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Filter activities for Delay Reason

6 replies [Last post]
Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4799

A Delay Reason can be because of:

.    1-Activity: driving predecessor, logic link
.    2-Resource availability
.    3-Calendar Exception: exception taking over any other reason, say an activity cannot work on month 3 but it is scheduled for month 1 because of predecessor logic, if predecessor delays it to start on month 3 it will be further delayed to start on month 4.
.    4-Financial
.    5-Retained Logic or Broken Link

I know I can filter activities for reasons 1, 2 and 5, but how for 3 and 4. I believe all the above reasons should be shown on the Delay Reason column, but until then, what work around are feasible for the creation of my activities filter (reasons 3 and 4)?

By adding a filter for critical activities I will get it filtered further down to all the delay reasons along the critical path for critical path analysis.

Photobucket

Best regards,

Rafael

Replies

Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4799

Mike

- In that case set up a "Traffic Light" column that will highlight when tasks are within 5 days of turning critical.You will see immediately what calendar they are on - including resource calendars - and can take action accordingly.

Although Spider provides for signals I prefer to use conditional formulas that will provide a descriptive label that at times can be empty. I find descriptive labels easier to understand, colors alone tell me nothing, perhaps because I use a B&W laser printer. I love colors but it comes at a cost for printing, scanning color is no issue.

Filtering for critical and near critical activities is no issue, I mentioned the filter as to expose the need. All activities are placed on the schedule at a specific date because of a reason, even those without predecessor are placed at a date you specify for start of project, maybe I left this delay reason out because in the absence of any other this will govern, can also be delayed by other reasons such as resource availability, date constraint, financial resource availability, but which? I am not interestef in just a fee of the possibilities but also on any that might be left out.

Filtering for criticality alone will not tell you about the origin of the delay reason; if delayed because of a calendar exception this can be hard to figure out it was because of a calendar exception and which one, you need functionality that will tell you unless you can spend a lot of time to figure it out. The software delays the activities for some reason, a reason that might change as you update the schedule, the software knows, why not using the power of the computer?

Each time the software position an activity I do not see why it cannot create a flag to record the reason, if it slows the schedule calculation then it can be optional so when not selected it displays nothing and when selected it displays a delay reason for each activity.

-  I see no reason why a sort of long term cash flow calendar cannot be created and applied to the Level 1 summary bar.

In Spider the user can include different objects into resource constrained scheduling: Materials, Cost Components, Material Centers, Cost Centers, Material Sets and Total Cost. Checking required checkboxes enables leveling of selected items.

Spider does not level Summary Bars of any kind, neither WBS Summary Bars  nor Hammock Activities, although Hammock Activities can be cost loaded and you can use WBS [phase] priorities to have some control of your resource leveling.  WBS Summary Bars and Hammocks move/expand/contract as the child activities move. Therefore you need activities other than hammocks to time your financial constrains to be leveled. An option can be a single activity per WBS but usually you slice your jobs for more detail as to see at what point the WBS is delayed because lack of financial resources. Even on a detailed schedule you do not need to cost load all activities to get good enough slices for your financial leveling. How much granularity is up to your particular needs.

Best regards,

Rafael

Mike,

I don't understand what is cash flow calendar.

Usually a program is created without considering financing constraints. If to apply financing restrictions the schedule will adjust to financing constraints together with all other constraints (resource, supplies, etc.). Activities that require more money than available are delayed so that financing and expenses become balanced.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 5 days 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4397

Hi Rafael

In that case set up a "Traffic Light" column that will highlight when tasks are within 5 days of turning critical.

You will see immediately what calendar they are on - including resource calendars - and can take action accordingly.

Hi Vladimir

Thanks for that insight - I have never been involved in long term finiancial planning. I see no reason why a sort of long term cash flow calendar cannot be created and applied to the Level 1 summary bar.

Best regards

Mike Testro

Rafael,

this is hard. An exception may mean that instead of working 8 hours per day a resource will work two days for 7hours and next one for ten. An exception does not always mean delay.

Financial constraints are used for large scale long programs. For example, a government starts 10 years program and will invest certain amount of money each year. It is necessary to create program schedule taking into account financial restrictions. We were involved in such developments.

Another example where this is frequently used is portfolio scheduling.

Best Regards,

Vladimir

Rafael Davila
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Joined: 1 Mar 2004
Posts: 4799

Mike,

I am not looking for a particular calendar but only activities delayed because of a calendar exception. A calendar exception might not delay your critical activities on your original schedule, but when schedule changes it might. A same calendar exception can be applied to several activities or several resources so figuring it all out can be a monumental task if by hand.

Calendar exceptions and constraints are among the much needed functionality that can drive a schedule in a hidden way, but you need them and you need to know when are driving your activities. If Calendar Exceptions and Constraints were irrelevant they would not be used, but they are.

Say a resource is on vacation [a calendar exception] and its does not affect any critical activity on your original schedule, but after some updates it does. You want to know if a resource calendar exception or an activity calendar exception moved an activity on your critical path. You can change the calendar exception dates, you can use other resources with similar skills or take other action, better you know what is going on on your schedule to perform your adjustments.

Date Constraints are not always enforced but when broken you also want to know. In Spider you can see the markers but when having thousands of activities you want to figure it out fast and without error, here the computer might help.

About Financial Constraints I have never used them as I work for the contractor's side always [never say never]. Here contractors are required to have the financial resources for it not to be a reason for delay, the surety company will make sure you have the financial resources when determining your bonding capacity. But if working for the owner, those who required you not to have financial constraints, most probably they will have serious constraints on their side. The same goes for a housing developer, here they build the job in stages, they depend on selling the units in order to have the financial resources. These financial resources might impact not only a particular job but several others.

If it is possible to show all delay reasons on a single field it would be of great help, it is not only about critical activities but also about near critical activities. Yes near critical activities get delayed by some reason same as critical ones. These adds to the number of activities you are mostly concerned.

Best regards,

Rafael

Mike Testro
User offline. Last seen 5 days 3 hours ago. Offline
Joined: 14 Dec 2005
Posts: 4397

Hi Rafel

You should be able to filter on critical tasks with a particular calendar.

Only once have I encountered a "financial" cause for a delay event - what is your experience.

Best regards

Mike Testro