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New Spider Project Functionalities

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Rafael Davila
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Vladimir:

At times new functionalities are added or improved by Spider Development Team. In order to know and understand them I suggest using this topic as to keep us informed and to discuss how these are to be used.

Every time you post a new functionality we will get an e-mail from PP and many Spider Project users in the English speaking world will get first hand notice from Planning Planet. I hope others eventually will find how great this place is and will join us.

I just downloaded the last update, version 10.01.24 date 10.02.2010. The very first thing I did was I looked for the menus and also for the available fields. Today I noticed a field I have not noticed/seen before and seems like something I was looking long ago but prefer you to explain me what it means. I am referring to the field named Code in Original Project, is it a baseline, the very first saved code? How can I re-set/fix it so it represents the officially approved original schedule? What if I add activities, how new activities codes are tracked? Does it represent a unique ID code no one can edit? Is it created when from version 1 you create a new version ?

Best regards,
Rafael

Replies

Bogdan,

yes it is for Monte Carlo simulation. Though activity durations in each simulation iteration are different the logic of resource assignments simulates what people do. They can make decisions on activity priorities basing on most likely or optimistic schedules and Spider suggests to define this.

Bogdan Leonte
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Vladimir,

even though it is not exactly new exactly new could you explain what does the "Select most likely shedule" do and where it is applied? Does it have anythig to do with Triggers and MC analysis?

Thank you!

Regards,

Bogdan

Rafael,

also look at drag and drop option for moving activities and phases.

It does not add much but our users wanted it and sometimes it is more convenient than cut and paste.

Regards,

Vladimir

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

The new formula modifier dialog is awesome, finally not only specific cell references are easy but the conditional selection adds even more power. This improved functionality adds power while simplifying the interface, it is a double bonus. So easy and intuitive no instructions are needed. 

 photo 10-11-20138-18-07AM_zps530a9d1d.jpg

Best Regards,

Rafael

Bogdan Leonte
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Thank you for the new functionality regarding detailed information and calendar exceptions. Works great!!!

1788
minimum_gap_1.png

Regards,

Bogdan

Bogdan Leonte
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That would be great. You may be right about selecting the exceptions. Regards, Bogdan

Hi Bogdan,

this functionality is in our plans, we will move ahead its priority.

We plan to show exceptions and periods of delays but selecting exceptions to show looks impractical.

Regards,

Vladimir 

Bogdan Leonte
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Greetings Vladimir,

I have a minor fuctionality request regarding the Gantt Chart drawing.

Even though the "Detailed Information" option is great for viewing working and non working periods it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when printing the schedule.

I think it would be very useful to have a second option which will display only non working periods of time from calendar exceptions and the posibility for the user to select which calendar exceptions to display.

What do you think?

Best Regards,

Bogdan

Hi Bogdan,

imagine that you want to get some report by months but not from the beginning to the end of the month but from 25 of the previous month to 24 of the next month.

In the boundary field you may enter 25.05.2005 (actually any month and any year, Spider will look at both durations) and 1 as the  measure of the report period in months (if you will enter 2 your reports will become bi-monthly).

The unit of measure is defined by the report that you selected (by hours, days, weeks, etc.).

This way you can get flexible reports (weekly but from Tuesday to Monday for example, for each two weeks, etc.).

Regards,

Vladimir

Bogdan Leonte
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Greetings Vladimir,

I was looking over the new functionalities added since release 27 when I got stuck on this one:

  • The user defined period can be in any units: hours, days, weeks, months, quarters, years.

1686
capture.jpg

I presumed that the Boundary field refers to the unit of measure (hours, day, weeks, etc.), but I haven't figured out what values should the user enter in order to define the unit?

Best regards,

Bogdan

Bogdan Leonte
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Rafael,

 

  • This reminds me of a minor request for functionality to save and load Gantt Options in a way similar to Layout.

I think this minor functionality would be very helpful.

 

Best Regards,

Bogdan

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Got it, it is a Gantt Option you got to setup, it works as expected, it is great. Now I can see in the same Gantt the activities in compared schedule missing on current.

 photo absent02_zps9187eb41.jpg

DIFFERENCE fields on absent activities is empty, some value shall be considered for purpose of filtering, maybe an asterisk. 

This reminds me of a minor request for functionality to save and load Gantt Options in a way similar to Layout.

 photo absent03_zps00f5b7d9.jpg

Maybe saved Layout in Project and saved Gantt Options in Project shall be stored on Report Template upon creation. In this way even the time scale zoom size and range on the report will be remembered. 

Best Regards

Rafael

Rafael Davila
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Among the new Spider functionalities I am exploring are:

  1. the display of Start/Finish Flex,
  2. the display of a difference flag when comparing text fields and
  3. the display of activities from the compared project that are absent in the current + place them into separate phase.

Items 1 and 2 are awesome and work as expected, they work on the Gantt as well as on the other tables such as the Calendars Table and Calendars Exceptions Tables.  

Now I will be able to visually see Flex on activities durations, great to determine if, when and how to split activities with Flex. On average about 10% of my activities display Flex, 10% of 600 activities on my typical schedule is 60 activities, and this is a significant number. This is something I have been looking for years, once again many thanks. 

Now I will be able to filter for "Different" and then compare difference in text on changed text only, great for checking changes on calendar details, of most value to those on the other side checking different file versions. 

 photo absent_zpsedaca263.jpg

I am having problems with item 3, another new functionality of great value I cannot wait to use, here I need your help as probably I am doing something wrong with this new functionality fresh from the oven. This functionality is going to be a killer as never before I have been able to do so, great for when you are submitting an update as when submitting a revised baseline schedule, of most value to those on the other side checking the new schedule.  

Best Regards,

Rafael

Rafael Davila
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Found it, it allows me to highlight all or any combination overloaded resources as per my request. By the way the filter for selected resource overloaded activities is very handy.

In the following figure I selected to highlights overloads for resource B only [on the overloads bar], now I see when the overloads occur and can filter for activities at a specific occurrence. As you can see I selected 12/02/2011.

It is perfect just I was not aware.

Perhaps adding to the right click options the <<Resource Peak Work Load Options>> and the <<Resource Peak Work Load>> Calculation menu items will make it even easier.

Photobucket

Rafael Davila
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Photobucket

I would like for the resource overloads bar to roll up the red highlight whenever there is a resource overload, in this way even if I cannot see overloads on my histograms of one among hundreds of resources I would know the times/dates some resource is overloaded and by merely clicking on the appropriate spot I would get the requested information. Maybe black for overloads of any resource(s) of my selection and red for any other overloaded resource.

Photobucket

Maybe the bar shall turn back to completely green after you make any changes to resource loading as a reminder a schedule run must be performed for it to be correct.

Also would like some other options so that when you right click the resource overloads bar you can have the option to select date/time not by clicking but by entering the date/time of interest.

Perhaps an option [as a sticky option] for the selection to jump to nearest overload occurrence if the selection yields no overload at the specific time might make it easier to look for overloads without need to expand the time scale.

Photobucket

Right click in Spider Project is context sensitive and easy to use, better than adding hundreds of menu items that can get on your way.

Resource Overload Report is invaluable for reporting but when solving resource overallocations the overloads bar becomes handy, so much the report is no effective substitute for this function.

Best Regards,

Rafael

P.S. ....  so much functionality in such dumb looking bar it took me some time to notice

Carlos Arana
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Wow

In fact, from november 18th to date Spider Project has been heavy on updates.

I just remembered to update today and entered the "What's New" page, then I saw this particular feature that was updated yesterday - but there are many, many useful new things, here are some that I have found handy:

 

-New fields in the Activity Gantt diagram "Preceding Activities" and "Succeeding Activities" just like in MS Project. (Very useful when coordinated with the taskbar, more when it will becomes editable)

-The main window menu item "Options / Parameters" is renamed to "Options / Workplace Options". < I did not know this window! Now I changed [Remaining] for [Remanente] 

-New menu item "Options / Options of Newly Created Projects and Documents".

-Column properties allow to adjust cell Date-time format

 

Thank You Vladimir! And congratulations on each step into making Spider Project the best planning tool.

Rafael Davila
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Handy but my favorite new functionality is;

When a new user defined field is created it can be shown in all the project tables by default.

This makes it easir to transfer and combine values of different tables into my formulas, there was a way but this is so much easier.

Regards,

Rafael

Carlos Arana
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Spider Project version 10.03 release 70 - from 24.11.2011

>> Current cell value is displayed on the toolbar (similar to Excel) in all the project tables, but they cannot be edited yet. When you click a column title it is also shown there to simplify work with long column names.
Now listboxes with multiselection feature work standard.
>> The "Fields Available" window called from Actual Data Input table has "Expenditure type" options.
>> The "Fields Available" window is resizable now.

 It is good, thank you Vladimir.
- Carlos.

You know that Spider can store norms, prices, etc. in the Reference-books and use them in all projects.

Sometimes these norms change and now you can compare versions of Reference-books the same way as project versions.

This way it is easy to find what norms changed at any time period.

Marcus Possi
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Hi Planners !

 

There is a new feature (to increase the operator productivity): the EXCEL into "Spider Project" copy and paste.

THe Spider TEam said it not completed yet, but the soundtrack I used is The sound track represents really where we are going to. :)

 http://www.ecthos.com/dpg/019 - Spider Space

 

marcus possi

Marcus Possi
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Hi Planners !

 

There is a new feature (to increase the operator productivity): the EXCEL into "Spider Project" copy and paste.

THe Spider TEam said it not completed yet, but the soundtrack I used represents really where we are going to. :)

 http://www.ecthos.com/dpg/019 - Spider Space

 

marcus possi

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

About "Link will not be shown as driving if you will select Ignore preceding activity links if activity is in progress." is there a way to make this option not the default when creating new jobs. I do not like it, though I am tolerant to those who plan with it. I believe the planner shall keep the options and others shall be able to identify it, Spider Provides for both, it is just an issue with the default, at times I miss overriding such settings.

NJO

Perhaps not only to expand the selection of options but to make it an option to keep the settings when updating the software.

Of course this shall not be a substitute to job templates nor to Reference Books. I would like to have access to a table with those single value fields I can edit given the access rights and I can transfer with Standard Reference Books plus I can report on them.

Regards,

Rafael

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Thanks for this functionality, it will keep true planning intent when predecessor duration varies and lag is a function of the duration instead of a fixed value. This satisfies my modeling needs for continuous PDM activities (99%) as well for those duly splitted, the one percent I split on case by case and not by an across the board unpredictable rule.

Best Regards,

Rafael

Rafael,

like for other links in the Links table you will see if double link is broken and if it is driving.

Link will not be shown as driving if you will select Ignore preceding activity links if activity is in progress.

Lags are calculated as the sum of actual duration or volume and remaining duration or volume.

Regards,

Vladimir

Rafael Davila
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Links to something in between start and finish of predecessor and successor.

We have a new functionality for "double links" to fix links to other than activity start or activity finish, it can be based on time or volume of work and can be expressed as percentage. Perhaps a betterment on a functionality I have seen requested by many.

The following link is an example of how this is applied as a percentage of a SS "double link" plus a standard FF link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpHuVC_Dicg

The following example shows how two different SS links type behave, one SS+5 days, another SS after 50% duration of activity 1. Activity 2 will start after 50% of duration of activity 1 or after 5 days, the larger of these two will govern, in no case SS will be less than 5 days based on link calendar which can be equal or different to successor or predecessor calendars. As duration of activity changes as result of skills substitution with different productivity or any other reason the start of activity two will at times be driven by the first link while at times the second link will be the driver.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PbJmy1kiLo

My questions are;

  1. Recently I have seen in other forums how out-of-sequence mask CPM logic, the recommended good practice to correct out-of-sequence logic is very relevant. Will broken "double links" that generate out-of-sequence occurrences be duly identified so I can filter for out-of-sequence events?
  2. Will I be able to identify driving "double links"?
  3. There are many ways by which the duration of an activity might be adjusted, at times by changes in skills productivity, at times as result of actual progress an perhaps others. In the case of partial progress how the duration or volume for link computations is calculated, as actual(s) + remaining?

Regards,

Rafael

Marcus Possi
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Hi !

Now, and after researching on Google, I got the Banana Idea. In fact I worked with a team, years ago, when we discussed based on CPM doctrine about delays and "buffers". But we did not call it banana :). 

Using EVM curves we use the expression ... "boca do jacaré" or "alligator 's mouth" (we are always inside it) :D

 

mpossi

I think that banana curve term is not new.

Conditional scheduling may be new. It means that the schedule includes switches and conditions for selecting the ways the project will proceed.

What is your question about new commands?

They are used in scenarios and report templates. For an example if you will want to get the report template for the period of one month since the data date in the current version.

Rafael Davila
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From http://cmaanet.org/files/pentagon.pdf you will see the term Banana Curve refers to the combination of Early and Late S-Curves. The following illustration, from the above reference shows the concept but Spider Project in a similar way P3 was able to do, will display a split for the current schedule progress curves, one split representing projected early and the other representing projected late while before the data date the curves converge to the actuals. Spider representation as well as P3 are the most adequate representations. Banana Curve

Because the progress line is almost always below the early finish line, the contractor almost always appears to be “behind schedule. ” This can be an unfair assessment—or it could be a valid assessment. There is insufficient information to judge! A better method of graphing the status is to plot both the early finish curve and the late finish curve together. As shown in Figure 5, this forms the so-called “banana curve. ”

 About Conditional Scheduling, to my understanding this is novel functionality but not a novel need, in fact I believe it to be old and common. It is not unusual to make plans with options that will depend upon the occurrence of some events whose timing is unknown at the initial stages of planning. For the moment we have to make the assumptions and manually change the schedule as these events do happen, even when ahead of time we know the rules for the moment we do not have the tools to embed them into our model. To my view this will be a very welcomed functionality not only because it will prevent omissions but because it will make it transparent as everyone will be informed and aware of these.

About the new functions I believe they are still on the works and a few more are to be released, therefore the English language documentation of these is perhaps on hold for a while, same as the syntax for specific table cell references in formulas. They will be welcomed as I cannot live without the formula functionality as is.

Marcus Possi
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Hello Vladimir and Rafael,

The term "banana curves" is really new for me :).

According to Vlad all the activities, if toggled, will have their own "if condition". It will bring to the usual schedule some more "intelligence" into planning affairs.

Are you forging now some new terms as "Conditional scheduling" and "Banana Curves" ?

Regards,

mpossi

 

Since the release 44 - from 2.04.2010, the following functions can be used in formulae:
#RowNumber - row number
#CurrentDate - current date
#DataDate - project data date
#TargetFinish - target finish
#ProjCode - project code
#ProjVersion - project version
#ProjName - project name

but some sintax is allowed and I could not get the whole idea yet. :( 

Rafael Davila
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Now in case you have an owner who insists in using his Excel template it is very easy to create the required tabular report with Early and Late values for Cumulative, Per Period or both although it is no longer needed, it would be a caprice. Why wasting a few valuable minutes when it is already there? Yes, now very easy but for these purposes the Excel icon is not needed anymore, the Graph as generated by Spider Project is perfect, even the table of values can be displayed. S Curve

As a matter of fact I would trust more on the projected values by the software than those by an Excel spreadsheet that can be manipulated, it makes validation easier, easier for the contractor and easier for the owner's rep who has to certify the projected curve is correct.

Note: The above graph is from a sample job that was updated by delaying the start of the job, therefore no activity show actual start or finish, this is only for a fast illustration of the S Curves. The sample current schedule S-Curve values were obtained by creating a second graph using monthly periods while the graph per se was generated using daily periods. The sample below my posting before DD displays a single line that splits into two just after the DD as expected.

Yes, now you can create any banana curves.

We plan further improve this soon and to add what you expected - switch activities will follow the rules like if switch happens before Christmas we will celebrate, in other case keep working day and night. This may be called Conditional scheduling.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Photobucket

Rafael Davila
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Marcus,

This is even better, we now are able to display Actual, Baseline Early and Baseline Late plus Current Early and Curren late Diagrams, no need to use Excel and with the ability to display multiple Diagrams.

Early and Late Diagrams

The following functionality, I am still wondering how it is to evolve, is as novel as other resource loading functionalities unique of Spider Project. The software will be able to toggle on/off links based on formula values that might change as the schedule is updated.

Condition of Switch

Best regards,

Rafael

Schedule

Marcus Possi
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Hello,

in version of Spider Project 10.02 Release 60 - released 12/13/2010 there are two new usefull buttons: "Display and Hide materials" and "Hide", they work like the assignment ones.

mpossi

Export/Import to/from Primavera xer included in new release.

Rafael Davila
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Muhammad

The following link can be of help for the new Spider Project user.

http://www.spiderproject.ro/pdf/first_project__project_planning.pdf

Regards,

Rafael

Hi Muhammad,

full functional Demo with 40 activities per project restriction may be downloaded from http://www.spiderproject.ru/demo_e.php

In Demo you can try everything except Export/Import capabilities, there are no time restrictions.

But remember that new versions of Spider Project are launched frequently and the version downloaded in a month will be even more functional than the version downloaded today.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Muhammad Aqeel
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Dear All,

May i know how can i get teh trail version of Spider?

if some one can help thanks in adcance and can send information on my e-mail too. (maqeel2008@hotmail.com)

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

This new view will add a new dimension to reporting, I like the idea of keeping it at the Main Window instead of at the Project Window, it keeps the core easily accessible, excellent choice.

That you do not expect loops is good news, give me some peace of mind, Dynamic/Conditional links I believe will add additional advantage to Spider over the rest.

Best Regards,

Rafael

Rafael Davila
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oops

Rafael,

reports will be added soon, but most of them can be created now. Wait, improvements will be added soon.

I don't expect loops but expect that the choice may depend on selected levelling priority and may change during project execution depending on actual performance.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

So far so good, but as you said it is under development, to me it is not just about the Gantt but also about the view giving access to material usage reports and some extra fields not available in other views. Are we going to have some reporting capabilities here?

 

Materials Gantt

By the way, about "dynamic links" that can be toggled on and off by formula execution my anxiety is based on the fear it might be an imposible dream, I fear that as schedule logic varies with these dynamic links then resource leveling will vary and if you run several times the schedule computation in some ocassions might converge to the same solution while in other ocassions it might not. Not sure about how this is to be implemented but fear the possibility of never ending "do-loops" and how are you to mange the issue if there is such possibility.

I feel like a kid to which a box of candies is shown but not allowed to reach it.

Best regards,

Rafael

P.S. You shall click "Disable rich-text" paste your links and go back to rich text to continue with your reply.

New version of Spider Project includes Material Gantt. It is still under development, we shall add properties and reports. But many people asked for this view and we decided to make them happy and then add all we plan to include in this view.

I wanted to add the picture but it does not work the same way as in old forum. I shall learn how to do it.

Rafael,

if to use simple priorities that we call standard then you right - one algorithm  is good for one type of schedules, another - for another type of schedules.

But optimization is the method that will produce good decision for all types. Even if not optimal but close to optimal.

Optimization+ in some cases may improve the schedule calculated with optimization method but is slower.

What can make resource levelling slower: skills, negative lags, start to finish links, material and cost levelling, hammocks with assigned fixed amounts of materials and costs. If resources are very scarce the levelling will be slower that in the schedules where resource shortage is relatively small.

In any case it is not hard to optimize the schedule and then run Previous version support.

Besides, Previous version support option makes the schedule stable that is very important.

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

A few moths ago I read on the internet that optimization algorithms although all search for the optimum how close will depend on the particular schedule, some schedules will be better optimized by a certain algorithm while others by other algorithm. Perhaps the response is so complicated that only by running the different algorithms you will know which is best for your particular schedule.

If Optimization and Optimization + target the same group of schedules then is ok to remove the first, and keep the space for other algorithms that target other schedule groups.

The trick to select previous optimization after selecting optimization plus in order to speed it up is a good one, thanks for the advice.

I have noticed (I believe), that the use of certain functionalities such as Skills can also impose some extra burden on the resource leveling and therefore can slow the computations. Am I correct?  I ask because most of my schedules are of about 600 activities, so small that the difference is not much.

Best regards,

Rafael

We introduced next level of optimization that may improve resource-constrained scheduling results in complex cases.

We call it optimization+ but maybe we will decide to keep this and remove previous optimization option.

We decided to add this level after testing Spider algorithms on a set of sample projects specially created for testing levelling capabilities of PM software. Though Spider achieved the result that is much better than achieved by any other software we decided to make the difference even larger.

Pro - the scheduling results may be improved, Cons - takes more time.

By the way, in large and complex projects we suggest to optimize project schedule and then use Previous version support option that works very fast. In selected previous version the schedule is optimized.

From time to time the schedule shall be optimized to check if another order of works is preferable after implementing project changes.

 

Other news soon.

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Thanks, the materials display is very welcomed and so will be the Materials Gantt as fields particular of material resources will be available on the table view.

I would not oppose if a Time Distribution Table View is also added for resources, materials and costs. I do not pretend the view to be a substitute to the tabular reports I can generate with my templates, it is a matter of speed while navigating on the computer screen. Perhaps something faster to setup at the expense of the versatility of the report generator. It would be great if by adjusting time scale it would automatically adjust periods. I am used so much to the slider to adjust timescale that whenever I use other software the lack of this simple functionality annoys me.

I was also thinking about scrolling vertical and horizontal icons bars. The vertical similar to MS Project, this concept can be applied to the horizontal bar. In this way if you have a reduced window you will still be able to reach all icons. I do not like menus to be customizable as every time I must use other person computer where the menus have been customized I get lost, I prefer standardization of menus.

I clocked the real time to download last upgrade, it took less than 2 minutes and install less than one, is this is an improvement on the server? This is how all enterprise and portfolio capable software should be. Sorry but good things you got to celebrate. Download and install takes two clicks of the mouse maybe you can set it up to auto-install to save one click.

Best regards,
Rafael
In the activity/phase pop-up menu select Expand/Collapse materials. It is the first stage, we will create easier options later.
Besides I expect that in a month we will add Materials Gantt.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

“When you decide to crash the schedule you think not about just shortening some activity duration but about something real - use additional resources, different technology, or increasing resource work time. Any measure is complex and will lead to many changes in your schedule.”

Yes I realized that in my simplified mechanical model the spring constant might represent resistance to compression (a cost issue) but the element of resources is missing, therefore compression of the schedule is not that simple even when disregarding the extra resources for the activities being crashed you still cannot disregard original resources. Anyway I was kind of uncomfortable with not considering the new resources in my wish to find a simplified procedure.

About material resources being shown in the Gantt chart this is quite convenient; in what version number it will be displayed? I just downloaded new version 10.01.69 but could not see them. Are these resource bars to have different color than regular resource bars? I was looking at the sample construction job, so you can make reference to it.

Materials resources I do not use much, but when needed there is no substitute for the modeling of these, still on my mind the modeling of space as a material resource.

Best regards,
Rafael
In the new version of Spider Project materials that are required or consumed on activities can be shown the same way as renewable resource assignments - under activity lines.
In projects with large amount of materials it is much more convenient than looking in the columns.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael,
I understand time-cost trade off on the project level and not on activity level.
Changing one activity duration may change the whole schedule and create new resource critical path. Besides the result depends on resource leveling priorities.
But in any case usually when you decide to implement some action like adding resources or making people to work on vacation day it will change not only one activity duration but also some others.
The result shall be analyzed on the project level and you can play "what if" games to find satisfactory solution.
When you decide to crash the schedule you think not about just shortening some activity duration but about something real - use additional resources, different technology, or increasing resource work time. Any measure is complex and will lead to many changes in your schedule.
An impact of your measures shall be estimated by rescheduling the whole project.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

So you mean it cannot be programmed a time cost trade off that considers resource leveling?

Best regards,
Rafael
Usually there are more than one way of crashing an activity. And usually crashing is not linear and continious. Adding additional resource you will shorten activity duration by certain amount of time. But this resource will not be used on one activity only, so it is much more complicated. But different options may be weighted by looking at the new total cost that includes the cost of time.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Agree 100%. But you still need some individual activities cost of crashing. The following to me would be practical and acceptable, no need for pretentious non linear functions, just start with normal duration and crash duration. Targeting for larger than normal does not makes sense.

activity crash

The above should simplify the math and the data entry.

Best Regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
I meant something different.
It is necessary to define what is the cost of one day of project delay and the cost of one day of project finish acceleration.
Total cost shall be estimated taking this into consideration. And cost of crashing will increase or decrease this total cost. If crashing decreases this total cost it makes sense.
I did not suggest to estimate time cost for individual activity. For decision making you shall look at the total cost.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Time Cost

Vladimir,

I know about time cost and realize fixed cost will decrease with a reduction in time of the hammock activity contrary to crashing of an activity that will increase with reduction in time. But because it span across all project duration it will always be on the critical path therefore for purpose of determining where to crash is irrelevant, but it is still relevant for the determination of total crash cost, you are correct.

On the other hand the time cost related to individual activities I would consider it when determining crash cost of an activity this will vary from activity to activity and also cannot be overlooked.

I downloaded the MS Project add-on suggested by Stephen to study the walkthrough document of how to use DRAG to optimize a schedule on a sample project file. When your project starts to fall behind schedule you try to compress the schedule using other methods but crashing, these are managerial decisions no way you can pre-program into the CPM logic, and they are in essence changes in logic. It is after changes in logic no longer solve the issue when you have no other option than to crash some activities. Knowing how to crash, especially when your job is in problems is very valuable.

Many times I have given true chance to MS Project but always, very soon, it gets into my way, no matter how hard I tried, even MS Project 2010 is still a no-no. No way am I going to use it in my jobs to find in the middle it will let me down, I already know it will. I believe if Stephen techniques can be applied within Spider then why not give it a try, we already have DRAG embeded into Spider, better than an add-on.

Best regards,
Rafael
Hi Guys,
thank you, I enjoyed your discussion.

Rafael,
if you will look at my presentations I always insisted on setting single project success criterion estimating the cost of the time. If cost of time is estimated and known it is easy to model it by including hammock activity or activities in the project schedule.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Stephen Devaux
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"Thanks for taking your time"

My pleasure! It’s refreshing to chat with someone who obviously takes these issues seriously! I wish people working in industries where project time is not just measured in money, but also in human lives and suffering (e.g., pharma, health care, potable water wells) would take it as seriously!

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan
Rafael Davila
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Stephen,

In the absence of sophisticated time cost trade off embedded in my software of choice I believe DRAG is quite important, otherwise you will miss the exact point when multiple paths emerge.

I already asked for the demo software you proposed, who knows maybe it will give Vladimir some ideas and we, users of Spider, benefit from it.

If compression of activities duration just add resistance then I imagine the mechanical equivalent as compressing a set of springs with different resistance and minimum length. The procedure would be like pushing the assembly from both ends.

About your book I will take a look on how to get it, believe it is available on amazon.

Thanks for taking your time,

Best Regards,
Rafael
Stephen Devaux
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Hi, Raphael.

Normally, I’d be reluctant to criticize someone’s theoretical advice as long as there is some that’s wise (and there certainly is in what you’ve quoted). But since you’ve asked for my comments, here goes:

The main thing is that the authors aren’t aware of DRAG. It’s not their fault, because the concept only became public knowledge when my book was published (1999). And since only three PM packages (including Spider) compute it, unless they’ve read my book or one of my articles, or sat through one of my courses, they could hardly be aware of it.

But DRAG really changes the whole schedule-compression ballgame -- it’s by far the most important concept for compressing a schedule. All the other considerations mentioned in your post may be relevant -- but number one is DRAG. For instance, let’s take this one:

"3. Long duration. An activity that has a long duration offers more potential time gain from crashing it."

Long duration is meaningless without the DRAG concept. You can have a 25D task on the CP and its DRAG might only be one day. Conversely, you could have a 5D task on the CP
and its DRAG might be 5D. The latter offers the opportunity to gain 500% more time despite having only 20% of the duration.

A little over a year ago, I taught a class at a multinational DoD/aerospace contractor. When I explained DRAG, one engineer reacted dramatically. She explained that a year earlier, her team had been tasked by the client with pulling in by six weeks a mid-project task that had, from the total 5,000-activity programme perspective, over 200D of total float. The whole team flew to San Diego and met on a Monday morning. Most already had suggestions for activities they thought could be compressed. After about seven hours of tweaking, they gave the changes to their scheduler to input to the software -- and the schedule came in by one day!

After adjourning to the nearest bar, they came back and worked the rest of the week, just randomly trying things. As she put it, the concept of DRAG would probably have saved them eight person-weeks in San Diego, not to mention the airfare.

DRAG is NOT the total answer -- but it provides an "Occam’s razor" for selecting the best candidates for compression. Obviously, there are other considerations. One is resource elasticity: how much can an activity be compressed if resources are added? The TPC metric is DRED, or doubled resource estimated duration: how long would an activity take if resources were doubled? With doubled resources, a 20D activity may become 10D ("perfectly resource elastic"), or 13D (more likely!), or 17D, or remain 20D, or expand to 30D (e.g., building an avionics dashboard in the cockpit of a jet fighter).

Having this second estimate, based on doubling resources, provides the basis for the conversation when it turns out that a 20D task with 15D of DRAG has a DRED of 12D. We know from the DRED that the work is quite resource elastic. Now we need to find out:

(1) Do we have to double ALL its resources or just specific skills?
(2) If we added even more resources, would the duration keep shrinking until its DRAG (and DRAG Cost) disappeared?
(3) How much would the resource(s) cost?

Raphael, the subject (as you clearly understand!) is a complicated one. Since you seem so interested, I really would urge you to pick up a copy of my book -- I think you’d find lots of nuggets that would interest you.

One more item that’s crucial: you’ve got to know the cost of time on the project. Without that info, NO increase in resources (and no crashing or fast-tracking) can ever be justified because resources cost money and, if time doesn’t, why would you ever pay to save it? (Of course the truth is, time on the CP (DRAG) almost always costs more than the resources that would save it!)

Finally, I know you have Spider (which, from what I know of it is a great package!). But if you also have a copy of MS Project 2007 available, I urge you to download and check out the trial version of the Project Optimizer available from Sumatra.com. Not because MSP is anywhere close to as good a product as Spider (it isn’t!), but because the Sumatra folks have included a walkthrough document of how to use DRAG to optimize a schedule on a sample project file. I think that might answer a lot of your questions and you could then use the same techniques in Spider.

Hope this helps.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan
Rafael Davila
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Stephen,

From:
http://www.stat.mq.edu.au/Stats_docs/stat321/Wk6Handout1.pdf
http://www.stat.mq.edu.au/Stats_docs/stat321/Wk6Handout2.pdf

Criteria for Selecting Activities to Crash:

There are several characteristics that mark or highlight an activity that exists on the Critical Path as a better candidate for crashing.
1. Must be on the Critical Path. Crashing noncritical activities that already have slack only buys more slack and doesn’t shorten the project duration. Only critical path activities drive the project and crashing them will shorten the project duration.
2. Precedes multiple activities. When an activity bottlenecks numerous succeeding activities, it is a great candidate to shorten. Once this activity is shortened, it allows the multiple activities to begin.
3. Long duration. An activity that has a long duration offers more potential time gain from crashing it.
4. Lower cost per period gained. Activities that cost less to crash are preferred. These include those requiring lower paid, lower skilled workers or other resources that are otherwise sitting idle.
5. Early in the project (the Sunshine Rule). If you fail in crashing the activity and it takes longer than planned, it is still early in the project. Thus you still have recovery time. Also, typically demand on resources early in the project is lower than other times, and they should be readily available.
6. Labor-intensive. When an activity is low skill labor intensive, it is easy to add people to help complete the project early. When an activity requires high skills to complete, it may be hard to find qualified individuals who are capable of completing the task.
7. Subject to common problems. Try to pick activities that are subject to higher probability of common problems. Shortening the duration lowers the exposure time and lessens the chances of having a problem.

Steps in Project Crashing:

1. Compute the crash cost per time period. If crash costs are linear over time:
Crash cost per period = (Crash cost – Normal cost) / (Normal time – Crash time)
2. Using current activity times find the critical path and identify the critical activities
3. If there is only one critical path, then select the activity on this critical path that (a) can still be crashed, and (b) has the smallest crash cost per period. If there is more than one critical path, then select one activity from each critical path such that
(a) Each selected activity can still be crashed, and
(b) The total crash cost of all selected activities is the smallest. Note that a single activity may be common to more than one critical path.
4. Update all activity times.
5. Cease crashing when
– The target completion time is reached
– The crash cost exceeds the penalty cost
If not, return to Step 2.

To the above I would add:

If optimum crashing results in crashing late activities you can factor late activities cost to crash as to artificially increase the crash cost and use this factored value on the above procedure as to obtain alternate crashing strategy. Then compare unfactored estimated costs to determine if higher cost of early crashing is justified.

DRAG metrics will tell you on the spot how much you can reduce the duration of an activity before a new additional critical path must be considered.

Stephen, please I would like to hear your comments about this procedure as until we do not have a crashing routine embedded into our software we must somehow do our best.

Best Regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
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Stephen,

No doubt DRAG keeps you focused on the Critical Path. I guess from now on I will keep it on my mind, just want to make the best use of this simple metrics many have not paid due attention, well at least me, until now that you brought it to the table.

About saving 90,000$/five days it might be even more in case of a mega-drug with annual sales over a billion dollars, this give me 2.73 million per day in sales x 5 = 13.65 million in sales lost forever to the generic manufacturers once patent expires. The profit got to be a fair percentage of sales. Not everybody is on the opulence; most of us must find the most economical path, brute force at any cost is not an option.

When you get into more than a single critical path, crashing become more complicated, it becomes a linear programming issue, see the following reference for a birdseye view on the issue.

http://people.brunel.ac.uk/~mastjjb/jeb/or/netcpm.html

Crashing

One of the assumptions of the model is that it assumes there are always enough resources available for crashing.

Best regards,
Rafael
Stephen Devaux
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Hi, Raphael.

Your post raises a whole bunch of issues. It would take most of a book to address them all - but I already wrote it: Total Project Control from John Wiley & Sons. If you want an abbreviated description of the TPC approach, try ProjectsatWork.com and do a search on my name for a series of articles.

Let me try to help with some of your points, though:

"Compressing the schedule have some cost, that it is a time-cost trade off issue, even if using some weightage to measure resistance to compression for each individual activity... I had the idea that efficient use of DRAG was limited to the case when required network compression is not substantial but that it can be combined with some time-cost consideration."

DRAG is simply the amount of time an activity is adding to the project duration. I’d suggest that this is hugely important info for any planner to know about their project. How they use it is another matter: time/cost trade-off; time/scope trade-off; project recovery from slippage; resource justification; resource targeting; improving organizational staffing levels; even postmortem ABCP and forensic analysis.

Again, DRAG is just important critical path data; how you use it is optional.

"For the purpose of this discussion I am interested in Drag as an alternative strategy to get solutions with some consideration on cost and not merely duration."

Absolutely! The key is that time is money, often huge amounts. How much is it worth? That depends on the project and on the contract. On a cost plus contract with no time incentives or penalties, compressing the schedule can actually be disadvantageous to the contractor. (That’s one reason why no customer should ever accept a cost-plus contract without time clauses.) And a contractor who has a great scheduler should seek such clauses as an opportunity to add profit.

What is the value of pulling in a schedule? On projects I consult on (nuke outages, DoD/aerospace, pharma), the cost of time is huge! Adding $10,000 to reduce an activity’s DRAG by five days can result in $90,000 or more in profit. (The number that was being tossed around in pharma eight years ago was $32... per second! In general, if the value of pulling in the schedule is estimated at only $10,000/week, and it’s going to cost $8,000 to reduce the DRAG by a week, that’s pretty close to a wash. But there’s lots of occasions when the value of reducing an activity’s DRAG is dramatic. Especially during recovery.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan

Rafael Davila
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Stephen,

I do not know of longest path functionality in Spider Project, therefore I could not follow your suggestion within Spider. In the following Spider Project example longest path is Activity 1 – Activity 2 – Activity 3 while critical path is discontinuous Activity 2 – Activity 3 (Activity 1 excluded as it has float).

No LP

Although I do not have P6, through PP debates I could figure out P6 misses longest path driven by resource leveling. Therefore it is kind of useless on my resource driven schedules.

Compressing the schedule have some cost, that it is a time-cost trade off issue, even if using some weightage to measure resistance to compression for each individual activity. I always believed that the use of time-cost trade off routines would be the key to determine best mathematical compression strategy. I had the idea that efficient use of DRAG was limited to the case when required network compression is not substantial but that it can be combined with some time-cost consideration. Yes near optimal solutions are acceptable, but remember they become far from near at some point.

For the purpose of this discussion I am interested in Drag as an alternative strategy to get solutions with some consideration on cost and not merely duration.

Just consider the simple case of the above 3 activities sample job projected to take 15 work days. Say we need to find the best way to reduce the schedule to 12 days under the following conditions. We would also be interested on knowing the cost even if optimum as perhaps liquidated damages might be less expensive at some point.

Reduce duration of activity 1 – one day 300$, 2nd day 250$ and 3rd day 250$ (max reduction)
Reduce duration of activity 2 – one day 325$ and 2nd day 350$ (max reduction)
Reduce duration of activity 3 – one day 200$, 2nd day 250$ and 3rd day 350$ (max reduction)

The solution would be obvious because they are all in tandem but in case of hundreds of activities the procedure could create multiple parallel paths as DRAG is being consumed.

Of course true time-cost trade off functionality will also tell you about when it make sense to increase duration of some activities with enough float when increasing duration reduces the activity cost.

Best regards,
Rafael
Stephen Devaux
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"Much is being said about good scheduling practice but few about the tricks on how to tame the schedule"

Rafael, I love your expression: "(T)he tricks on how to tame the schedule"!

Here would be the functionality I would see as perhaps solving your problem. (Maybe it already exists in Spider, or maybe Vladimir can incorporate it easily.) Would a report that does the following help resolve your issues?

1. List all activities on the (new) longest path, from earliest dates to latest.

2. Subtract [start date of each activity on original schedule longest path] from [start date on each activity on new schedule longest path]. Any such activity with a value > 0 has been delayed by an earlier activity/resource/constraint.

3. Display/highlight activities where the value computed in #2 is different in Successor Y than in Predecessor X, as it indicates that the delay is due to something specific in Y (after X finishes).

4. Display DRAG and assigned resources of Y-type activities, look for the cause (which will probably be due to resource constraints), and use DRAG computation to try to recover.

5. Subtract [difference between start and finish date of each activity on original schedule] from [difference between start and finish date of each activity on new schedule]. Any such activity with a value > 0 has been delayed by some aspect within itself (resource availability DRAG?), and now has a longer duration than it did.

6. Display DRAG and assigned resources of all such activities (which now had a longer duration), look for the cause (which will probably be due to resource constraints), and use DRAG computation to try to recover.

I think this should allow very quick identification of the causes of delay, and the DRAG computation would help direct the user to where to go to reduce the impact.

It seems to me that the above process would also be of huge value in forensic analysis, allowing the user to identify the precise locations of activity delay on the as built critical path (ABCP) and their DRAGs versus DRAGs on the baseline schedule critical path.

I’m curious both as to whether you think this would help, Rafael, and as to whether Spider (which really seems to have more useful scheduling functionality than any other product out there) either can do this now, or would be able to with just a tiny bit of tweaking.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan
Rafael Davila
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Stephen,

We as a contractor after we develop the initial schedule the main issue become on how to recover our schedule, almost always something happens that delays the schedule and we have to recover. Perhaps the saying that activities will expand duration to available time is true; the Contractor usually waste saved time and then got to recover once again.

For months I kept asking what is driving my schedule, what is driving my schedule after resource leveling, once and again and again. Maybe Vladimir developed the functionality to display resource dependencies to get rid of me. Well now I want to know who is next into driving my schedule, or how to avoid the driver. Perhaps Longest Path theory (and second to longest) can be of help here, but if resource constraining is not taken into account it would fall kind of short to me.

Much is being said about good scheduling practice but few about the tricks on how to tame the schedule.

Best regards,
Rafael
Stephen Devaux
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Hi, guys. A few comments about DRAG:

First, a while back now, for the first time while teaching a class, I demonstrated how to go in and optimize/recover a schedule using software to compute DRAG. (Since the company uses MS Project, I used the Sumatra add-on to MS Project.) It went over GREAT! I think actually showing people how to use is very helpful and persuasive. The customers I’ve showed it to since (and I taught a class to a different engineering company a month ago when I was over my health issue and where it once again went over great) have just been blown away by it. As I get back into teaching again, I intend to incorporate it regularly.

At my suggestion, Sumatra is developing for their website a short "case study" to demo how to use it to pull in a schedule. I would recommend that Spider would do the same thing (it’s really an education issue), and I’d be happy to help with developing that, if you are interested.

Second, resource schedule DRAG is a result of two different things: CPM schedule DRAG as well as resource availability DRAG (or from my book Total Project Control, RAD) which can change the critical path. It’s very valuable to separate out the delays caused by resource availability (and its cost), as that is the way we can go about justifying the needed resources to make the resource availability DRAG go away.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan

Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

I know determining best curve fitting depending on spread of input data for you will be a challenge you can solve with excellent results, but remember about the Expected Value or Mean, in case of modeling Liquidated Damages this single value will give you some sense on what direction and how much the distribution function is moving, easier and more intuitive than comparing distribution curves.

About DRAG after resource leveling this can be more complicated as with resource leveling source dependencies can shift, if it can be computed, and links are needed then perhaps Spider Project will be unique about DRAG after resource leveling. I don’t know how or if if it can be computed using resource leveling but the easy way is to challenge you.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
we do not recalculate DRAG when level resources.
We may try after introducing resource links.
Resource levelling was not changed yet though we work on some improvements on material levelling.
Thank you for noticing a problem with restoring risk distribution curve, we will make improvements soon.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Hi Steve,
I was worried about you and asked about you the people whom we know both. I am glad that you are fine and resume your activities.
DRAG is in Spider Project but we did not proceed with the cost issues. People asked what it is and how it may be used. I suggest to start the discussion on DRAG here - I expect that some of our users will participate in the discussion, others may be interested in the concept.
We have few customers in Germany. In particular you may mention Thyssen Shachtbau.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir
BEFORE RESOURCE LEVELING ACTIVITY 6 DRAG =1
DRAG before RL
AFTER RESOURCE LEVELING ACTIVITY 6 DRAG = 1? PERHAPS AFTER CREATION OF LINK DEPENDENCIES DRAG COULD BE RECOMPUTED? SHOULDN’T IT BE 2 DAYS FOR ACTIVITY 6 AFTER RESOURCE LEVELING?
FOR THE FOLLOWING SAMPLE I USED STANDARD RESOURCE LEVELING AS OPTIMUM WOULD GIVE MINIMUM DURATION OF 7 DAYS.
DRAG after RL
Best Regards,
Rafael
P.s. Did you make some improvements on resource leveling algorithms on last update?
Stephen Devaux
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Hi, Vladimir!

How are you? A long time since I saw you in Boston! You may have noticed, I haven’t even been on the PP site for many, many months! On top of everything else (including both teaching and studying at the university level!), I have had a number of significant health issues. (Anyone who has ever had a kidney stone will appreciate what it might be like to have one for two months!) But I’m feeling much better now, though 13 kgs. lighter than when we last met.

Some questions:

1. Has the DRAG functionality been implemented fully in Spider? If yes, has there been any reaction to it?

2. Does Spider have a user base in Germany? (I’m working with a German client who might, down the road, be interested.)

Hope everything is good for you.

Fraternally in project management,

Steve the Bajan
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

Thanks I got it, I even tried to make an illegal move by changing the duration of a productivity type activity. The software did not apply the change and protested, similar to when trying to apply non valid changes to database tables when importing values from an external table. I will be impatiently waiting for the full English description as not to miss any detail.

Best Regards,
Rafael
Rafael,
an example: DurPlanD [Code, 1020] = 5
If this formula will be executed the duration of activity with Code 1020 will become 5 days.
Another example: Calen [Сode, 1020] = Calen [Code, А, Resource] means that Calendar of activity with code 1020 will become equal to the calendar of resource with code A that is taken from the table Resource.
Special functions:
#CurrentDate - Current Date
#DataDate - Project Data Date
#TargetFinish - Project Target Finish
#ProjCode - Project Code
#ProjVersion - Project Version
#ProjName - Project Name

Full description in English will be published soon.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
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Vladimir,

As per your posting #6:

"New version of Spider Project supports not only formulae that link and calculate project fields (columns) but also formulae that link and calculate cells (or the sets of cells) of different project tables."

Can you expand on how to get access to these fields, perhaps some coding is needed. I particularly noted the issue on reference to sets of cells this is kind of something I was hoping for long time, I would like to make conditional statements based on values on other fields, at times within the same table line, at times within a set of cells within the same table, but looking at different tables is kind of a welcomed surprise.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

Filter is to preceding activities; it will show all paths leading to the selected activity and filter out all other paths, therefore after having created all links it might be a matter of doing the PDM calculations to the isolated paths to get local critical path and floats.

Saving the Schedule under a different name and then identify preceding paths to delete unrelated paths is not very practical because as soon as you make any changes to the schedule new possible resource links might not be available as these where filtered out. For it to be practical under resource constraining I believe it must be done by the software without eliminating other paths.

Spider for long time calculated Resource Critical Path without disclosing the created links, now as added functionality it can display the resource dependencies links.

Best Regards,
Rafael
Rodel,
Spider Project calculates and shows resource critical path since 1993. Showing resource links is an option.
Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
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Hi Rafael,

Thanks, I got it. So filter is to Preceding Activities of the last activities but it may not be the longest path until you trace the link. Is it correct?

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
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Rodel,

For the moment Spider Project do not have a longest path filter per-se, the filter is a filter for all preceding (and linked) activities, it will show preceding activities only if links are visible, so if there are links that are dependencies links it will only display them if you have selected for the software to create dependencies links.

Filter All Preceding Activities

I had a previous conversation with Vladimir about longest path but he did not wanted to create a limited filter that would not filter longest path in the presence of resource dependencies and even further he want it to consider other constraints such as financial constraints. I believe the creation of resource dependencies links can be a step to it but because these can appear and disappear as the schedule moves there is the question of how useful it is.

Best Regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
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Thanks Rafael,

I got the resource link but still trying to work out on how to filter longest path. Any advice?

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 30 min 2 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4723
Rodel,

Create Links

Go to Calculations/Resource Constrained Scheduling Options and mark Create Resource Dependencies. Perhaps is not a default option as for large jobs it adds to the computing time. Also go to Gantt/Options and make sure Hide Resource Dependencies is unmarked.

There is also a filter for All Preceding Activities you should learn to use, is available when you select an activity line and right click. By the way in Spider to move activities you use cut and paste no drag and drop, this prevents errors but is not what we are used to do with Primavera products.

Because of the time difference many of your questions I will reply next day but always will.

Best regards,
Rafael
Rodel Marasigan
User offline. Last seen 28 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1516
Hi Rafael,
P6 don’t have functions of resource link to identify predecessor and successors of resource dependency therefore P6 don’t have a capability of filtering full path of non logic activities. It will show only the last activity but enable to filter critical path created by resource.

By the way, how to create resource link using resource dependency in spider project?

Best Regards,
Rodel
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 30 min 2 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4723
Vladimir,

I have used the functionality for creating links quite often as soon as it became available. I noted that if you filter for predecessors of an activity when all predecessors are resource dependencies if you select create links the software can see them but if you do not select for the software to create the links then it cannot see them.

I wonder if you know if P6 longest path filter can identify longest path when it is determined by resource dependencies. Can you tell me? I do not have P6 and wonder about the filter I believe was not available under prior version P3e I used before.

I am including a sample job I would like you to tell me how the longest path to the last activity would be displayed by P6 filter, I suspect it will not be able to identify full path as to include resource dependencies. Prior to resource leveling all activities are scheduled to happen at the same time.

Sample Job with no activities linked by logic, all links are resource dependencies shown by dotted lines:

No Logic Links

The following view is better than using graphic display of links, I frequently get lost when links span several pages. It shows all links are resource dependence links. If you unlevel the schedule then all links dissapear and the table will be empty in this sample job.

Resource Dependence Links

Best Regards,
Rafael
New version of Spider Project supports not only formulae that link and calculate project fields (columns) but also formulae that link and calculate cells (or the sets of cells) of different project tables.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
In the new version of Spider Project it is possible to make resource dependencies visible.
The software creates artificial links that are shown by dotted arrows. If an activity is delayed because the assigned resource is not available and starts when the resource finished to perform another activity these activity become connected by resource dependency.
It makes resource constrained schedule analysis much easier.
You can select to show or to hide these links, or to show only these links hiding regular links.
Resource Critical Path is now visible as a path and not just a sequence of resource critical activities.

Another new functionality: you can use Status Date, Data Date, Target Date, etc. in formulae.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael Davila
User offline. Last seen 30 min 2 sec ago. Offline
Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4723
Vladimir,

You are late with regard to the unlimited number of diagrams, I have been enjoying it science yesterday, a few more (unlimited) than the single diagram available in SureTrak under Gantt Charts.

About superfloats just got them in today’s update. Looks beautiful, goes directly to what I was looking.

Super Float 3

Even when I already got the most important functionalities such an unsurpassed resource leveling and resource assignment functionalities plus true resource constrained float these refinements are welcomed. At times they become very useful, some help you to communicate the ideas, some help you understand and tame PDM logic.

Thank you, very much.

Best regards,
Rafael
New release of Spider Project includes two new features:
1) Calculation of activity resource constrained super floats that show when activity can finish without delaying project finish if their execution will be done slower than expected (with splits, etc.).
2) Now Spider Project users can place any number of diagrams in the window under Gantt Charts. This windows is resizable, has scrolling, and you can move any selected diagram up and down the window.

Hi Rafael,
you asked for these functions. Now you can try them.

Will keep you informed on future developments.

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rafael,
thank you for the proposal. I will do it.

Code in Original Project is not what you expected.
When projects are consolidated in the project portfolio activity codes in different projects may be the same. Spider Project can open the portfolio as one large project and do with it everything that can be done with the project model (scheduling, levelling, any kind of calculations and reports and some additional). So there is a need for unique activity codes in the project portfolio.
These codes are assigned by the software but Spider remembers original activity codes. After portfolio calculations and analysis separate project models are sent back to their managers. They shall receive new versions of their project models with the original activity codes to be able to compare them with the previous versions, etc. So Spider Project keeps two kind of activity codes - project and portfolio.

We recommend to keep activity codes the same in all project versions. This is the key field for comparing different project versions, EV, trend analysis. If project scope was changed and new set of activities appeared we suggest to make changes not only in the current project version but also to create new baseline. The history of baselines is kept the same way as Spider keeps project archives (all previous project versions are stored as the separate files).

Best Regards,
Vladimir
Rodel Marasigan
User offline. Last seen 28 weeks 5 days ago. Offline
Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 1516
Thanks Rafael,
I understand what you mean.
Best Regards,
Rodel