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Creating a scenario

To create a scenario you configure information about what value to optimize for over a specific time horizon, the types of projects you want to include in the optimization, resource and budgetary constraints, and what kind of project manipulation you will accept. You create scenarios from the PPA tab list page.

Click the Create button at the top of the Scenarios list page. You are presented with a 3-panel configuration wizard. Fill out the panels as described below:

General

create_general.png

Setting

Description

Title

(Required) The name of the scenario. The title appear on the List page.

Description

(Optional) Supporting information about the scenario.

Optimize for

(Required) The value on which to base the optimization. The drop list is populated with the fields you specified in the Scenario settings dialog. If you did not specify and fields, then all numeric project fields are listed.

Start Date

The date that begins the planning horizon.  Note that scenario evaluation always begin on a Monday. So if you specify a date that is a Wednesday, the scenario will start the Monday of that week (2 days earlier).

Period Size

The interval that defines the planning horizon. Options are Week, Month, Quarter. Note that the end date will always be a Sunday. So if you specify a Period Size of Month, and the month ends on a Friday, the scenario will not end until the Sunday of that week (2 days later).

# of Periods

The number of intervals in the planning horizon.

Projects

Select the filter that displays the superset of projects you can include in the scenario. If the number of projects or resources exceeds the maximum allowed (250 projects/ 500 resources), an error message will display and you will need to select a different filter. This limit has nothing to do with the total number of projects/resources in your instance (unless no filter is used) nor the number of projects in a portfolio (unless the only filter condition is that portfolio).

Configure the settings (described in the table below) for the projects in the scenario. You can select the checkboxes for one project at a time, or you can select multiple projects and use the right-click context menu to select a property and apply it to the selected projects.

create_select_projects.png

Setting

Description

Projects to Optimize filter

(Required) Choose a project filter. The filters are populated by your Project filters. If there is a filter you know you want, create it on the Project page in PPM Pro; you cannot create new filters in the Projects panel. Note there is a 250 project limit, so be sure to use the project filter accordingly.

Project

The name of any project that satisfies the filter.

 

Required

This project must be included in the scenario, even if causes over-allocations.

Required projects are scheduled before other projects by the PPA engine. In the event that there is insufficient capacity to staff all projects marked as "required," the engine will schedule projects so as to minimize the overallocation. Resource placeholders titled "To Be Staffed" will be included in the scenario result to cover the resource shortfall necessary to schedule the project. Note that this can result in total allocations exceeding total capacity for some or all time periods in the scenario result.

Preferred

This project is given priority and will be considered first.

Preferred projects should be scheduled before projects that are not marked "Required" or "Preferred".   Such projects might still not be included in the scenario result if there is insufficient capacity to staff them at all, but they won't be displaced by projects that are neither "required" nor "preferred".

Exclude

Don't include in scenario.

Don't Move

The start/end dates of this project cannot be shifted.

Can be Split

The allocations for this project don't have to be contiguous.

Keep Staffing

If there are existing allocations on a project, keep them intact (do not delete). Note that the only way to ensure a staffed project is included in the scenario output is to also use the Required property. For example, if Project A has allocations and "Keep Staffing" checked, and Project A's allocated resources are also needed for higher-value projects, it may cause Project A to be excluded.

Optimization Parameter (title varies)

The value of the optimization field you chose on the General page of the Create wizard.

Constraints

create_constraints.png

Setting

Description

Resource Filter

(Required) Choose a resource filter. The filters are populated by your Resource filters. If there is a filter you know you want, create it on the Resource page in PPM Pro; you cannot create new filters in the Constraints panel. Note a max of 500 resources is supported - use the resource filter to control the resource pool.

Use Full Resource Capacity

(Optional)  Enable to free up resource capacity from projects outside of the scenario.

For example, imagine a resource that has 40 hours of capacity and is allocated 20 hours to project A. However, the scenario is run with project B; project A is not included in the scenario. As a result, the resource will have 40 hours available capacity for the scenario. If you disable this property the user will have only 20 hours of capacity.

Apply Budget Constraint

Enable to include a budgetary constraint. Enter the budget value in the text field.

The prorated value of the budget for the time interval you specified is displayed below.

The labor portion of the prorated cost is based on role rates.

If a project would otherwise be excluded after PPA evenly allocates the budget across the time horizon, the engine will try to "borrow" up to six weeks of funds (forwards or backwards) to reallocate to weeks with a budget deficit, if this results in the project being included. This mimics how an organization would typically spend the overall budget unevenly throughout a quarter.

Project Duration Threshold

Specify what percentage of a project must fit in the time horizon to be able to include the project in a scenario. For example, if you are planning for one year and the threshold is set to 50%, then at least 6 months of the project must take place during the horizon. The default value is 30% or whatever your admin has configured in the PPA settings.

Click OK to start the optimization engine. You'll see a progress bar on the Scenarios list page. You can cancel a processing optimization by right-clicking on the scenario and choosing Delete from the menu.