Calendars and Resources

General discussion and questions about project risk management and risk analysis software RiskyProject. Includes discussion on how to perform efficient project risk analysis using our software.

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goodwisj
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Calendars and Resources

Post by goodwisj » Wed Apr 19, 2006 9:23 pm

Hi!

I'm currently on an assignment where 50% of the work relates to the development of new and enhancement of existing software.....

I am pleased to say that the organisation has adopted best practice regarding releases and (without extremely good reasons written in blood) do not release software to the live environment on the last day of the week.

Many of the jobs are relatively quick (2-3 weeks of intense activity) and so the Friday embargo is a real consideration in terms of timescale and the criticality of the planning.

For the functionality list, could the opportunity to set a new calendar for a resource be created or a not on these days (of the week or month) rule for specific tasks?

I look forward to a creative solution and would be more than happy to provide more details if needed...

cheers

Steve
:D

Intaver Support
Posts: 897
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:55 am

Post by Intaver Support » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:48 am

Hello Steve,

Calendar for the specific resources is not implemented yet, but we are planning to do it for the next minor release this year. We have probabilistic calendars, however we don't offer UI to support it yet. So for each resource it will be possible to define a number of calendars and chance that particular calendar will be used. Probabilistic calendars are used when resource is not available (vacation, day off) or there is a chance that resource will not be available (move to another project).

We are working with very may different software projects, especially for iterative development processes like RUP. We recommend you do the following analysis:

1. Assign risks and uncertainties to tasks
2. Setup certain deadline for each phase, iteration, or group of tasks using Task Information Dialog (Deadline tab). It can be for example Thursday.
3. Set Cancel Task option for the deadline
4. Perform analysis
5. Check chance that task has been canceled using success rate view. If chance is really big (success rate < 70%), it means, that it does not make sense to include this task to the iteration or project.
6. Review risks and uncertainties. Apply mitigation plan and reduce chance of risks. Perform analysis again. The success rate may be increased.
7. Track project with risks using tracking tan and monitor success rate. Success rate will chance depending how much is currently done.

We use this technique to ensure that the set of features for the software project or for the iteration can be implemented within given period of time.
Intaver Support Team
Intaver Institute Inc.
Home of Project Risk Management and Project Risk Analysis software RiskyProject
www.intaver.com

goodwisj
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by goodwisj » Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:10 am

Schlooooop!

There goes my brain again.... I need to do the tutorial and read the white papers and then move on to doing some more with Risky Project.

The probabalistic calendars sound useful; however what I could really do with is to have a number of fixed calendars that I can apply to different resource or material types.

I need to be able to represent the performance characteristics of a normal day in the department that I am overseeing. Here there are some developers who also have to undertake maintenance tasks. What with meetings, management, annual leave, sick leave and the maintenance commitments it is feasible that they will only have 4 hours development time in an 8hr day. I need to have differentiated calendars so that they can be shown as having a 4 hour realistic development day. another resource in another team may have a 6 hour effective day. There are days or windows when releases may or may not occur - I really need to have those available as well.......

Your response goes a long way to helping me understand what the system as it stands is capable of....

Actually to have a 'competency' ratio allocated to team members would also be great....... Then we could go into the performance score.... This is not as far fetched as it may seem as I am heading towards a workforce role development project where there are elements of change of ownership of tasks and product journeys associated with them. If we can win some gains by moving tasks between roles then we may be able to transition the tasks from their traditional owners to those that would be better suited to undertaking them.

I think I can see that the decision branching option may help me here; however it may need some more support...... More to follow....

cheers

Steve

Intaver Support
Posts: 897
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:55 am

Post by Intaver Support » Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:14 am

Hello Steve,

We finally understood what are you trying to do. Fixed calendars for different resources will be ideal way to model such project. We have different base calendars and will try implement different calendars for resources as soon as possible. Many our clients are asking about it. We had a discussion with our development team about it recently. Please let us know how important is it for you. We cannot guarantee that this feature will be in next month’s release, but we will do not later than this fall in the minor release.

Please note that resource calendars are implemented by different project management software as heuristic algorithms. It means that there is a set of rules and these rules may not necessary satisfy everybody. For example, what if task includes two resources with different calendars. What calendar should be used to determine task’s duration? We are planning to use the approach implemented in MS Project.

“Competency ratio” is a very good idea. This year we are planning to add new risk (event) “Move resource to another task”. This event can occur based on some conditions such as previous resource performance or resource allocation.

All project management tools are modeling human decision-making process. There are many ways computer algorithm can model a project manager’s thought. For example, the research shows that resource-leveling tools still have a limited use because the algorithms are not suitable in many cases. Therefore we are working with our clients very closely to come up with the best approaches. We believe that fully integrated probabilistic analysis in many cases is the best way to solve the problems. Thank you very much for your input.
Intaver Support Team
Intaver Institute Inc.
Home of Project Risk Management and Project Risk Analysis software RiskyProject
www.intaver.com

goodwisj
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by goodwisj » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:21 am

:D

Thanks for the response.... the MS Project approach is 'OK' to the extent that it mostly works... The resource availability in the form of calendars would be great.... That could also allow us to have hybrid teams with full and part time staff represented.

One of the things that I wanted to model in was this concept of no releases on a Friday (cos supporting software over the weekend is the cardinal sin!). Therefore my thought was to have a resource that I added in for releases called release - its calendar would have Friday/the weekend as non-working days. However if we could place an attribute on a task that said it could occur on certain days only, that would be even better... :roll:

With regards to which calendar would be used to set a task duration, we could almost work on the basis of an 'essential' flag on the resource..... which resource represents the lead on the task.... just a thought....

One of the best things is that you are moving outside of the square that we know and love as MS Project......... :cry: What would then be fantastic..... would be to have an application that could be passed around as a viewer..... A Risky Project file could be read-only to team members so that they could see and review all the factors around the project and add comments back to the PM without changing any of the baseline and calculated data..... In my humble opinion this should be a $10-20 per seat option (if charged for at all... :wink: ) so that the effort that is put into the schedule is made more available to the users associated with the project....

Thanks for the responses......

Steve

goodwisj
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 10:11 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by goodwisj » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:39 am

Almost forgot.......

When considering this calendar work, will Intaver be using a set of shared calendars across projects to prevent resource clashes from occuring???

cheers

Steve

Intaver Support
Posts: 897
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:55 am

Post by Intaver Support » Mon May 01, 2006 9:45 am

Steve,

Working Time (Calendar) dialog will have Export/Import button. This way it will be possible to save and open calendars. It will help to share calendars between different projects.

Eventually calendars will be kept in the database with other project/portfolio information. So if calendar is updated it will be automatically shared between different projects. Currently RiskyProject is using database only for integration with WelcomRisk.
Intaver Support Team
Intaver Institute Inc.
Home of Project Risk Management and Project Risk Analysis software RiskyProject
www.intaver.com

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