As a project manager, John must ensure that the project is completed on time. He needs to store the time dependencies between the individual parts of the project and he needs to schedule the project.
John wants to schedule the different project phases and the tasks of the implementation project according to the project requirements, the availability of resources and the comments of stakeholders. The scheduling result of this will be the basis for the processes to follow, such as the distribution of the project workload using roles and staffing, the calculation of costs and the evaluation and comparison of planned and actual data.
With both scheduling types, there is forward and backward scheduling, so that an earliest and latest date is calculated for phases and tasks. You use date restrictions to manually intervene in the scheduling of the various objects.
The questions that the scheduling of a project answers seem simple at first. Examples of these are:
- When will the project be finished, if it starts in a specific month?
- When does the project have to start, if you want it to be finished by next spring?
You must, however, consider various factors when you are scheduling projects. For example: time frames, time dependencies, and confirmed times that influence further planning. These factors make scheduling a project quite a complex affair: When will the project be finished if the third phase cannot begin before the fourth quarter, and the first phase is three weeks behind schedule?
Solving a question like this is part of the process and SAP Portfolio and Project Management supports you here with tabular and graphical scheduling functionality, a structure overview and various reports.
The result of scheduling is the basis for all other activities that follow, such as cost calculation and staffing of project tasks.
A Graphical Display of Dates
A graphical display of dates provides you with an overview of the time frame for individual project elements. Critical dates are displayed as red bars in the graphical overview. Constraints are represented by yellow bars. You can show additional information on tasks and phases in the GANTT chart. Collective tasks can be shown in different colors.
The graphical display of dates provides the following functionality:
Zoom in and out
Calculation of critical path
Adjust dates and duration of phases and tasks
Manual or automatic rescheduling of phases and tasks
Print a GANTT Chart
Filter certain objects or statuses
Copy calculated dates to forecasted dates
Compare dates, such as calculated dates and forecasted dates
Create and maintain relationships
Open a details screen, for example for tasks
To model the activities in the project correctly, you can use relationships to define if project tasks should run in parallel or one after the other.
Relationships can depict a predecessor or a successor relationship, and can be given positive or negative time intervals.
The following relationship types can exist between a predecessor and a successor task:
- Finish-Start (FS) relationship
- Start-Start (SS) relationship
- Finish-Finish (FF) relationship
- Start-Finish (SF) relationship
The relationship type defines whether the start or end of the predecessor task is to be linked to the start or end of the successor task. Relationships are defined between tasks on the same hierarchy level. You can also link tasks with subtasks or with a task in a different phase. You can maintain relationships using table-based editing or using a graphical display. You can create, edit, and delete relationships.