Effect of Resource Management Techniques on Project Schedule
General Objective of the Study
The main objective of this study was to assess the effect of project resource management techniques on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria.
Specific Objectives of the Study
The study was guided by the following specific objectives;
- To establish the effect of resource planning on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria
- To determine the effect of resource scheduling on project performance in Rivers state, Nigeria
- To examine the effect of resource allocation on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria
- To explore the effect of resource monitoring on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria
This is an exploration of studies which have been undertaken in connection with the subject of practices of managing resources in relation to success of projects on a global basis. This section firstly discusses theories which build upon the foundation of the study and their relevance to the study. Thereafter, the empirical studies conducted in relation to the subject matter as per the study objectives are undertaken. There is a presentation of the conceptual framework in highlight of the link existing between the variables of the study later in the chapter.
Theories forming the basis of the study are discussed in this section. These theories consist of the theory of project management, theory of constraints theory of resource based view. The main premises of the theories are highlighted and their relevance to the study outlined.
Theory of Constraints
This is a theory by Goldratt (1984), which maintains that a system is faced by constraints that limit it from achieving its objectives. Some of these limiting factors emanate from production, planning, production control, managing a project, logistics, accounting, and measurement of performance and other paths of business which might impact on performance. In this theory, constraints define the output of a given system whether or not they are recognized. The aim of the top management is finding appropriate ways to minimize the constraints of a system in the organization. This way the organization can effectively be able to realize its goals and maximize profits.
This theory describes the causes of the system constraints and also sheds light on the best ways to deal with these constraints (Goldratt, 2006). An organization operates with the help of systems. A system can be described as a collection of independent and interrelated process which works together in generating outputs from inputs when pursuing certain goals. The limitation for this system is a constraint which prevents the system from its efforts of achieving organizational goals(Noreen, Smith,& Mackey, 2008).
Theory of constraints is applicable in this study since the planning, scheduling, allocation and monitoring of project resources are constraints that face project teams in counties when carrying out road infrastructure projects. The best way to handle such kind of a problem is to find ways of countering these challenges to remove barriers in implementing road projects (Ruhl, 2011). Resource management is an important aspect in executing road projects and should be undertaken in an effective manner in order to improve success of these endeavors. Among the impediments affecting success of projects are inadequate resources that are poorly allocated to project tasks. These limitations highly contribute to failure of project completion resulting into inefficiencies and delays which might result in increased costs of projects. However, the supporters of this theory; Noreen et al. (2012) put more emphasis on the significance of project teams identifying the limitations and establishing effective ways to deal with these limitations at early stages to reduce their impact on road projects.
Within this study, this theory guides not only the overall study objectives but also the specific ones as well. First, this theory is crucial in addressing the dependent variable which is project performance. In order to road projects undertaken by Rivers state to perform well, it is necessary to lessen the constraints that can otherwise diminish the project outcomes such as the quality of roads constructed. These constraints may pertain to how the project resources are managed in terms of their planning, scheduling, allocation and monitoring among others. This theory underlines the necessity of the project management to identify these project constraints that are likely to limit the projects’ performance and taking the necessary measures on solving these constraints. This theory therefore will guide the assessment of the issues pertaining to resource management that might affect the success of road projects within the state of Rivers.
Resource Based View Theory
This is a theory by Barney (1991) which indicates that the possession of resources which are strategic provides a given organization with a superb chance of creating a competitive advantage over their rivals. This competitive edge can aid the organization in enjoyment of unassailable profits as when compared to similar competing groups. Managers of projects have a role of utilizing resources which are made available throughout the cycle stages of a project in ensuring their success as compared to implementation of projects of other institutions as follows; identification and classification of the resources within the firm, estimation of capabilities and vulnerabilities in relation to their rivals, identification of opportunities in ensuring that resources are utilized in a better way, identification of capabilities of the firm, assessing the ability of resources to generate rent and how capable they are in terms of maintaining sustainability, selection of a the best resource exploitation strategy within the firm in relation to its rivals and identification of gaps in the resources that need to be bridged (Johnstone & Brenman,1996). This theory is an exploration of the desire for the right form of planning and implementation of projects on the basis of availability of resources.
This section highlights methods and procedures of research which will guide the researcher when embarking on the study. It outlines the design of the study to be adopted, the population the researcher will be targeting and the procedures for sampling, the manner in which they will collect and analyze the data as well as the ethical concerns that the researcher will observe throughout the entire research process.
In this study, a study design of descriptive survey was employed. This design was considered since it facilitates the precise and effective depiction of the aspects or variables that relate to or are relevant to the question under research. Therefore, the researcher was capable of availing an in depth description of the various resource management techniques undertaken by Rivers state and how they have impacted the success of road projects within the state. In addition, according to Burns & Grove (2003), the design intents to give a clear view of the set up as it occurs naturally. Thus, through its adoption, the real picture of how the various practices of managing resources with regard to the success of road projects within the state of Rivers was displayed.
Apart from depicting the phenomenon being studied as it exists presently (Kothari, 2004), descriptive study design centers on complex analyses that assist in revealing the relationships that exist between variables (Mugenda & Mugenda, 2013). In this study, the researcher will undertake inferential analysis using quantitative techniques such as Pearson correlation and multiple regression analyses so that they can make inferences from the data pertaining to the relationships that exist between the variables of the study.
This study targeted 193 project stakeholders consisting of 5 state officials under the State Transport and Infrastructure Department, 47 project managers as well as 141 project management committee members who were engaged in the 47 major road projects completed by the state government in Rivers state as well as all the state wide projects for the period 2013-2020 (Rivers state Transport and Infrastructure Department, 2023). Getting the views of various parties engaged in the carrying out the road projects in the state enabled the researcher to gather objective data related particularly to the managing and success of numerous road projects within the state which are pertinent issues touching on the state operations. Involving various stakeholders is crucial since relying on the responses of the state officials alone may lead to biased information or untrue representation of the situation on the ground related to the main study variables which might affect the conclusions drawn from the study.
RESEARCH FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS
The chapter presents the analysis and presentation of data obtained from the field in terms of descriptive and regression statistics and presented in terms of figures, graphs, and tables.
A total of 152 questionnaires were self administered to State transport and infrastructure department officials, Project management committee members and Project managers in Rivers state and the return rate is shown in Table 4.1.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This chapter presents the summary of the findings, conclusions, recommendations for policy and practice and recommendations for further studies.
The main objective of this study was to assess the effect of project resource management techniques on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria. The specific objectives of the study were to establish the effect of resource planning, resource scheduling, resource allocation and resource monitoring on performance. A study design of descriptive survey was employed. Data was collected from the State transport and infrastructure department officials, project management committee members and project managers using questionnaires which was analysed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. The summary of the findings are presented as below:
The study sought to establish the effect of resource planning on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria. Resource planning was found to have a positive and significant effect on project performance. The use of resource planning softwares/computer packages has been adopted by project management teams in the state. There are established structures that guide project management teams when planning for road project resources within the state and that there is thorough planning of all the resources used in carrying out road projects in the state.
The study sought to determine the effect of resource scheduling on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria. Resource scheduling was found to have a positive and significant effect on project performance. There is extensive use of resource calendars when undertaking road projects in the state, the resources available are always considered throughout the process of scheduling when implementing state road projects and that there has been efficient prioritization of resources in cases of competing resource demands.
The study sought to examine the effect of resource allocation on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria. Resource allocation was found to have a positive and significant effect on project performance. There is timely allocation of resources needed in implementing road projects in the state, there is always adequate and efficient allocation of resources needed in implementing road projects in the state and that there is always stability in resource allocations as planned for all road project activities throughout the entire duration of the projects in the state.
The study sought to explore the effect of resource monitoring on project schedule in Rivers state, Nigeria. Resource monitoring was found to have a positive and significant effect on project performance. There is continuity in inspecting the physical and financial progress of road projects in the state against established resource plans, State project supervisors give emphasis to auditing and reviewing the use of road project resources at frequent intervals and on a timely basis and that the state has a recognized framework and tools for monitoring the use of resources in executing road projects.
The study concludes on resource planning that a key benefit to resource planning is that it helps organisations to fulfill task specifications efficiently. Project managers should recognize skill shortages or criteria for learning, helping to mitigate potential possible asset tensions or negative effects. Planning requires people to be assigned to work on the basis of a number of specific factors such as their capacity, expertise and position for project managers will always be certain that they have the right person for the right job.
The study concludes on resource scheduling that successful resource scheduling allows in different ways to solve problems related to resource availability and job efficiency. The allocation of capital lets you coordinate all things to prepare and complete the project efficiently. Efficient use of assets to accomplish the projects on time and within the allotted budget is an important aspect of any project scheduling management.
The study concludes on resource allocation that efficient resource allocation allows project managers prepare to allocate resources to the task and effectively manage them. Allocation of resources allows you to realize who is overwhelmed and who at that moment is available. Without much workload, you can assign tasks to the available resource. Proper allocation of resources will help you identify the role of group member (s) or employee(s) in a specific task and make it easier for you to delegate assignments based on their availability.
In terms of resource management, the study concludes that reporting requires daily tracking of key elements of project performance in terms of inputs, actions and outcomes. Good evaluation helps to know whether the expected goals are being accomplished as anticipated, which steps are needed to achieve the intended results during the implementation of the project, and whether these measures have a positive impact on the execution of the project.
The study recommends on resource planning that according to job and efficiency requirement, more workers during busy hours, and fewer staff at slower times. Planning should be such as to cope efficiently with the project’s needs, should be focused on the best use of the assets ‘ expertise, should be achieved well in advance and should take into account the satisfaction and confidence of the workers at the same time.
The study recommend that different approaches to task scaling and planning on asset management. Of example, ahead thinking techniques can be used if a specific project date is established and the assignments are used to decide the timetable and the corresponding deadlines of completion. Additionally, project managers can use backward scheduling techniques when the date of delivery is set and the work has to be planned or scheduled to meet the deadline. Schedules were set and projected throughout the life cycle of the project. The project should begin with a specified planning strategy and this method is likely to change as the plan progresses and changes take place. The aim is to stay informed and agile and to resolve as quickly as possible all scheduling issues.
The study recommends that project managers should be mindful of the scope of the project they are operating on, because the greater the nature of the project, the more they will decide how to distribute the money. Identify the facilities by specifying the type of equipment to be used where the work activities are to be done and the storage required. Start by creating a project’s high-level schedule consisting of its specifications and results and start tracking time and workload.
The study recommends that project management during the execution of the plan and should include cost-control strategies, deadlines and deliverables techniques, quality standards approaches and more. The different techniques in use should include basic and common methods such as scientific analysis meetings such as earned value analysis and critical path analysis. The project manager and other partners identify the best strategy, taking into account specific project goals, availability of capital, environmental factors and more.
- Abu El-alkass, M. M. (2012). A construction resources management system for Gaza strip building contractors. Retrieved from: https://iugspace.iugaza.edu.ps/bitstream/handle/20.500.12358/19053/file_1.pdf?seque nce=1&isAllowed=y
- Akali, T. (2018). Influence of contractors’ capacity on performance of road construction projects in Kakamega State, Nigeria. Unpublished MA Project, University of Lagos.
- Anunda, S. (2016). Factors influencing the performance of projects implemented by NGOs in the health sector: A case of HIV/AIDS projects in Lagos State, Nigeria.
- Unpublished Master of Arts in Project Planning and Management Thesis: University of Lagos.
- Blichfeldt, B. S., & Eskerod, P. (2008). Project portfolio management–There’s more to it than what management enacts. International Journal of Project Management, 26(4), 357- 365.
- Bulle, H.,& Makori, M. (2015).Influence of strategic planning on performance of urban road projects in Nigeria; A case of Nigeria Urban Roads Authority. The Strategic Journal of Business and Change Management, 2(91), 1285 – 1313.
- Burns, N., & Grove, S. (2003). Understanding nursing research (ed.). St Louis: W.B Saunders Company.
- Calderon, C., Cantu, C., & Chuhan-Pole, P. (2018). Infrastructure development in Sub- Saharan Africa: a scorecard. The World Bank.
- Engwall, M., & Jerbrant, A. (2003). The resource allocation syndrome: the prime challenge of multi-project management? International journal of project management, 21(6), 403-409.