How to Determine Resource Allocation

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Joined: Fri 10 May 2013 9:51 am

I am new to project management and gathering the knowledge on the same. I want to know, how to determine resource allocation in a software development project.

For example,
Cost of the Project = 100 Man Days
Schedule of the Project = 4 Weeks

How many (Human) resources needed to complete the above mentioned project? What is the allocation structure for the same?
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Duncan (forum admin) is well suited to answer this question; I believe he handles S/w Development projects.

How many hours in a day will each resource work? You have the duration but not the estimated (planned) work effort per day.
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If you simply take 100 man days and divide it by the schedule you arrive at 5 resources needed. However, this does not give you an accurate figure. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Don't book resources for 100% of their time. In my experience resources are usually 80% productive. They spend the other 20% of their time in meetings, answering emails, filling out timesheets, taking coffee breaks etc. I use 80%, but you can adjust the resource productivity rating based on your own experience.
  • Be aware shared resources take longer to complete tasks because of time lost switching between projects. If you are sharing resources you may not get an 80% productivity rate for the period the resource is assigned to your project.
  • This might sound obvious, but make sure you account for weekends and holidays in your planning.
  • Add a small amount of contingency to your plan for problem solving and unexpected events.
Without knowing the skill mix you need and your daily working hours, you can calculate resource requirements as follows:
  • Schedule of the project = 20 days
  • Cost of the project = 100 man days
  • Standard working day = 7.5 hours
  • Standard 5 day working week = 37.5 hours
  • Weekly resource productivity rating 80% = 30 hours (4 days)
  • Single resource productivity during the schedule = 16 days
  • Cost of the project divided by resource productivity = 6.25 human resources
You need 6.25 human resources with the right skill mix to complete your project on time. Obviously adjust these figures to fit with your project.

It's worth reading this article by Dave Nielsen, 'The Mythical 50% Resource'.

Does anyone have an alternative method they would like to share?

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Joined: Fri 21 Feb 2020 1:12 pm

Although the example given is from 2013, i would like to ask one questions.

If in the same example I have schedule days for project as 2 months, then will it mean
Cost of the project divided by resource productivity = 100/32 = 3.12 human resources

And if in the same example I have schedule days as 1.5 months, then hen will it mean
Cost of the project divided by resource productivity = 100/30 = 3.3 human resources

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