The Key to Successful Projects: Resource Leveling in LiquidPlanner
There are lots of project management tools that make it easy for managers to overbook their teams, in addition to taking on project work that they don’t realistically have the resources to handle. Not only will teams burn out, but they probably won’t make their finish dates, either. As long as everyone on your team has entered their correct availability in LiquidPlanner, you won’t ever have to worry about overextending anyone (finish date included)!
How resource leveling works in LiquidPlanner
1. Set availability.
In LiquidPlanner, all team members should have their daily availability set, using their best-case average. For example, if you work from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and take an hour lunch, you might set your availability for eight hours per day. If you work a couple of half days, and/or have meeting-intensive days, scale your availability back accordingly. Perhaps something like this:
To set availability, click the User Menu (profile picture) > My Profile > Availability.
2. Build out the project and estimate all tasks.
Build out your projects entirely. Then input ranged estimates based on best case/worst case scenarios around how much effort you think it will take to complete every task.
3. Assign work.
Be sure to assign every task to the people who are actually doing the work. If you have items that are unassigned, or if everything is assigned to the PM, you’re not getting the full view of how you’re allocating the actual resources on the team.
Put all tasks in their intended order of completion.
Once everything above is complete, LiquidPlanner considers each team member’s availability and the work assigned to them before giving you an expected start and finish date for each task. In other words, the work is automatically scheduled and LiquidPlanner tells you when your team members are expected to deliver a project. How great is that?!
Here’s what resource leveling looks like in LiquidPlanner
Let’s say that Penny has a project set up in her workspace to upgrade some hardware. She’s not going to start it until October 2 and wants everything to be done by November 16. And she has eight hours of availability per day.
After estimating and prioritizing her tasks, Penny can immediately see that it’s unlikely to be done before the Friday deadline.
Penny can use the workload report to see who’s free.
And then she can re-assign work to members with availability. When she refreshes the schedule, she’ll immediately know whether they’re able to help her finish the project on time. Check out the updated, resource-leveled schedule:
Resource leveling is critical, but it doesn’t have to be hard. A LiquidPlanner schedule is always resource-leveled based on each person’s availability and task assignments. Project managers still have to make important decisions like determining priorities, knowing who is best suited to do which tasks and identify dependencies. But that’s just good planning!
If you’d like to learn more about Resouce Leveling, download our eBook, “5 Best Practices to Manage Resources Effectively.”