- This exercise was presented during a discussion about “how much pm software costs”
- The main argument of who opened the thread is that you can find free software that can do the job.
- The main argument of Peter Mello in reply to the post is that you should see software as an investment, not cost.
Once you do the right investment in the right tool, the software pays itself, as long as any training and other investments necessary.
- The discussion can be seen at:
Supose that you and me will conduct evaluations of two PM Tools. I conduct a series of tests and the implementation of the each tool. Once I finish it, you write a full report with the data I provide for you.
So, if it was only one software, we would have:
Install/Test (Peter, 10 days) –> Detailed reporting (Mary, 10 days).
For the second software, as I already have more knowledge of it, I take only 5 days:
Install/Test (Peter, 5 days) –> Detailed reporting (Mary, 10 days).
In other words, we have two paths in the same network:
Start > Task A > Task B > Finish
Start > Task C > Task D > Finish
Because we have resource constratins (Peter and Mary), we need to resource level this project to find out the total time from Start to Finish.
How many days will this project take to be finished?
Network diagram for the exercise
(Mary was replaced by Raphael in the example as he replied to the exercise with one solution)
– A CPM (Critical Path Method) schedule without resource leveling will give us a non-realistic schedule of 20 days.
– We can see in the histogram of resources that you have over alocated resources for the tasks.
– This schedule is only possible if Peter and Raphael can perform two swifts of work in the days they are over alocated.
– Resource leveled schedule with no manual adjustment from experienced planners will return 30 days as the total duration of this project for most of the tools.
– Even when a tool “out of the box” is capable of giving an improved schedule than the one presented below, in the long run different tools with different algorithms will prove to be more efficient than others. Extensive testing to find out the best scheduling engine may pay for itself in any mid to large project.
– Optimized schedule will vary from software solution to software solution. Spider Project offers several options for resource leveling with optimization algorithms.
– The result here presented will reduce the total duration of the project in 5 days, with no change in the network logic, resources or total work.
Spider Project is a Russian Product and a Demo Version is available in English at www.spiderproject.com
The presented solution for this small exercise keeps all four tasks with no floats and a total duration of 25 days
DOWNLOAD DEMO VERSION
This material was organized by Peter Mello, PMP, PMI-SP, SpS
The Spider Team (Brazil)