How decision model goals & objectives translate to a schedule

How decision model goals & objectives translate to a schedule

In this example the team needed to determine which market segment to target for a new product. The choice of segment would then drive customer selection and eventual product definition around the driving requirements of the tier 1 customer in the selected segment. They believed that 80% of the segment's requirements would be captured from this driving customer, so selection of the right segment and customer was critical to realizing the project goals.

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Criteria versus Objective

Criteria versus Objective

Decision models have three major components; goal, objectives, and alternatives. Some people use "criteria" instead of "objective." There is no "right" or "wrong" term, just different interpretations. When you look at the literature on AHP you find both, for example this good wiki descriptionuses "criterion" and it is hard to find the word objective anywhere. Others only use Objective. The more models we build the more we understand why using "objective" results in better models.

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Schedule pull-in makes the Refresh Planning process work

Refresh Planning is made up of the following elements:

  • Update (looking back to record what was done)

  • Pull-in (looking forward to breakdown long duration tasks and/or change the schedule to cause schedule acceleration)

Most teams only focus on Update, which is good, but it alone does not cause the schedule to accelerate. You really need to do schedule pull-in after each update.

Reserve 5-10 minutes at the end of the refresh session to seriously look for pull-in opportunities and then put them directly into the schedule so the team can see the result of the action.

You can aid this process by asking:

  1. What is on the critical path over the next 3 weeks?

  2. Looking at the critical path chain of activities, what can we do to accelerate this work?

  3. Specifically, can X be done at the same time as Y? Can we do Z faster in any way? Can Q be broken down into more detail and made to go faster?

  4. Finally, if all the above fails to generate a pull-in, ask if the work over the next three weeks can be done differently in order to make it go faster?

  5. If you get a pull-in, ask what the risks are with the new flow and what you can do to help mitigate them?

Horizontal project scoring

Horizontal project scoring

Horizontal project scoring versus vertical prioritization (the zero-sum game). Traditional "project scoring" systems we see look like this... a list of projects in a spreadsheet scored against some sort of measurement criteria. Sometimes the criteria is weighted by importance. Each row (project) is scored against the weighted criteria. The rows are totaled and each project gets a score. Some have called this "horizontal scoring."

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Pairwise ranking of objectives versus simple weighting

Pairwise ranking of objectives versus simple weighting

Traditional "project scoring" systems we see look like this... a list of projects in a spreadsheet scored against some sort of measurement criteria. Sometimes the criteria is weighted by importance. The "weighting of criteria" approach does provide some degree of influence over the project scoring results, but it fails to capture the proportional relationships between criteria or what we like to call "Objectives."

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decisionAccelerator 4.18 Released

General

  • New streamlined ribbon interface

  • Speed improvements

Objectives

  • Pair-wise names now displayed rather than bars

  • Inconsistencies now permanently displayed and visible by a red (most inconsistent) or orange (second most inconsistent) border around the judgement (cell)

    • Note: all current dA models will need to be upgraded to see the inconsistencies

  • Bug fixed where an error would be caused if the pair-wise cell was < -9 or >9. This could caused if the pair-wise was automatically calculated from a force rank.

Alternatives

  • Hiding unused columns now includes columns starting with the word “Column”

Constraints

  • Formatting of the budget on the cost-benefit chart fixed

  • Iterations number displayed when generating a cost-benefit chart now correct

decisionAccelerator 4.17 Released

Alternatives

  • Problem fixed where the bars were shown incorrectly when "Low was set to good”

  • Bars in the ranking table are now split so negative values are represented by a red bar to the left of the zero position and positive values by a blue bar to the right of the zero position. To make it easier to read, the table now has vertical lines marking the boundary of each cell.

Alt ranking with neg numbers.JPG


Cost-Benefit

  • Chart now as a separate file rather than integrated into the dA model. This allows multiple Cost-Benefit charts to be created and, if needed, merged into a single file if different scenarios are being developed.

  • The chart now scales to the number of budget increments/alternatives

  • An “information” screen is now displayed reporting the progress of the creating the cost-benefit chart. This will be particularly useful for charts that take a significant time to create, reassuring the user that it is working.

    • For charts that take a significant amount of time to create, try reducing the number of budget increments

fastProject 4.8.8 Released

General

  • Problem fixed when breaking down a task when the schedule has a blank line (could cause the task to be broken down incorrectly)

  • Restoring Views/Tables/Filters improved and minor bugs fixed

Inspector

  • Bug fixed where the ribbon would disappear in some cases with sub-projectsewfwe

  • Target status now reflects correctly the Target details when the target is in a sub-project

  • Displaying the “Latest baseline” when a target is in a sub-project, now displays the baseline for that sub-project

    • Note: this will also display the same baseline for all sub-projects, so bear in mind that if the sub-projects have not been updated in sync with each other, the baseline displayed for the other sub-projects could be a different date

Update

  • Updating a schedule now automatically displays the Inspector and displays the information relating to the next Target. This allows the team to track changes to the target as the schedule is updated.

Wigglechart

  • Options made clearer when a Wigglechart does not exist

Analyzer

  • Added a check for the fastProject defaults not being set, indicating the schedule should be converted.

decisionAccelerator 4.16 Released

Ratings

  • Improved interface for defining a Values, Values ($) and a Linear scale

Alternatives

  • Bars in the ranking table are now split so negative values are represented by a red bar and positive values by a blue bar. To make it easier to read, the table now has vertical lines marking the boundary of each score.

  • Problem fixed where the bars were shown incorrectly when "Low was set to good”

Cost-Benefit

  • Chart now as a separate file rather than integrated into the dA model. This allows multiple Cost-Benefit charts to be created and, if needed, merged into a single file if different scenarios are being developed.

  • The chart now scales to the number of budget increments/alternatives

  • An “information” screen is now displayed reporting the progress of the creating the cost-benefit chart. This will be particularly useful for charts that take a significant time to create, reassuring the user that it is working.

    • For charts that take a significant amount of time to create, try reducing the number of budget increments

fastProject 4.8.7 Released

General

  • Warning when deleting a Target manually removed

  • Importing a schedule now

    • Sets the split bar up to the Duration column

    • Fits the schedule to the screen

  • Breakdown

    • Can now add prefix to multiple selected summary tasks

    • Bug fixed where breaking down an in-progress activity with a finish date in the past and tasks are not linked would cause an error

    • Doing an Unbreakdown now displays the task bar in the Gantt chart (since it may have been a Summary with the task bards hidden)

  • Updated training files

  • Link to Blog fixed

Refresh

  • After an Update, the Inspector is now automatically invoked

  • Optimized the Refresh interface so the functionality works left to right

  • Bug fixed when trying to run the Wigglechart when the Wigglechart is open. The Wigglechart can be run when open, but only if opened via fastProject, otherwise the user will get a warning to close the Wigglechart.

Macro-micro Roll-up

  • New “Create Macro from Micro” function added. This will delete all subtasks to a roll-up task while moving external dependencies to the associated roll-up task

  • Added an additional test to check for Touchpoints in the macro - these buts be contained within a summary task

  • Updated Macro-micro Roll-up documentation

  • Added a new function “Find duplicate task names” which finds tasks with the same name that can cause problems with the roll-up

  • Added “Display timing analysis” as an option in the initial dialog box

  • Documentation updated (V2.0)

decisionAccelerator 4.15 Released

General

  • Framework sheet updated (and moved to after CostBenefit chart)

  • Risks, PPA and Business Cases moved to separate sheets and Grouping removed

  • Dependency constraints removed

  • Excel tabs now visible when on a regular Excel worksheet - also better handling of other Excel files that are open

Objectives

  • Red “best fit” arrow now just a line to avoid display problems with different screen resolutions

Alternatives

  • Bug fixed where the blue bars were not updated when an alternative was excluded

  • % Rating fixed

  • Slow performance fixed when saving a Custom rating

  • Custom form now dynamically changes size based on the length of the custom name

  • Custom name now highlighted on the form