4.4 Resources and Scheduling
Adequate human and material resources need to be made available for managing projects. The type, quality and quantity of these resources depend on how the project is to be delivered and packaged. Specialist skills and knowledge should be matched to the demands of the project. Clear lines of accountability also need to be defined for all aspects of the project.
The major resources are human. Project success, apart from delivery arrangements, can largely depend on sound human relationships between all parties involved in the project that is focused on completing the project to meet the desired performance and program requirements.
Resource levelling is a means of optimising the resource needs over the life of the project. All project resources need to be continually informed of project progress and their contribution to it. Resource levelling is based on scheduling the tasks involved in the project to define the resource demands of the project over time. Scheduling the project involves the following steps:
- clearly identifying all major phases of the project and key milestones
- defining the project tasks in detail to develop a coherent project program using known techniques such as, the critical path method (CPM) and Gantt charts
- allowing for known risks and contingencies in the above scheduling
- in the project program, regularly monitoring and updating to reflect current progress and to identify where additional resources may be required to maintain the original program where relevant.
The scheduling process needs to be sufficiently detailed to maintain control of the project which should be balanced against the resources needed to monitor and regularly update the project program.
An example of the NZTA’s procurement strategy is presented in Case Study 3.
NZTA has taken a strategic approach to managing the procurement of professional services and physical works for many years, continually evolving and improving practices and publishing its most recent approach in the State Highway Procurement Strategy 2014 (NZTA 2014). This document covers both capital projects (asset improvements) and maintenance and renewals (asset management) providing guidance on the selection of the appropriate delivery model based on assessment of a range of strategic factors, including risk, competition and resource capability within the supplier market.
The Strategy also serves to communicate with the supplier market, providing a basis for the market to invest in people and plant over time.
The delivery methods are categorised in the matrix below, through a spectrum ranging from ‘traditional’ through to ‘pure alliance’. All activities relate to works and services procured on the open market and delivered by the private sector, with in-house capability largely limited to planning, procurement and contract management. In the alliance forms, collaboration is a key ingredient.
Key criteria used in the delivery model selection process include: scale, complexity, innovation potential, timing and urgency, supplier market conditions, risk profile, stakeholder involvement and customer requirements, level of client involvement, focus on non-cost areas, tangible demonstration of value for money, and flexibility to deal with change. Consideration of these factors is illustrated with respect to different models in the third diagram.
The Strategy discusses each model type, along with an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of each. This helps the market to understand NZTA’s strategic approach and helps businesses develop their capability to respond.