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Time-dependent and time-independent

What is the importance of distinguishing between time-dependent and time-independent
resources? Does it impact the project schedules and the cost risk analysis? Explain and
provide an example of the pros and cons as it applies to project costs.

Time-dependent resources refer to the resources that attract extra costs (money)
depending on the duration they are used in the project activities (Lock, 2017). This means that
the longer the project takes before completion, the higher the cost of using these resources. Some
of the time-dependent resources include labor (casual workers), rented machinery and equipment
and staff members delegated to monitor and manage the project. Time-independent resources, on
the other hand, refer to resources that involve a one-time cost and utilizing them on the project
activities beyond the project’s schedule dates does not result in the project incurring extra costs
(Lock, 2017). Examples include purchased machinery and equipment, materials purchased in
bulk and such resources.
In project management, most project managers allocate resources to project activities
without distinguishing the time-dependent resources from the time-independent resources
(Kerzner, 2018). This, as Kerzner (2018) puts it, is a bad practice in project management and
may expose the project to a wide range of avoidable risks and costs. Making this distinction,
therefore, is crucial to achieving efficiency in the execution of the project activities. For instance,
distinguishing between time-dependent resources from time-independent resources enables the

Project Schedule 2
project manager to achieve efficiency through the optimum allocation of resources where the
activities that are dependent on time-dependent resources are prioritized to ensure that no extra
costs are incurred in the case where the project extends beyond its projected completion dates.
Completion of the critical activities which depend on time-dependent resources makes the
project flexible and free from the risks of extra costs in the case where the project drags beyond
the scheduled completion dates. To put this into context, an extension of a project beyond its
scheduled completion dates would result in extra costs incurred in wages and salaries for casual
workers and employees if the employees and casual workers would be needed to work on the
project beyond the scheduled completion dates. However, if the project manager correctly
schedules and allocates time-dependent resources to the various activities that require these
resources, such that the activities are completed before the scheduled completion date, the
project would avoid extra cost in case the project is delayed.

Project Schedule 3


Kerzner, H. (2018). Project management best practices: Achieving global excellence. John Wiley
& Sons.
Lock, D. (2017). The essentials of project management. Routledge.

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