Understanding Planning and Scheduling Software
Project Planning and scheduling software enables the user to:
- Enter the breakdown structure of the project deliverables or products into the software. This is often called a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) or Product Breakdown Structure (PBS),
- Break a project down into the work required to create the deliverables and enter these into the software as Activities under the appropriate WBS,
- Assign durations, constraints, predecessors and successors of the activities and then calculate the start and finish date of all the activities,
- Assign resources and/or costs, which represent people, equipment or materials, to the activities and calculate the project resource requirements and/or cash flow,
- Optimise the project plan,
- Set Baseline Dates and Budgets to compare progress against,
- Use the plan to approve the commencement of work,
- Record the actual progress of activities and compare the progress against the Baseline and amend the plan when required, allowing for scope changes, etc.,
- Record the consumption of resources and/or costs and re-estimate the resources and/or costs required to finish the project, and
- Produce management reports.
There are four modes or levels in which project management planning and scheduling software may be used:
|Without Resources||LEVEL 1
Planning without Resources
Tracking progress without Resources
Planning with Resources
Tracking progress with Resources
As the level increases, the amount of information required to maintain the schedule will increase and, more importantly, your skill and knowledge in using the software will increase.
Enterprise Project Management
Primavera is an Enterprise Project Management software package that enables many projects to be managed in one database.
These projects may be summarized under a hierarchical structure titled the Enterprise Project Structure (EPS). This function is similar to summarizing activities of a project under a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
An EPS is used for the following purposes:
- To manage user access to projects within the database.
- To manage activities over multiple projects that have a common interest, such as a critical resource.
- Top-down budgeting of projects and resources that may later be compared to the bottom-up or detailed project estimates.
- To allow standardized reporting of all projects in the database.
Primavera has a function titled Portfolios that enables a limited number of projects to be viewed at a time. For example, Portfolio would enable you to view projects in a physical area, or of a specific type or client.