Function 3: Resource Management
One of the requirements of all construction projects is for contractors to load their integrated project schedule with the labor and equipment resources needed to execute the activities included in the schedule. Those resources need to be aligned with the project’s approved cost estimate which is the basis for the awarded construction contract. Planning and scheduling software like Primavera P6 uses the data to detail the resources needed for each day against the project schedule activities.
Contractors utilize the project schedule float durations to optimize the number of resources to be deployed on the project. This approach uses resource leveling and resource smoothing techniques. This is needed as no contractor just hires and fires resources depending on the daily, weekly, or monthly resource requirements generated from the resource-loaded schedule.
The resources deployment requirements for the project’s duration, including the resources build-up and resource release phases is done using the PMWeb resources requirements module. Nevertheless, before using this module, the PMWeb resources dictionaries for labor and equipment need to be uploaded with the same resource names used in the planning and scheduling software.
The PMWeb resource requirements module helps capture the project’s resource requirements, which can be detailed by period, type of work, WBS level, and master schedule, among others. Those values become the basis for establishing the planned resources required for the project. The resource requirement template allows capturing the details of both labor and equipment resources.
The resources requirement module provides the option to automatically calculate the estimated cost of the resources’ deployment by multiplying the total hours of deployed resource hours with the resource hours cost as defined in the cost dictionary. This can be used to compare the cost of the resources included in the resources-loaded integrated project schedule. This is calculated from the planning and scheduling software if the resource rates were added to the resources dictionary. The variance cost can be considered as the deployment inefficiency cost. The smaller the variance is, the less deployment inefficiency cost the project has.
As the project progresses, the PMWeb daily report module provides the perfect mechanism to capture the actual resource hours spent in executing the project schedule activities. The timesheet tab of the daily report captures the actual resource hours spent on each project schedule activity which are imported from Primavera P6 or MS Project to PMWeb. The actual resource hours captured in the daily report, which is one of the project’s formal communications processes, will be the only approved source for delays, constructive acceleration, and loss of productivity claims. In addition, it will be the only valid data source for assessing work trades productivity rates.
The planned resource hours data captured in the planning and scheduling software can be associated with the actual resource data captured in PMWeb to provide reports on the variance between planned and actual resource usage. The report can be designed to show variance by period for each resource.
The captured resource data along with the captured achieved work in place captured in the daily report also allows assessing and reporting on the actual productivity rates achieved on the project. The combination of resource hours spent and work in place completed will assess the actual productivity rates and identify all events that could have disrupted the contractor’s performance.
Of course, the capturing of actual resources spent does not mean that contractors stop using their time attendance or timesheet system. Those systems are usually integrated with the company’s human resources (HR) and enterprise resources planning (ERP) systems are needed for payroll and other company-related business processes. The resource hours captured in the ERP or HR systems enable the contractor to determine the actual non-utilized resource hours. These actual non-utilized resource hours can be compared with the planned non-utilized resources calculated from the deployment of the resources.
The content of this article was extracted from the book titled “Let’s Transform: Enabling Digital Transformation of Capital Construction Projects Using the PMWeb Project Management Information System – 2nd Edition”. The book was written by the author of the posted article, Bassam Samman.
The book provides project owners with oversight on how technology available today can support their efforts to digitally transform the management of their projects’ portfolios. For each capital project life cycle stage, PMWeb is used to detail how the relevant project management business processes can be digitalized to enforce transparency and accountability in delivering projects. In addition, MS Power BI was used to show how the real-time, trustworthy data captured in PMWeb can be aggregated, modeled, monitored, evaluated, analyzed, and reported at anytime, anywhere using any device.