Delft University of Technology
Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Transport Technology

B.W. Hoekstra Multi-Project Planning with Resources
Computer program, Report 2005.TL.6971, Transport Engineering and Logistics.

This report discusses the functionality, design, and use of the simulation program 'Multi-Project Planning with Resources'. This program is based on the Process Description Language (PDL) of the paper 'Process Interactive Modeling and Simulation in Project Planning and Control' written by J.A. Ottjes, H.P.M. Veeke, and G. Lodewijks. The paper presents a design for multi-network planning using process-interaction modeling. The simulation program is the actual implementation of this design using the software Delphi and TOMAS.

The main advantage of simulations for project management is besides realistic statistical data of the projects, that all data of every project realization is available for further analysis. A simulation consists of multiple sub-runs and each sub-run represents a project realization. A multi-project is a combination of several different or identical projects. A project has a network structure of activities; these activities have mutual relationships and interactions. Resources include men, equipment, storage area, etc. Project managers need information about activities, which can cause a delay of the project and/ or multi-project. These 'critical' activities need to be monitored carefully to ensure project completion within a required contract time.

The program is written using three layers or building blocks. These layers represent the steps in the designing and programming process. The first layer is 'Project Planning', which is the simulation of one project with its activities. This layer is extended, or lifted to the next level, with the second layer 'Multi-Project Planning' to achieve the simulation of several projects at once. The final layer extends the second layer to construct the program 'Multi-Project Planning with Resources'.

The program provides insight in the uncertainty about the duration of activities and the effect of these activities on the completion time of projects and the multi-project. If activity execution times are known, the simulation provides realistic data on project duration, information on the probability of activities being critical, the required amount of resources, and the planning for all these elements. In fact, the program does not only offer planning, but also control. With the statistical information on the probability of activities being critical, the project manager knows which activities to monitor closely during execution.

The program is constructed in such a way that it provides a planning list for resources. The time, amount of resources, activity name, and duration are stored in a separate file and provide statistical information when the resources should be present. Simulations also provide data on the minimum required amount of resources and the effect of a certain amount of resources on activities and project duration.

The flexibility and speed of the program ensures that multiple simulations can be executed to acquire statistical data on all kinds of project combinations, network structures, activity execution distributions, needed resources, types of resources, etc. Because of the transparent and adaptable nature the program works, simulations are possible for all types of industries, each with his specific constraints and settings.

Reports on Transport Engineering and Logistics (in Dutch)
Modified: 2005.09.13; , TU Delft / 3mE / TT / LT.