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UPDATING Over 1000 activities

17 replies [Last post]
BRAVE G
User offline. Last seen 3 years 6 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 75

How long will it take to update 1000 activities for example. if done manually. From my experience and calculation

If in  30 secs -------- 1 activity

         1 min --------- 2 activities

     500 mins--------- 1000 activities

So 500 mins is abt 8h 40minssssss

 if web access method is used would you be quicker....... Have you updated 1000 activities  in less than 8hrs.....

Replies

Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 44 min 36 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4864

The following table might give you an idea on how the updating tables in Spider Project look. It is kind of similar on all major CPM Scheduling software. Some software require you to define financial periods for your reporting when this is not necessary for good software to do the math and be able to report on multiple financial periods that follow money to the minute, not to mention project truncation starting and finishing on whatever dates you need, not necessarily matching a pre-defined financial period, a feature not available in many software, perhaps even exclusive of Spider Project.

You can use Excel by clicking the icon but also you can use the more universal CSV format or perhaps a database format, good in case you have to update over the practical limit of Excel limitation on worksheet rows, in older versions about 65,000 lines. Also remember CSV is a universal format that has not changed in decades while Excel format is changed frequently by Microsoft. It is not merely about amount of rows (65,000 should be enough for a single distribution in any league) but also about preferred file format and the hability to communicate with other software database.

In any case reporting actual performance is a procedure that can be mechanized using your ERP software but the calculation of remaining work and remaining durations cannot be mechanized. The projection of remaining work based on a formula that used elapsed time and percent complete is in error unless everything happens exactly as planned, can yield gross errors, goes beyond laziness, is plain wrong procedure. Remember the most important part of your updates is not looking at past history, important indeed, but the projection into the future, this is of utmost importance.

Gathering the actual data and remaining durations and posting it into the schedule is just the beginning of the updating process, changes to the schedule must be included also on every update as they happen.

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Yes, Pio, it should be quick. No information shall be entered two times.

For example, Spider Project sends table forms with activity information that was planned for next user defined period (planned amount of work, duration, expected material consumption and expenses) to those who are responsible for certain works. At the end of this period they shall enter actuals into these tables and save. Then Spider Project user selects Consolidate monitoring data and the schedule is updated automatically. Project Planner should not enter actual information at all unless he/she is responsible for some portion of work.

BONG YAGAHON
User offline. Last seen 1 week 7 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 5 Oct 2009
Posts: 39

You are correct again Vladimir.. But in my case, updating the actual quantity is not a planners job. I only use their output to update my sched. And i think that would be quick.

Mike,

then we understood the question different ways.

I understood as the total time of updating for all people that enter actuals.

You understood as the time for updating the schedule after everybody already entered actual information in table form or some other way.

In the second case it takes seconds. In Spider Project it is just one mouse click.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4402

Hi Vladimir

The person ticking off the data is walking round the site anyway - its part of his job - so its no big deal.

Best regards

Mike T.

Pio,

there are many methods for entering progress. In any of them it is necessary to enter actual quantities - it could not be automated.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

BONG YAGAHON
User offline. Last seen 1 week 7 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 5 Oct 2009
Posts: 39

You are correct Vladimir but i think calculation sheet is new to you., This is a spreadsheet where your activitires from P3 is copied and paste. Every pogress column is link to a another sheet that will calculate your progress by using the quantity completed..This means before the project start, this should be ready, and all the wiegthage of works steps should be agreed upon by all concern, and all the driving quantities identified for all activities. Using percentage progress directly from site is not accurate since its a plain eyeballs progress. You may say 50% complete as what you see, but the quantity completed doesnt say so. To achieve this you should have trackers deployed every day to site to monitor and verify progress. When they comeback to office, they will update their sheets. You dont have to use every quantity imaginable in everty activity to track the progress. You will just have to use the driving quantities. Its so easy, when the driving quantity is saying his 50% completed, there's no reason at all why the activity is not 50% completed. When the consultant, the client, or all the takeholder will scrutinize your progress up to the last drop, you will always have the evidence to support the progress that ypou have reported. Then, they have no reason at all to reject it when you bill it.

Pio

Mike,

but this is the question - someone enters percent complete (I do not approve it at all but this is your choice) for thousands activities. How long does it take? I understood that it does not matter who does it - planner or other person. It still takes time. Any software permits to enter actuals on site - not a big deal.

Regards,

Vladimir

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4402

Hi Vladimir

Its really very simple.

Someone - not necessarily the planner - goes round the site regularly with a PDA loaded with an excell of all the tasks in progress.

He ticks off the percent complete - 0% 50% 100% in the progress column.

This is the emaied to the planner who copies and pastes the data into the programme.

Job done.

I am currently rolling out this system with my new company in India and we are switching from P6 to Powerproject.

Best regards

Mike T.

Pio,

I don't understand your proposal.

Each activity may have its own progress data that is not the same as was planned. Entering actuals cannot be automated unless you decide that the project is executed exactly as it was planned. Is this what do you mean?

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Mike,

you gave funny advice.

Please explain who, when, and how put the data into the spreadsheet.

And if the data was put in the spreadsheet then why this information was not put directly into scheduling software?

Best Regards,

Vladimir

BONG YAGAHON
User offline. Last seen 1 week 7 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 5 Oct 2009
Posts: 39

Thats my problem Mike. Until now i didnt migrate to P6. I need to take sa crash course probably on P6 to first understand the concept of P6 why its presentation or setup is like that. Then i can trace back among its tool bars how to generate the data that I need to report. To me, P6 is chaotic and a bit of complicated. Maybe its because of my little knowledge of it. However i strongly believe that when the principles and philosophy of planning and scheduling is deeply burried into your brain, (not too deep that eventually you forget it,. LOL), P6, P3 and all other stuffs of this kind, remains a tool. What im saying is, i still have no reason why i will use P6 and leave away with P3.. But one thing im sure though, Mike, it will work in P6 and even faster.

Thanks.

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4402

Hi Pio

Fine in P3 - does it work in P6?

Best regards

Mike Testro

BONG YAGAHON
User offline. Last seen 1 week 7 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 5 Oct 2009
Posts: 39

I have another idea. If your updating the target Schedule just press CNTRL + F9 then change the data date press enter, its DONE!. 2 seconds is an understatement. However, if you are updating the current schedule, 8hours is an exaggerations!! Here's what i will do:

   1. Export the progress data to excel after pressing CONTROL+F9 and entering the data date.

   2. After that, on the PERCENT COLUMN in the exported excel sheet, use VLOOKUP formula to locate in your calculation sheet the corresponding value of percent complete of every activity. You calculation sheet here should have the updated progress value based on quantity completed.

   3. After that do the neccessary polishing of the data to avoid errors save it and go back to P3 environment and import the file.

   4. Your update of the current schedule just completed and done!.

 

BRAVE G
User offline. Last seen 3 years 6 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 75

Thank Trevor and mike

 

 

Waoooh  guys Asta power i'm definitely gonna add that to my planning tool kit...

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4402

Hi Geoff

Trevor spoke some good sense except when he discarded the type of software.

In Asta Powerproject you can update 10,000 tasks in two seconds.

Simply copy/paste from the spreadsheet.

Best regards

Mike Testro.

Trevor Rabey
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Joined: 29 Nov 2005
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Well, if you are using some software tool (let's not argue about which one), and if you do not have the 1000 tasks all linked up as predecessors/successors, ie they are all date constrained, then yes, every time you perform an update you have to check and fix 2000 planned start and finish dates, or 1000 start dates and 1000 durations (same thing), and that will be a long day. If this is how the planning was done, there is no need for software, just crayon.

Or if you wait until 1000 activities have been started and/or finished, then the update is inputting the actual starts and/or finishes  and/or remaining durations, and again that's a long day.

But it will never happen. You do frequent updates so you only have to deal with a handful of actuals, and estimates, and then because there should be a fully linked, closed CPM network with no date constraints, all of the future tasks get pushed or pulled automatically which saves you all that work, which is why you bought the software.