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J C
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Dear all,

I am an MSc postgraduate student of the University of Birmingham. I am working on my final project which is focused on the review of planning software packages (mostly on the Pertmaster and MS project because of the availability of availability of software packages).

I’d like to contact some professional planners and enigeers for constructive advice on my research. Furthermore, it would be appreciated if any related resources could be provided.

All messages can be left my email: constructionmanagement@hotmail.com

Best regards!

Jun :-)

Replies

wayne parker
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Hi there, i need to draw up a s-curve in excel, the problem is that i need to get the info out of primavera. The info that i need is BL actual duration, BL duration and BL remaining duration based on perscent complete on a weekly basis to draw up the s-curve....can someone please help

 

Regards

Wayne

syed quadri
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I am not expert in excel . how can i mprove the excel.your co-operation is highly appriciated.

syed quadri
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how to make s-cuvre in excel easy way.i mean very fast.why iam asking this question because it takes lot of time.please help

syed quadri
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I would like to now from  planning planet group team  ie how to analysis primevera schedule in P6. Any software is avalible  for analysis the project schedule.what is the responsibility for reports co-ordinator. how to generate the report in p6  I am not able get the clear idea.please help in this regard.

i am waitng your feed backs.

Gary Whitehead
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Ahmed:

1) Please only press the submit button once to avoid double-posting

2) Please don't reply to topics that are 7 years old

3) Please don't reply to topics asking a question that has nothing to do with that topic -start a new topic instead.

 

Thanks,

 

Gary

ahmed hamdy
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Hi everybody,

i need to make a construction curve from P6 with b.l dates and actual dates only without loading  resources

thanks

J C
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Many thanks to all of you! Now, I am working hard on my thesis. All of your comments are really appreciated. Hopefully, I could achieve all of the objectives with your help. God bless me and all of you! ^__________^

Cheers!

JC
Philip Rawlings
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You can see my review of Pertmaster here
http://www.pertmaster.com/company/news.htm
Bernard Ertl
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MSP = CPM scheduling, PERT based risk analysis (3rd party risk analysis add-ons are also available)

Pertmaster = CPM scheduling, Monte Carlo based risk analysis (see Risk Features)

RiskyProject = CPM scheduling, Event Chain risk analysis

Chris Hendrickson, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University published a free on-line version of Project Management for Construction which contains a chapter on Advanced Scheduling Techniques which discusses PERT, Monte Carlo and other risk analysis techniques.

Bernard Ertl
eTaskMaker Project Planning Software
Philip Rawlings
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Philip et al

I think this thread is losing itself a little.

1. We should appreciate that planning/risk software is merely a tool to calculate quickly a model that we could calculate manually. In the case of a deterministic program (P3, MSP etc) that calculation is of a project network (CPM). The shortcomings are that the program may not allow you the calculations you desire (e.g. MSP not allowing FF and SS on same activity). You should check to see if your chosen program restricts you unduly - you should also check that the program calculates the model correctly (in your view). In terms of input, that is solely up to the user - the first thing to do is to represent your project in terms of logic, durations etc.

2.Risk analysis tools are no different. But they allow you to represent the unceratinty associated with project parameters (logic, durations, resources etc). That’s all. The art is in being receptive enough to think of what MIGHT happen and model that accordingly - it’s up to you to identify the risks.

3. Pertmaster can handle FF0 and SS0 - it now handles ALL the logic that P3 etc. include - and, in some respects, its algorithms are superior to P3.

4. In your example of welder visas, this should (and we have on several projects) identified this up-front as a risk. Then we a) add a Visa Clearance activity with the appropriate duration risk distribution and b) look for mitigation measures to reduce the uncertainty. Of course, you need to understand what the risk analysis is telling you - after all, it’s your input.

5. There are not any right answers. all these programs just take the bind out of calcuating an outcome (or in risk analysis, a range of outcomes) based on your knowledge of the project issues and risks. Any software will calculate the ’right answer’ if you have identified the delays (say), whether as fact (already happened) or as risk (may happen).

6. ’As for pertmaster, it is another con trick, to help client planners (who do not know their arse from their elbows) to try and entrap construction planners.’ - this is a strange comment. First, there are both good and bad client and construction planners. Second, only an incompetant planner can be trapped by a piece of mere software.

That’s all the bile I can manage for the moment!
Philip Jonker
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Hi guys,

The point is does not matter if you are planning manually on a drawing board or using the best state of the art software, you have to understand the result of the answers you are getting. Let me put it straight:

1: MSP - This is a planning program that is very simplistic, and tends to give the wrong answers if you give it anything that is remotely complex to plan, and don’t even think of using resources in it. However I will say in it’s defence, that it probably has some nice presentation features, if you don’t know how to use a drawing board, it is better in the boardroom than trying to show management your planning on the back of a cigarette packet. For any planner that understands his trade, will understand the for the purposes of ensuring that an activity must either have an FF or FS relationship to get a critical path. However, in a lot of instances there is the need for SS relationship, and in a lot of instances in combination with FF, the fact that5 MSP have never allowed this is probably it’s greatest weakness. The fact is I have used MSP on several large projects, where the client demanded it becase of it’s price, as all contractors could not afford anything better, and I also have to use it on a daily basis on projects where the sub-contractors use it. I know it’s shortcomings, and always make sure I run a program like P3 or Open plan in parrallel to know what the true answers is. If you have planned manully, it is easy to spot when there is an error in the calculations that is normally caused by the algorithm used in the software.

2: Pertmaster: In this instance the software looks at logic, and in particular does not like certain types of logic, like FF 0 and SS 0, for instance, as well as certain other logic. There are also other factors taken into acount which is pre-programmed into the software. However, what the software does not take into account is day to day practical problems which creates risks that can jeopardise any project. A couple examples from recent experience:
a: The project required 90 welders to be carried out in time. However, the problems experienced to get the right number of visas to get 90 welders onto site as none were available locally would have been overlooked by a risk analysis program like Pertmaster. Explain how this type of risk must be analysed by a risk assesment program, it is why the human mind is necessary to do this in conjunction with the software. A simple histogramme and experince will tell you what the risks are.
b: Safety: Hazops, PDA’s, Rigging studies, are all factors leading to delays. On a project I have recently completed, we had a 13 week delay as a risk assesment, which could not be sorted out, mainly as a result of human politics, and it went in a 360 degree circle and the original design was accepted. The problem was on the main feeder cables, and as a result the power to the plant was four weeks late, however by managing the problem, a with the use of float buffers, the project will achieve completion four weeks early.

Therefore, to understand risk analysis software, you must understand their shortfalls, in the instance of the safety problem, the pertmaster program showed massive risks, but neithe it nor it’s operators understood the management behind the problems.

The answers are plain, there is a need for experienced, Pro-active planners, in combination with software that give the right answers, and both of the software programs discussed here fall far short of the requirement I have outlined.

Regards, and good luck with your thesis JC.

Philip

Alex Wong
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zhang haixiang

I think we are talking about the same thing, what I mean is you need to have a good schedule with correct update therefore it should give you your 18months delay. Of course in order to have correct update you have to gather the information. "Totally agree"
May be the part I misread in your posting is the software cannot tell you that the project is 18months late. My point is "it should if you update it correctly".

In addition, you mentioned you know a old planner can plan on paper, agree, if it is a high level plan or localise plan within a small number of activity. If you talk about building the entire power station on a piece of paper. I am in ?? Tender schedule yes, but not on a detail level, I would think a proper schedule will need at least 10,000 with resouce loaded. It is impossible for a human brain to work that way ... what about schedule update,.... just impractical and impossible(IMHO).

Cheers

Alex
Zhang Haixiang
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Hi Alex Wong,

we do update the schedule and the software showed me the project is about 1.5 years late compare with the target. But this 1.5 year is based on our input (late land handover,and endless negotiation with the goverment...),we can’t expect all these at the very beginning of the project, so no matter what software you have, you still can not evaluate the risk. if these information is avaiable, even without any software, you will have some ideas about the risk.

I agree with you a good tool is important, but there is something more important.
Andrew Pearce
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Gentlemen,
As a past user of Pertmaster I cannot understand some of the deroatory comments posted here. As with most planning software there is not a one size fits all solution.

With respect to MSP I consider it to be a package that is a jack of all trades and master of none and not best suited for detailed construction planning not least because of the restriction on logic linking of activities.

Having worked with pertmaster through its development from a DOS based packed, conversion to windows and now the inclusion of risk analysis I consider it to be a good planning package, although without the range of graphical options for bar colouring supported by Power Project. I would recommend Pertmaster as a lightweight alternative to premavera.

Regards
Andy
Alex Wong
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zhang haixiang

Sorry to jump on your comments please look at this as a positive Criticism.

Your schedule cannot tell you that the project is going to be delayed by 1.5 year, that means your schedule is not properly set up and updated." - Why I stated that -
Yes tools is a tool but you need the right tools to help you making decision. Ie we can fasten a screw without a screw driver, but to have is fasten properly you need the tool to help you. If your schedule cannot do proper forecast, that you are not using your tool properly.

Cheers
Zhang Haixiang
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Hi JC,
I have no experience of pertmaster, as i know it’s good for risk analysis. to be honest we never use this kind of risk analysis in real construction.

and for what software to use, it’s highly depend on the project and the company’s requirement for scheduling.

sometime we do schedule in a simple way, then Excel is enought, if you want to trace logic,load resource and perform earned value analysis, you need MSP or P3 or other planning software

I prefer use P3,MSP can not tell you which relationship is driven, and for risk,MSP is nothing.

The risk should be identifed by man, the solution from those software is just for ref. it is just a calculation based on your input. it is you tell the software what is the opt. dur/most likely dur ... for a task. In fact most of the PM know where is the risk of the project.

we have a 4 years project, and at the second year of the project, we have a forecast delay of 1.5 year, software cant tell this.

software is just a tool,to be a good planner,experience is much more important. I know a old planner, she cant use any planning software. when doing a schedule for a nuclear power plant, she do CPM scheduling manually. she have a good understanding of CPM and she have a good understanding of the plant (how many systems are there, and the relation ship between them, and the installation sequence...)

Practice is the only way to improve the skill.you can learn by reading the online help or some handbook, but before you try it in real project, you will not understand it.
J C
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To Philip,

Thanks for your critical comments. Some you have said are what I am suffering in my research. However, as my tutor recommended me to focus on those two software packages, what I can do now is just getting full comprehension of them and what they can help in the construction industry. If you know that there are any papers or references I can refer to, please let me know. That will be really appreciated.

Anyway, would you please explain what the fawlty towers mean(Sorry, English is not my mother language)?

On the other hand, it’s just initial stage of my individual project now. After I finish my report, that will be appreciated if you could have a look at it and give me some critical comments as well.

Thanks a lot!


Philip Jonker
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Hi Jc,

Ithink you picked a prune here, MSP and pertmaster. These are the PIA products in the business. PIA = Pain in the arse ie programs written by none planners to give real planners a pain. If you want to send me your thesis, I will review it as a favour.

The purpose of MSP was to help IT people to get their act into gear, and understand why they were not achieveving their objectives. They had no clue about performance factors, manhours and the rest. I had to hire a guy once at a premium price, that was in 1999 to try and explain the workings of MSP, he gave a lot of promises, about how he was going to find answers to our questions, but he has never been seen again.

As for pertmaster, it is another con trick, to help client planners (who do not know their arse from their elbows) to try and entrap construction planners.
Unfortunately you took on this task, something like trying to find the holy grail. My suggestion is watch fawlty towers.

Condolenses

Philip

J C
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Dear zhang haixiang,

I’d like to know what’s the difference between Pertmaster and MS project to a planner and how to make an appropriate decision when selecting a planning software package for a specified construction project. What’s the weakness do you think they have respectively? What factors will affect your decision when developing solutions for the risks identified by the software. Are there any skills useful to improve a draft plan. For a fresh planner, what methods can be used to improve his skills in application of the planning software.

Above issues are what I am seeking to tackle in the beginning of my research. It will be appreciated very much if you could share your experience and expertise with me on some of them.

Cheers!
Alex Wong
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Jun

Send me your contact I may able to help

Alex
Daya Sugunasingha
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Why don’t you contact Pertmaster and MS Project for a demonstration disk for study purposes? They may be kind enough to help.
Zhang Haixiang
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what kind of advice you want?