Modifying Project Schedules for Time and Resource Constraints

Modifying Project Schedules for Time and Resource Constraints




Modifying Project Schedules for Time and Resource Constraints

In the most basic definition, a project is the set of coordinated activities that have defined finishing and starting times undertaken in order to attain specific objectives. During the duration of a project, there are resource, cost and time constraints. Therefore, this brings about the need for skills in project management, which among others include making plans for such eventualities in advance and mitigating them effectively once they arise.

Time constraints refers to when the deadlines of projects which are crucial to success of a project and which cannot be exceeded. A project that is time constrained is one where the deadline set and the resources available to beat the deadline are available. The best technique to deal with time constraint is to fast track the project. This is achieved through shifting serial scheduling to parallel scheduling. This also means previously defined finish and start times of tasks should be along a critical path which is one at a time and they should not overlap (Harrison & Lock, 2004). This helps saves time and also ensures the completion times are faster.

Through resource leveling, it is possible to modify a project schedule that is time constrained. This is schedule modification of project activities such that resulting amount of the resource needed remains relatively constant through the entire project life. This aids to resolve the problem of having small amounts of resources that are needed in the later and earlier stages while more is required in the middle (Nicholas & Steyn, 2008). Practically, this is achieved through moving activities around, for instance reducing slack time and moving to activities that are non-critical at later stages. This often has the effect of reducing workloads that are extremely high and filling idle time with additional workload. It also creates a workload that is relatively level and address the issue of time constraints.

A project that has resource constraints is one where there is limited resource access and whose deadline is determined by the accessibility and availability of those resources. Therefore, this means time can be flexible as it is tied up by resources availability. One of the techniques to resolve this is reassigning and rescheduling the tasks of employees. This is a necessity since if the resources for one task are not availed at a particular time, the human resources available currently cannot be permitted to remain idle as this creates a negative net effect. Instead, workers available currently are rescheduled to other tasks whose resources are available. This means their original jobs can get rescheduled until resources needed to complete that job are available (Nicholas & Steyn, 2008).

For projects that are both time and resource constrained, there are two rescheduling strategies which will be applied. This is due to the fact there must be sufficient resources for the project to get completed within the required date as such, creating double constraint. In this case, the project manager has to use direction in combination with strategies mentioned above and additional ones that might help in addressing the problem. These might include adding people to a schedule and increasing the work hours.

Resource and time constraints are problems majority of project managers have to contend with today. However, though use of combining the appropriate scheduling methods, these problems can be appropriately dealt with in order to complete projects in a timely fashion.





Harrison, F. L., & Lock, D. (2004). Advanced project management: A structured approach.         Aldershot, England: Gower.

Nicholas, J. M., & Steyn, H. (2008). Project management for business, engineering, and technology: Principles and practice. Amsterdam: Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann.


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