DISCLAIMER: (Just to make sure this is clear, I am adding this disclaimer to the posting.)  The worksheet referenced below is not a competing product to Project Server 2010, and does not contain references to any proprietary code.  It was developed based on publicly available information as an Excel mock up of the server-side portfolio optimization calculations found in Project Server.  The goal of this post is for educational purposes only.

Building off of my efforts to mimic the Project Server 2010 prioritization engine in Excel, I am pleased to announce that I am releasing the next version of my spreadsheet, the Portfolio Optimizer Simulation v1.

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Yeah, that’s a highfalutin title for a simple Excel spreadsheet.  Basically, I took the driver calculations that I documented in my Pairwise Analysis Demystified and Pairwise Analysis Revisited posts, and built the optimization and visualization engine on top.  My goal in doing so was really to make sure that I understand conceptually how Project Server works under the covers, and to force myself to work through the various settings and options in the software.

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Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing posts addressing specific features within the worksheet.

A couple of caveats, if I may:

1) I haven’t built the resource management and project interdependency functions into the tool yet.  That’s a project for another day.

2) I am still not quite happy with the Efficient Frontier calculations and how well they mimic Project Server.  There’re a couple of discrepancies with my calculations and how Project Server displays the EF curve that I can’t explain quite yet – namely that the Project Server curve sometimes does not intersect the graph axes at the 0,0 point and the Server curve seems to step at a half-project increment.  I need to take some time and look at how I can resolve those discrepancies.

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Still, I think this is a decent enough tool to work through and to use for workshop facilitation.  Feel free to let me know any comments or suggestions for improvement.  I’ll update and release versions as appropriate.

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Stay tuned for more posts on this topic…and if you missed that link at the top of the post, here it is again. (Catapult Portfolio Optimizer Simulation)