Monday, 28 March 2011

Microsoft EPM Project Scenario Modeler for what-if-Analysis

Applies: EPM2007 & EPM2010

There are some neat capabilities in EPM 2010 for doing some limited what-if-Analysis of live Enterprise Project Data. Some examples are mentioned below with use cases;

- Multiple Undo used only during the session i.e. when project is open and works only up to the last save operation.
- Save Project as mpp file used only for taking full project copy/snapshots as mpp file and kept outside of EPM. Normally used by PMs to save monthly backups outside of Project Server in some case where they need to compare historical changes, for example forecast cost to complete, with the current live plan.
- Publish Tasks setting project task attribute ‘Publish’ to ‘Yes’ hides the tasks in PWA > My Tasks and Timesheets. This data is still visible in Project Centre, Resource Centre Reports, Data Analysis etc.
- Inactivate Tasks setting tasks to Inactive does impact project data in Project Centre, Resource Centre Reports, Data Analysis etc. This is akin to deleting the task temporarily. In summary, tasks can be either hidden (taken out of the equation) or not. There is no modelling of existing live tasks.
- Team Planner used in conjunction with Multiple Undo for what-if-analysis. Again, used during the session i.e. when project is open and works only up to the last save operation.

None of these above capabilities provide a solution where by you can actually modify existing live project tasks/assignments for multiple scenarios. You cannot modify tasks/assignments, save > publish to server and expect to undo the changes if they are not right for the business.

For those who used EPM2003, you may have used Project Versions. This was a built-in feature of EPM2003 .The issue with this feature was that it kept all versions of a project in the same live database and caused duplication of costs, resources, external dependency issues etc.! This feature has since been removed and no longer available in EPM2007/2010.

  • Want to take multiple snapshots of Enterprise Projects to perform various analysis without fear of compromising live data?
  • Want the flexibility to take multiple snapshots of live Enterprise projects with various scenarios (cost, schedule etc) and review their impact on overall live Programs, Master Projects, external project dependencies and Project Portfolios via built-in EPM Tools i.e. Project Centre, Data Analysis Reports or custom Reports?
  • Want to Model Enterprise Projects with various resourcing scenarios to address over-allocation of common key Enterprise Resources and retain the approved version?

Well, Enterprise Project Modeler allows you do just that. This is an add-on solution for Microsoft EPM2007 & EPM2010. Analyse project data the way you want to, how you want to and when you want to, without fear of compromising current/live Enterprise project data. Project Managers/Planners can take various snapshots of their Enterprise projects for analysis and restore models/scenarios that best works for the business.

Below is a short introductory video for this Business Productivity Add-on solutionEnterprise Project Modeler’ for what-if-Analysis from Project Solution Ltd. Some screen shots are are also included. Contact sale@ProjectSolution.co.uk with promo code ‘April2011’ for 25% Easter discount!! Valid only until midnight 30th April 2011.

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