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Create a summary duration without scheduling tasks???

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brian hennessy
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Hi,

I am looking for some sort of way to create a summary line item that calculates the duration of the tasks below it...i.e i have 50 sub tasks, each taking 1 day each...so i want the summary to say 50 days...and after 3 tasks are done, i want the summary duration to say 47 days.

Heres the tricky bit though...i dont want to schedule / sequence the 50 tasks, as they can be done in any order...i just want them almost in a list form underneath the summary (all on same day) and i will close them off as they are completed.

Can anyone come up with an easy way to do this?

Regards,
Brian.

Replies

Zoltan Palffy
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steps would be another alternative you can even make a steps tempalte then just apply the template

Steven Auld
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Brian,
Another way to do this without excel is to use activity steps (if using Primavera).
Create one activity with duration of 50 days.
Add activity steps for each item & set activity weight (can all equal 1 if all items are the same, or can all be set different if required).
As the activity steps are updated, the physical % complete is updated based on weight.
Means using Physical % complete instead of duration % complete, it can run a global change to set duration % complete = physical % complete. Resources are only assigned to the task not the steps.
Regards,
Steven
Johannes Vandenberg
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Here is a typical example of dynamic planning

Regard Johannes

 

Rafael Davila
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I like Tom Boyle’s approach, no need to use dummy resource loading that can be error prone.   I can do it as Tom Boyle suggests with Spider Project if using a UDF and a Script to take control of how field values are rolled-up.  After UDF and Script are defined then after any update schedule all I need is to run the script with a single click of the mouse to get it right. Click F10 after defining the script as favorite, a step left out for others to see a script is being used. Because I record my scripts as if a macro recording everything is easy, no need to manually enter script commands. Tom is right when he says best procedure depends on the software. 

I believe Tom’s approach is less prone to error than some of the other methods that may also work.  If using LOE activities or dummy resources missing to include the correct LOE links or missing to resource load any new activity will get it wrong.  For P6 the use of WBS summary type might do the trick but I expect it to work at a specific WBS element, but a single schedule might have hundreds of WBS elements, therefore it is possible Tom’s solution is still the best for P6.

AST2

Johannes Vandenberg
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Hello ….

Yes, Raymond de Laza has the correct answer!

You have 50 tasks that have no relation other than that they can start at a specified date and that they are completed sometime in the future.

The technique that is a suitable option for your requirement is called dynamic scheduling or ‘tramway scheduling technique'. This requirement is very similar to the prefabrication of pipe spools or installation of junction boxes or instruments.

Say you have 3000 pipe spools and divide these into batches of say 100 spools to reflect the appropriate erection sequence. These 100 spools are fabricated in any order provided they are all ready to go in one batch to the paint shop. Assuming that the work content, labor hours of each spool is different, the duration can also be different. Say that you start with the spools with the highest number of labor hours.

The next step is to assign the required number and the type of resources required for every spool.

The following step is to define the numbers, type and the period of the availability of resources.

Determine the priority of the pipe spools for leveling and assign these to each activity

The following step is to level the resources to suit your requirements.

Trust this helps

Regards

Johannes

Anoon Iimos
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Mr. Cognac, The easy way (as Tom said), is to do it in Excel. You can paint your summary line to span 50 columns, and make a list of your tasks underneath. Then you create a formula that make your task vanish once completed, and also one span of your painted column vanish correspondingly as well. And EUREKA! once all tasks are completed, then you got a clean spreadsheet!
Raymund de Laza
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Tom, Read again the OP and your earlier post. You suggests something which is NOT sure 100% to resolve the issue and you have the guts to reject something which is 100% possible to resolve it.
Tom Boyle
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Zoltan, maybe I mis-read the question.  It would be nice for the OP (Brian Hennessy) to re-join us and clarify his intent.

Raymund, my knowledge of resource leveling is not at issue, nor is yours.  For his very first post on this site, the OP asked for assistance on aggregating the durations of 50 individual, unscheduled “tasks” into a single “summary duration” or “summary line item.”  He…

  1. …did not mention P6 or any other scheduling software (though the repeated references to “tasks” suggests that P6 is not his tool of choice);
  2. …explicitly stated that he has NO interest in scheduling (or sequencing) the work;
  3. ...used no schedule-related terms (e.g. start, finish, predecessor, successor, constraint, deadline, float…) other than “duration;”
  4. …made NO mention of resources or anything that might be construed or modeled as a resource.

My advice to the OP may have been no better than yours or Zoltan’s.  In hindsight, I’d suggest that he enter his 50-task checklist into an Excel spreadsheet with columns for OD and RD, and a summation formula at the bottom of each column. Done.

Raymund de Laza
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It seems Mr Tom Boyle doesn't know or ignorant of the function of Resource levelling.
Zoltan Palffy
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no leg pulling straght up 

Tom Boyle
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Brian,

Using remaining duration as a surrogate for remaining work is folly for professionals working on complex projects.  Nevertheless….

As Vladimir noted, the answer depends very much on the software you are using.

In P6, use a UDF of number type to roll-up to “Group-by” summary bars (e.g. by activity code or WBS).  You’ll need a Global Change to modify the UDF values after progress updates.  [I suspect Zoltan and Raymund are pulling your leg; none of their suggestions seem to apply.]

In MSP, use a custom duration field with a formula (= [Remaining Duration]) with summary calculation set to Rollup-Sum.

Good luck, tom

Raymund de Laza
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Asuming you are using P6.

Use the Levelling of Resources.

Zoltan Palffy
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you have 2 options 

option #1 make an activity type of  LOE or level of effort the predecessor to this is a SS relationsip to the 1st thing you want summarize and the successor is a FF relationship to the last activity that you want summarized.

option #2 if you are using a wbs make an activity type wbs summary and it will automatically do what you want.

What software do you use?

It makes sense to put such questions in the forum on your software.