I realized that I still had a couple of these Resource Analysis posts sitting half written in my queue and figured it was about time to put some finishing touches on them and kick them out the door. That being said, welcome to the latest posting in my Resource Analysis Under the Hood series – where I attempt to explain away some of the mysteries of the Portfolio Analysis module. This post represents my breakdown of the Scenario Commitment functionality.
For previous postings in this vein:
…and probably a couple more that I can’t recall at this point.
The observant user may note the existence of the Commit button within the Portfolio Analysis module.
The Commit button triggers the population of a total of 6 project level fields. Those 6 fields are:
- Committed Planned End Date
- Committed Planned Start Date
- Committed Portfolio Selection Decision (Cost)
- Committed Portfolio Selection Decision (Schedule)
- Committed Portfolio Selection Decision Date (Cost)
- Committed Portfolio Selection Decision Date (Schedule)
The Help screens helpfully describe what the fields do:
|…specifies the finish date of the project as committed to in a Portfolio Selection Scenario during resource constraint analysis.|
|…specifies the start date of the project as committed to in a Portfolio Selection Scenario during resource constraint analysis.|
|…shows the result of a cost constraint analysis on a project. You can choose Selected, Unselected, Forced-In/Out, or Custom Forced-In/Out.|
|…shows the result of a resource constraint analysis on a project. You can choose Selected, Unselected, Forced-In/Out, or Custom Forced-In/Out.|
|…shows the commitment date of a Portfolio Selection Scenario as determined during cost constraint analysis.|
|…shows the commitment date of a Portfolio Selection Scenario as determined during resource constraint analysis.|
These fields are all available from the Project Center view field picklist (although given the length of the names, it’s kind of hard to tell which field is which in the dialog box). Below, I’ve created a custom Project Center view to display all of the key Committed fields. I’ll use this to illustrate the action of the Commit button.
Note that these fields appear to be populated directly to the Published version of the schedule. After clicking Commit, there is no need to republish the projects to update these fields in PWA.
Committing Cost Analyses
When committing analyses, it’s important to commit in the proper order, i.e. Cost and then Resource. This is because the outputs of the Cost Analysis drive the inputs to the Resource Analysis. If the Resource Analysis is committed first, the Cost Analysis may overwrite the results. Given the fact that the Resource Analysis portfolio of projects is the subset of projects that were selected in Cost Analysis, this progression would seem to make sense.
In the below example, I committed the Resource Analysis first….
…and then the Cost Analysis. You’ll see that the Resource Analysis figures were wiped out.
The Cost Analysis does not commit the schedule data, such as the Planned End Date and Planned Start Dates. Those are populated from the Resource (i.e. Schedule) Analysis.
Committing Resource Analyses
The Resource Analysis commits both the Cost and Resource Analysis – as you’ll note both sets of fields are populated when the Resource Analysis is committed.
- The Commit button is intended not only to populate these 6 fields, but also to serve as the trigger for custom workflows. In fact, one can argue that the Commit button is most importantly intended to kick off some sort of approval workflow in the portfolio analysis process. You could also tie a workflow to the Forced Out projects prompting a review procedure at a later date.
- The Commit functionality complements nicely the new command in Project Professional 2010 that allows you to shift the entire project forward or backward in time. Thus, once the scenario has been committed and a Planned Start Date has been defined, the Project Manager could open the file in Microsoft Project, plug in the new Planned Start Date, and have the entire project shift accordingly.
- If the project is selected in multiple analyses – which I imagine would be a mistake, as I can’t see a valid use case where that would logically occur, the most final analysis commitment will override the fields.
- In the category of wish list items, I’d like to see the actual name of the Analysis used to support committing the project as an available field. I’ll have to look into the database schema to see if I can generate up a list of projects and the associated scenario.