Resource Leveling and Resource Smoothing (PMP/CAPM)

Resource Leveling and Resource Smoothing

These resource optimizing techniques are available as schedulingย tools to Project Manager to effectively create a viable schedule during Develop Schedule Planning Process of Project Schedule Management

The official version from PMBOK Ver 6.

Resource Leveling: A technique in which start and finish dates are adjusted based on resource constraints with the goal of balancing demand for resources with the available supply

Resource Smoothing: A technique that adjusts the activities of a schedule model such that the requirements for resources on the project do not exceed certain predefined resource limits

Resource Leveling

Resource levelling in project management is defined as a technique used in which the start and end dates are regulated depending on resource limitations. It aims to balance the demand for sources within the available supply. While using specifically designed project software, levelling often means undertaking conflicts over allocations in the project plan by letting the software to measure delays and update tasks automatically.

In Resource Leveling, a critical path is a commonly used technique by project managers. It represents both the longest and shortest time interval paths in the network diagram to complete the project.

While using this technique focus is on Resource scarcity.

Resource Scheduling

Resource Smoothing

Resource smoothing is among the important project management tools used in resource optimization techniques. The procedure adjusts the practices of a schedule model to ensure all requirements for the resources doesnโ€™t go beyond the resource limitations as pre-defined during the planning phase.

Resource smoothing is used to settle certain resources and time but with a diverse approach than resource levelling. It aims to finish the project or activity in a given time period while preventing any unnecessary resource demands. Time is an important constraint here and therefore no activity can be delayed more than their float.

Resource Smoothing deals with time-constrained resource scheduling i.e Optimize the resources, largely non-critical resources with the mandatory, hard or external constraint on time which cannot be breached

Resource Levelling deals with resource-constrained scheduling i.e Limited resource availability with little or no time constraint


  • Resource Levelling may impact your critical path i.e Project could delay whereas Resource Smoothing doesn’t.
  • Resource Smoothing is performed after resource levelling to eliminate the peaks and troughs from the schedule using their total and free floats.
  • Resource levelling balance the resource demands by levelling the under and overallocated critical resources.
  • Resource smoothing makes sure that resources are evenly allocated
  • Resource levelling answers the question of when you will be able to complete the project with the given resources.


Difference between resource levelling and resource smoothing
Difference between resource levelling and resource smoothing by Izenbridge

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