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Lower fixed costs. If you allowed for the travel costs associated with
four plant visits, could you manage with only three? Could you book
flights ahead of time and get cheaper airfares? Could you find a cheaper
vendor for that piece of equipment you allocated $4,000 to buy? Or
could you make do with the old equipment for just one more project?
Cut down on the overtime. Are resources that earn overtime
overallocated? Try cutting down their hours or using resources on straight
salary for those 14-hour days.
Do it in less time. Resource costs are a factor of task durations, hourly
wages, or number of units. If you change tasks so that fewer work hours
are required to complete them, they’ll cost less. However, don’t be
unrealistic about the time it will really take to get the work done.
Your Resource Recourse
Before you finalize your plan, you should consider one final area: resource
workload. As you went about assigning resources to tasks in your project,
you probably created some situations where resources are working round
the clock for days on end. It may look okay on paper, but in reality, it’s just
not going to work.
Your first step is to see how to spot those overallocations. Then you have
to give those poor folks some help!
Checking resource availability
To resolve issues with resource assignments, you have to first figure out
where the problems lie. You can do that by taking a look at a few views that
focus on resource assignments.
You can use some collaboration features of Project Web Access to get
resource availability information online. See Chapters 18 and 19 for more
about working with Project Web Access.
Resource Usage view (shown in Figure 10-13) and Resource Graph view
(shown in Figure 10-14) are useful in helping you spot overbooked resources.
First, keep in mind that resources are flagged as overallocated in these
Resource views based on their assignment percentage and calendars. A
resource based on a standard eight-hour-day calendar, assigned at 100
percent to a task, will work eight hours a day on it. If you assign that same
resource at 50 percent to another task that happens at the same time, the
resource will put in 12-hour days (8 plus 4) and be marked as overallocated.