In project management, a resource-loaded schedule is a timeline of tasks, in which the labor force is assigned a percentage of the job. Employees are given a certain number of hours to complete a given task based on project percentages. For example, if your subcontractor works for two hours a day, they’re expected to have done 5% of the required work.
The more hours they work, the higher the completion percentage tracked on a resource loading chart.
What is a Resource Loading Chart?
A resource loading chart is a visual chart used by project managers to distribute resources and assign them to team members. By using a resource loading chart, project managers can track down the tasks required to complete a project.
Project managers will also be able to identify the type of skills assigned to a given task, and the cost associated with completing the job.
There are several advantages associated with using a resource loading chart, including:
- Minimizing delays, as managers can easily reorganize schedules or tasks
- Helping with budgeting, since it’s easier for project managers to identify where more money is required
- Making it easy for contractors to create a resource strategy roadmap
- All key players knowing their role and tracking the progress of their work
The difference between resource loading and leveling
The main similarity between resource loading and leveling is that they both deal with manpower. The main difference is that resource loading aims to maximize employee productivity based on the available time frame. In contrast, resource leveling focuses on maximizing the budget based on the available time frame to achieve a specific goal.
In resource leveling, the project manager ranks projects in order of priority and then channels resources towards prioritized tasks. Resource leveling has one main setback: it’s not easy for project managers to identify which projects are more important than others.
To understand the difference between the leveling and loading better, let’s assume you have two ongoing projects with a labor force of 30 people. In resource leveling, the project manager will schedule the 30 employees to work on the most critical project of the two. When dealing with resource loading, your 30 employees will each work on the two projects, subject to priority.
To avoid problems with manually creating a resource loading chart, consider making use of modern technology. Modern technology helps reduce risk and makes it easier for different teams to collaborate. These platforms also usually have intuitive progress score reports that keep workers on track.
Modern technology to help in resource load scheduling
When creating a resource-loaded schedule, you can either do it manually or use construction optioneering platforms like this one: https://www.alicetechnologies.com/product/preconstruction.
Look for technologies designed to help contractors adequately plan their projects during and after the preconstruction phase. Using optioneering, you’ll be able to use “what if” scenarios and explore various resource-loaded options to ensure tasks are prioritized.
As a result, you’ll reduce risk, as these kinds of software often factor in contingencies. They can also make it easy for contractors to submit more accurate bids.
Benefits of having a resource loaded schedule
The main benefit of creating a resource-loaded schedule is that the contractor can solve resource scarcity and employee capacity problems. This means that the project manager can plan available resources (such as labor and equipment) to ensure the project will be completed on time.
Here are some other benefits of having a resource-loaded schedule in construction.
1. Project managers get better estimates
When managers use optioneering platforms to create resource-loaded construction schedules, they can make more accurate estimates. Platforms can identify loopholes in the schedule and advise on whether a particular resource, including money or labor, is being overstretched.
2. Better organization
Major construction projects are often complex due to the hundreds of moving parts working together. Mega projects usually have different types of teams, resources, and departments that must work together to minimize construction risk.
For better organization, project managers must have a clear scope of work and list activities required to complete the project. Next, the project manager should assign tasks, with completion time broken down into hours, days, weeks, and months.
To have an accurate plan, the project manager should identify and factor in the effects of various constraints and how they may affect the overall project. Some constraints to consider are extreme weather conditions and financing challenges.
3. Real-time data analysis
Another advantage of having a resource-loaded schedule is that it becomes easy for contractors and project managers to monitor the progress of their projects in real-time. Using modern platforms makes it easy to collaborate between different teams and improve efficiency.
These modern platforms also help contractors hold other key players accountable, since they track the completion rate of a project. Plus, you’ll get suggestions on how resources should be reallocated to avoid project distress.
4. It helps contractors plan in advance
A resource-loaded schedule can also be used to plan by anticipating the capacity of a given project. Project managers can monitor and estimate future demand, making it possible to plan and predict risk.
It’s important to note that contractors can also use resource-loaded schedules to understand trends and improve employee trust. It enhances confidence because employees know what is expected of them. This way, your employees can also plan accordingly.
Also read: Why You Should Use Steel in Construction