Proposed exercise:

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)

2014-09-21 23_33_37-Diagrama de Redes - ListaLinkedin [1] - EPLAN_CAMINHOS - Estrutura 1SOLUTION ONE

– 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.

2014-09-21 23_24_59-Gantt de Atividades - ListaLinkedin [1] - EPLAN_CAMINHOS - Estrutura 1Total Duration of 20 days but a non-realist schedule with overloads to Peter and Raphael (red bars in the histogram)

 

 

SOLUTION TWO

– 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.

2014-09-21 23_24_40-Gantt de Atividades - ListaLinkedin [1] - EPLAN_CAMINHOS - Estrutura 1Total Duration of 30 days with a standard resource leveling engine 

SOLUTION THREE

– 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.

2014-09-21 23_25_11-Gantt de Atividades - ListaLinkedin [1] - EPLAN_CAMINHOS - Estrutura 1Spider 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

2014-09-21 23_48_56-Spider Project Team

 

This material was organized by Peter Mello, PMP, PMI-SP, SpS
The Spider Team (Brazil)