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Activity on Arrow and Non-Continuous PDM are wrong.

180 replies [Last post]
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

Can we buy/download the:

"internal Project Management Guidelines that describe project management processes and decision making routines, corporate databases (production norms, unit costs, material requirements per volume unit for different activity types, etc.), templates, resource, costs and material dictionaries, risk register, etc"

I would like to read the material if it is available.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rodel,
I do not discuss Spider Project in this thread.
I tried to discuss different approaches for schedule updates from the theoretical point of view.

Project Management System is a set of different tools that include internal Project Management Guidelines that describe project management processes and decision making routines, corporate databases (production norms, unit costs, material requirements per volume unit for different activity types, etc.), templates, resource, costs and material dictionaries, risk register, etc. They cannot be abstract because they depend on the tools that are used. For an example you will not be able to use the databases for resource productivities if the tool does not work with resource productivities and even does not have corresponding field.

Now let’s imagine that the Client requires to use different tool (not to export the information to the required tool that may be proper if the project is a part of the larger program, but to use).

The databases become useless (other tool does not support them), fragments that describe typical technologies can not be used for schedule development, performance reports shall be modified, risk simulation becomes impossible, management technologies that may be based on buffer management shall be changed, etc.
As the result the schedules will be drawn by the best painter in the company.

Welcome to the stone age and intuitive decisions!

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Vladimir,

Your qouted exactly what I post. "Project Management never relied on tools. It is used only as a guide or assistance to speed up the process."


As I always said, I have no comment in regards to SPIDER since I don’t have any idea what is it capable of. If the chances permit me, I will love it for sure.

What do you mean by this? "But destroying the contractor project management system is not in your interests at all."

Best Regards,
Rodel
Hi Rodel,
PM tools shall help with decision making.

If your tools cannot answer to what if questions then there are two options:
1)     The tools are poor,
2)     The tools are not properly used.

The tools do not decide for the people but can help to verify people’s decisions.

The tool is useful only if the project model was properly created and is able to simulate the real work. In this case the planner will get the answers on questions like what if I will add certain resources, what if I will change work time, what if the supply will be delayed, what if new risks will take place, what if we will work in different sequence, etc.
Decisions based on intuition and experience shall be verified by simulating their impacts on the project targets. If it cannot be done then you have not scheduling but communication tools and your schedules are just drawn to communicate your estimates.

You wrote “Project Management is not only resource management. Cost, Time, Quality is the 3 key for planning. The rest will follow like risk, safety, communication…etc…”

Exactly! The project model shall integrate all necessary information. And what do you suggest – to manage time and costs without managing resources? Cost and Time depend on resources, isn’t it? At least for the Contractor. And reserves that shall be included in the project schedule and budgets depend on the project risks. So the model shall include all of this if it is used for decision support.

It’so sad to hear that you never used the tools on which you can rely.

In any case your requirements, understanding and the usage of PM tools may differ from the requirements, understanding and the usage of your contractors. You don’t need the resource management but your contractors do need to manage their resources with the help of PM tools and they shall be able to use what they need for the proper management.

I understand your concern: "If we use different systems from each other how are we able to communicate?"

You may require certain formats of the contractor schedule reports (MSP xml, Primavera xer, Spider sprj, etc.) if you need to include the Contractor schedule in your portfolio. But destroying the contractor project management system is not in your interests at all.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Vladimir,

Thank you for your kind explanation and that’s exactly my point.

Here are my quotes ” In real world nothing is perfect; there is always a right tool to a right place.” – (same as what you said)

we are more concerned on communication and compatibility rather than talking to different language that leads to different ways. (We adopt what is required to have same language to understand each other)

“Clients or stakeholders always looking for systems that compatible to their system as much as possible so the data exchange and communications will much easier.” (If we use different systems from each other how are we able to communicate?)

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel,
I understood that this question "If you’re saying that the perfect tool is spider why the developer/ creator is not claiming that they have the perfect and best planning tool in the whole world?" is to me?

I will try to answer.

Spider Project creates the best resource constrained schedules, levels not only renewable resources but also materials and costs and calculates Resource Critical Path.
But you don’t use resource levelling.

Spider Project works with work quantities and has the internal tools for working with norms databases and fragment libraries.
But you prefer to use expert estimates of remaining durations.

Spider Project keeps project archives and shows trends of all project parameters.
But you don’t use this advanced management tool, for you it is enough to compare current schedule with the baseline.

Spider Project simulates risks and controls probabilities to meet project targets.
But you don’t require risk simulation capabilities.

Spider Project is very powerful and easily calculates the schedules that consist of many hundred thousands activities.
But your schedules are not large and you don’t need to level the whole portfolio of your projects.

The list is long and I will not be able to list everything that you don’t need in the forum post.

So Spider Project is not the best tool for you. It includes too many functions that you don’t plan to use.

There is not such thing as the best tool for everybody.
People shall understand their needs and select those tools that do what they need though they shall estimate not only current but also future needs.

You don’t need Land Rover to drive to the nearest shop. It would be overkill. Land Rover is not the best car for driving to supermarket.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,

My apology if your thinks I’m wrong. If that’s what you believe go for it. Be happy and wish you all the best of luck.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Rodel:

-"If you’re saying that the perfect tool is spider why the developer/ creator is not claiming that they have the perfect and best planning tool in the whole world?"

I never said the perfect tool is spider, I said it is the only tool to my knowledge that provides you with the correct value for float after resource leveling. You are trying to put words in my mouth that are not mine but yours, you are wrong again. If the developer starts claiming he has the perfect tool he would fall into the error of being pretentious. He knows nothing is perfect and that most appropriate planning tools are not limited to CPM schedules. He knows that if you planning tool is for a queuing model then other software such as GPSS (General Purpose Simulation System) is the way to go. The same might happen for other planning needs where linear programming or any other mathematical tool might be better models. I undertand the military make use of other planning tools for planning and scheduling some military operations, I am sure he knows.

-“As you said you haven’t tried P6 on your example, how can you prove that you are correct?”

I said I have not tried my example on the latest version. I tried on a previous version and it showed wrong values of float, you are wrong again. I have no means of testing the 2 activities schedule on the newer versions. I started using Primavera P3e about 8 years ago (is not the old P3 we all know), the precursor of P4, P5 and P6, all as bad and full of bugs as the last time we tried a version of P6 about a year ago, but I cannot tell you about the version because it was never installed on my machine.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Rafael,

I’m not taking it personally. I love to help and guide those people whose being blind, brainwash due to his belief. We in planning planet not only concerned on a tools we used. We are more concerned on sharing our knowledge, expertise and guide people on the right path. We don’t criticize something that we don’t know about.

We know how to accept fault and defeat. We are open minded and not self concentrate.

I’m not questioning your ability and I keep saying everyone has a right to voice out their opinion and we respect it. If you want to be respected you need to be open minded. In real world nothing is perfect; there is always a right tool to a right place.

We are more concerned on communication and compatibility rather than talking to different language that leads to different ways.

If you’re saying that the perfect tool is spider why the developer/ creator is not claiming that they have the perfect and best planning tool in the whole world?

As you said you haven’t tried P6 on your example, how can you prove that you are correct?

Don’t make conclusion for something that you haven’t prove yet.

Again if that’s your belief and opinion I respect that.

Thank you,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Your assumption is erroneous, we are not talking about me, we are talking about a specific tool, one of many used by Project Managers, there is no reason for you to take is so personal, and to me this attitude is a real indicator of your intellect and abilities as a manager and human being. We should be talking about the tool with use of reasoning not with pure emotions. I believe you should raise a little bit your level and be more respectful with others. Your questioning about my abilities as a manager I interpret it as a personal offense.

You are kind of pretentious but for a change let’s talk about you: You probably do not even know why there are 3 blade trowel machines and 4 blades trowel machines, they are to be used with a different purpose. Perhaps you throw into your specs super flat floor specifications but never have supervised a crew that consistently produces these floors. Probably you do not even know the proper way of mixing partial batches of epoxy. I am not sure if you know about these issues.

I agree float is no real, is just the stupidity of some designers who insist in writing specifications making reference to float that we are forced to use it as if real. If these tools are so unreliable why so much fuss as to take it away from the contractor. If you do not care about the tool let us decide how relevant it is for us.

Here in the USA and its territories scheduling is considered a relevant thing, is a matter of serious and in depth study by prestigious institutions, even think tanks such as RAND Corporation are in ocassions consulted by our institutions about these models. Our military and defense contractors started using these tools over 60 years ago.

I perceive you do not appreciate the value of scheduling and the tools for planning, perhaps because you never worked as an at risk Contractor, but at home we take very seriously these tools. Now I can see why some specifiers do not care and take it out of the contractor own toolbox, is obvious, they do not value the tool other than for it to create Beautiful Chars they do not believe. I still do not get why their need to show such unreliable charts to the stockholders?

Here at Planning Planet we all care about the tool.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Rafael,
I pity you. It’s so sad to hear that you are being carried away by your tools. I’m not sure if you know the correct way of managing a project. Project Management never relied on tools. It is used only as a guide or assistance to speed up the process. Always remember no matter what tools you use it will not decides for you. A tool dependant Project Management always leads to defeat and failure. A good leader always uses his conscience, expertise, and experience in decision making and not allows the tools to decide for him.

Project Management is not only resource management. Cost, Time, Quality is the 3 key for planning. The rest will follow like risk, safety, communication…etc…

As I mention to you before, FLOAT IS NOT REAL!!! It is only an estimate and used as guide or indicator. No math or science has been proven yet to make it perfect. Planning tool will not tell you if your Project is safe, will not tell you what risk is involve, the quality of your works, resources are too crowded and poor productivity and many others. Planning tools will not make you as a good planner.

Note:
Clients or stakeholders always looking for systems that compatible to their system as much as possible so the data exchange and communications will much easier.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Anoon,

I do not have the latest version of P6, we tried it but we found it so unfit for our needs it took us just a few days to make our decision. If you do a search of what I was doing at the very beginning of 2009 you will find we were like crazy looking for a SureTrak substitute, this took us months.

The following link provides an introduction to the ‘‘resource critical’’ issue.

http://faculty.kfupm.edu.sa/CEM/jannadi/backup-7april/Resource-Activity.pdf

Up to this moment I only know of one software, Spider Project, that gives correct values of float after resource leveing. I will be very happy if I learn there is another good alternative that provides it. Needless to say that if P6 ever provides it that will not be enough to make it a good alternative, even with it I would keep it out, too many bugs and the wrong interface.

Catalan,

About using or not resource leveling, I go for the use of it. I also accept as valid the use of “soft relationships” but only if you accept this can vary as the schedule moves. I believe a good algorithm will do better than by hand. As a matter of fact I believe at times is convenient to combine both. Also for your knowledge most of my clients use the “soft relationships” method in relatively small jobs that can be handled with 600 activities schedules. These are Schools, Parking Garages, Office Buildings, Condos, Bowling Alley, Hangars, Jet engine Power Check Pad, Housing Developments, nothing out of the ordinary.

I compare the results of their approach against resource leveling loading the schedule on my own using the estimate used for bidding as estimating is what makes my living, scheduling is for fun.

I believe in the concept of freedom, if the Contractor want to use the soft relationships method to do HIS OWN PLANNING, he should be able to do so, forcing him to use other software and other methods is undemocratic, is wrong.

Hey MS Project is the most widely used planning software in the world, then why not ban the rest?

Best regards,
Rafael
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Rafael,

I suspect that you haven’t actually tried it in P6.

Please try it in P6 and tell us what you found out.

R. Catalan,

Resource levelling is important from the start, so you need to do it as accurately as you can during assigning of resources.

For me, it always depend on how you had structured your activities.

Best regards
R. Catalan
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Dear Rafael and All,

An honest opinion, it somehow offended other planners that are not using resource scheduling in their projects. We seldom use resource leveling but still we’re credited for the early/on-time completion of our projects.

PP has helped a lot of planners to get better with their works with the threads they have read here.

Maybe we can try to call all concerned planners to vote in this thread if resource-leveling is really required or important in their planning needs?

_______________________________________________

Vote A for "Resource-Leveling Is Required or Important"
Vote B for "No Need, I Can Do Better Planning Withour It"

For me, I vote for B (1 point).

Best regards,

R. Catalan

Rafael Davila
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Schedule a 2 activities network, not tied one to each other by precedence logic but sharing a limited resource.

For example:

Activity A – 5 days
Activity B - 5 days
Both activities sharing Resource A.

Most software under resource leveling will schedule A and B at different time, the first one depending on your priorities selection. This is ok up to this point, but the problem is most will show float of 5 days on the first activity while a delay in this activity will delay the completion of your schedule.

Imagine that you as a Project Manager look at the available float as per your CPM schedule and start paying attention to those shown as critical and even start moving resources from those showing some float as to keep under control those showing no float. Because most software under resource constrained schedule will show the wrong float for resource critical activities you most probably will end up moving resources precisely from the wrong activities. You either will discover too late it was wrong or start doubting about the CPM float display. Well better start doubting about the CPM float display and either buy a glass ball or software capable of showing resource critical float.

WRONG FLOAT

The following example illustrates the error can happen not only on the critical path but also anywhere, just to make it clear how wrong it can be.

True RC Float

http://www.spiderproject.ru/library/pmie01_rcp.pdf

Best Regards,
Rafael
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Rafael,

I’m just wondering how you had made your two-activity sample for P6 which according to you (several times already), displayed the wrong float after resource levelling?

I tried it several times also, and it is not displaying any float (0) or sometimes negative, which gives me the impression that P6 is accurately calculating, but you are always saying otherwise, that’s why I have developed some doubts as well, and no one (at least up to now) challenges that what you are saying is not true.

As we are always making schedules as correctly (at least in our own imagination) as we can, we seldom use resource levelling, as we had assigned resources considering that no adjustments is gonna happen during the course of the project.

Best regards
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Are you or your company forcing at gun point that all contractors use a rubbish and unreliable tool as P6? P6 is a tool that every other day someone discovers a bug, this is no secret just look at P6 threads, a tool where float is useless after resource leveling, unbelievably this is simple math missed by many schedulers.

Suppose all the designs by your company are correct and no revisions are needed, if needed is always the fault of others, seems like architects are a breed apart.

But as you said every company has its needs, then why not accept that the selection of the software by the Contractor shall be what satisfy his needs and force him to use software that satisfy the need of other at the expense of his own needs? Why many times as Contractors we have been forced to use Primavera software when we find it so unreliable?

Maybe you do not need reliable float display, but we do. We use the metrics as a buffer. If it does not matter then let us submit schedules with no float, anyway if P6 most probably will be wrong.

What is the use of nice P6 bar charts if not used by the Contractor as his own tool? P6 is all on the surface, the engine is bad. Keep in mind that if float display is wrong for the contractor managing resources with the assistance of the CPM tool then it is just a beauty of a bar chart to the eyes of others not his, is useless, is no true scheduling, is wrong math. To us math is beauty; if wrong there is no beauty on it no matter the color selection for your bars.

Best regards,
Rafael
Anoon Iimos
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All,

No offense intended.

Can you imagine if we are having the same imagination in the middle of the night (I don’t care who you are sleeping with)?

Scarllet,

There is always a solution, I supposed it is printed in the US dollar.

Best regards
Anoon Iimos
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Hi Rodel,

That’s what I’m trying to say, all plans can be wrong because of differences in perceptions. It is just in the imagination and how do you create an ideal interface between imaginations?

Hi Scarllet,

I believe there is a solution, and that’s what we are always trying to find out.

Best regards
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Anoon,

We as an architect have different views, all designs are correct; we don’t accept it is wrong. That’s our interpretation, perception and imagination. We love our creation and the beauty depends on eye of creator but we always accept client concept and suggestion because they have the right on their own. Same as the planner, their own creation and perception may be different from the PM, client and construction personnel but with their help and assistance it will soon pointed to the right directions. I will not say it’s correct but that’s my view.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Scarllet Pimpernel
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IMHO,

I think what was missed in this discussion is the politics involved in projects.

There is no democracy in project development because the contract dictates what are the deliverables. There is no free will as we experience in a democratic world.

So while the thread is trying hard to state something wrong somewhere, there is no solution. As small time planning engineer, we just learned to move on since there is no solution.

Thank you,
Scarlett
Anoon Iimos
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Dear All,

For me, all plans or schedules are wrong the first time they are published.

Schedules can only become correct as soon as they are realized.

And why we schedule our work?

To put everything in mind into paper, or a piece of chip! so that others can read what’s exactly in mind.

Best regards
Rodel Marasigan
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Vladimir,
As I have mention, every company has their own common need and not all packages can substantiate those need. Our company deals internationally and various country and with the help off modern technology and online facility gave us more advantage like having a live schedule up to date for a top management in different places with out asking for a schedule in each project. It’s all there available online.

Project Management is not only dealing with resource management, the planning itself deals with cost, time, resource, quality, safety etc… and feasibility of schedule are not only dealing with resources, it can be analyzed in many different ways where a good planner can demonstrate his ability and knowledge on project management. Planning tool will be a good help but not always the case. If a schedule is only use for presentation why we plan? What’s the used of planner? Why we schedule our work?

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel,
I want to clarify that the process of schedule updates can be organised different ways, and these ways have advantages and disadvantages (we do not discuss the software packages and the ways it is organised in the certain packages). When updates timing is different for different suprojects (project phases) the direct access to the common schedule model becomes complicated.

Yes, projects were successfully managed even before appearance of computers. But the tools that were created for project managers shall make it easier and PMs more informed. Project management for contractors means resource management. And if resource levelling is not used then the contractor planner does not know if the schedule is feasible. It means that the schedule is just a presentation tool.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Mimoune,

Thanks for the advised. I’m an architect in profession but grown more at site and construction instead on my drawing board and concentrate on the design. I love database especially when I learned how powerful it is by the used of different application and having integrated system that works fine.

Vladimir,
I’m sure you know the difference between 2 processes and a single process, online and offline. Like what you said all software’s had different advantages and disadvantages. Every company has their own common needs where on our case enterprise and open database are more appropriate.

Rafael,
Yes we do resource leveling when required. That’s one module from planning tool that every planner can live without it. As we know not all planners do resource leveling and it is not a day to day basis requirement. Every ones has their own need and specialty. Planning tool is just a tool that can used to make planners job easier than before. Some planner with out the knowledge of using this tool still can have their schedule and plan according to their knowledge and methodology but finished it on time and accomplished the works successfully. Before I used lotus 123 then excel to draw my schedule because those tools are not available until been installed and available to use but we manage to live with our schedule successfully.

Float is good to analyze project situation and very helpful if we know how to use it. But always remember float is not real. It is only an estimate and not a perfect science. Some planning tools maybe capable of producing it more accurate but is it necessity on planner daily works? Schedule is just a guide and not 100% perfect. I haven’t seen a Project that runs 100% according to the schedule. There are lots of technique has been used and introduce like CCPM, Theory of Constrain (TOC), CPM etc… but still not perfect.

Everyone has the right to have their opinion and everyone have their own talent. You may love your planning tools because it works for you but 100% sure not everyone have the same satisfaction like you are. Every planning tools have their own characteristics and capability but again it’s always depends on users needs. A good planner is not because he is a good operator of a planning tools, I seen a lot of planner that are very talented on using their tools, good presentation and reports but don’t know how to read a plan, coordinate with construction personnel, no knowledge on construction methodology, how activity has been derived, no knowledge in estimating and etc… so end up just an encoder or operator. (Majority of them are IT joins in a construction industry).

Friendly word of advised. Don’t criticize something that you don’t know about. It might fire back to you. WE have a saying “Little knowledge is dangerous”.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Even if the only benefit of integration with your ERP software is for transferring of updating data I can see benefit on it, especially if the data comes from many jobs all happening at the same day, perhaps in different shifts, with short duration activities. Yes I believe under such circumstance the updating data should come from the line supervisor of each individual job and not from a 24hr a day timekeeper that will miss many details. By the way you describe the issue it seems to me it is of substantial value under your circumstances as not to trade it for the traditional updating procedure that are a better fit for most of us. In a similar way maybe Utilities can benefit of such way of updating hundreds of jobs per week.

I still agree with Mimmoune... “but using full database system for a standalone usage is ....”. Requiring use of P6 for 98% of construction jobs is insane. Can you imagine planning the substitution of a windows at a Federal Courthouse using P6, insane, the construction of a 30 classrooms School, insane, the construction of a Municipal WWTP, insane, the construction of a bridge, insane, the construction of a Drug Store, insane, a Home Depot Store, insane, a Marshalls Store, insane, a Parking Garage, insane and the list goes on and on.

Please take notice of my question about float after resource constraining, I am curious about schedulers being aware of the issue on resource critical float, lack of knowledge of this issue can be disastrous if you manage your job using the concept of available float and not aware of this.

Best regards,
Rafael

P.S. insane not only because P6 is based on a monstrous database but also because it is a BUG. I do not believe ever existed software with so many bugs.
mimoune djouallah
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Vladimir

i repeat what i have said before, i find spider very interesting( resource leveling, importing past period performance), and SDPM very promoting,at least it take into account criticality of tasks (that what I understood from the little documentations I could read) and i hope we will live in a world of diversity, i hate when i speak with others planners, and they have never heard about spider, powerproject, safran, openplan, x-planner,they thought Planning = CPM = Primavera (high end), Ms project (low end)
but i wish from you more effort to promote spider outside of Russia, i wish to read books about spider usage in English, i wish someday that you create a north American subsidiary. i love competitions, it is what drive innovations. And at the end of the day, the planner will gain.

for ODBC connectivity usage, and why integration is the new hot topic in portfolio management, i think Rodel has better explain it then me.



Rodel

let’s be honest, working with SQL database is not so easy, at least for a guy like me, i am a civil engineer, for example linking from SQL server to Excel is easy, but the other direction is not so simple (you know that already), and please don’t be so humble.


mimoune
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Do you model resources in your scheduling and use resource leveling?

If yes, how do you interpret the displayed values for float as P6 do not display correct values of float after resource leveling? Do you hide the values of float to all others so unreliable values are not shown?

It will display available float in some activities that because of resource availability cannot be delayed without this delaying the schedule.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel,
I already wrote that changing data date without changing the remaining durations and moving dependent activities is misleading.
I don’t agree that importing requires double effort. If the process is established then it is just one command.
But in this case your schedule is always valid, the state when different activities have different data dates can be escaped.
Each approach has own advantages.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Vladimir,
Primavera has a capability of changing data date without scheduling. That doesn’t mean much but instead of using spotlight a data date can be shown on any date you want.
I agree with you that Direct access or importing does not change much except for the double effort which can be eliminated by direct access.
Ex: If we use export to refresh our in-house database then it another programming code will be done to validate the data from existing to a new one. (less error if using direct) Importing data compare to direct are almost the same except it can be done automatically using direct access.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel,
I cannot understand moving data date without scheduling. If remaining duration is changed then it is not just the moving of the data date, it is moving future events and dependent activities. It cannot be done without scheduling. Another option - looking to the wrong schedule.

When all reports will come and the data date becomes the same for all objects the model can be rescheduled.

Now imagine that all actual data are collected in Excel (or some other external program) and before rescheduling are moved to the Primavera database. In this case previous approved schedule is available to the moment when new schedule will replace the old one.

I don’t see the serious advantages of the first process. Direct access or importing does not change much.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,
We are not talking about sales or inventory here. It’s a capability of a database integrated to another database where input can be done on a daily or weekly basis. Yes on the cut-off date a schedule is review and validated before publishing. The source of input is from different location and instead of sending data from each and import into database; it can be done automatically on their side.
Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel Marasigan
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Vladimir,
I understand what you’re saying but in our case was different. This is how it works. We have an in-house database link to Primavera database where other stations are operating. The database was capable of viewing schedule data on the database where priority, look ahead, quantity are viewable for each item. Ex: Spool fabrication, supports, galvanizing, painting, insulation and many others. Weekly the other stations will input what they accomplished and we have a cut-off date. P6 has a capability of moving data date without scheduling (F9). When report comes, just a press of a button a new fresh schedule will come up.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Not sure if I am following you, but I understand CPM updating is not the same as sales updating at a Sears Store Cash Register, here sales data and inventory is entered on line. I believe looking at any schedule updating only make sense after all period data is entered, any look at the schedule before all data is entered, is misleading, is in error, should not be available to everyone. A company that is displaying to everyone partial project updates is in error. The validity of live data is a fallacy, is daydreaming, only after all updating data is entered and verified the schedule can be called to be valid.

Data shall be entered only once does not means at a single data entry session, it may take a couple of days. You can enter first all the updating data for work performed by your own crews and then on the next day enter all updating data as it become available from your subcontractors unless you have a glass ball and can enter their estimate for remaining duration.

Well seems you already answered my doubts while I was writing this reply, anyway here it goes.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel,
if the data dates for different schedule objects are not the same the schedule model is not workable.
You will not be able to reschedule, to provide most reports, the model is useless.
So there is a need for the certain data entry (or import) schedule - at what time, at what dates. Entering actual data between these dates shall be banned.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Vladimir,
I agree that Project schedule shall be updated at the certain predefined moments, but my point is because it is viewable online, we don’t have to worry if the data is correct or out of date. No import needed to be done first to have fresh data. No need to advise the other side of the world if the data was updated or not. It works like warehousing, accounting but the difference it is construction and or fabrication.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel,
I agree that the data shall be entered only once.
But I don’t see much difference between capabilities of import/export and direct access.
Project schedule shall be updated at the certain predefined moments and it does not matter much what is the way of updating data to these moments (direct access or import from other softwares).
I don’t mean Spider, this is theoretical discussion.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Vladimir,

Well I’m not a computer programmer or developer but I’m one of the fortunate that found it very easy.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Vladimir,
I’m not saying that Spider has problem and like what I said I have no idea what Spider capable of.

My examples is for those planning tools which don’t have capability of direct exchange of data to avoid double input, use automation and interfacing to another system.
Ex: A schedule data is link to another system that been published electronically without worrying that the data is out of date.

An up to date program that can be accessed to another system in different format where contractor can view electronically on their own system like fabrication schedule look ahead and target completion. It may be on tabular format or table format for each activity with correct data online and many others.
Rodel,
unfortunately it is not that easy.
And Primavera does not recommended to write to P6 database directly.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,

I respect your opinion and we are happy for you. You love something that makes you happy then it’s you to enjoy it.

Like what I mention, I haven’t use Spider and looking forward to have a chance in the future. I used Artemis where I began to have interest in database, Microsoft Project, P3, P3e (P4), P3e/c, P5, P6 and I don’t have problem with all of them. If I got a chance of using Spider I will love it for sure.

For you info, P6 database doesn’t require any PhD like what you mentioned. It is simple and very easy to understand. It is an open database where integration and interfacing is very possible to any system which I believed one of the selling points of Primavera. SQL is very popular everywhere and very common to all system. It can be accessed directly through SQL or any Open Database Connectivity (ODBC).
Hi Rodel,
I would like to understand your requirement using the specific examples. What limitations do you mean?

Spider Project can save the project into its own format or into database (all tables, codes, etc. are open). Saving into database we call export. Project can be opened from the own file or from the database (we call this import).

We have customers that use Spider together with their ERP systems and did not meet problems. But maybe you mean using the PM software some specific way?

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Mimoune,

Thanks for the information. I understand what you’re saying and I agree with your thought. The simplest and easy accessible is the better. But we are now on the age of modern science where every system requires full interface, common control and one system that operate everything in one single station .One of the selling advantage of every a company now is a good system that produce everything with compatibility to clients system. Data exchange is now very important especially in the electronic and computer world like now.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Mimoune,

That you can use Spider Project without the need to link it to external databases it does not mean it cannot do it. The great difference is that for most of the operations other software requires for you to use a link to an external database Spider can handle 99% with Reference Books functionality, is easier, makes no sense going the hard way.

Spider link to databases

Best regards,
Rafael
Mimoune,
I live in Russia and in my country Spider Project is most popular and widely used professional PM tool.
All large programs here are managed with Spider Project and we are involved in the management of some of them (with total budget exceeding $60bln).
We are happy with this.
We support our partners and users in other countries (28).
But it is your choice - what software to select. It depends on your requirements. I think that the wide choice is better than no choice.

Why do you need ODBC driver? Is there some special purpose or just in case ...

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

I judge something at times based on observation, I have worked with several scheduling software without the need of a PhD in Databases. To me it should be on the background, bringing it to the user level is unnecessary. With Spider I can transfer data among file tables at will without the need of specialized training.

I can make my opinion without asking the “experts” on a product I do not know the inner workings, I can make my opinion by comparing the result with similar products. I can compare my experience with a Jeep Cherokee, a very bad experience with my experience with my 2 Toyota 4runners and my wife Toyota Highlander, all Toyota great products I only know how to drive and how to check basic liquids.

The same I can do with Primavera P6, a horrible experience, with SureTrak and P3, not bad, Spider Project, even better. Without any knowledge about databases I can tell you my experience with P6 lead me to reach an opinion of my own, that it is rubbish. Is relevant to PP community all members express their experiences for the knowledge of the rest.

The time for training in my profession is more productive if a course on Foundation Design, Structural Engineering, Pre/Post Tensioned Concrete Structures, Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant, Storm sewer Design, Structural Steel Structures, Concrete Structures, Structural Dynamics, Construction Codes and Project Management among many others, but databases for what, I see no need.

Here at PP many of us are Project Managers in varied field such as Construction, Oil and Gas, Nuclear and many others, we are managers in need of a workable tool that does not require of us any specialized knowledge on database administration to keep us in control. Outsourcing some decisions is not only expensive but many times counterproductive. I found a scheduling tool that do not requires from me any knowledge about databases all I ask is for Government Agencies and Owners to allow the Contractor to use the software of their choosing. If by brute force then why not MS Project or an Abacus?

Best regards,
Rafael
mimoune djouallah
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Vladimir

no you did not wrote that" spider is the best thing invented after after CPM", i only meant is that the software is as good as it is actually used, what’s the point of a fantastic tool if it is used only by a small number of people.

Rafael

P6.7 include by default oracle database, but if you upgrade from p6.2, you can keep, your Microsoft Database, but to be honest installing oracle express edition is not so intuitive, specially if you screw up the first installation and you want to do a re-installation, it is a nightmare, because even when you remove the first installations, some files simply stay, and if you want to install again, the system will tell you, that oracle database are already installed, the only solution some manual deleting. and a lot of googling.

Rodel

from my understanding, spider use a kind of embedded proprietary database, the advantages, it is installed with the software, no need to configure anything, and you can export, import any imaginable data, but unfortunately there is no driver available, thus no live ODBC queries.

and if i had to choose,in case of stand alone usage, i would prefer something like SQlite, small footprint, embedded with the software, and has good driver.

for enterprise usage, it is clear, a kick ass oracle 11 database.

but using full database system for a standalone usage is ....

best regards
Mimoune


Rodel Marasigan
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Thanks Vladimir,
I believed there is a big difference between the two options. An open database has exposed all table structures which an advantage for the use of integration and interfacing of one software to another. The data exchange is not limited and matching fields against its table can be improvised. Using import/ export function has a limitation of data, unknown structures and limited input interface.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Hi Rodel,
since the schedule model is valid only if the data date is common for all schedule objects there is not much difference between the options that you suggested.
In any case the model shall be updated in the discreet moments and open database has no advantages against import/export function.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Rafael,
I’m puzzle on how you judge something when you don’t know anything about it?
It’s seems that spider is really a very promising planning tools where you can integrate in any other system without any problem. Unfortunately I haven’t got luck to use them yet but I’m looking forward that chance will come someday.
Is spider having an open database?

You mention about relational database. Relational database consist of a collection of tables that store matches data by using common characteristics found within the data set. The invention of this database system has standardized the way that data is stored and processed. The resulting groups of data are organized and are much easier for many people to understand. The concept of a relational database derives from the principles of relational algebra, realized as a whole by the father of relational databases, E. F. Codd. Most of the database systems in use today are based on the relational system.

Just for curiosity sake, if you will have a pleasure to select a planning tools which one is your preference? A planning tool with open database and its structure where you can use other simple application for your convenience, an open database where you can add, edit and modify data directly on the tables or a planning tool with close database but data is available using import/export function for the use of other simple application for your own convenience to add, edit and modify data?

Best Regards,
Rodel
Then the network - if there are activities without predecessors/ successors, if there are constraints like Start no Earlier Then.
And only then the schedule itself - if resources were levelled, if it can be improved.
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Start with the premise the first step passed. Then how the other steps must follow?

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
math computations are useless if they are based on the data that are not reliable.
The first step of the schedule verification is the verification of its initial data. If they are not reliable then all schedule improvements do not make any sense.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

I believe Sammer is looking for a way to test the math computations used by Spider Project.

I believe that perhaps because of the way the algorithms are defined the only way is to run as many simulations you can. Covering all possibilities even in the best of today supercomputer can be impractical.

Kind of similar to Monte Carlo Simulation need, the CPM model is so sophisticated and the combinatorial possibilities are unlimited that it is not possible to write a mathematical equation that will give us the result for whatever a scheduler want to model.

Vladimir, seems like a few are scratching their heads because with Spider you can work with the database tables using the concept of Reference Book, something similar to a “shell”, an interface that runs over the other to make it user friendly. I know nothing about database but can play basketball with Spider Project Tables and without injury as no matter how I tried I have not been able to corrupt a single file.

Somewhere I heard the term relational database. Do databases have sex with each other?

Best regards,
Rafael
Dear Samer,
I looked at the paper that you advised and did not find the answers to my questions.

I think that did not understand what do you mean by audit.
Being on site does not help to audit the quality of the project schedule that may cover long period.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Rodel

I know nothing about database, is just that P6 is so inefficient and by watching how more powerful software can do better without the use of Oracle or MS databases that I am deducting part of the limitation is on the external database engine.

I find it intriguing that Oracle uses a Microsoft Database as the default option in one of their products, P6. Therefore I believe is because of their inability to provide an equivalent. My limited knowledge then tells me Microsoft Databases are better than Oracles. I cannot understand how a supposedly excellent company as Oracle has such a bad product.

Best regards,
Rafael
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

You asked me about what procedure that I propose for internal audits. I found this article that I posted yesterday under Contracts:
"
Applying Internal Controls Skills on Construction Projects*

Alexia Nalewaik, CCE MRICS. *This article first appeared on the website of RICA Americas
http://www.ricsamericas.org/member-articles.html and is reprinted ...
www.icoste.org/ICMJ%20Papers/Nalewaik3.pdf
"

This is a good start showing the direction.

With kind regards,

Samer
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

Updating and reviewing the Schedules is a lot of work if you are sitting in the office. For a person that is at site all the time, it is very easy. Because they already saw all the information and know the full details.

Usually it takes me between 30-60 seconds to review each page. So for a 10,000 activities/35 activity per page = 300 pages = 5 hours approximately. Say 6 hours with the report writing and other interruptions.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael,
there are no restrictions of Spider Viewer usage for our customers. They can install them on any number of computers and supply their clients, customers, subcontractors for free.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Hi Mimoune,
Thank you, I will look at the format you suggested.
As I wrote earlier Spider Project schedules can be exported to xml, MS Project, P6, text, Oracle, SQL Server.
The data formats were described in Spider Project Help.
I don’t see problems with this.

In my country Spider Project is widely used in all industries, for all large programs for more than 15 years. At the moment we also have customers in 28 other countries and branches in 5 of them. So many thousands planners from thousands companies are using Spider Projects for many years.

I did not say that “spider is the best thing invented after CPM method”. Where did you see it? More than that – I don’t know what do you mean by CPM method. Spider supports many methods and we suggest our customers to apply SDPM method that is more powerful and reliable.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Hi Samer,
when the schedule is based on the estimates and expert judgement the verification process includes the verification of the estimates.

For an example:
1) If the crew assigned to an activity is full and reasonable,
2) If the productivity of assigned resources is correct,
3) If the crews and productivities are the same for all activities of the same type in the whole schedule,
4) If all necessary materials were assigned and material consumption corresponds with the quantity of work to be done on each activity,
5) If material consumption norms (consumption per activity volume unit) are the same for all activities of the same type,
I can add to the list cost verification, etc.

It is very time consuming and the work will be much easier if you may be sure that all data are based on the norms that are listed in the separate tables.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Rafael,

I just wondering how well you are in database? Have you used all of them before? I remember during my school days when Database was introduce using different programs language like Basic, C language, Pascal, Fortran, Cobol, Dbase, Foxpro...etc… and I believed oracle is the first commercial product released. IBM, Informix and Sybase entered the Arena until Microsoft bought Sybase and now the only 3 major databases exist which was by IBM (Informix), Microsoft and Oracle.

How can you say that “Oracle is no good at database development”? How good are you in database management system? Are you a programmer developer which I believed who works on database management system all the time? I think is the software or program application deals with the database so the question should be how good or efficient the software is and not the database.

w/ kind regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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mimoune

The viewer is free to anyone just that to my knowledge only registered user can download it and then distribute it for free, otherwise Spider Website would be slowed down by everyone downloading the viewer.

What happens is that Spider Project Development Team is very prolific and dynamic and a few times a month they upgrade the software (usually very minor upgrades), so the viewer must also be upgraded.

Fortunately it takes me about 2 minutes to download a full file of the new version. It is not like P6 about 30mb of P6 and 600MB of an external database requiring about 3 installation CD’s, the database engine usually a Microsoft Database, by logic deduction because Oracle is no good at database development. They have not figure it out a more efficient database that requires no PhD to administer. I call P6 the mother of all inefficient software; they are very good at being inefficient. Why do you think it makes many PP members to laugh at it?

Thanks for the reference to SDEF, this was precisely to the standard I was referring. And like Vladimir already said it will not make all software to perform equally. The idea of this standard is to allow for the government to specify a standard that is open and not vendor specific. This to my view, although might close some options to the Contractor, it is an acceptable compromise, at least better than a single option.

Vladimir,

Can I distribute 20,000 or 60,000 copies of the viewer to any government agency for free so 20,000 or 60,000 reviewers can take a look at all the data in my submitted files? If not enough maybe more?

If your answer is yes then Government agencies should consider start requiring free copies of the viewer, as many as they wish.

Best regards,
Rafael
mimoune djouallah
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Vladimir

an example of common format is SDEF, it is requested from contractor who deal with us army corps of engineers to submit their schedule in that format.

http://www.cecer.army.mil/facts/sheets/cf-26.pdf

and yes i know each software has different capabilities, but you can always agree on a common ground, the most basic informations( activity id, activity description relationships etc) it is in the benefit of everybody, specially independent vendors (asta, spider, deltek).

and you can keep saying that spider is the best thing invented after CPM method, but as long as it is not used by planners, it will stay always an underdog player,
unless spider management begin to think out of the box, and ask themselves how to make this product sells and used !?
i don’t know, but a free viewer will make no harms, and make people like Rafael happy ;)

best regards
Mimoune

edited : me silly i did not know you have already a viewer, when you purchase a spider license.
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

I was checking 5000 activity Schedules each for 5-6 Contractors on a monthly basis. Each schedule should not take more than 4-6 hours to check if the activities, logic, durations, scope changes, resources, percentages, or schedule changes have been done. I always know more about the site than any other person for the simple reason that I spend at least 12 hours daily on sites not in the office site. So all my reviews are actually very clear, quick, and with the latest information since I have direct contact with all the supervisors and teams in addition to the management teams.

You can also run variance reports like claim digger to get a variance list once you get the baseline approved.

Softwares today do much more than Scheduling; reflecting the project planning, monitor progress, and provide trends and forcasting.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael Davila
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Sammer,

I have compared many times sample jobs modeled within Primavera SureTrak, MS Project and Spider Project.

They essentially converge on very simple models up to a point where the more sophisticated resource leveling algorithm enter into play, the good thing is that by displaying the resource usage diagrams you can see Spider Project worked within the constraints and consistently yielded better results than the rest. Not to mention the display of true values of float after resource leveling only Spider Project can provide.

By the way have you ever tested the 2 activities sample job that shows how wrong Primavera SureTrak, Primavera P3, Primavera P6, Power Project, MS Project and many other are at displaying the correct value for float after resource leveling? No ISO standard needed, just 5 minutes of your time. A similar exercise you can do with other sample jobs.

Do not expect Vladimir to tell you line by line the algorithm(s) rules, yes there are several. I believe some of them, if not all, cannot be applied to MS Project because MS Project places a constraint on the activity start as each is delayed, denying the algorithm to un-status the activity for better results, the same might happen with other software because of available functionalities such as true modeling for shifts.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Mimoune,
the standard format means the same data set?
But they are different. Please look at my earlier posts.
A set of fields in Spider Project is different.
We can import almost everything but export only those fields that will be understood by other packages.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Samer,
Spider Project is designed for usage as the corporate planning tool. It means that the schedules that are created with the use of Spider Project, if properly organised, will be based on the corporate norms and dictionaries.
Spider Project reference-books include such parameters as norms for material requirements per volume unit of typical jobs, unit costs for typical jobs, resource productivities on typical assignments, resource crews for typical works, etc. Besides the schedules are usually created using the library of typical project fragments that describe the technologies of achieving low level results.
Audit is easy if it is enough to verify corporate norms.

Do you have some proposal for an audit of some middle scale (like 10,000 activities, 500 resource types) project where estimates were based on expert judgements? How long will it take?

I don’t understand what do you mean by scheduling system VS management system. Project schedule shall be based on the corporate standards and give all necessary information for management decisions.
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Rafael,

It seems that the Spider team has created a great tool since it stood your indepth analysis and output requirements. But the question is: How do you verify the results?

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael Davila
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Samer,

I agree, because of the difference in computed values only one software is right, this is Spider Project, all the rest are wrong.

Is simple use Spider Project as the Standard for the audit, any software that yields different results is wrong.

Best regards,
Rafael
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

When you start going into that level of details, it becomes more than a Scheduling tool. It becomes a management tool. IMHO you need an audit on the process.

If you do any kind of computations, you need verification. If you are doing a process, then a standard audit procedure is acceptable.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

There is no need to go as far as to the sophisticated algorithms, even in the basic computations they do differ. Continuous PDM vs. Non Continuous PDM vs. AOA traditional Computations can yield different results for early dates. Even the planning unit plays a role.

The best that can be done is getting an approximation, everyone, including the government must start by accepting this.

At least in one issue most software agree, is in showing incorrect float after resource leveling, incredible but true, all wrong in the most basic computation that even with a 2 activities job it can easily be shown.

Well perhaps this can be a justification to use whatever you want, anyway they got it wrong, so why so much insistence in not letting the team responsible for the management of the resources and workforce that actually will be doing the job choose his tools.

Best regards,
Rafael
Samer,
Spider can export the schedules directly to P6 and MS Project, save as a set of CSV files, send any table to Excel, etc.
I talk about another problem - where we can export activity volumes of work, resource assignment productivities, team assignments, cost components, resource and material production, project financing, etc?
Do you know such fields in the Primavera database?
So yes, we send what can be understood - durations, relations, total costs. But a lot of information is lost.
And besides P6 cannot simulate shift work.
So P6 will not verify Spider schedule, and besides Spider optimizes resource constrained schedules, level not only renewable resources but also materials and costs.
P6 produce some resource constrained schedule and cannot level materials and costs.
And what P6 can verify?

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Vladimir,

Why can’t you save the activity list with relationship, durations in Excel and then load it into another software. Excel can be the intermediate medium between softwares. Just an idea.

With kind regards,

Samer
Samer,
verification of the results produced by one software using other software is impossible. Different softwares use different algorithms and have different modelling capabilities.
If you will download Spider Project and will try to create the same project as construction example in Demo in P6, you will find that in P6 it is just impossible.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Mimoune,

Over 34% of construction is done by government agencies, if government agencies require for your software to comply with an open file format for data exchange any software that misses to comply will eventually lose over 34% of the contractors, perhaps over 70% as only 30% exclusively bid on private jobs.

http://www.census.gov/const/www/c30index.html

Total................................846,233..........100.00%
...Private...........................553,491............65.41%
......Residential...............250,776............29.63%
......Nonresidential.........302,715............35.77%
...Public.............................292,742...........34.59%
......State & local............264,724............31.28%
......Federal..........................28,018................3.31%

In millions of dollars, a market of about 846 Billions per year in the USA alone.

It will have no effect trough private job biddings, we all will benefit from the right posture of our Government agencies that will make many options available, then also the private job market will benefit.

Of course there is no benefit for them if the requirement is not enforced, particularly to Primavera who in this way is forcing everyone to follow their whim. In any case if Primavera does not complies then let them be out, better many options than a single and rubbish one.

Best regards,
Rafael
mimoune djouallah
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Hi all

vendor lock-in is a well known practice in the software industry, and the most famous case is sun (now oracle) open office versus Microsoft office, sun created an open file format (ODF) to make exchange files between competing office suite possible, Microsoft riposted by creating a competing file format OOXML, and even managed to make it an ISO standard, the hick is even microsoft is not interested to fully comply to it’s own standard, see the link bellow for further information
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2010/04/microsoft-office-15not-201...

but the question is what’s the benefit to Oracle and Microsoft to adopt an open exchange format for scheduling software ! Nothing, after all, they are interested that you buy their packages, not to make your life easy to change to another product.
Now the real question why the others vendors( asta, deltek, spider,sciformat, x-planner) are not adopting a standard format. Perhaps they are happy about their niche market.
Independent vendor should be more creative, for example, spider, perhaps something like free spider viewer, where you can load your program and print view all the reports you want,

best regards.
Mimoune
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,
Yes you’re absolutely correct, we have freedom of speech, freedom of religion and secular government, freedom of association. Australian values are Australians respect women, other people’s beliefs, democracy, and our mates and we always give each other a fair go.

w/ kind regards,
Rodel
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear RAfael,

Open bidding is a different issue. The committee assigned by the Owner determines what is best for the project and it qualifies a short list of qualified tenderers. Hence, the playing field should be leveled to all players.

In a standard management system, say ISO, you need to verify the results and later validate it. The verification of the computations done by a computer software can be made by another software or by hand. And in both cases, by a different person. This is the minimum acceptable management standards that should be the norm in the future.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

With your clarification no apology is needed, yes both parties got to respect each other, both have their needs and this is why I advocate for a solution that can satisfy both. Our Federal Government tried a solution by means of a standardized database file to allow the transferring of data but seems Primavera advocates got out with it. Maybe Primavera subtlety boycotted the intent. I believe they should have been left out.

By the way, I perceive more freedom in the UK than in the USA. I would not be surprised if this also is the case in Australia.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,
My apology, wrong choice of words, it should be request and not beg. I know you understand what I mean.

Here in Australia we have freedom and respect our rule.

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Scheduling software is an essential part of the Means and Methods of the Contractor, here at this side of the Atlantic Means and Methods are supposed to be by the Contractor under the traditional forms of contracts. The interpretation is binding by common law, here the law take precedence over the written words of the contract.

Also it is a known fact Contractors are not free to negotiate contract conditions under bidding for government jobs, is take it or leave it. Here under public bidding is considered immoral and illegal to brand specify, but very frequently this is not followed precisely by our institutions. This leads to favoritism and even kickback by suppliers, is against our credo calling for free enterprise.

Contractors as well as all taxpayers give a substantial amount of money to government agencies, is not the agency money contractor’s are begging, the money belong to the people, we don’t have to knee down to the agencies and thank them.

Why Contractors are to be forced to use such rubbish software as Primavera P6, why not MS Project, Asta Powerproject, Spider Project or any other? Because is convenient to a Program Manager at the expense of hundreds or thousands contractors.

In the USA and its territories we have very different laws to what you have at Queensland, we are claiming for our laws be respected even if “common law”.

Private jobs are another thing, but even under private contracts there are some interpretations that protect the contractor right to keep control of the means and methods.

The attitude of some Owners that Contractors got to beg is wrong, is unprofessional. When a Contractor is invited to a close bid is because he is good, shall not be because he knee down and kiss the foot of a particular manager. I would suspect, and believe me have seen it with my own eyes, the manager wants him to beg is probably looking for some kind of kickback, maybe a home remodeling at his vacation home, or just a new emergency generator in hurricane prone areas. Incredible, what a mind set, "the Contractor got to beg".

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
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Rafael,
I admire your vision and everyone is whishing the same. The question is who is capable to do what we wish for? A computer programmer/ software developer is doing what they can do by trial and error but nobody is perfect. Even the most powerful software still having bugs but they will not know the problem until someone discovers or encounter while using it. Any software developer or companies spend a lot of moneys for a project and completed for sure they need something to comeback and the only way of doing it is to release their products and have it tested for long period of time. If bug has been discover for sure an action from their side will be made and release patches to fix it. But that’s not an easy fix and something will come out again and again until another products or upgrade will be release again. If you read the brief history of planning and scheduling started from manual to computer to nothing until someone tried to give a try again but until now still not perfect. The old computer was running in a punch card now multi-terabyte and more enhancement and more innovative modern technology still coming.

We should thanks we are now living in much easier and modern technology compare to what we have before. From manual to abacus to calculator now computer and more to come. An organization/ institution has nothing to do with what we have. They support what they believe which has been reviewed by the expert and decided by the top rank management.

In regard to owner nominating there preference, what wrong with that? They just want to justify what they are paying for. If they believed that will do the job and a contractor agreed then what’s the problem? They did not force them; the contractor was the one begging. If the contractor dictating what they want then what will happen? Whose client will bind to that kind of agreement?

w/ Kind Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Sammer,

Your request has been exposed by many forever. Yes you are right; even some third party developers have complained about the software developer not being clear what each field means.

About exposing the details of their particular algorithm I understand why they can be reluctant to expose them, these took years and thousands of dollars (a few Euros) to be developed and tested, why expose them for free to others.

From:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algorithm

- "Algorithms, by themselves, are not usually patentable. In the United States, a claim consisting solely of simple manipulations of abstract concepts, numbers, or signals does not constitute "processes" (USPTO 2006), and hence algorithms are not patentable (as in Gottschalk v. Benson). However, practical applications of algorithms are sometimes patentable. For example, in Diamond v. Diehr, the application of a simple feedback algorithm to aid in the curing of synthetic rubber was deemed patentable. The patenting of software is highly controversial, and there are highly criticized patents involving algorithms, especially data compression algorithms, such as Unisys’ LZW patent."

Best regards,
Rafael
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Rafael,

Amazingly enough, amongst 100 economies in the world, I have read that there are 51 companies! So the definition of free enterprise is changing, like everthing else in the world. When you see specification clearly stating the specific brand, then the only reason for that is someone is pushing to use this brand.

I think that if the tool makers outline clearly how the black box is getting the results in the help section, things would get simpler to verify and to use. You end up gaining experience with what works with the software to operate it, not what is the correct theory of doing things and how to verify the correct answer.

With kind regards,

Samer
Rafael Davila
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Samer,

For a start they should stop fooling the user by stop providing wrong values for float after resource leveling, if incapable of showing true values then better no provide these or stop providing the resource leveling functionality, is misleading, is an abominable error, is wrong.

To provide a standardized database for purpose of exporting/importing where all software can communicate the basic fields, most fields will be common among all software and a few particular of each software so they can still be exported/imported then the software can handle some by use of functionality such as formulas or at times will just be reference values that will keep record of the non-common values. This would require some sort of standard, a practice our federal government tried and stopped, at the end a few nailed the majority.

I also would like from owners to stop forcing the contractor to use software for their own planning by brute force, let the contractor use its own selection. Forcing hundreds of contractors to use the Owner selection is undemocratic, goes against the basic principles of free enterprise, it is morally wrong. Perhaps Contractor’s trade associations, the PMI (if relevant for something), the whole Planning Planet Community and a few others should raise the voice against this practice. The argument that must be standardized is no excuse; the end does not justify the means.

About the rest, the market and user needs should dictate. I believe in free enterprise although some of our institutions seems like not.

Best regards,
Rafael
Samer Zawaydeh
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Dear Rafael,

What do you recommend that the tool makers do to improve their tools?

With kind regads,

Samer
Rodel Marasigan
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All,

To resolve the issues regarding float calculation after resource levelling I downloaded the test xer from Rafael.

This is what I found out. Primavera is calculating the same result as shown from the screen shot shown by Rafael done in Spider Project after a few experiment.(note: we are not comparing software to software here. It is just an experiment what bugs Primavera have when levelling a resource.)

The screen shot from Rafael using Primavera showing wrong float is because the units allocated for Task 2 is exceeding from the max units set on the R2 which is 8hrs/day. On screen shot below it shows 13.33hrs/day having 40hrs/3days. (note: hrs or unit is used to represent unit/duration). In this case Primavera will not touch or calculate Task 2 because levelling in P6 doesn’t extend duration that is why it will remain at it is.
P6 Figure1

After changing labor units assign to Task 2 (8hrs/day * 3 = 24) I run resource levelling again and below is the result. Total float = 2 which is the same as Rafael Screen shot from Spider. (note: This experiment is limited only on the sample provided and haven’t test on unlimited activities)
P6 Figure2

Another issue that I found out is “Hours Per Time Period” (Users Preference-> Time Units tab) is used to calculate for total working hours per day and use the calendar as limit of time per working hours. See below by changing 8 working hours to 12 working hours the total float change from 2 to 1.
P6 Figure3

I also test using different activity type between Resource Dependent and Task Dependent and it has no effect if using same calendar. See below using Resource Dependent Activity Type with 8hrs – 5 days working calendar and 8 hrs working hour’s cycle set on Hours Per Time Period.

Conclusion: Based on the sample xer provided, P6 stands as calculating correctly when levelling resource.

See comparison below using same labor unit/ resource loading as showed on the profile
Spider Profile

P6 Figure4

Note: This is conducted to resolve the issue and not to harm anybody.
Platform use for testing: P6.1
Rafael Davila
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Rodel and Vladimir,

If you move activity A1010 to the late bar location as determined by the 10 days total float shown in the example R2 will be over-allocated then this by definition is not resource constraining and the value as shown is misleading and is wrong, I would call it limited resource over-allocation as to distinguish it from true resource allocation. Does this mean P6 is incapable of performing true resource constraining? Is there a way to make P6 to display correct float value for activity A1010 that satisfy the requirement for the resources no to be over-allocated? What value of float for activity A1010 will P6 show if true resource constraining that does not allow for over-allocation is performed by P6, of course assuming P6 can perform true resource constraining?

What is the practical value of a functionality that does not solve the issue for over-allocation? How can you say a mathematical model supposed to solve the issue on resource availability allows over-allocation to happen is mathematically correct? In any case the values shown shall be named “over-allocated resources float” as not to mix it with the true definition of resource critical float and shall be shown on under a different field while the correct value for resource float shall still be shown under the total float field.

If P6 is going to provide over-allocated float under the same column other correct values are shown then at least shall provide an indicator of where this is happening. In such case I still prefer to show 2 columns, one with the correct value and another with a value that allows over-allocation though I do not know if the last value is useful.

If float can be anything you want then why show it, why use the term in CPM specifications? Better keep it simple float is always 0.

Best regards,
Rafael
I did not mean that resource has less work hours.
The requirements on the work do not utilize the whole work time of the resource and the resource is able to do some other works in parallel.
It is necessary to define both quantities and workloads of assigned resources.
Best Regards,
Vladimir