Resource Leveling – Manual or Automatic?
Many clients contact us and ask if our RationalPlan suite has the capability to level resources. The short answer is YES. But it seems that for many project managers this short answer is not enough and the discussion continues over the type of resource leveling mechanism.
We all know that there are two possible ways to do it using a project management software: manually and automatically. And from here it starts a very long debate that appears from time to time on various places over the Internet. One such debate that I read these days happened on The Project Manager Network a LinkedIn group for project managers.
The arguments are on both sides but to me it is more than clear that the only really useful method is the manual resource leveling. It is just impossible for an application to take into account all the possible conditions and restrictions from the real world projects in order to produce good results through an automatic leveling. It is true that in certain simpler cases the results can be satisfactory but this is just good luck. No matter what project management application you use and what method you choose the project managers must always check by hand the results of a resource leveling action.
These being said and based on the answers of other project managers that I have read it seems that automatic resource leveling is not helping to much and for this reason it is not used. The preferred solution is to do it manually.