Multi-Project Planning with Resources
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)
, TU Delft