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-   -   How to maximize the highlight of violations? (http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=12722)

Sappetta 2009-06-05 12:33 PM

How to maximize the highlight of violations?
 
I am new to project management, and I really like OmniPlan and it has already helped me to clear up the planning and management of our projects.

I have a question wich might be silly, because I realize that the aim of this software is different, but here goes:

In our project, we have tasks set in the future that will impossible to complete with the given effort, resources and time constraints.
This shows up in the "Violations" column in "Task View", in more detail in the "Violations Window", and in the load graph in "Resources View".

Is it possible to further highlight them in the Gantt chart? And what other ways are there to make them really stick out?

We need this to explain our request of additional resources.

Thanks!

whpalmer4 2009-06-05 08:31 PM

It doesn't really add much of a highlight to the Gantt chart, but you can turn on another bit of information to show violations. Go to View->View Options and you'll see that there are controls for configuring what information is displayed on the Gantt chart. One of the choices offered is a violation count, which will show a number representing the number of violations relating to the task or milestone. You might also turn on the Critical Path highlighting to show that the violations actually matter.

A trivial example showing the violation count on both a task and a milestone, plus the use of the Critical Path highlighting:

[URL=http://img176.imageshack.us/my.php?image=picture2y.png][IMG]http://img176.imageshack.us/img176/6650/picture2y.png[/IMG][/URL]

Sappetta 2009-06-06 06:24 AM

Thanks for the suggestions!
I fumbled around with the "View Options", but I fail to understand how the "Task labels" part on the right works... what I am supposed to choose in the 3 menues in order for violations or task names to show up?
Federica
P.S. The "Critical Path" in my project only highlights the last milestone of the project... I definitely must be doing something wrong...

skwirl 2009-06-10 07:08 PM

[QUOTE=Sappetta;60866]Thanks for the suggestions!
I fumbled around with the "View Options", but I fail to understand how the "Task labels" part on the right works... what I am supposed to choose in the 3 menues in order for violations or task names to show up?
Federica
P.S. The "Critical Path" in my project only highlights the last milestone of the project... I definitely must be doing something wrong...[/QUOTE]

If you want the task names to show up to the left of a task bar, you would select the drop-down menu on the left of the task bar and select "Task". If you want a violation marker to show up instead select "Violation".

As for critical path, there's a couple of criterias that need to be met before the path is shown. The idea is that the critical path shows the chain of tasks that will affect/delay the outcome of the last task in your project. Some items to check in your project include:

-Making sure the tasks are scheduled to start "As early as constraints allow". You can check this by going to the "Task : Information" inspector for each task. If it's set to start "On specified date", it won't be considered part of the chain because any changes to the chain don't affect it's schedule. A task or milestone can be set to "On specified date" if you drag it in the gantt chart to set its schedule or if you type in a specific start date in the Task : Information inspector.

-Making sure there are no gaps of time between each task. If there's a gap, it's not part of the critical path because it has some wiggle room before it affects the schedule of the next task.

whpalmer4 2009-06-10 08:23 PM

What akwong said :-)

I meant to get back to you with an explanation, but didn't save a link to the discussion and it slipped out of mind until Aaron's reply made it visible again. Sorry about that, but Aaron's explanation was at least as good as mine would have been! I think the only thing I would add/clarify is that if you drag a task, milestone or group in the Gantt chart it [b]will[/b] be set to start on a specific date. In my experience, it is best to avoid setting tasks to be scheduled on a specific date if at all possible, as doing so hinders OmniPlan's ability to suggest the best scheduling. Much better to use dependencies and resource assignments to lay out the plan organization!

Sappetta 2009-06-11 08:31 AM

akwong, whpalmer4,

thanks a lot, you have been very helpful!

I should have figured out the "task Labels" part myself :-)

Thanks especially for the explanation about the critical path: I will try to avoid all unnecessary specific dates for the tasks, although some are unavoidable.
Also, without set dates, Omniplan pushes all tasks too much in the first part of the time period I am working on: of course it's doing its proper job, but the result is unrealistic. I suppose it depends on the resources and percentage of their work I assigned to the single tasks.

At this stage I really am quite a hopeless newbie I fear :-)

whpalmer4 2009-06-11 08:58 AM

Are you assigning all the tasks to resources, and using the level command? Failure to do that will often result in tasks piling up at the start of the project timeframe.

Sappetta 2009-06-11 10:02 AM

Yes, that is what I am doing. If I leave tasks on "schedule as soon as constraints allow", and level, they shift too much to the beginning of the project. Must I assign more effort to the tasks, or more % of assigned amount to the resources?

whpalmer4 2009-06-11 04:09 PM

Can you post an small example showing what is happening, and what you think it should do instead (you can drag things to the right spot for the latter)? My usual experience is that things are scheduled later than I expect (though I usually agree when I look closely enough).


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