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Spider in Oracle territory

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Mike Testro
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Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4392
Hi Rafael

How are you finding the acceptance of Spider with your clients and/or employers.

If they do not have the same software how do you communicate.

In Powerproject there is a conversion facility to P6.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Replies

Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

Yes it is frustrating the US Government is still in the 60’s, you have no idea. They are DUMMIES asking for Arrow Diagrams. There is no excuse for using the wrong term, the individuals that wrote the specifications should know the language. I believe it was an "HORROR" they made in the specs. the problem is when the inspector who knows even less insist in enforcing the specifications. My experience has been that the Architect knows nothing and return any question regarding the CPM specs. as something provided by the government, to be enforced as is, as a contractual condition not to be changed nor interpreted.

I will ask for a clarification and won’t be surprised if they answer that the precedence diagram also show arrows, that the term means any of the two.

In previous specifications they have called for negative float, in this job they are referring to an AGC (Assoc. General Contractors of America) Document I do not have.

Best regards,
Rafael

PS. Local Government at times have such specs but the experience is that they are not so strict in enforcing every line of the specification.
Hi Rafael,
PMI Standards are developed and accepted by majorities in the Development teams. So there is nobody that is responsible for the decisions made.

In resource-constrained schedules negative float values are wrong in any case.

But your contract specifications are always based on applying CPM, they ignore resource limitations. Your Clients are still in 60-s. They should attend some scheduling course.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

The issue is that most of our specifications, influenced by Primavera and the PMI are requiring functionality that creates negative float. I have Spider but no negative float as Spider do not mess with the CPM backward computations.

Spider Project is correct on how it applies the end-on-or-before constraint without creating negatiove float, negative float should be an option for those who need it, an option you should be able to toggle on and off at a single click of the mouse. Most Owners would use it, I won’t.

I have serious issues with the PMI allowing for it, its passive position have promoted some software developers to provide this functionality without providing for the functionality being toggled off to allow you see true CPM computations. Self serving to Owners who cannot understand true CPM logic while denying the Contractor secure access to true CPM or network logic computations.

On one side the PMI states that constraints must not be a replacement for schedule network logic. While on the other side allows for external constraints on article 2.2.1 of their Standard Practice for Scheduling. This is contradictory.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
deleting and restoring time constraints in Spider Project is easy.
Most simple way - to create Activity Refrence-book directly from your project and delete from this Reference-book all fields that are not needed. Keep activity codes (key field) and Constraints fields (Start No Earlier Than, Finish No Later Than).
Now you can do everything with your constraints in your schedule and at any moment restore them applying this reference-book.
I hope that this can make you less frustrated next time when you will need to do this.
And by the way you can save both versions (with and without constraints) and compare them for analysis of constraints impact.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

We do not use a 3mtx3mt (10ftX10ft) printout of a PERT diagram, we limit our self to use PDM Diagrams to trace logic in the way SureTrak does. My clients supply me with some of the logic using simple PERT diagrams in hand drawn sheet of papers, the remaining links usually follow simple logic they know I do not need them to supply me with in order to complete the schedule.

"Then I show the Network diagram for some real project and it causes very loud laugh. These diagrams are not readable." of course I agree, just read the ridiculous specification, makes no sense. Even links on Gantts are useless.

Gantt provide us with a Birdseye view and logic is provided on tables.

I believe the call for Arrow Diagrams is in error. My point is what you can expect when specification writers who do not know the difference between AOA/"activity on arrow" and AON/"activity on node"?

These are the same guys that at times pretend your BOQ to have a perfect one on one match with your schedule WBS, the same guys that will require you to use software that creates negative float when the software is not capable to let you see true CPM logic driven schedule unless you delete the constraints, the same guys that will not allow you to use buffers in your schedule, you have to hide them, and the list goes on.

You have no idea of how it is when you have to delete constraints to see logic when your schedule is lagging and you are asked to provide ASAP a recovery schedule. Erasing the constraints is easy; the problem is getting them back on your incomplete recovery schedule to see what is displaying under these constraints. This specification is abusive, software developers do not care, PMI do not care.

After decades of this you get somewhat cynical. You call it silly games; I have other words for it I don’t dare to mention.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
Spider Project does not support Arrow Diagrams.
Actually all Network Diagrams are not useful in the real projects.

Our experience shows that middle size construction project consists of approximately three thousand activities. What you can do with the diagram of that size?

When I teach project management and explain what is Network Diagram I show this diagram for the small project. Then I show the Network diagram for some real project and it causes very loud laugh. These diagrams are not readable.
Gantt Charts and Linear (LOB) diagrams are useful and nothing else.

Sorry, Rafael, we do not play in these silly games.

Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

I found the specs regarding the Network Schedule, seems they are not requiring specific CPM software but capable of generating Arrow Diagrams. Maybe not as bad as the NY DOT.

"Detailed Arrow Diagram: The detailed arrow diagram shall show the sequence and interdependence of activities required for complete performance. Divide the work into activities of duration no longer than 15 working days or 21 calendar days each, except for nonconstruction activities, such as procurement of materials, delivery of equipment, concrete curing, and any other activities approved by the Contracting Officer for a longer duration. The selection and number of activities will be subject to the approval of the Contracting Officer."

Let me know if Spider can generate Detailed Arrow Diagrams.

Ooooooooooooooooops, Arrow Diagrams ! ! !
Dummies
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

My worry is that they might require you to use their scheduling software of choice as for example New York DOT is doing, it is not enough for them to tell you what scheduling software you are to use, your management means and methods, now they want you to have your data in their network, to use it against you. I see danger on this, to me is clear invasion of privacy.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
I looked at the Proliance information and did not find anything about resource levelling. It seems that the software proposes to have unlimited resources for construction or level manually. Your Government is rich and does not worry about resources.
But it is interesting that resources may have two costs.
So Spider Project is not the only software that suggests to manage parallel budgets for the same projects. But we do not restrict the number of these budgets. And besides resource cost has many components (salary, taxes, overgead costs, etc.).
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Vladimir,

They are requiring in the specs for the use of Proliance by Meridian. Seems like they provide the service and you use it for data interchange.

I see no problem with official data interchange but if the system requires you to keep internal planning data I would consider it an invasion of privacy in addition to taking control of one of your most important management tools, is taking control of your Means and Methods.

Best regards,
Rafael
Mike,
Spider Project can export schedules to P4, P5, P6, MS Project xml and mdb (MS Project 2003), mpx (early versions of MS Project and P3). And import also.
So don’t worry, this is not a problem at all.
Besides our users get free Spider Project Viewers that can be given to their customers for schedule analysis and reporting.

Rafael,
FBI is very interesting indeed. Please inform me on their reaction.

By the way, Russian companies that used Spider Projecct and had American clients had no problems. Once I had the surprising call from the USA Department of Energy. They told me that appreciated Spider Project resource management capabilities. Nothing else but it was very nice from them to tell me this. At that time they were involved in the Energy projects in Russia managed with Spider Project.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 6 hours 12 min ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4778
Mike,

I have not tested yet the reaction of my clients as they are finishing their jobs already scheduled on SureTrak. Well I was reluctant to try Spider Project and know I cannot live without it.

About P6 as you know I do not like it but the US infatuation with Primavera is most probably to make it WWIII. A client is quoting a job for the FBI, I cannot wait to see their reaction if at the pre-bid meeting I have the opportunity ask them to allow me to use a Russian software instead of Primavera. This will be my very first test.

For your satisfaction I believe Spider Project and Asta Power Project far superior to P6.

Best regards,
Rafael