Tips on using this forum..

(1) Explain your problem, don't simply post "This isn't working". What were you doing when you faced the problem? What have you tried to resolve - did you look for a solution using "Search" ? Has it happened just once or several times?

(2) It's also good to get feedback when a solution is found, return to the original post to explain how it was resolved so that more people can also use the results.

Let’s Challenge SPIDER

383 replies [Last post]
Hi Rafael,
very soon we will suggest new version with enhanced configuration features. It will be much easier to select the required layout with much more opportunities. You will be able to switch between layouts like now you can switch between different WBS. I expect that this new version will appear before Christmas.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

I was exploring the shortcut keys for the creation of WBS, with these I can create a full WBS structure in less than 5 minutes, very similar to the way MS Project creates outlining but with auto WBS codes, just a matter of learning a couple of shortcut key combinations for the equivalent of indenting, outdenting is not needed it is just a matter of selecting the right level to create new phases as needed.

Carlos,

You should explore these shortcut key combinations in addition to the WBS Chart Diagram that let you change the structure by drag and drop.

WBS shortcut keys

Also check on the Save Configuration that let you save your columns selection for both column panes in separate files you can transfer with ease from job to job; sorry, all other software have only one column pane. This is kind of equivalent to the layouts functionality in Primavera Products just that within a configuration you can select different views at a click of the mouse without the need to define a layout for each one.

After selecting a WBS row level or/phase or an activity row right click of the mouse will provide you with a navigation shorcut you will never want to go back.

Best regards,
Rafael

Hi Carlos,
I looked at the dictionary, it is really amazing.
You shall certainly learn Spider Project!
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos, hide your last name, dont’t give any clue to Vladimir.
Carlos Arana
User offline. Last seen 24 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 178
Congratulations Vladimir for reaching 200 posts in this topic!! It is a great adventure to be learning Spider.

For this 200 post here’s a little trivia:

What’s the spanish word for "Spider" ?

The answer may amaze you.

C. Arana
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

I tried Portfolio Management within the demo as per your suggestion; you should have not mentioned it. Now that I found how easy Portfolio Management can be as compared to P6 I am starting to like the functionality.

Most of my clients will prefer the desktop version because of price, 1/3rd that of P3 and P6, with 99% of all the goodies and not a stripped down to a G-string version as Primavera Contractor is. Most want everyone in the management team to have their own license, and there are a few that really need the Portfolio Management functionality, and being so easy why not.

Best regards,
Rafael

Hi Carlos,
Rafael already described the priority assignments.
I want to add some information on Spider Project priority usage.
If you select Standard levelling and select any levelling criteria then all your priorities will be considered. But if you will select Optimization and Spider Project will find that the schedule that took into account your priorities is not optimal then it may suggest shorter schedule where some priorities are ignored.
If you are certain that some activity shall be done later than others enter links. We consider priorities as "nice to to have" option in addition to the logical dependencies that are entered. They are usually apllied for what if estimates.
Phase priorities are considered first but don’t forget to switch on Apply phase priorities in the Levelling dialog.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael,
below are the answers to your questions.

Main structure is one of many WBSs that can be created for the same project. Among these multiple WBSs you can create the structures that include only part of the project activities and will get all reports on this part. But at least one of project WBS shall be full and include all project activities. You can add and delete WBS but there is a danger that you will try to delete your only full WBS. So one of WBS is called Main, it is certainly full and cannot be deleted. If you decide that main WBS shall be deleted select some other full WBS and call it Main.

Multiple WBS are used not only in separate projects but also in the project portfolio. There is a need to synchronize WBS codes for creating portfolio WB structures from the structures of individual projects. When projects are consolidated in the single portfolio model the software looks at the WBS codes.

There are no restricitions on the number of projects in the portfolio. At the last PMI College of Scheduling conference there was a presentation on Project Portfolio management in Romanian Telecom. They had approximately 2000 projects in their portfolio.

Olympic Program Sochi 2014 includes approximately 250 large construction projects that are included in the single portfolio.

Spider Pro Demo includes portfolio functionality. But don’t forget about 40 activities restriction. If you will create two projects with the total number of activities that does not exceed 40 you can create the portfolio, add these projects to this portfolio and play with portfolio features.

But don’t forget that portfolio management is supported only by Spider Project Professional. Other versions work with the separate projects. Using Desktop you will need to keep all your projects in one model if you will want to level resources across multiple projects and get summary reports.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
To assign priorities, select the activity/phase by double clicking on the line as to show the activity/phase properties dialog box there on the Data/Initial Data tab you can enter the priority or you can enter the data into any one of the two the Gantt Chart column panes, after you make the priority column to show, and there you can assign activity/phase priority.

It will be interesting to know how the results vary depending on the leveling method selected, optimization might favor the owner. We are lagging with these methods, here Vladimir can tell us about the Russian experience.

Also would like to know if the resource critical float and path help others to understand resource availability can be critical. It is kind of ironic how our definition of float cannot be correctly shown under limited resources in most of our specified software (other than Spider).

Best regards,
Rafael
Carlos Arana
User offline. Last seen 24 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 178
I GOT A RESOURCE LOADED SCHEDULE!

I made a schedule for the realization of a productivity claim, involving me and another analyst.

CTRL+F9 gives the duration of the claim works, without adding any relationship =D. But it gets the final evaluation in the beggining and the information collecting last ... How do I assign priorities?
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

1. What is the purpose of the option for selecting one of your many WBS as the Main WBS?
2. Is this for Project portfolios, to tell the software which to use?
3. If for Project Portfolios can I change the WBS of a particular project to another WBS by changing the particular job Main WBS?
4. What about other users on the network can they select their own WBS per job on a Portfolio?
5. How many projects you can have on a single portfolio?

Keep in mind the demo does not have the Portfolios/Enterprise functionalities; I have no way of exploring these.

I would appreciate if you can e-mail me a screen capture of a screen showing a multiple jobs Activity GANTT .

Best regards,
Rafael

Chess02
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos,

You can explore in Excel the following formulas, you can figure out how to adapt them to your holidays. About Good Friday you must ask a Maya Indian, they figured out the calendar for moon phases.

Floating Holidays

Holiday on month,ewwk,day

Best regards,
Rafael
Carlos Arana
User offline. Last seen 24 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 178
Thank you Vladimir and Rafael, I’m now making my planning. I must say, it got a smile out of me when I introduced my work hours and Spider calculated the daily hours and the workweek.

I’m wondering if there’s a way to model some holydays of the type: "Third monday of February" (USA President’s day) or "Third monday of March" (Mexico’s President Day).

Now that you mention it Rafael, I wish I coud be in Cancun or Acapulco right now, lying in a Hammock under the palms with my coco and my tekila. But they are some hundred KM from my place, I must do a careful planning. Think of it, since Spider has Hammocks, It now just needs cocos and tekila.

Best regards.
Carlos
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos,

I just heard that Spider Project new version is about to be released. It will have conditional formulas to define relationships, unique new functionality above ancient CPM functionality, FS and no lag, also above now antiquated PDM schedules with only SS, SF, FS and FF with lag relationships in precedence schedules and no more.

To me true float and optimal resource allocation available in Spider Project and nowhere else was a checkmate on all the others, at the click of the mouse, no brain needed, but this will be like checkmate on the first move.

As soon as this new functionality is on the demo you should explore it, this is serious stuff.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos,

In Spider Project you can import P3e files to Spider Project, this option might work better when importing from P6 to Spider Project converting from P6 to P3 to Spider Project (P3e not equal to P3 similar names different software) .

From Spider Help:

The user can import a project from Primavera P3e SQL database to Spider Project. To perform import:

In the Main window menu select File –> Create Project –> From Primavera Data Base.

In the opened Create project from database dialog box select required Primavera P3e database and press Open. In the opened list of projects (with project codes, version number and name) the user can select required project (for further import) or press Close (to stop import and close database).

Press Import. Selected project will be imported to Spider Project. Code and name of the imported project will appear in the opened Project properties dialog box.

Note that: the user must have database options set for the database from which the project is imported. In order to establish initial connection to Primavera P3e database the user must specify user name privuser and password privuser.

During Primavera P3e project import database fields without counterpart in Spider Project database structure are transferred to user-type fields (see Fields’ list dialog box). These fields can be useful in some cases; e.g. to obtain the same activities order as in Primavera P3e project the user can sort activities in the Activity Gantt by seq_num field.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Rafael,
thank you for your help and reminding that I forgot to mention that it is necessary to select activity type Productivity in my answer to the second question.
I should add that productivity is not resource but resource assignment feature.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos,

About your question no 1:

In Spider Project you are not limited to a single WBS, you can have as many as you want, and yes you can define any WBS on activity codes, no surprise you are not limited in how many activity codes you can define in case 20 or 30 is not enough.

WBS and Activity Codes

There is more than meets the eye to this functionality as there is some other powerful functionality regarding the handling of WBS in Spider Project.

About importing activity codes directly from P3, I do expect when you import a P3 file into Spider Project these will be imported.

About your question no 2:

I believe in Spider Project you can set the activity type to productivity and then the duration of the activity will be calculated during scheduling. Initial data for this activity type is its volume and assignments productivity, from this everything will follow.

Explore the above until Vladimir can expand.

How is the weather in Acapulco and Cancun? Here seems like a perfect day for scuba diving. Yes, but Murphy says on the weekend it will rain.

Vladimir,

Seems like our response crossed in the way. Can you expand on Spider Project P3 import, do we get the activity codes imported? The demo does not have the P3 import functionality available.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Carlos,
1) Yes, Spider Project can group and sort activities by codes.
This function can be found at Activity Gantt menu Project/WBS and then Create by codes. Grouping activities Spider Project creates additional WBS and later you can easily switch between defferent WBSs selecting them in the special Gantt Chart window. Try this in Demo version and inform me if this is what you expected.
2) You define that activity volume is 30 (pages), that resource (person) productivity is 0.333 (pages per hour, the number of digits after zero may be nine), that work time is 8:00 - 14:00; 15:30 - 19:30; (defined at the Weeks table that can be found at the Calendars section of the main window middle part). That’s all. The software calculates everything else. Separate calendars (including work days, weeks, and exceptions) can be defined for each resource, activity and lag.

Thank you for your questions and Best Regards,
Vladimir
Carlos Arana
User offline. Last seen 24 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 178
Hi again! I’m coming back from a long period of internet shortage.
Thanks Vladimir for the answer in collaborative work. Last week I mentioned Spider in a talk with my boss when he mentioned they will be updating the P6 licenses this year.
Now, I have been using Spider in my (little) spare time, trying to see if I can get a similar workflow in Spider than the P3’s workflow the managers are used to. The first thing is, Contractual (signed) schedule is grouped and sorted according to P3 activity codes. So, this post’s question #1 is: Given the case, can Spider use P3 activity codes to group and sort the gantt chart?

Question #2: How do I define an activity where a person can write one page per three hours (this includes necessary research), if he has to write 30 pages working 10 hours daily? The day starts at 8:00 AM, then we get one and half hour free at 2:00 PM, to return to the office at 03:30 PM until 7:30 PM where we say Yabadaba-doo and leave the office.
Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 17 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4373
Hi All

What a response!

I am only 12 days into the task and already you have listed one or two of the particular problems.

The main problem however is controlling the "Lead In" tasks where for even a simple Pot Hole infill of 2 days duration there are about 125 taslks that have to be completed in time before the start.

Road Closure permits are only a part of all the consultations and surveys that have to be undertaken by about 8 different agencies before a truck goes out with a bucket of tar and grit and three guys to fill up the hole.

I have estimated that the full programme will exceed 200mb.

This is my first hands on experience of public sector working and it is a big eye opener.

In the real commercial world the same work load would be done with about 30% of the current work force.

Best regards

Mike Testro.
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Lucky you, we are not in preventive maintenance, more like in covering potholes. They come out faster than we can cover them.
Dieter Wambach
User offline. Last seen 1 year 44 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Posts: 1350
Hi Anoon

Have a look here:
http://www.maintenanceworld.com/Articles/worshamw/ispreventive.html

"Preventive maintenance is planned maintenance of plant and equipment that is designed to improve equipment life and avoid any unplanned maintenance activity. PM includes painting, lubrication, cleaning, adjusting, and minor component replacement to extend the life of equipment and facilities. Its purpose is to minimize breakdowns and excessive depreciation." (quotation from this site)

With other words: If e.g. you know that after 100000hours of operation there is a risk, a certain pump will break down, you’ll change it after 100000 hours to prevent a plant or a refinery from breakdown or you’ll exchange engine oil of a car on a regular basis.

Best regards
Dieter

Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 1 hour 21 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1368
Vladimir,

"Preventive Maintenance" - I’m also not sure if there is a standard definition, I just happen to step on it and made me believe that this type of works exist. How to define it?

Maybe others have any ideas?

Usually there is a year program for the maintenance.
The order of works can be defined by program planner.
Please specify what do you mean by preventive and predictive, I am not sure that understood you correctly.
But I am leaving Russia until Tuesday and will be able to answer only on return.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 1 hour 21 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1368
Hi Vladimir,

If I may ask, how do you define the sequence of works like preventive or predictive maintenance (not a routine maintenance)?

cheers
Rafael,
I expect that the sequence of maintenance jobs is defined. If not then it is necessary to solve this task first.
Mike will inform us.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Mike and Vladimir

Are you considering optimizing the movement from job to job by minimizing distance? Let say crew is at grid location no C20 so it first will look for jobs at location C20, if not available then at locations B19, B20, B21, C19, C21, D19, D20, D21?

Going from grid location C20 to grid location W12 when a job at C20 is ready to start is not optimal.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Mike,
I am very interested.
I like large programs with resource restrictions.
Are there other restricitions except one drum resource?
Do you plan to create resource management plan finding what optimal amounts of other resources are needed to keep drum resource busy?
I will have more questions if you will keep us informed.
Best Regards,
Vladimir

P.S. Do you use the levelling software other than PowerProject? Why? What software do you use?
Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 1 day 17 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4373
Hi Rafael - Hi Vladimir

I have just got a real planning job putting together a roll out programme for all the road maintanance operations for Suffolk County Council for the next three years.

It will probably reach about 130,000 activities on 600 projects per year.

I am using PowerProject enterprise and I am also using the resource levelling software.

They only have 2 road paving machines that need to be kept occupied throughout the paving season so I let powerproject do it for me.

If you are interested I will keep you informed on progress.

Best regards

Mike Testro
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

The interface as of now I love it, is uncluttered and the toolbars icons get you directly to over 90% of your navigation, the 10% I prefer it to be at the menu bar. If you add all menu items to the vertical and horizontal toolbars then the toolbars will be cluttered and will slow down your 90% navigation needs, will kill its purpose.

The idea of drop down icons is for in case you need to add some icons to the toolbars this is a possibility to consider, please keep it close to what it is now, don’t over do it.

About an interface to switch on and off functionalities I would only switch off risks and trends. We have pending a discussion about this but now I am getting somewhat busy for another couple of weeks and this topic deserves serious and long debate. Although I am somewhat reluctant to complicate things further with these functionalities I want to listen to what you have to say, I don’t want to repeat the mistake of not listening at you as I did for many years until now.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
an idea looks attractive but icons take more space than just text and our drop-down menues are too large.
You were right that developing interface it is necessary to use the space wisely.
What we need to do - to create an interface where functionalities can be switched on and off.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Did Spider Project ever considered using drop down icons in the toolbars such as the following example used by Autocad? I don’t mean the ribbon as this takes much valuable space, the hundreds if not thousands of menu items in Autocad even requires a combination of the ribbon and drop down icons.

Drop down icon

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Anoon,

Of course you can, but the constant might not be the same as might be based on a different 0 day. This one I figured it out by looking at some values and then by trial and error, for Excel there should be many references or you can figure it out yourself by tial and error until it converges.

What is novel in Spider Project is the concept of using recursive formulas, formulas whose value depends on itself. Of course in Spider Project these are a single loop run.

Best regards,
Rafael
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 1 hour 21 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1368
Hi Rafael,

I just thought that I can do the same in excel, using your formula.

cheers
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Quote from Vladimir:

_"In Spider Project you can enter recursive formulaes like making all durations two times longer. That is why we do not use automatic (Formulae) calculations."

_"You can set that formulaes that link cost components and cost centers will be executed automatically with any cost calculations. You can set that some formulaes will be executed automatically when you entered actual information and others not."

I still would like to have the additional option to select for “Automatic perform after schedule update”. This option when in conflict with recursive formulas or with other selected formulas to be dimmed and not available for selection until the user resolves the conflict, the same when creating recursive formulas.

In the following example my formula to display Start and Finish dates in nominal days is not computed automatically, I had to create a script to run the two formulae, one for Start and another for Finish.

Formulae



If I can automate it when not in conflict, I would like to do so. But never eliminate the option for recursive formulas.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
"histogram window vertical scrolling" that is great news, as you know the horizontal scrolling other software do without showing the schedule above is no good. This will be better than those who can only show a single histogram.

About the script, forget it, so easy with a formula as per your suggestion, you can toggle back and forth at a snap.
I defined two formulae as follows:
Alap=’Alap’
Alap=’Asap’
just execute for desired value to toggle back and forth, yes as you said, a piece of cake, a third formula can easily be done if your model combines ALAP with ASAP so you can go back to the original.
Hi Rafael,
thank you for proposal, we will create histogram window vertical scrolling.
As for Alap schedule try the script but even without scripts it can be esily done if to create formulae Alap=’Alap’
Applying this formulae and recalculating project schedule you will get AlAP schedule.
Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Early and Late curves done easily in two separate files, the same for the jobs comparison, because this I do only when baselining there is no issue. The export to Excel function with the baselines and updates shall be no problem.

Eventually might try a script to create the ALAP schedule with a single click of the mouse, but first things first, still crawling, after my first complete job I will be running.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

For your knowledge, I use the ALAP data only to show the Owners and others not knowlegeable of CPM that the Progress Curve is not an absolute measure of your job status, not to mention ASAP only. The request is a matter of convenience, not of high priority. I will try with your suggestion.

Regarding the histograms the way Spider Project presents them, aligned with the schedule on top is just what I need. I keep my histograms one per resource as this is easier to understand but it will make it easier to have the lower screen to scroll verically as to accept as many histograms I need to be readily available and latter-on to be printed with my schedules. This request for me is of high priority.

By the way I am starting to explore the cost functions, something I rarely use but for the moment the interface seems very good, still to explore it at the updating time.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Rafael,
the histograms part of the window has not scrolling.
We do not expect that people want to have hidden histograms.
This feature can be added if necessary.
You can show Early and Late Cost Curves but not together with the current cost curve.
If you will calculate and save late schedule and budget, then ASAP schedule and budget and compare these two versions you will be able to show both in the same screen. But still only two curves.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Spider screen do not scolls

1) I cannot vertical scroll the lower half window, is it a demo limitation?

2) The Labor Cost Curve uses as a reference an ASAP schedule, I can set another Baseline to show ALAP but not in the same screen two baselines, maybe I am wrong, please comment as I am trying to show Early and Late curves on the same screen.

Note costs are not linear as I am exploring other cost functions, using fixed costs on a few activities, don’t pay attention to the model details.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Anoon,

You are correct +/- 0.000000%

Maybe because of inefficient software that cannot do good resource leveling and do not show resource critical path some schedulers avoid it at all while others make use of "soft relationships". Soft relationships is what my clients use, I resource load the schedules on my own to double check but although the results are viable they are inefficient.

The true practical value of resource leveling is starting to show up with Spider Project and I would like all software to be as good, this software is raising the bar without you having to learn new science, it does the math for you.

Project Management is like playing music for dancers, if the music is slow the dancers will move slowly, if fast the dancers will go fast, if slow, fast, slow, fast ... dancers will fall. A good Project Manager makes sure the tempo of his job start fast and keeps it this way. This is impossible to do with inefficient resource allocation, with many ups and downs, with available resources being used inefficiently or unused, your labor perception on urgency goes down.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Carlos,
thank you for your question. Organization of the group work deserves special discussion.

Spider Project Professional, Desktop Plus and Lite support group work but differently.
Spider Project Professional includes not only project but also portfolio management tools. I understood that your question is about project management.

If the project has subprojects that are managed by different persons and organizations (we call such projects programs or multiprojects) then you will need Spider Project Professional for program management.

You shall also to implement some strict regulations on the time of program data updating. Program scheduling and reporting require the existence of the common data date for all subprojects that belong to the Program. So all program participanta shall enter actual information on the same date and time. These requirements are the same for evrybody who is responsible for updating program data.
Let’s suppose that the Program is updated on Tuesdays basing on the program status on Monday evening. So all Program participants shall enter actual status information strictly on the required time (Monday evening) to make the status date the same for all program subprojects. And this shall be done on Tuesday morning before the Program will be rescheduled and reports will be produced.

But subproject managers may require different frequency of data updating. In small subproject it may be necessary to reschedule daily to supply resources for the plans for the day (shift). So subproject managers may need to manage their subprojects separately, with their own data dates, resources, regulations though all of them shall follow program requirements and supply the program planner with the Monday evening statuses of their subprojects on Tuesday morning.

That is why Spider Project uses special organization of the group work with the program data.

Program Planner creates Responsibility Breakdown Structure where phases are the names of responsible managers, activities in these phases are those that belong to their subprojects. Program Planner creates a list of responsible managers and enters the folder paths where to send them their subprojects and where to take updated models. These responsible managers are assigned to the phases in the responsibility structure.

When the command Distribute suprojects is selected by Program Planner Spider Project replicates the Program model and sends to each of responsible managers the models of their subprojects for the autonomous work until the next update. Now subproject managers may work with their own regulations until the next Tuesday (for an example updating the model every day). All of them know that it is necessary to update their models to the status of Monday evening on Tuesday morning because at 10:00 on Tueasday Program Planner will select the command Consolidate subprojects and all information in the program model will updated by the information that exists in the subproject models. This way the new version of the program model will be created and the previous one will be kept in the program archive. The program shall be rescheduled and analyzed, corrective actions may be planned, and after new plan for a week will be accepted Program Planner selects the command Distribute subprojects ...

At the lower levels program planners may use not professional but Desktop version of Spider Project that is much cheaper. They do not need to work in the network, they just need to place their models with Monday evening status to specified folder, to FTP server, or just send by E-mail. The size of Spider Project files is relatively small.

But if you manage relatively small project where project participants just enter actuals (not work with the models adding activities, assigning resources, costs, etc.) then you don’t need to replicate project model and use different model of the collaboration. And for this model you can use Spider Project Desktop Plus (two times cheaper than professional version).

You still need Responsibility Structure but this time people are responsible for entering actuals for different activities. Usually they are assigned as resources but sometimes you can decide that actual data shall be entered by somebody else (foremen, etc.).

But this time Spider Project will send not the models of subprojects but table Reporting Forms that include the data of what is planned for current time period (list of planned activities, assigned resources, planned dates, volumes of work, durations, costs, material consumption for all planned activities).

For each parameter this form includes initial, planned and remaining quantities. If actuals differ from planned actual quantities shall be entered and other parameters will be adjusted. An example - if you entered actual activity volume of work, the software adjusts the remaining volume of work, actual and remaining duration, actual and remaining costs and material consumption.
You can modify actual data with the forecasts of remaining volumes, durations, costs, material requirements.

Entering actual and forecasted data you shall save this form to the specified folder, FTP server or just send it to Project Planner. Using command Consolidate monitoring data Project planner updates project model creating its new version. Previous version is stored in the project archive.

Reporting forms can be opened and filled with Spider Demo that is free. They can be exported to Excel and imported from Excel.

And of course you can create different access to the project data for different project participants defining what they can see and edit.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Anoon Iimos
User offline. Last seen 1 hour 21 min ago. Offline
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 1368
Hi Rafael,

Sorry, I just want to lay down some facts as regards to your statements (if I maybe allowed?):

"Planning without considering resources is not good Project Management; it is hard for me to believe how some (isn’t this ALL?) self proclaimed planners schedule their jobs without consideration for resources. I even have a few (again, ALL?) clients who do their initial “planning” without considering resources just to find out latter that their jobs are driven by availability of resources and then improvise"
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Carlos,

Spider Project uses the concept of Monitoring Tables, because I am new at Spider Project and at the same time earning my food I have not explored this functionality yet. Vladimir can expand on this. Seems like you design and generate the monitoring document then you distribute it, maybe your managers might not need any special software to enter the data, in this case it is free.

From Spider Help.

Monitoring

Add Activities – invokes Include in monitoring dialog box to choose the monitoring Period and activities to be added to the Monitoring table.

Transfer into Project – brings activity monitoring data into the project.

Distribute Monitoring Data – distributes the monitoring data to managers assigned to phases by creating a separate document. Code of the created document coincides with the code of manager to whom the present document is distributed. A file with the document is kept in a folder or on an FTP-server (depending on the way of communication chosen in the User properties dialog box). The path to folder or FTP-server name set for the assigned manager, is displayed in the Users table.

Consolidate Monitoring Data – collects documents with monitoring data from phase managers. During monitoring data assembling from a folder or from FTP-server, the users specified in the table, get all (earlier not collected) last versions of the saved document from the moment of the previous consolidation. If there are monitoring documents of several projects in the specified site, the relation of each document to the certain project automatically is traced by the program.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Raphael,

Regarding your statement about activity duration being unpredictable. Yes this is true but we still plan, better to have some course than none.

If you start from an efficient plan and one of your critical activities is delayed, your efficient plan will be delayed, on the other hand if you start with an inefficient plan and one of your critical activities is delayed your inefficient plan will also be delayed. Better a shorter and efficient plan delayed than a longer and inefficient plan delayed.

Another thing with resource leveling is that if your software does not gives you resource critical path you will get the wrong float, you will not know which activities are resource critical, you will be in limbo and at times will concentrate your resources on non resource critical activities.

The following simple plan shows four logic unrelated activities that if not because of limited resources could be scheduled all in parallel. Because Spider Project gives you resource critical float you can see which one is critical and how much true float has before its resources delay other activities. Other software such as Primavera P3, P6 and SureTrak will even show very long float for activities that are resource critical when in reality if you delay the activity a single day the job is delayed because of resource availability.

Planning without considering resources is not good Project Management; it is hard for me to believe how some self proclaimed planners schedule their jobs without consideration for resources. I even have a few clients who do their initial “planning” without considering resources just to find out latter that their jobs are driven by availability of resources and then improvise, forget about inefficient resource leveling they will do less than inefficient.

Resource Critical Float

Best regards,
Rafael
Carlos Arana
User offline. Last seen 24 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 178
This may sound out of place at this stage of the discussion, but what is Spider’s solution for collaborative work? P6 has something called timesheets but it seems you should buy an additional license for each timesheet and it requires some specialized work to properly configure.

I’m thinking in some feature allowing a manager to capture effort for a given period and actual production for that same period.

By the way, i forgot to say Hi.

Hi! =D
Rafael,

Spider scripts can be created recording your actions as in MS Office.
The script language is not the same as Visual Basic, it is described in Spider Project Help.

It permits to run Spider from other programs like ERP systems. Using scripts another program can launch Spider, open and update some project, schedule it and provide reports, import data and close Spider Project.

Spider Project includes direct import/export to MS Project and P4-P6. It also exports to mpx and imports from mpx. We use mpx for export/import to P3 but there is a problem with exporting materials - mpx does not support this.

You underestimate trend analysis functionality. Reports on the tendencies that exist in the project are very useful for decision making.

Spider Project Lite is not good for construction management - we aimed at IT managers creating this version. It does not work with multi-resources (crews of resources), does not simulate shift work (actually I don’t know what software except Spider Project provides true simulation of working in shifts), it does not include multiple WBS and risk simulation. But it is very powerful and will easily work with huge projects.

For construction management I suggest to consider Spider Project Desktop. It includes everything that you may need (except portfolio management functionality, but you may work with multiprojects).

And I am sure that you will use many functions that now looks as too advanced with great pleasure. At least you will be sure that can model any project and any situation, can produce any report that may be necessary, and can rely on the project schedules and budgets calculated by the software. Besides, you will be able to create your own databases of different norms and project fragments and use them in your projects. With these databases the process of creating project model is easy and fast.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Does Spider use as script language Visual Basic? I don’t do scripting using script language; I limit my scripts by recording steps like in Microsoft macros. Can this be done in Spider?

Because Primavera SureTrak is what we still use can I export P3 files from SureTrak and run my resource leveling in Spider? I suppose my layouts will not transfer but maybe WBS codes will keep order? Spider resource handling is so superior eventually my clients will notice. With the competitive price on Spider Light this can be the jump start.

Can Spider Light handle SureTrak? What is the limit on WBS in Spider Light? I am not interested on the Trends Functionality and would even like it out of my way; trends are too much for how we handle our jobs we try to keep it simple, to keep focus.

The other day Raf Dua told me, no single software fit’s all size of jobs, he is right, you also are right by providing true scalability.

Best regards,
Rafael
No, it is not included in the schedule report. It was there earlier but not anymore because the list will appear again and again.

The report can be created applying filters. For permanent use you can create the script.

There is a scheduling (leveling) option "Ignore preceding activity links if activity is in progress". You can switch it on and off. If it is unchecked then logical dependencies will be applied to the remaining parts of activities. Logical dependencies are considered first, only then other restrictions are applied.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Does Spider Project warns you about out-of-sequence progerss, is it on a schedule report?

What options for out-of-sequence progress you have. I got progress override and retained logic in SureTrak, none is a solution to the issue but the software gives you a warning and a report, then proceed the scheduling with either option as per your selection.

How does "Ignore preceding activity links if activity in progress " works, how about when unchecked? And what when no splits are allowed and you still got out-of-sequence progress?

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641

Click on lower bar left triangle to see video, you can also select the full screen option on the same bar, icon to the right.
Raphael M. Dua
User offline. Last seen 5 days 7 hours ago. Offline
Rafael

Where is the Resource Histogram?

The screen shots are a bit small, so I hope I can copy all the data correctly.

Can’t do anything till tomorrow

Keep at it

Raf
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Raphael,

I did took notice on Micro Planner Site how much they care about good resource leveling and also about keeping perspective.Yes with too much detail you lose it.

Here we say. Goes to the sea and cannot see water.

The following can give you all the data, it is a 10 activities scheduloe, dont waste time with WBS, I did it to learn Spider Project.

01 SPIDER RESOURCE LEVELING

02 SPIDER RESOURCE LEVELING

Remember you can run your own sensitivity analysis to see how resource allocation varies with your assumptions. In spanglish "what-if".

My regards to Lagrange multipliers.

Rafael
Raphael M. Dua
User offline. Last seen 5 days 7 hours ago. Offline
Rafael

Send me the data and I will put it through Micro Planner.
Mind you , you could do it too

Back last century, I gave up using Monte Carlo because as a technique it usually gives me the answer I was looking for.

Unless PR is different from the rest of the world, I think all the work you have been doing in proving Mathmatically a theorectical best solution in Resourcing is, with all due respect, a waste of time.
In fifty years I have never met (but then I have been everywhere at once) anybody who could accurately forecast the exact duration and absolute number of manhours required to execute a task.

My statistics over the years show that in my neck of the woods at least most Construction jobs performance is between 55 an 70% using EVPM as a measuring tool.

This project I am currently on is working at 80% because of the way we are driving the subbies, but so far at least fifty % of the sub contractors duration have been wrong, 9 out of 10 major subcontractors, so far after one year into our four project haven’t been able to man up their tasks over 60%.

I spent many years as a Operational Research scientist whilst developing ICT 1900 Series PERT and we did all this work using Linear Programming techniques, because as Vladimir says it takes a huge amount of time to do the calculations you need for an optimum answer, and one man/woman doesn’t perform or turn up when scheduled , and you are back to square one.

It is a great intellectual exercise to do what you are doing Rafael,( I did my major educational accomplishments over thirty years ago in this same area.

But I have a project to run as close as I can humanly get to do what my Management and the Client want and need with the resources and money which arrive each day.

We use RFI cards to keep tabs on the trades to try and ensure that they work on the task allocated, but I know that the foreman will also manipulate my schedule to suit his purpose too.

The very best I have ever done on any project is to get 87% of my resources working and delivering work to the coal face. All done on Micro Planner Multi Sub Project Resource Scheduling.

Generally runs about four or five minutes for 10,000 tasks with in excess of 55 resource categories, plus all the EVPM computations as well and that was a Pentium IV

The sad thing Rafael, is that today nobody cares whether Product A is better than Product B, because if they did then these post would not be necessary.

Now I have to go back to work and alllocate where the time I have taken to respond to this post is to be accounted for.

See what I mean

:-)

Raf
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
From my posting 138

-"I am still figuring out in the 10 activities sample job you gave me what combination of prioritization can give me the same results as Spider Project. I also have to model the same again using Spider Project but not using your electronic file but my own without using driving resources. I suspect I will get the same results and Spider will again emerge as the winner, don’t take me wrong, just want to make sure as it seems too good to be true."

I modeled the sample schedule with my own file in Spider Project and got the same results.

CONFIRMED: SPIDER PROJECT IS BETTER THAN PRIMAVERA SURETRAK AT RESOURCE LEVELING. THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Anyone willing to take Spider Challenge at resource leveling?

Rafael,
Yes, we decided not to use Monte Carlo for simulating risks in Spider Project for many reasons.

One of them – to achieve necessary precision you will need to make thousands of project resource leveling iterations. Usually our projects consist of many thousand activities. How long does it take?

Is your initial information on uncertainty distributions and probabilities of risk events accurate?

And most of all – do you need the accuracy or precision?

To be able to understand that you need to think about corrective actions it is necessary to analyze not the values but the trends of success probabilities. The trend 86, 85, 83, 81 shows that you have problem if your may rely on the data precision (next simulation will give the same results, may be not quite accurate but the same). Using Monte Carlo you need a lot of iterations to achieve necessary precision. And if your data are accurate but with 3% potential deviation you cannot decide anything by the same figures, It may happen the real trend was 84, 83, 85, 83.

Spider Project approach may produce systematic error that will be repeated but the trends are reliable. It may be that real trends are 82, 81, 79, 77. So what? You shall still think about corrective actions.
But our approach is fast, risk analysis is done every time when you enter actuals in seconds, trends are reliable and useful for management decisions.

Current methods of using Monte Carlo for project risk simulation are far from perfect. I already wrote that the initial data are never accurate. Activity durations are certainly correlated if they use the same resources, if risk events happen then the schedule changes because people apply corrective actions, resource assignments depend on the risk events, it is necessary to simulate risk events, not just uncertainties, etc. There are a lot of things that are missed if to apply Monte Carlo simulation as it is done in the majority of risk management software. And for large projects it does not matter much which shapes of probability curves you will select for individual activities.

In Spider Project you shall create three project scenarios:
Optimistic that includes only those risk events that will happen with 90% or higher probability,
Most probable that includes risk events with 50% or higher probability,
Pessimistic that includes all selected (in qualitative risk analysis) risk events.
These schedules may include different activities, resources and costs.
And probability curves are restored by three points for any project parameter (project and phase durations, costs, material consumption). The shapes are selected by Spider Project and may be not accurate for specific project. But the error will be repeated, so the next time the shape will be similar and the results though maybe not accurate will have necessary precision. If Spider trend is negative then the real trend is negative though probability estimate may be several percent higher or lower. We never have so accurate initial data to rely on the values. But we can rely on probability trends.

You will not be happy if the buffer will be visible when you submit your schedule to the client.
In the Gantt Chart you can always see both scheduled finish and target finish.
In any case the buffer may be shown only if you have the single project finish milestone that succeeds all project activities that have no successors.

It is easy to make it visible: Create hammock activity and call it project buffer, set its Finish No Later Than date that is equal to Target Finish. Link finish milestone with the buffer by FS link. That’s all.
But this buffer will mean that optimistic and most probable versions have the same finish dates that is not healthy for risk analysis. So I strongly recommend not to include this buffer if you really want to simulate risks.
If you will not use statistical analysis then add buffer but create the WBS structure that is not full and exclude buffer activity from this structure if this version will be submitted to the client. In this case you will see the buffers in one structure and they will be hidden in another.

I did not understand what you wrote about entering actuals with three project scenarios.
These scenarios may use different resources, links, costs, include additional activities, etc. But in all three scenarios the actual data will be the same if you entered these actual data in one of them. The remaining durations of the started activities also became the same if you will not enter some changes manually. We usually work with the models where activity durations are short and those who began the work can estimate what is left better than anybody else. But if activity is not finished manual adjustment of remaining duration is available. I don’t understand what did you expect.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Spider Project calculates time buffers, cost buffers, material buffers necessary for achieving project targets with user defined probabilities.

These buffers can be calculated for the project and different WBS phases if the targets are set not only for the project but also for separate phases. The calculation is based on risk simulation.

Project time buffer is the difference between scheduled project finish and the target finish date. Actually it is project completion contingency reserve.

We recommend to use optimistic schedules and budgets for setting tasks to the project workforce. Buffers shall be used by project management as reserves for project risks and uncertainties.

It is natural that during project performance some activities are late and more expensive than was planned in the optimistic scenario, so project buffers become lower. It is necessary to have some buffers left when the project will finish.

So there is a need to estimate buffer penetrations - are they still sufficient for achieving project targets or meeting project goals is endangered?

Buffer penetrations are estimated by risk simulation of remaining works and estimating current probabilities to meet project targets. If the probabilities became higher then our buffer penetrations are lower than expected, lower success probabilities mean that we perform worse than expected. But not only this can cause problems or benefits.

Let’s suppose that we have done everything properly but new risks were discovered. These risks will change probability distributions for project duration, cost, etc. And though performance was good the probabilities to meet targets may go down.

So probabilities to meet targets (Success Probabilities) take into account all project data including risks and are really integrated performance indicators.

But we recommend to pay most attention to trends:
If probability to meet project targets is not high but rising it means that the problems that existed in the past were overcomed.
If the probabilities are high but going down it means that the problems exist now and it is necessary to consider corrective actions.
So Success Probability Trends are really good integrated performance indicators that include scope, schedule, cost and risk performance. If to supply top management with success probability trends it will be sufficient information on current project situation. Projects with negative trends need attention.

Usually we set not one but several project targets - one for the project management team that includes contingency reserves, another one for top management with additional management reserve. The third set of targets is defined by the contract. Success probabilities will show what happens with all these targets. Success probabilities trends may be negative for PM Team Targets but simultaneously positive for top management targets. It means that the chances to meet PM Team targets are lower but management reserve is sufficient.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

How do you manage buffers within Spider Project?

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

"some other features like showing material consumption not only in columns but also in the rows like assignments"

I always dreamed about this, you already know:

I WANT TO KNOW ON THE SPOT WHAT IS DRIVING MY SCHEDULE.

Best regards,
Rafael
Yes, you are right and different Spider Project customers create the schedules paying most attention to different sides of the projects.

I agree that the option to hide or show the sets of options (resources, costs, risks, etc.) is useful and its development is already in our plans. But before that we will taught Spider to work with conditional networks (if ... then) and add some other features like showing material consumption not only in columns but also in the rows like assignments. We never stopped the development.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

When I mention the idea of switching off and on sets of functions for ease of use I do not mean I will never use them. The use will depend on the particular job and purpose of the schedule. In my particular case I do not need the network functionality but would like everything else. After you give a boy a candy you are not going to take it away.

It is not the same a schedule for construction purposes where I would go into more activity details and resource loading than if a schedule to analyze a job for a Real Estate Development firm, here I would not get into resource loading and would use less activity detail but would use cash flow and financial investment ratios.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
yes, we plan to do it but we have not this options today. I think that this feature will appear in 2010.

Scarlett,
we recommend to analyze the trends of important parameters, not just values.

In Spider Project you set project and phase targets (dates, costs, profits, etc.) that can be achieved with reasonable probabilities. And then the software recalculates success probabilities each time when project data are changed (if you entered actuals, if you added mitigation activities, if you discovered new risks, etc.).
The trends of probabilities to achieve project targets we consider as the best integrated performance indicators. If probabilities to meet project targets decrease it means that corrective actions shall be considered. This approach works if you apply risk analysis to your schedule.

If you do not analyse risks and work with deterministic project schedule you still shall analyze trends - trends of the total project duration, trends of the total cost, etc. If the forecast of project duration is rising you shall consider corrective actions even if the project is ahead of the schedule.

So Spider Project calculates and shows trends of any project parameter.

Performance analysis is done on the data that was entered in Spider Project. If rejections and accidents were entered then they can be analyzed.

We recommend to create Responsibility Breakdown Structure, Organizational Breakdown Structure, Process Breakdown Structure and Resource Breakdown Structure. Reports generated in these structures show:
1) Performance results by responsibility areas and Departments,
2) What processes caused problems,
3) Performance of resources.

If you entered the number of accidents and rejections then you will get reports on their numbers by Responsibility areas and Departments and their distribution over time.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Scarlet,

A few days ago you mentioned how overwhelming can Spider Project be with so much functionality. I believe for the majority of jobs I do you are right, just for a very few I would need all Sipder Project functionality. To make easier to navigate in Spider Project when you do not need so much horsepower Vladimir said “We plan to create a version where our users may decide which functions to hide. It will make Spider interface adjustable”. I just hope this becomes a reality soon as it will only switch on the turbo when in need of 1,ooo horse-power, and then the NOS when in need of 3,000 horse power.

About Pacquiau–Cotto fight you know very well how good Pacquiau is, while Cotto is not the same after his fight with Margarito. Can you raise the stakes up a little; say 100 to 0 instead of 50 to 0 so I can start consider the bet?

Vladimir,

Can the hide functionality be applied to related sets not on an item per item, as to make it easy to toggle on and off?

Best regards,
Rafael
Scarllet Pimpernel
User offline. Last seen 7 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 152
Actually what I’m trying to say

The goal of a basketball team is to win

The goal of a project is to win

But of course they have different parameters.

On the other hand, basketball team got: team manager, coach, and staffs

while projects got project manager or project directors, construction managers and staffs.

Basically, the staffs prepared relevant and pertinent information for the managers to acts to achieve the goal.

So, I think planners are also involve in statistics.

If you can share how Spider help the planners by maybe providing customize reports that captures important parameters in view of the tremendous information generated from planning software.

Also, what important parameters are usually track. I think this is now becomming basic, but, somehow, it is not happening in our projects.

Thank you,
Scarlett
Scarllet Pimpernel
User offline. Last seen 7 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 152
Hi Vladimir,

I’m in the middle of 2 billion ++ US dollars project and I’m frustrated since, somehow i feel, our planning group are not fairly treated.

In this state a lot of wandering of the mind will happen.

so I just thinking if project team can be run like basketball team or whatever sports.

Basically, I’m looking at the aspect of planners being the statistician.

For example in baseketball, it is the most popular sports in our country, the opposing team or most of the times the media presents statistics: numbers of rebounds, turnovers, fastbreaks, etc. etc.

From the statistics, it is very easy to have a clear understanding of the winning team even though the games still in progress.

Question: have it occur to you?

Because now I’m preparing statistics like for example: actual periodic accomplishment, number of rejections, accidents (safety issues), etc.

from this actual statistics, it may help in evaluating future performance and how to acts on critical issues.

Is Spider very specific on what to look at from the myriads or tons of garbage data.

Thank you,
Scarlett

Hi Scarlett,
I want to remind that I proposed to suggest hard tasks, something that most or all packages cannot do. I will answer if and how it can be done in Spider.

So this thread is open for anybody who may ask questions like how to do this or simulate this, etc. If Spider can do it or not?
So it is about beating Spider, not Vladimir (I hope).

Do you have some hard task to propose? Does your software everything you need?

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Scarllet Pimpernel
User offline. Last seen 7 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 152
Hi Rafael,

I’m glad to be honored a genius from someone like you, the most genius of all.

I do not know how to paste movies in PP or any brilliantly colored charts, etc.

So in reality, you are now the most genius here in PP.

By the way, I just find it strange that in previous threads, you almost wanted to beat Vladimir and ask the help of Mike.

Now it seems you and Vladimir are BFF.

Strange isn’t it.

Since Mike locked the previous thread, we can continue the Pacquiao vs Cotto here. What do you think? It is still 50 USD to 0.

Thank you,
Scarlett
Rafael,
thank you for the movie.
I like your demonstration, it looks like people enjoy it.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael,
usually it is done different way.

Spider Project permits to create different Reference-books (databases) and use them in your projects.
These Reference-books usually include Resource or Crew productivities on typical assignments, material requirements on different activity types, unit costs, etc., no restrictions. Usually people create one project model but three sets of reference-books (optimistic, most probable, pessimistic). If you apply pessimistic set you will get pessimistic scenario, applying most probable you will get probable scenario and applying optimistic you will get optimistic scenario.

Reference-books make the process of creating project model much easier. If you enter activity types and work volumes then reference-book will add material requirements, costs, durations. If you will assign some blank crews reference-book will fill them with resources, productivities, costs.

Pessimistic scenario can have additional works (risk events may happen) that in optimistic and most probable version have zero duration and costs. Some works may exist in both pessimistic and probable but absent in optimistic.

So one project schedule can be easily transformed into three project scenarios and then the software will synchronize them when actual data are entered. The actual data are the same and you shall enter actuals only once. But if the scope will change you shall apply reference-books again and save the results as optimistic, probable and pessimistic scenarios.

Any changes in reference-books can be easily transfered into the projects that use this information. To do this it is not necessary to open Reference-books, that are usually maintained by PMO, just give the command. But it is not done automatically because Spider Project keeps project archives. So Spider Project users create project versions 1, 2, ..148, etc. and you will not want to apply today’s reference-book if you opened project version created 6 months ago. Any two project version can be compared including optimistic with pessimistic, etc.

You can use several parallel costs (and cost components) for the same activities and resources and will get reports on project expenses and earned value (contractual) in parallel. Of course internal costs are not submitted to the Client.

I am glad that you like Spider Project.

Best Regards,
Vladimir

Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641


Vladimir, yesterday we had a public demonstration due to government payroll reduction. We have our share on this recession as everyone else.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Do the different versions share the same database structure. So that whatever I create in one version the other will be able to see, but only the fields avilable and operate within available functionalities while keeping untouched the other fields.

That is, full upward compatibility but limited downward visibility.

I kind of like Spider Project Desktop (one user version)
as it seems the best fit for my needs. And the price 1,000E is very competitive.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Rafael,
it is interesting that once we launched Spider Lite version where excluded other options except optimization. We immediately received a lot of requests to keep standard methods also. Our construction customers explained that they used standard schedules for contracting and optimized for themselves. So you described the real life use of schedule optimization.

Now most General contractors use more sophisticated approach. They create three schedules - optimistic for their workforce and subcontractors, probable for themselves, and pessimistic contractual. Spider Project synchronizes these schedules when actual data are entered. So the Client receives only pessimistic scenario, two other scenarios Contractor uses for project management and does not submit.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

If as a Contractor I am running a TIA for an EOT claim I can run the analysis using resource constraining as no job is done without resources. Therefore the software that yields the worst result, the most impact, will be at my advantage?

I might use Spider Project to run my job and use Primavera SureTrak or P3 for my EOT’s to my advantage.

I will start from a not so good schedule before impact and will end up with an impacted schedule also not so good, but the difference, the impact will also be augmented by the substandard Primavera algorithm.

Perhaps we should ban Spider Project from impact analysis while at the same time ban Primavera to control your job.

Please don’t tell the Owners that requiring substandard software will work against them.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Raf and Vladimir

Gantt chart alone cannot be considered the input screen, it is aided by the activity details screen, but as end users I and all Contractors I know always end up using the Gantt chart as our main screen. And yes we know it is an output, an output we like to see as soon as data is entered, we do not want to be changing screens continuously. To me each complements the other and none is the substitute of the other, to trace logic and debug your model there is nothing like the PERT chart and the activity details screen. Both of your software have both, a few do not have the PERT/PDM diagram, those without the PERT/PDM diagram got to be ruled out (Asta la vista baby).

Total float shall refer to all constraints as Spider Project does but this is not in conflict with Micro Planner definition as long as it considers all constraints, I believe it does. Resource constrained Total Float shall have the same definition.

There is software that does their resource leveling under either of two options; resource leveling can extend the project duration or it cannot. Therefore we have two needed algorithms that should be compared; both shall look for the best possible outcome under both circumstances. As you know I learned other software is weak at their algorithms, I say so because through an example it was shown to me, it was not B.S.-ing, my software vendor (not difficult to guess) did not told me how bad they are at this.

Under both options then I believe the calculated activity total float shall be different as we are looking for a solution that satisfy different requirements. If we want to compare total float values between both conditions then we shall use another metric, keeping consistency in the definition of total float, but this is just semantics.

In very few occasions, as I was mostly using soft dependencies, I performed my resource leveling using the option of resource leveling cannot extend project duration under different project duration scenarios for contract duration, when late you got to get some compromises. I did not know I was using the wrong software, software with very weak algorithms.

Scarlet,

I don’t believe I will be using all functionalities of Spider Project, only those relevant for the job in question. There will always be people or specifiers that will ask for the use of all functionalities, they are in error, use them as needed. We don’t cost load our CPM schedules but some might have real need for the functionality and even for the extension on Present Value, relevant in countries where inflation is high, or when your job duration spans several years.

Maybe the software should let you toggle off and on with ease the menu options for those less used functionalities as to make it simple to navigate, you got a point. Whenever I see Scarlet on PP I jump to read your occurrences, to see who got the water splash, there is unique humor and some genius in your posting.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Scarlett,
look at Spider Project when you will have time.

But actually this discussion is about advanced features of PM software that may be needed in some projects.
If you need some functionality that is absent in your software you can ask if you can find it in Spider Project. Maybe not. In this case we will have an information what shall be developed to satisfy your needs.

By the way, at the moment Spider Project is used in 26 countries, so you may have some chance to meet it outside Russia also.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Scarllet Pimpernel
User offline. Last seen 7 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 152
I can not believe what I’m reading here.

Rafael Davila is a convert of Spidey.

Raffy did you acquire the power of Spider.

meaning you find it like jumping and swaying from one functionalities to another.

Oh men, strange planet.

On the other hand, is there some sort of moro moro here meaning some script being played.

In fairness to Vladimir, I do believe what he is saying. Only I don’t have time to really get involve with spidey. Maybe when the time comes that I will work in Russia.

Thank you.
Scarlett
Thank you, Raphael.
I will download MP X-Pert Demo later.

If there are some changes in the schedule like some task for some reason is delayed the schedule shall be recalculated and it does not matter if the schedule is resource loaded or not. Any scheduling is necessary for setting work plans.

I still think that Remaining Total Float = 30 days when initial Total Float = 0 days looks rather strange. And deducting delays from initial total floats is useless when the order of activity execution had changed. I think that I don’t understand this approach.

Limited resources happen everywhere, not only in the middle of Russia. I may be able to install only one crane at the construction site in the downtown, I may have limited number of molds and to buy more to reduce peaks may be unreasonable, etc. It is usual in most projects, not only in construction.

In Spider Project group resources are called Skills.

Resource constrained Total Float in Spider Project has the same definition - the amount of time you can delay a task without delaying the project and any imposed dates.

Our projects usually consist of many thousand activities. Working in the Network Diagram with the project of this size is very complicated. I think that you shall consider using Gantt Chart as an input also.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Hi Raphael,

Unfortunately Micro Planner X-Pert is not known in Russia where Spider Project was developed and has largest market. And I don’t know about its resource leveling capabilities. I would like to try MP X-Pert resource leveling if some Demo is available.

I think that Remaining Float is not a good name for resource constrained float. An activity that was critical when the project was scheduled may have large resource-constrained float after leveling.

An activity that was not delayed when resources were allocated may have different resource-constrained total float because the rest of the schedule was changed.

I don’t understand what do you mean by “YOU Cannot use the float, because the task has been scheduled to occur at the time (dates) that the algorithm has calculated.”

Total float shows time reserve for activity execution that can be used without delaying project finish or violating project constraints. This is the definition.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Spider not only shines with regard to resource usage, probably the most important of all functionalities, but also in many others.

Among one of the functionalities we have not talked is how you update the schedule, this is someting you don’t realize at the beginning, when you start exploring the software.

It seems that by default when you update the schedule you update the period actuals and not only the to-date, it also prevent updating the schedule activities by mistake and keeps a clear and auditable log of every update. Keeping the integrity of the data is a serious matter, Spider takes care of it in a practical way.

If you can give me some hints on this, with the understanding I am new at it, I will appreciate it.

Best regards,
Rafael
Raphael M. Dua
User offline. Last seen 5 days 7 hours ago. Offline
Rafael

Here I am in the middle of the biggest downpour I have seen in years, totally flooded out and a hole in my Wellies, and up you pop with a very sensible (albeit humourous ) post.

I needed that laugh

It is great pity that after all the care you went to lay the post out, it is not how it appears on my screen at anyrate. In fact ot looks quite odd.

Maybe we had better put another request for an improvement to the website

I hope you are going to find some time to get back into Micro Planner, even if it is to keep you sane

Regards

Raf
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Probably Planning Planet should consider realignment on the Discussion Categories. I would suggest the following:

ADVANCED SCHEDULING: With resource critical path and good resource leveling algorithms.
A)Spider Project
B)Micro Planner

MEDIOCRE SCHEDULING: Without resource critical path and without good resource leveling algorithms where some users feel the need to use soft dependencies to overcome this limitation.
A)Primavera P3
B)Primavera Suretrak
C)Asta Power Project
D)Open Plan

QUASI SCHEDULING: Bar Charting, Location and others.
A)Microsoft Project
B)Teamplan
C)Tilos

BUG SOFTWARE
A)Primavera P6, P7, P8 ….. P41 service pack 368
B)Pac Man
Raphael M. Dua
User offline. Last seen 5 days 7 hours ago. Offline
Vladimir

You say in your help file on Spider

"Resource critical path can be calculated only
by Spider Project software. Other PM
software packages will show wrong activity
floats if resource leveling is used"

I must say that I have to totally disagree with you, Micro Planner X-Pert for Windows has no problems in providing a Resourced Critical Path.

In fact we can provide a Critical Path which has been scheduled by either the limit of Time or the Limit of Resource

The Total Float once Resource Scheduling has taken place I call Remaining Float as if it has not been used up in the Resource scheduling process, YOU Cannot use the float, because the task has been scheduled to occur at the time (dates) that the algorithm has calculated.

Once a task has been allocated the resource it requires and it has had to say wait one time period to get it, the Total Float has now been decremented by One Unit, so Total Float now goes up the scheduling queue by One unit, because now unless the activity continues to get schedule it is now working it’s way to criticality .

In Micro Planner X-Pert we schedule by Decision Tables which have been used constantly for over forty five years, because they were originally written for the first ICT/ICL PERT software packages.

A single simple Decision Table may at the worst have to go through 108 decisions to actually schedule the activity or not at this time period.

If there has been no delay in allocating the resource then the Total Float has not been impacted, if there has been a delay, then TF is now less one period

Raf
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

Yes I got it about filtering driving activities and exporting to another job, and then you will miss all relationships to the other chains.

I am asking for functionality above filtering for predecessors and I am aware that filtering for predecessors is already per-se very powerful and not available in any other software at the GANTT Chart. Suretrak can trace logic in the PERT Diagram but navigation is not as easy. No software I know can trace resource drivers. It would be fantastic if these dynamic links do show in the GANTT and PERT views, let say in green dotted lines. By extending the filter to all drivers, instead of predecessors only, you will be in so much control Spider Project would be many years ahead of all software.

Cost and Materials driving constraints might be included also; sorry but here we say no-one ever died by asking. For date constraints an asterisk is enough. I want to know on the spot whatever is driving my activities.

Well Vladimir I just got an estimating job so this will keep me busy for a few days. Thanks a lot for your guidance and patience.

SPIDER PROJECT IS SUPER

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,

with resource driving activities it is much more complicated. You can filter activities using any condition like Start Earlier Than selected activity start date.
Then create the separate project that includes only filtered activities and level them. but the results of levelling may be different because the criteria will be different - this time you will minimize the duration of different project. To have similar result you shall select Levelling option Previous Version Support and select the original project as the previous version.

In the levelled project apply the filter Total Float is less than the float of selected activity plus a little bit and you will have the subset of project activities that may delay selected activity or its predecessors.
Spider Project levelling report also lists all activities delayed due to resource unavailability.

In any case this analysis is much more complicated. Just imagine that some activity was delayed because resource A was busy. So activity starts when other activity that used resource A was finished. What if three activities that used resource A finished at the same moment? Which one shall be considered as the predecessor? I think that we will add all three though this is overkill.

But thank you for the idea - I will talk to our programmers about adding this functionality to Spider Project.

You shall select DRAG and then schedule the project to see the results. Inform me if there are still problems. Recently we discovered some minor error in DRAG calculation and so made some changes. I did not check if the latest Demo version was uploaded.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

I am starting to realize that is enough to filter the predecessor’s chain to handle the issue on compressing the specific chain if there is no resource driving activity.

But in case there is an external chain activity that is resource driving the filter will miss it. How about filtering all driving activities as to include resource driving activities, is that possible?

About DRAG I would like to use this functionality in the sample job but when I select DRAG and close the scheduling options windows and then reopen the window it comes out without DRAG being selected.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Rafael,
you can select multiple activities and filter for all preceding, succeeding, or just linked with the set of activities that was selected.

We do not have this option with WBS, you shall select activities belonging to chosen WBS phase first.

Do you have a question on DRAG?

Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 4 hours 26 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4641
Vladimir,

In order to include the activity I have to insert a successor or filter from a successor whose single predecessor is the activity, am I correct?

Do you have a script for filtering predecessors with WBS? This would be the envy of all.

The filter is quite unique and useful.

Remember I am still unable to use DRAG.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Scarllet,
my sources confirm that General Contractor will be from the Middle East and I know but will not publish the name. But still there are problems with this project and I am not sure that it will start soon.

Primavera and MS Project are sold in Russian but you can select English version. If the project will start and you will use Russian subs you will need to create bi-lingual models. I am sure that your company will be supplied by Russian interpreters.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Scarllet Pimpernel
User offline. Last seen 7 years 34 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 152
Hello Vladimir,

I wish you Good Day.

It is heavily advertise in local Middle East Newsletter that foreign to Russia General Contracting Company (but #1 in a particular GCC)will soon to start foundation work.

That is why I’m keeping tab in the internet for some planning job posting towers or high rise building to be buit in Russia’s St. Peterbergs.

I would like to know if Primavera and MS Project sold in Russia use English or Russian. It will help to decide to take Russian or stick to English, in case my interest to work in Russia may become a reality.

Thank you,
Scarlett