Planning a Project


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Plan Resources in a project
  • Plan dates in a project
  • Plan costs in a project

Resource Planning in a Project

You prioritize certain aspects depending on the type of the project. For example, in a customer project, the planned finish date is of major relevance. In contrast, in investment projects, the budgeted costs might be more important than other aspects. The aspects of planning are mutually dependent. For example, to keep a deadline, you need to allocate more resources. By doing so, you are likely to increase costs.

Assigning Human Resources to a Project

Internally processed activities are used to plan work that is to be carried out within your company.

You must define additional data for internally processed activities so the system can create capacity requirements and calculate costs for the following:

  • Work Center:

    A work center is the place where an activity is carried out or work output is produced. A work center contains the scheduling and capacity data required for scheduling and capacity planning. A work center also contains data for costing.

  • Work:

    Work is the planned output of machines or personnel to complete an activity.

  • Duration:

    The duration specifies for how long an activity lasts.

  • Activity Type:

    The activity type (and the cost center derived from the work center) specify a price for calculating the planned costs of an activity.

You can determine how much of the work center capacity is used for the activities. If necessary, you can use the Project Planning Board to level capacities. When you confirm activities during the project execution phase, you enter actual dates.

Plan Resources in a Project

Dates Planning in a Project

In Customizing, you can configure the appropriate scheduling parameters or use predefined scheduling scenarios. You can use the project planning board to change these settings for a particular project.

You can plan dates for individual WBS elements and also enter outline dates for your project in the project definition. In rough-cut planning, you specify dates for WBS elements that are binding for more detailed planning. You then use this rough-cut plan as the basis for more detailed planning or scheduling using networks.

You can use several functions in date planning to compare, reconcile, and calculate dates at a later point in time.

Scheduling a Project

In projects with networks, you can carry out scheduling to derive the activity dates and WBS element dates automatically. The scheduling parameters determine how scheduling is carried out. Networks are always scheduled forward and backward.

In the scheduling parameters, the scheduling type specifies the direction in which you begin scheduling. The system determines the earliest dates of the activities by using forward scheduling and the latest dates of activities by using backward scheduling.

The difference between the earliest and the latest dates of an activity is referred to as a total float. The activity is critical if the total float is zero. When the total float is negative, there is a scheduling problem.

Planned dates for networks, activities, and activity elements are called basic dates. You can enter basic dates manually and/or schedule them. The activity duration and relationships allow you to schedule networks.

Networks are always scheduled forwards and backwards. The scheduling type in the scheduling parameters specifies the direction in which you begin the scheduling. The system determines the earliest dates of the activities by means of forward scheduling, and the latest dates by means of backward scheduling. The difference between the earliest and the latest dates of an activity are referred to as floats. Floats can be positive, zero, or negative. If the float of an activity is zero or negative, the activity in question is critical.

You can maintain the following three sets of dates for network activities:

  • Basic dates
  • Actual dates
  • Forecast dates

You can use scheduling for basic dates and forecast dates.

For processing dates that are directly assigned to activities, create time events and assign them to activities. For example, you can create, draft, review, and specify events and assign them to the first activity. You can add dates and texts for these events. The traffic lights indicate whether these events comply with the planned dates.

Plan Dates in a Project (Optional)

Cost Planning in a Project

In addition to manual planning in the WBS, you have the option of creating activities for WBS elements and using these activities to plan costs.

This method has the following advantages:

  • The resulting plan can be copied to new projects.
  • If parts of the project are shifted, cost planning is shifted automatically with the activities.
  • Planning using network activities is done by cost element and period.

Planning Costs and Revenues at the Network Level of a Project

Plan Costs in a Project (Optional)

For a preliminary costing and the option of cost comparison you decide to plan cost for the cost center T-ENG00 with activity type ENG-00 on the WBS elements. As you perform an activity costing, you need to plan on a yearly basis. Therefore, you plan the first two WBS elements in the actual year and the last two WBS elements in actual year +1. You want to compare to the costs in the network.

This planning is a manual planning on WBS elements. Because you want to compare to the costs later from network you will perform that costing in a different cost planning version. You will use version 1 for the manual planning.

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