This blog post is based on a request I recently received to post something about resource assignment. Resource assignment (sometimes called resource loading) is the assignment of people, material and equipment to the activities in a schedule.
Developing a schedule is one of the essential steps is determining a project budget.
Steps in Developing a Schedule
Activity Resource Assignment
The activities in the schedule come from the WBS you created.
Now we have to assign resources to each activity.
Activity resource assignment is mainly based on past experience (expert judgment). Based on the activity, you make an estimation of how many resources (people, material, equipment) you need to do that activity.
This means that you and your team need some familiarity with the activity at hand.
The request I recently received was for a construction project (see comment tread in the related post mentioned below). So let me give an example related to a construction project.
Let ‘s look at the activity of pouring a concrete slab of 700 square feet. Based on similar jobs I know that a contractor will buy that amount of concrete from a concrete supplier, and I would estimate the resources as follows:
- people: crew of 8 people
- material: 235 cubic feet of concrete (700 square feet times 4 inches thick)
- equipment: none since the concrete will be bought by from a concrete supplier.
Use the resources you estimated as input to the software program you are using. The documentation of the software you are using will explain you how to do that.
Do this for every activity in your schedule.
Note that estimating activity resources is very similar to estimating activity costs.
When assigning resources to an activity you should put yourself in the shoes of the one (qualified) who will be doing the activity. How will they assign resources? How many people will they use? How many equipment will they use?
If your team is not familiar with how certain activities can be done, then you have to get some help. You can ask questions in social media or you can contact a mentor. You can always contact me with your specific case as some of you have done. Contacting a mentor is probable the most efficient way to get help, because the help will be interactive and personal.
Activity resource assignment is often based on familiarity with the activity being estimated. Ask around and get help where needed.