This article will cover the following topics:
- Workload, Time and Durations
- Set up of calendars
- Calendar assignment per resource
- Calendar assignment per skill
- Working with Units
- Project Statistics
- Resource Selection
- Impact of Critical Chain on Time Management
Workload, Time and Durations
Set up of Calendars
The calendar function in LYNX allows you to:
- Set opening times
- Determine the default "opening times" of:
- The organisations
- The department
- Time that can be worked on a project
- Typically companies work with 8 working hours a day
- Exclusion of non-working days and public holidays
- Determine the default "opening times" of:
- Set resource availability
- Determines the availability of resources
- Normal working times
- Exclusion of non-working days, like public holidays
- Can take into account exceptions like "Friday Free" or "Part-Time 50%".
Add your Standard Calendar and Define Working Hours
The first option in the Configure screen is Calendar. Once selected the Calendar tool will pop-up. Calendars are linked to projects, skills and resources. A calendar drives the capacity or availability in terms of resource hours.
Step 1) Click on the plus icon in the top left corner to create a new calendar.
Step 2) You can name the calendar accordingly
Step 3) Add your working hours. Select working hours and enter the daily working periods in the grid below. You can add as many intervals as you like, just make sure that intervals do not overlap.
Enter intervals using your standard time notation (e.g. 08:00:00)
Step 4) Add rules: you can add your non-working days to the calendar. Select add rule. You can select the recurrence pattern, for example recurs weekly. The example below illustrates how to exclude Saturday as a non-working day.
Standard Calendar Result
Once the above examples have been selected your Calendar should look like the below one. The red highlighted times on the calendar indicate non-working hours. In the Add Rule section you can add your desired holidays. Finally, you can add more (sub) calendars as necessary.
Calendar Assignment for Resources
When selecting Configure → Resources the resource editor window opens. Here you can assign a calendar per resource. You can only select calendars that you have previously defined in setting up a calendar.
Calendar Assignment for Virtual Skills
When selecting Configure → Skills you can add calendar for skills that have been categorised as virtual skills. *Please refer to Skills and Resource Configuration for more explanation on virtual skills.
Select the desired skill → scheduling tab → skill availability. Availability of the virtual skill is determined by the selected calendar.
Calendar Assignment per Project
When starting a new project you must also select a Calendar in Project Properties. In the example the standard calendar has been selected. Next, you must also fill in the hours per day that a project can be planned.
Note: keep “hours per day” equal to the regular work hours of the organisation and equal to the working hours in the calendar selected (in this case the standard calendar).
Once a calendar and hours have been selected, a new task will automatically be scheduled accordingly.
First, create a new task by selecting add task in the task bar. The example sets a task duration of 3 days, creating a Gantt chart bar spanning 3 days.
Next, a resource is added to the task. His workload will now be 24 hours: 3 working days * 8 hours.
Automatic Change of Task Duration
Example 1: In the following example we change the resource's (Tom Smith) availability. In Configure → Resource → Tom Smith → Availability Schedule you can add a specific rule on the resource's availability. You can also select a different calendar type to the specific resource.
The example adds that Tom Smith is not available on Tuesday's and Wednesday's. The below image automatically updates the task duration. The task now takes 5 days instead of 3, however the workload remains the same.
Example 2: Robert Tillman is assigned to the task, but he only works part-time (9:00-13:00hrs).
The task duration automatically updates to 5.5 days upon changing the resource. 6*4 hours are needed to fulfil the 24 hour workload.
Working with Units
Working with Units - Normal Skills
- The value for a "unit" can be anything between 0% and 100% for all skills of the type normal
- LYNX will use the unit value the recalculate the workload, keeping the same duration.
The below example illustrates what happens when the unit is adjusted to 50%:
Working with Units - Virtual Skills
- The unit value can be more than 1 – you can assign multiple Virtual Skill / Resources
- The maximum is determined by the availability set in the Skill Editor (see next header for a visualisation)
- LYNX will use the unit value again to recalculate the workload, keeping the same duration
The below example views Marketing as a virtual skill. 3 FTE's are available for this specific workload, increasing the workload to 300%.
Virtual Skill Availability Setting
Configure → Skills → Marketing Skill selected → Scheduling. Under the scheduling tab you can set the skill availability. The example sets 5 FTE's for the marketing skill. In the above workload example 3 of those have been used for the task.
Project Statistics - Duration & Workloads
The statistics tab gives further insights into the calculation of resource hours and remaining workload. These statistics are based on the different hours filled in under resource requirements per task.
See below example:
The next step shows the difference made with 1-day process according to the plan and baseline. Task 1 requires a total of 5days/40hours. 1 day progress has been achieved (8 hours), leaving 4 days (32 hours) to go.
Effect of 1 extra day at 8 hours
Task 1 is now expected to take 6 days instead of 5 days. This changes the ETTC to 6 days, as can be filled in under resource requirements. See the impact of this change below:
ETTC Workload Interpretation
Based on a planned "unit percentage" of a task, the ETTC also adapts. The example scenario shows the effect of a part-time schedule (unit: 50%) on the ETTC. 4 hours are now taken rather than the standard 8 hours a day.
This part will show you how to use a special calendar. The example includes Saturday's as a working day in March. A new calendar has to be created for this under Configure → Calendar. Refer to Set up of Calendars.
First, select the project properties. Under the tab General you can adapt the Calendar. Select the new calendar you wish to use.
Add a task to the project and assign the desired skill necessary to complete the task. LYNX will now automatically elect a resource matching the skill who is available on these Saturdays.
*Note: If you create a new calendar you must not forget to update resources who work by this new calendar.
Critical Chain and Non-Working Periods
This section illustrates the impact of non-working days on the critical chain.
- The Critical Chain Calculation process of LYNX will take into account non-availability periods of resources:
- Vacation period
- Training period
- Non-availability for other reasons
- The following use-cases may occur, due to non-working periods during the project:
- Automatic change of a start date, to keep a short CC
- Identification of a “Critical Chain Gap”
- Extension of the Critical Chain Duration, in case the CC is spanning a non-working period
- Existing Resource assignments, impacting the CC when releasing a new project to the multi-project pipeline
- The examples in the next pages reflect desired and expected behaviour of LYNX, however: when reviewing the Critical Chain duration, we recommend to take into account these special use-cases can occur.
Example 1: Automatic Change of Project Start Date, to keep a “short CC”
Tom Smith has a non-working period of 2 days (Thursday and Friday).
Task 1 finishes on Wednesday, but Task 2 cannot start on Thursday, but only Monday. When adding dependencies between the two tasks and CCPM, task 1 will automatically start on Wednesday rather than Monday. LYNX will moved Task 1 to 2 days later.
The non-working period is also illustrated in the resource load.
Example 2: Critical Chain Gap Situation
In this example, Sven and Tom both have a non-working period at the same time.
LYNX will let Sven start with Task 1 on Monday rather than the original Wednesday illustrated in Example 1. It will continue with Task 2 on Monday 11th, allowing a “gap” of 2 days on the Critical Chain.
Example 3: The CC is extended with 2 days (2 + 5 (3+2) = 7 days), spanning the Non-Working period of Tom Smith
This example changes the workload of Task 1 to 2 days and Task 2 to 3 days. The first day is scheduled on Wednesday 4th of November. The second and third day are scheduled after the non-working period of Tom Smith: Monday 9th and Tuesday 10th of November.
Note: The length of the calculated buffers , are not affected by the insertion of non-working periods! LYNX takes the net length of the CC as the starting point. In this example 5 days.
Multi-Project Impact of Non-Working Days
Some examples explained of multi-project impact of non-working days:
- Non-Working periods in case of “Assignment by Skill” process:
- The “Project B” plan contains Task 1, which requires the skill “Developer” in week 3;
- There are 2 resources implementing this skill (John and Sven). John is not available in week 34 due to a short vacation;
- LYNX will therefore automatically nominate Sven as the candidate resource, available to work on Task 1 in week 34;
- However, “Project A”, which is already released and executed, also needs a developer in week 34. Therefore Sven is already confirmed to work on the task in Project A, which requires a developer in week 34.
- What happens if Project B is released (staggered with Project A):
- Since Sven is already allocated to Project A, the only option is to assign John to the project. The consequence is that project B is impacted with the Non-Working Period of John.
- As a result the duration and schedule of project B will extended.
- Considerations / Implementation:
- Master scheduler, Resource management and/or project manager to review possible impact.
- A consequence may be that the “Buffers” need to reevaluated, with John assigned to Task 1.
- Please contact A-dato for more information on possible scenario’s.
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