Resource scheduling in project management is the process by which a set of actions and methods are utilized by a company to effectively match the necessary resources the tasks and projects that require them to see a job through to completion. The other part of resource scheduling that is important to keep in mind is that the project manager must also take into account when the resources will be available and thus schedule project tasks accordingly. For instance, if a task is scheduled before the resources are actually available for the workers, time will be lost and the project will be delayed. A better use of time would be to schedule those parts of the project that can be completed with the resources available and then to proceed to the parts of the project that can be completed when the other resources become ready for use. Projects thus do not have to proceed in a linear fashion and can be broken up into parts depending upon what is needed when and where (Project Management Institute, 2017). Different factors can come into play in various scenarios: for example, some resources may depend upon independent contractors arriving with the needed materials or on workers finishing an assembly; they may depend on equipment that is being used for a different project (and thus project managers must communicate with one another to know when equipment is available and when it is not). It can depend upon rooms and facilities being open for usage or being closed because of maintenance, repair or earlier bookings. In short, there are many variables that must be considered when scheduling resources in project management (Larson & Gray, 2014).
The benefits of resource scheduling are that it allows for a project to proceed in a time efficient manner. Projects can be implemented in stages with various parts going ahead with the resources that are available so long as these stages do not depend upon an earlier stage in the process being completed. The essence of this benefit is that it allows projects to be proportioned and divided into independent parts so that the whole operation is not stalled because of specific resources that are not yet obtained. The challenges associated with resource scheduling are that communication has to be operating at a high level and the project manager must have a good understanding of the project overview so that it can be understand what parts of the project can be started and what must be held off while time permits.
Two methods that can be useful in resource scheduling are cloud computing (Zhan, Liu, Gong et al., 2015; Singh & Chana, 2016) and day-ahead resource scheduling Zamani, Zakariazadeh & Jadid, 2016). Cloud computing resource scheduling method is helpful because it allows all project managers and stakeholders to have access to and see the same data so that messaging and communication can be more easily conducted. Cloud computing better facilitates the raising of awareness among stakeholders and allows everyone to be more organized, united, on the same page and aware of what projects are moving ahead, where resources are being allocated, and how stages are being conducted.
Day-ahead resource scheduling allows project managers to proceed on a day-by-day basis so that the project is not tied to any one specific agenda for weeks or months in advance. This particular method allows for a project to be much more flexible and less dependent on scheduling; the drawback of this method is that it relies upon resources being available upon short notice so it is best used in projects where workers are not going to be waiting for parts, or rooms or equipment for very long when they are put on notice with one day in advance.
The method that would be most appropriate for our CLC team would be the use of the cloud computing method because of it allows for more persons and team members to be integrated into the process of project management. The sharing of information in a quick and easy way thanks to the cloud technology lets everyone see when an update has been made to a schedule or project and provides a platform by which all stakeholders can be on the same page. No one is left out of the loop unless that person is deliberately not checking in for updates on a project. The benefit of this method of resource scheduling for our project is that it reduces the risk of communication breakdowns. If a stakeholder identifies a problem with the project by viewing the updates in the cloud, that issue can be addressed quickly instead of not being discovered until operations are well underway. This method helps to keep everyone involved and integrated for maximum efficiency throughout the scheduling process.
In conclusion, resource scheduling is a critical aspect of project management that identifies when resources, rooms, equipment or facilities are ready and available for use on a project. Because some resources may be made available on an as-needed basis it is important that project managers be able to communicate with stakeholders in a project and share information on scheduling needs and limitations. The more that communication is facilitated and the more that everyone is on the same page with regard to what parts of a project may be completed while others must wait, the more efficient the overall use of the organizationâ€™s time and resources will be. Efficiency of resource use is the aim of resource scheduling.
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