OWB: Schedule Projects in Open Workbench

After creating a project plan and dependency relationships, schedule the tasks and the resources that work on tasks in Open Workbench (OWB). If your project is large, scheduling can be a complex process that balances task relationships, resource availability, and task duration. Because scheduling is an iterative process, it typically takes several steps to balance resources working on a project. You may need to make several adjustments to your project plans. Adjustments can include changing resource availability, adjusting dependency links, and adding tasks. To help you schedule projects, Open Workbench uses an automated scheduling process named autoschedule.
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After creating a project plan and dependency relationships, schedule the tasks and the resources that work on tasks in Open Workbench (OWB). If your project is large, scheduling can be a complex process that balances task relationships, resource availability, and task duration. Because scheduling is an iterative process, it typically takes several steps to balance resources working on a project. You may need to make several adjustments to your project plans. Adjustments can include changing resource availability, adjusting dependency links, and adding tasks. To help you schedule projects, Open Workbench uses an automated scheduling process named
autoschedule
.
The Open Workbench Scheduling Process
The scheduling process involves the following steps and scheduling techniques that you can use to schedule your projects using Open Workbench:
  1. Determine one of the following items:
    • The minimum length of time that is required to complete each task (task duration).
    • The resource usage on each task (used to determine durations).
  2. Determine the ETC for each resource.
  3. Determine the resource loading pattern for each task from one of the available loading patterns.
Develop Project Schedules in Open Workbench
Follow these steps to develop a realistic schedule:
  1. Adjust the resource calendars to define work days and holidays for each resource.
  2. Autoschedule the project without constraints on resource availability.
  3. Autoschedule the project again with constraints on resource availability to eliminate any resource overcommitment.
  4. Prioritize phases, activities, and tasks.
  5. Recalculate the duration of inherently overcommitted tasks, keeping in mind that you cannot recalculate the duration of tasks with fixed resource assignments.
  6. Lock tasks that you do not want rescheduled.
  7. Refine your use of resource loading patterns.
  8. Adjust task priority.
  9. Autoschedule the project again with constraints to resource availability.
  10. If necessary, complete one of the following steps, and autoschedule the project again:
    • Manually adjust the schedule by shifting tasks.
    • Refine the dependency relationships.
Manually Schedule Projects in Open Workbench
Define the scheduling attributes, such as the start and finish dates of the project. This data is used when scheduling the project. Schedule all project tasks to begin and end during the project period.
If you use autoschedule, these dates may change according to the resource assignments, task dependencies, and constraints.
: For all projects in OWB, with or without autoschedule, be aware of the following relationship between
task
start and finish dates and
project
start and finish dates. If you do not set an imposed start or finish date for a project, the application sets the
project
start to match the earliest
task
start date and sets the
project
finish to the latest
task
finish date. The allocation start and finish values also shrink or stretch depending on the project start and finish unless you set fixed (imposed) dates. Your changes to a project start or finish date can result in recalculated time-sliced values that stretch outside of previously established time boundaries. For example, tasks in your project show finish dates in future months. You change the project finish to occur this month. However, the Allocation by Period on the Team Detail view might continue to show values for Aggregate Allocation and Aggregate Hard Allocation that extend into one or more future months.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click
    Project Properties
    in the application menu.
  2. Open the
    Scheduling
    tab.
  3. Complete the fields in the
    Project
    section:
    • Start
      Defines the project start date.
      Default:
      The current system date.
    • Imposed (Start)
      Specifies whether you want to impose a fixed start date for the project. Without an imposed start, the earliest task date is used as the project start.
      You must select this field if you later autoschedule your project from its start date. When selected, autoschedule cannot change the project start date to accommodate any changes it makes to the start and end dates of the project's tasks, no matter when the first task starts.
    • Finish
      Defines the anticipated project completion date. The project finish date must be equal to or greater than the finish date of the latest task. This date is used as the finish date for the last task in the CPM Network.
    • Imposed (Finish)
      Specifies whether you want to impose a fixed finish date for the project. Without an imposed finish, the latest task date is used as the project finish.
      You must select this field if you later autoschedule your project from its finish date. When selected, autoschedule cannot change the project's end date to accommodate any changes it makes to the start and end dates of the project's tasks, no matter when the last task finishes.
    • As-of
      Defines the date that is used as a reference point when performing Earned Value Analysis (EVA) calculations. If you do not enter an as-of date, zero (0) displays in the earned value fields such as Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP) and Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP).
      When using autoschedule to schedule a project, the
      As-of
      date for the project defines the date to include data in time and budget estimates. This date is used in Earned Value Analysis (EVA) calculations, such as Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS) and drives the calculations for costs. ETC for a project is not scheduled on or before the
      As-of
      date.
    • Priority
      Defines the order in which subprojects are scheduled within a master project. The priority amount that you enter here is used as the default priority for summary tasks. Any lower-level WBS tasks that have been marked as inheriting the priority of its parent assume this priority amount. For example, if the project has a priority of 0 through 9, its tasks are given the highest priority during scheduling. If the project has a priority of 11 through 36, its tasks are given the lowest priority during scheduling.
      Default:
      10
      Values:
      0 through 36 (A lower number indicates a higher priority.)
  4. Complete the fields in the
    Critical Path
    section:
    • Type
      Defines on which dates to base the critical path during CPM calculations.
      Default:
      Current
      Values:
      • Current. The application uses the project task's current start and end dates to determine the critical path.
      • Baseline. The application uses the start and finish dates and durations from the current baseline to determine the critical path.
    • Subnets (All Projects)
      Specifies whether you want CPM to calculate the project's critical path separately for each subnet. When cleared, one critical path is calculated for the entire project.
      Default:
      Cleared
  5. Click
    OK
    .
Recalculate Task Duration in Open Workbench
You can recalculate task duration so that the application calculates the shortest possible task duration. To recalculate task duration, select one or more tasks from the current view, and select
Tools
,
Recalculate
.
To eliminate resource over commitment and to maximize resource use, Open Workbench recalculates task duration according to the ETC, total resource availability, and maximum percentage load. The following mathematical calculation is used for recalculating task duration:
Duration = actuals + ETC/(resource availability per day) x (max % availability per day)
The recalculation process also maximizes resource use to shorten task duration whenever possible. If a task is inherently over committed, recalculating task duration can extend its duration to eliminate any inherent resource over commitment for that period. The exception is when the task is fixed.
When you assign multiple resources to a task and you recalculate the task's duration, Open Workbench computes the duration for each resource separately and selects the longest duration to determine the total task duration. All incomplete tasks in the selected range are adjusted, except for fixed tasks. If you recorded resource actual usage on the task, the ETC is modified.
Tasks with a
Contour
loading pattern are recalculated as
Uniform
. The recalculation process also replaces patterns created by autoschedule, and computes duration based on total availability per task. Locked or completed tasks are not impacted by the recalculation process. Instead, if the task has an ETC, the incomplete portion of the task is modified.
Example: Resource Available 8 Hours a Day
Resource availability is 8 hours a day and the maximum percentage is 50 percent (the resource can work on this task 4 hours a day). If usage is 12 days, when you recalculate the task duration, the task duration calculates to 24 business days.
Example: Resource Available 4 Hours a Day
Resource availability is 4 hours a day and the maximum percentage is 50 percent (the resource can work on this task 2 hours a day). If usage is 12 days, when you recalculate the task duration, the task duration calculates to 48 days.
Schedule Subnets in Open Workbench
Subnets
are a set of tasks in a project that have dependencies among themselves. During Autoschedule, you can calculate and display separate critical paths for each subnet and for each task that does not have dependencies. Otherwise, only one critical path, the longest path, is calculated for the project. Use the Subnets (All Projects) check box on the Scheduling tab to specify whether you want CPM to calculate the project's critical path separately for each subnet.
Benefits
  • If you are working with a master project that contains multiple projects, you can calculate and display the critical path of each subproject and not only the longest critical path.
  • If you are working with a project where you have structured the work breakdown structure to support multiple concurrent critical paths, you can display all critical paths.
  • If you have a project that contains management tasks that span the project lifecycle, you can display the management tasks and the true critical path.
The following procedure explains how to set up your project to calculate separate critical paths.
Follow these steps:
  1. Click
    Project Properties
    in the application menu.
  2. Open the
    Scheduling
    tab.
  3. Select the
    Subnets (All Projects)
    check box in the
    Critical Path
    section.
  4. Complete one of the following steps to calculate separate critical paths for your project: