To assign the available resources in an economic way is known as resource allocation. The planning of the activities and the resource required by these activities while taking into consideration both resources availability and project time is termed as resource allocation in project management.
There are 2 parts of resource allocation: Strategic Planning, and Resource Leveling. These are explained as following below.
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- Strategic planning –
In strategic planning resource allocation is a plan for using available resources, for example human resources, specially in the near term, to achieve goals for the future. It is the process of allocating resources among various projects or business units. The strategic planning has 2 parts.
- There is the basic allocation decision.
- There is the contingency mechanism.
The basic allocation decision is the choice of which items to fund in the plan and what level of fund in it should receive and which to leave unfunded; the resources are located to some items and not to others.
There may be contingency mechanism such as priority ranking of items excluded from the plan, showing which items are to be sacrificed to reduce total funding.
- Resource Leveling –
The main objective is to smooth resource requirement by shifting slack jobs beyond periods of peak requirement. Some of the methods essentially replicate what a human scheduler do if he has enough time, procedures design especially for the computer. They of course depend for their success on the speed and capabilities of electronic compilers.
Approach for resource allocation :
There are number of approaches to solve resource allocation problems:
- Manual Approach
- Algorithmic Approach
- Combination of both
In algorithmic approach resource is allocated by using some computer program which is defined for a specific domain, this will automatically and dynamically distribute resources to the user. Electronic devices dedicated to routing and communication is commonly use this method. For example: channel allocation in wireless communication may be decided by base transceiver using an appropriate algorithm.