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  White Paper on Using Schedule Analyzer Professional  
  Ron Winter  
  December 14, 2002  
Many people have asked me to write a brief overview on when, why, and how a Scheduler would use the various modules of Schedule Analyzer Professional (SA Pro) in the course of a typical project. The need for this information completely escaped me as I first had a scheduling requirement and then wrote that software to solve that requirement. It never occurred to me that the opposite condition would exist; that people would have software and then need to know how to employ that software. This paper addresses this issue.
To start at the beginning, we must consider the Baseline Schedule. Either you are creating one or reviewing one. You would want to run SA Pro BASELINE CHECKER on this schedule. Developers and reviewers want the same thing; a schedule that covers all issues, is maintainable, and can be used in the future to quantify any possible delay. Contractors should not want one-day activities, they cannot be accelerated. Owners should want review times for submittals that allow time to complete the process before being constructed. Everyone wants correct holiday calendars so that they can count work days accurately.
When a schedule update is created, several things should happen. You should first run SA Pro UPDATE CHECKER, using the new schedule as the update and the previous update (or the baseline if no previous updates exist) as the target schedule to compare against. UPDATE CHECKER starts out by assuming that any existing logic or activity in the earlier schedule (the Target Schedule) has already been reviewed and accepted. It is only interested in the current changes and what each change might mean to the schedule.
In the latest schedule (Update Schedule,) the Contractor should accurately identify all actual starts and finishes. He should also modify any planned logic to include additional work or a change in the workplan. He should not change any actual event or logic that occurred prior to the last update period (without an explanation.)
The Contractor should want to ensure that all added activity and relevant delays are reflected in the latest schedule. The Owner should verify that current conditions are accurately reflected in the upcoming immediate future. Both sides should be concerned that past events that occurred prior to the last update remain ‘fixed’ and that there isn’t confusion about what has already been agreed upon.
You can always run SA Pro BASELINE CHECKER on your Update Schedules. Be sure to uncheck the option, “Baseline Schedule” so that the analysis will not dwell on progress issues that are not usually seen in Baseline Schedules. This single-schedule analysis is especially important if additions or changes have been made to the logic or durations.
The update period is also a good time to run SA Pro SCHEDULE LOGGER. Transfer your SA Pro Baseline Reviews and SA Pro Update Reviews to the activity log section in the schedule. This gives you the ‘matrix-view’ of activity history. Instead of considering a single time period or a single event issue, look at all issues that have occurred to a particular activity over the course of the project.
A Scheduler who wants to be prepared for delay claims issues before they happen will want to use Schedule Analyzer WORK PROFILER to verify and document actual work performed in the field. Use PROFILE MAKER to enter verified actual dates from the last update period into a database. See more about this add-on software package under “Delay Claims.” This actual information is much more legally valid if it is determined in the field, near the time that the work was actually performed. The recent-past is much more easily remembered than the distant-past.
Speaking of the past, each update period is a perfect time to run SA Pro SCHEDULE DESTATUSER to determine what was the critical path for the past period. Perform a ‘window analysis’ and have the program stop at the data date of the previous update. The changes made in the current schedule update make critical path findings before the previous schedule update less-reliable past this point. Legally, each schedule update should only be used for the period involved in that update.
Once the project is complete, you will want to run SA Pro SCHEDULE LOGGER even if you haven’t run it during the project before now. With it you can transfer individual update log entries to other schedules to build-up a history. Run it against the Baseline Schedule and then transfer those logs to the first Update Schedule. Run it against the First Update Schedule and then transfer the two reviews at the same time to the Second Update Schedule. Keep this up for the entire update history until you get to the final, As-Built Schedule.
Once this short report logging process is complete, a simple P3 Log Report will list out every activity with its complete chronological history plainly summarized. This is ‘matrix-view’ especially enlightening for milestone activities. A look at this report can tell you more about what happened during the project than the best Scheduler’s memory can.
What if you are presented with an As-Built Schedule but no Baseline Schedule and no Update Schedules? Modern schedule analysis calls for a window analysis but you do not have any intervening schedules to analyze? Use SA Pro SCHEDULE REBUILDER to objectively create those schedules for you. Generate the Baseline Schedule and any or all updates at the same time. These will be standard P3 schedules that you can review, modify as required, and produce display charts or graphs.
Speaking of display charts, why not use SA Pro AS-PLANNED/AS-BUILT MAKER to create a Baseline Schedule based upon actual durations and logic? You can gain a great insight as to the actual conditions and constraints affecting a project by analyzing this P3 Simulation Schedule. It makes a wonderful source for graphic displays and analysis on the cause-and-effect discussions that occur in project post-mortem.
If you are professional Delay Analyst, you will want to perform all the above mentioned tasks. SA Pro does a lot more than just save you time, it locates issues that are usually overlooked AND it tells you when you are done looking. If you understand all issues and ramifications brought-up by the previous analyses, then you can be confident that you have discovered all there is to be found. You are ready for the next step, documenting the work progress.
Schedule Analyzer WORK PROFILER is a separate software package from that of SA Pro. It contains all of the programs found in SA Pro plus it has two more programs and extensions to two other SA Pro programs. With WORK PROFILER, you can automate the progress documentation process, cross-check and validate entries. The database is then automatically ready for use by the other WORK PROFILER-aware programs. You can perform this process periodically as the project progresses or all at once at the project’s completion.
Use WORK SCHEDULE to read your work profile database and automatically convert your As-Planned Schedule into its one-day activity equivalents. Create As-Built or As-Planned Schedules that show exactly the work performed with the logic retained. WORK SCHEDULE ‘forces’ the dates into the completed As-Built Schedule, causing the one-day activities to ‘hang’ where they initially occurred until your ask for a CPM re-calculation. If your work documentation is accurate, this type of a schedule cannot be legally dismissed.
Finally, you can have SA Pro SCHEDULE DESTATUSER and SCHEDULE REBUILDER read your work profile database and use it to determine the exact status of in-progress activities in their work output. Instead of using assumptions, you can now determine the exact status of any activity at any time that you chose. You no longer have to depend upon progress updates for status.
The SA Pro programs are evolving all of the time as new ideas occur or new problems arise. Since Version 2 was introduced four years ago, SA Pro has undergone 71 different revisions. Most of these revisions were additions to the programs to enhance their capabilities. Registered Users are encouraged to update whenever they chose by an open, inexpensive upgrade program. We have a policy of automatically updating any User’s program for free if they make a suggestion for improvement that we use in future releases. This is an exciting time to be a Scheduling Engineer.