make your activities dependent on your resources. So if you had established your activity-logics in the first place, you can expect a mess once you run your automatic resource levelling. 

hope this helps

Anning Sofi
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P6 will resource level your programme according to its convention, and is very useful for large networks.

But that is only the processing part of resource levelling. However, resource levelling will only deliver the outputs desired if (1) logical relationships of the activities are proper (2) resource loading is realistic (3) durations are based on productivity and quantities (3) no constraints (4) floats are reasonable.

If the network, duration and resource loading is flawed, P6 will just resource level the programme, but the output will not be desirable.

Hi Jorge,

I totally agree and like your comparison. Well said.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Jorge Payne
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Resource leveling manually is like moving a mountain a teaspoon at a time - especially in a large complex network.  You need earth moving equipment.   You should trust your PM software to not only cut the overloads, but fill the underloads while still observing network logic, using just activity free float and total float to "shake the jar" enough so that your project fills as small a volume of resources given the time available.  I believe Vladimir will agree with me in this regard.

Rafael Davila
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Manual leveling by default is done by grossly messing with the schedule logic. One way is by substituting resource dependencies with predecessors links that are fixed. These dependencies vary as the resource demand varies with every update, if you leave them all and start adding more and more you will get substandard results. These links are very difficult to unlink without much effort.

Another way is by artificially delaying activities until resources are available using constraints. Again messing with the logic, this time by substituting resource dependencies with fixed constraints.

Old versions of MS Project perform their resource leveling holding delayed activities using date constraints which create the problem of not being able to un-level your job before any new resource leveling. So unreliable was MS Project, and still is if you do not use the appropriate settings, that Microsoft recommends not using their own resource leveling. You can Google for it is everywhere, what is important is to understand that Microsoft recommendation applies only to their software.

A combination of both of the above can be used further complicating the identification of artificial logic that must be undone on every update.

It is an error to assume resource dependencies stay fixed as if typical predecessor links.

How do you manually solve resource issues without artificially messing with the model?

Johannes Vandenberg
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Hi Hlamalani

I use the fine automatic level ling function in P6.7 every week after i have updated the schedules for the projects in progress.

So , i select the projects in progress in the portfolio and open these schedule all at ones. Then I level the welders and structural steel workers in order to obtain the correct manning levels for the coming weeks. We have reports in total manhour requirements per order and the same by trade such as welders and structural steelworkers.

Note that this is only possible under the condition that the schedule is fully completed. The best way is to run the schedule check with Primavera Risk Anllisys.

Labor recourses need to be accurately estimated , recourse id 's must be the same over all projects in the portfolio.

To start off, use in order of preference the following priorities. Give priority codes to the activities you want to start first and secondly use free float and as last use the most important recourse you wish to level.

Open the schedule and select the recourse histogram ant the bottom of you screen and click shift-F9. You can see during the leveliling that the recourses are being leveled because the labor histogram is changing instantly.

After the level ling process you have to evaluate the results and take the required steps to be taken. If over allocated then re-schedule, use shift work, work overtime, subcontract work and so on.

Please note that it requires a substantially amount of experience to use the automatic level ling function. On the other hand manually level ling for 5000 activities is nearly impossible.

Trust this helps

Johannes

Hlamalani Baloyi
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Thanx to all of you guys,

I am planning a huge infrastracture (Power station construction) project. I however prefer to level resources manually as I dont want to mess my 6000 lines program.

 

Kindest Regards

When people tell that they use manual leveling I understand that they do not level their resources at all or use some simplification like leveling overall manhours. Because this task is too complex to be regularly done.

Just imagine large project that has several limited resources. Moving one activity to remove overallocation of one resource you create overallocation of another, etc. You will not be able to find good solution and besides it is very time consuming. You can do it once, twice, but not each time when actual data are entered.

People who level their projects manually just do not trust automatic leveling of scheduling packages they are using. And most times they are right, few packages try to optimize created resource constrained schedules. But there is no choice - manual leveling of large projects is too complex and time consuming to be done on regular basis and will never produce the best results.

Mike Testro
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Hi Hlamalani

Nikamal is quite right - manual levelling is cumbersom but you keep control of your programme.

Never trust the built in resource levelling software - it will screw up your programme in nanoseconds.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Nilkamal Parikh
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Hi Baloyi,

To level the resources, most of the planners use manual levelling. Firstly you you click on the resource usage spreadsheet tab and check the Resource box. Now click your resource one by one it will show you the activities using that particular resource. Now chekc their concentration for over allocation and check the gaps for under allocated resources. Considering the project timeframe you can adjust the logic for those activities so that they do not affect your end date. You can keep open the total float column as a guide so that you can decide which activities you can play around. You can apply same for the under allocated activities. May be you can dealy the start of those activities again without delaying your end date.

Give it a go and spend some time to make few alternates and see what happens. I hope this will help.

Good Luck

Nilkamal

Anning Sofi
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The resourcing levelling principles do not change even if you are new to P6, if you have been using this module in another application or in P3.