Accurate Project Forecasting with Acumen - Phil Shatz


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  • Phil’s opening slide (no one else uses this one) “I like to start every presentation showing this list of our blue chip customers. We are very proud that our company was able to sign up so many big names within four years of being founded. We did this by focusing on the simple premise that it takes a good plan to make great project. Acumen is all about the quality of the schedule.

  • In order to have success there are several key elements that must be in place…you will need a sound and executable schedule that has taken risk into account. This sound schedule is the basis then for an accurate cost baseline and forecast. Now that you have the foundation for both schedule and cost you MUST have a mechanism to analyze and course correct during execution!! This sounds simple but in fact project management is a challenging discipline….you need a solution to help you navigate the terrain….

    <Key Take Away> Deltek PPM helps create successful projects through accurate forecasting, reduced risk exposure, and actionable insight.
  • As a project centric business your mission is to manage the entire life cycle of a project taking into consideration portfolio performance and overall product mix enabling alignment with corporate strategic goals. This is a delicate balancing act for sure.

    It all starts with Informed Selection:

    COMMERCIAL-Owner: As a project owner you want to quickly review and evaluate incoming bids to select the optimal plan, one that has a reliable forecast while still maintaining an efficient project completion. Is the fastest bid really the best option or is it an unreliable plan setting your project up for failure? Has the bidder built too much contingency into the plan when really the work could be done much faster or more efficiently? All questions to answer to make sure the plan is set up for success.

    Commercial- Contractor: As a contractor you need to have project information to decide what to actually bid on - and to give your clients confidence in your proposed scope of work.

    From there you’ll need to realistically, and as accurately as possible, develop the durations, sequence of work, and required costs and resources to identify when your project might finish. Accuracy is key here so that you, the project team and the project stakeholders have insight into when to expect project completion.

    While a sound basis of schedule sets you up for reliable execution there is still the possibility of unforeseen events throwing your project off track. You need the analysis tools necessary to closely track progress and quickly take action should anything go awry.

    Finally, because you have bid on the right projects, have established a realistic plan, have closely tracked, monitored and course corrected progress, you are set up for a successful on-time and on-budget project completion. You’ll have the forensics data necessary to identify what went well and what could have gone better taking lessons learned forward as you start the cycle over and bid your next successful project.

  • JENN! Fix dates in the report
  • The S1 // S5 maturity framework and Acumen product suite has been implemented on thousands of projects, world-wide and seen tremendous results in terms of cost reduction, improved accuracy and even earlier finish dates.
  • Accurate Project Forecasting with Acumen - Phil Shatz

    1. 1. Accurate Project Forecasting with the Acumen S1-S5 Methodology Phil Shatz Senior Principal Sales Representative Deltek UK Ltd
    2. 2. Agenda  Generic project forecasting case study  Detailed case study on valuing change orders using EVM SV and EAC  Five minute demo, if time allows!
    3. 3. Deltek Acumen Licensees
    4. 4. Deltek PPM Competitive advantage through project intelligence © 2014 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved  Accurate time/cost forecasting  Reduced capital risk exposure  Actionable program insight & control  Successful projects and project managers
    5. 5. Managing the Full Project Lifecycle Executing (Control/Collaborate) Planning (Forecasting) Initiating (Strategic Decisions) Closeout (Forensics/Lessons Learned) From project initiation through closeout, Deltek PPM helps you satisfy corporate strategic objectives. Informed Selection Realistic Planning Reliable Execution Successful Completion DeltekPPM
    6. 6. Case Study Overview Your business information Needed to accurately forecast project completion. • Project Details • Project planning stage • Expected Completion: Dec. 2013 • Tools used: • Primavera P6 • Deltek Acumen Fuse • Deltek Acumen Risk • Deltek Acumen 360
    7. 7. Process Used “I’m convinced the ACUMEN suite and the S1 – S5 process will provide the solution my client is looking for.”
    8. 8.  Validated multiple sub-projects  Drill into the project to pinpoint flaws and compare functional areas of the schedule  Identified:  High logic redundancy  Use of hard constraints  Open ended activities  Negative Float  Lags & Leads S1 to S2: Schedule Review Summary Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling
    9. 9. Logic Density Evaluation  Measure of complexity & soundness  Dual-band threshold: 2 to 6…  Determine Logic Hotspots™ in schedule  The level of detail was sparse towards the end of the project More definition needed
    10. 10. Initial Schedule Index Score
    11. 11. Schedule Cleanse Lags converted to activities
    12. 12. Impact of Schedule Cleanse
    13. 13.  S2 Completion date: May 2014  Schedule Critique Details:  Constraints removed  Missing Logic was added  Lags converted to activities  Redundancy removed  Missing detail added S2 Schedule Review Results Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling 5 months S2: May 2014S1: Dec 2013
    14. 14.  Objective:  Identify high-risk areas of the schedule  Improve forecast accuracy through reduced risk exposure S2 to S3: Risk Analysis Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling
    15. 15. Capturing Uncertainty  Is the duration realistic?  Scope definition  Complexity of work  Past performance  Just plain wrong!  Dates are the results of durations & logic  Three point estimates  Min, most likely, max & distribution type
    16. 16. Capturing Risk Events  Discrete event  Two key attributes  Probability  Impact(s)  Threats, Opportunities & Calendar Events  Multiple states  Current  Mitigated
    17. 17. Mapping Risk Events Procurement Construction Commissioning 5 d 30 days 20 days H: 10 d LS: 15 d LS: 10 d H: 10 d Risk Register Schedule Risk ID Description Probability Impact 0001 Hurricane 25% 10 days 0002 Labor Strike 50% 50%
    18. 18. Running the Simulation  Accounts for all reasonable combinations of risk & uncertainty  Is true to the logic of the CPM schedule  Critical path may jump  Run enough iterations until results don’t significantly vary  Create Scenario based on Risk Outputs
    19. 19. Evaluate Risk Exposure  P-Dates  “I’m 50% confident I will finish on…”  Contingency  “How much more/less time do I need to finish by…?”  Confidence Level  “What chance do I have of hitting my finish date?” P- Dates Contingency Confidence
    20. 20. Identify Risk Drivers  Risk Drivers  High-risk activities  Most impactful events  Risk Contribution Factor™  True measure of impact in duration & cost!  Differentiates between uncertainty & risks Total Contribution Uncertainty/Logic/ Risk Event Contribution
    21. 21. Risk Mitigation  Response plan identified for key risks  Response plans added to schedule  Assessed cost/benefit of mitigation  $2M investment to save 1 month Benefit of Mitigation
    22. 22.  S3 Completion date: Oct 2014  Identified key risk hot spots  Incorporated risk events  Improved schedule realism  Developed mitigation strategies to reduce risk exposure S3 Risk Analysis Results Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling S1: Dec 2013 S2: May 20145 Months S3: Oct 2014 10 Months
    23. 23.  Getting back to Dec 2013  Schedule acceleration details: 1. Pinpointed where acceleration was necessary 2. Evaluated where acceleration was possible 3. Developed script to identify options 4. Fine-tuned scenario S3 to S4: Optimization Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling
    24. 24.  S4 Completion date: Aug 2013  Acceleration resulted in a completion date earlier than the original forecast!  Performed S3 Risk Analysis on the newly created scenario  P75 Risk Adjusted date: Feb 2014… only a two month delay and a much much more realistic, achievable plan. S4 Optimization Results Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling
    25. 25.  A further 2 months acceleration was still required…  New mitigation plans developed based on the updated risk analysis after the schedule compression  Model showed that a further $1M spend to sponsor the more aggressive mitigation plan, then P75 could be brought back to Dec 2013.  Project team presented both options and were duly granted the green-light for the more aggressive plan so as to achieve earlier production… S5 Team Buy-In Critiqued The Base Risk-Adjusted Optimized Team-Aligned// S5 // S4 // S3 // S2 // S1 Realistic Scheduling
    26. 26. Summary  Team was able to improve realism and predictability through 4 steps without incurring a significant project delay. S4: Accelerated Aug 1 2013 S1: Target Dec 1 2013 S2: Sound Schedule May 1 2014 S3: Risk-Adjusted Oct 1 2014 P75 S4: Feb 2014 S5: Team Approved Dec 1 2013
    27. 27. The S1 // S5 maturity framework has led to a 10% average reduction in project costs, 20% average schedule acceleration and saw a 91% forecasting accuracy. S1 // S5 Maturity Framework
    28. 28. TECHNIP SUBSEA EPCI SCHEDULE ANALYSIS An innovative analysis as needed. Work started 11-Oct-2012 and lasted two hours
    29. 29. Recognizing the Need for Analysis EPC subsea contract. As the project progressed, delays started occurring which impacted engineering deliverables, the offshore mobilization date and critical equipment delivery.  Engineering Delays required forensic analysis of all possible impacts to these delays.  Belief that the client had impact to these delays  Supporting details and analysis were required to prove the impact
    30. 30. Implementing the Concept of Analysis Loading each updated schedule as a snapshot representing an update cycle. Process  Imported 14 XER files to Acumen  We renamed each XER to reflect the month  Produced a comparison of multi files named as months  Acumen naturally compares projects but in this instance each project represented a month, allowing a graph that looks like a time scale.
    31. 31. TECHNIP SUBSEA EPCI FLOAT ANALYSIS Phase I of Analysis Utilizing the graphical impacts in Acumen we were able to begin researching detail impacts.
    32. 32. Critical Float [count of activities] Comparison of Float depletion and behavior.  There was a substantial jump in critical float count.
    33. 33. 0 to 20 Days Float [count of activities] Acumen Technip SS Case Studies - 11-Sept-1334 Compared count of Low Float activities
    34. 34. Ribbon & Trace Logic Ribbon & Trace Logic allowed us to dissect indicators.  Tracing the peak critical, then started looking at the IFC drawings.
    35. 35. Trace Logic Backwards Analysis Trace Logic allowed us to dissect indicators.  Here is where the indicator of Client Review cycles extended beyond contractual agreements.
    36. 36. Trace Logic Export to Excel Trace Logic export to Excel allows for further analysis.  Using Excel with combinations of Filters, Sorts, & Conditional Formatting allows us to find exact details.
    37. 37. TECHNIP SUBSEA EPCI EARNED VALUE WORK ANALYSIS Phase II of Analysis Utilizing the graphical impacts in Acumen we were able to begin researching detail impacts.
    38. 38. Earned Value Work Schedule Variance [EV-PV] Schedule Variance provides a comparison of “where we planned to be” vs “where we really are”. Schedule Variance is using P6 values and is calculated as Earned minus Planned. This variance shows a disparity of slipping on planned dates and is used to calculate a recovery index.
    39. 39. Earned Value Work Estimate at Complete [EAC] Estimate at Completion provides necessary forecasting. Estimate at Completion has 5 different calculations. However the most common is using the “Remaining to Earn + Actual Costs”. Acumen brings in the P6 calculation of EAC. Since the project is still in progression and has almost halfway remaining to complete, it is important to use current performance to provide a valid means of forecasting. This EAC can be used to forecast cost impacts where engineering delays, manufacturer delays due to held up specs & data sheets as well as the impact of delaying the Pipe Lay Vessel and what that equates to dollars.
    40. 40. Deltek Acumen Software Demo
    41. 41. Customer Quotation “Fuse is a complete schedule analysis tool that provides a comprehensive and invaluable schedule heath, integrity and modification check. It allows the user to, in a few clicks, compare project schedules from previous months and very easily identify changes, schedule health issues and activity movement. Fuse has greatly improved the efficiency within my team and has turned something that could take half a day to a day, per month, to a couple of minutes.” Jason Pietruszka, Selex
    42. 42. Customer Quotation “Within Magnox we have very specific system requirements when compiling our schedules, one of which is that our schedules cannot contain more than 10 characters in the Activity ID. With the help of the Acumen support team, a metric to check our schedules was developed and being used within a day of being identified as a requirement. Looking through pages of schedule or exporting schedule information to excel was both time-consuming and laborious, Fuse has changed this into a two second, click-of-the-button operation. We also had issues with ‘phantom hours’, if the copy and paste function is used on activities which contain resource assignments, then the resource assignments are removed, the budgeted labour units remain, therefore distorting your resource levels. We now have a metric written that filters for zero resource assignments but budgeted labour units present. This is a manual check of each activity in P6, again very time consuming but coupled with the above, we now have two metrics that pick up some of our issues in seconds.” James Shimmon Head of Programme Baseline Integration
    43. 43. More Information White papers: Software Trial: Twitter: @projectacumen Email: