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Using Aggregates

Suppose Harry and Mary each manage a subsystem on a major program. You have identified many risks to the program and you want to know how much of the program risk Harry and Mary each carry. Use "aggregates" to get the answer.

Determining Aggregate Risks

In GoldPan select the Aggregates View. The tabs at the bottom show you the different project scenarious you have created. Select a scenario by case and the browser on the left will show you the aggregates you already have for that case. Cases are numbered 0, 1, 2, etc. Notice that the WBS is always included as an aggregate in the browser. You can build other aggregates using the WBS as a source for the tasks to include. You will use "drag-and-drop" to do this. At the top in the toolbar there are five icons representing types of aggregates you can create. You can create as many as you need. You can build them up hierarchically. You can edit them using "drag-and-drop" and the Trash barrel at the bottom of the browser. Aggregates are available in other views for selecting simulation reports and comparing risks and costs. Aggregates, just like the WBS, are stored hierarchically in the database. Each scenario can have many aggregates. When you copy a case to construct a different scenario, aggregates are copied to the new case.

Creating Owner Aggregates

Move the mouse over the Owners icon. The tooltip will say "New Owner." Click on this icon. In the Aggregates browser notice a new owner labelled "Owner1" has been created. Click into the label and change the owner name to "Harry."  Now do the same for Mary. You now have two owners, Harry and Mary. You can open aggregate folders the same way as in Windows Explorer. Using the WBS or other existing aggregates, drag those that belong to Harry and drop them onto Harry. For example Harry may be in charge of the "engineering" phase, while Mary is in charge of the "integration" phase. Notice that phases are also aggregates in GoldPan. So you would drag the entire "engineering" phase folder onto Harry and drop it. When you click on either Harry or Mary the listing to the right show which tasks are managed by each. Now to see the power of this, go to the Simulation View by selecting Tools/Simulation. There you will see the same browser including Harry and Mary for selecting simulation reports. You can obtain cashflow reports for Owner aggregates. Now to also get duration reports for Harry and Mary use "Hammocks" as described below. Create a hammock for Harry ranging from Harry's first task to his last task. Do the same for Mary. You can use the risk reports to compare Harry and Mary's cost and schedule risk. You can also compare their risks (by type) in the Compare Risks View.

How can I adjust project costs based on Schedule Risks?

Suppose you want to determine the cost of tasks based upon their schedule, and adjust those costs for schedule risk. You can use a "hammock". A hammock is a task that has a cost that is adjusted by it's duration. In GoldPan these tasks are referred to as Duration-Driven-Cashflow tasks or DDC tasks for short. This type of task is called a "hammock" because it spans a series of tasks in your schedule network and is designed to measure their planned and risk adjusted duration and to adjust its cost accordingly. An example of a DDC task is a management task. The cost of a management task is typically proportional to the duration of all the tasks included by it. You can include such tasks in your plan or even base the cost of your plan completely on DDC tasks.

To base the cost of your plan on DDC tasks

Build your plan and create a schedule network but do not include any costs. You will use hammocks for calculating the costs. Suppose you have a summary level task called "Engineering." A summary task cannot be a DDC so create a task just below the summary level and give it a title something like, "Engineering Cost." Enter the planned cost into the Net Cashflow column of  "Engineering Cost." Do not enter any duration because you are now going to define it as a DDC task. Select the "Engineering Cost" task using the Row Selector button at the far left. The row will be highlighted. Now press Create DDC. The Create DDC popup tool shows "Engineering Cost" as the selected DDC task. The list, below, of DDC Candidates are tasks that are in your network that can be used to measure the path duration of  "Engineering Cost." Select the Start task and the End task. The Start and End tasks for "Engineering Cost" should be the scheduled tasks that start "engineering" and finish "engineering." Press Set and then Close to dismiss the tool.

On the Plan View, notice that the Work Days column for the DDC task has a "blue" entry labelled DDC. Now press Create Schedule at the bottom of the Plan and WBS View. Select either ASAP or ALAP as preferred. The plan duration calculated by the DDC will now also be show. In this example, this is the path duration from the start of engineering to the end of engineering. On the Outline View notice that the summary task now includes the cost of the DDC task and this cost is "rolled up" to the project summary level.

The final step is to define the Schedule Risks to the plan. You can assign schedule risks to tasks that have a duration. This excludes Milestones (duration 0), Summary tasks, and DDC tasks. DDC tasks do not have a duration of their own. [The duration of a DDC task is derived from the path duration of the tasks spanned by the DDC.] After entering Schedule Risks, the Risk Adjusted Schedule will be calculated automatically. Take a look at the Risk Adjusted Cashflow column and you will notice that the DDC are including a risk adjusted cost based on the increase in schedule duration of the spanned tasks.

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