In a previous post I detailed the general changes made in Flying Logic 3.0. This post reviews those enhancements specific to the application’s Project Management features.
Project Management tab of the Document Inspector
The Project Management tab in the Document Inspector has gained buttons and the concept of a Standard Calendar has been added.
Just like before the Start and Finish Date of the project are shown. The button between the dates indicates whether Start-to-Finish or Finish-to-Start scheduling will occur.
Below that is the controls to edit the Standard Calendar. The Workdays checkboxes function just as before. You can also set the number of Hours in a Workday. As you might guess, this means that tasks can be given in units less than a day! And you can click on the Exceptions… button to define additional days off beyond that indicated by workdays.
In Flying Logic Pro 3, you can create custom Resources and Calendars. Resources can be assigned to tasks and calendars can be assigned to resources.
The Resources dialog shows all custom resources. You can create a custom resource by clicking the Add button. You can then edit the name, abbreviation, utilization and associated calendar for each resource. Note that Joe Pearce is using the Standard calendar, but Alice Smith is using a custom calendar.
The Calendars dialog has the same editing controls as for the Standard calendar in the Document inspector. (You can actually edit the Standard calendar in this dialog if you choose.) Clicking the Add button creates a new custom calendar. This one has been named “Four-day Workweek” and Friday has been turned-off.
Now let’s see how these new features can be used in a project.
Entity tab of Element Inspector
Here is a simple project with three tasks (entities). Next to the graph is the state of the Element Inspector with the Entity tab visible for each task when selected.
The inspector has two new fields: Resource and Assignment.
The Resource combobox shows the current resources assignment to a task. If no resource is assigned, then the Default resource is considered assigned. Clicking the arrow button shows a pop-up menu with a list of all resources. Selecting a resource item in the menu either adds to removes it from the task. Selecting “Default” removes all resources from the task.
The Assignment pop-up menu can be used to change how multiple resources are applied to a task. The Fixed Effort setting divides the current effort across all the resources, which reduces the duration of the task per newly assigned resource. The Fixed Duration setting indicates that each resource must expend the same amount of effort regardless of total resources, which increases the total effort for each newly assigned resource. Finally, in the Fixed Effort and Duration a.k.a. Fixed Both setting, each resource only uses part of their time on the task. All other things being equal, two resources will have 50% utilization, three resources will have 33.3% utilization, etc.
In the particular example above, task A has a resource of Joe, task B has a resource of Alice, and task C has both Joe and Alice. Plus, Alice is using the Four-day Workweek calendar. What follows are the affect of all these on the project.
Task A starts on the project start day, Thursday, June 16. It’s a two day effoirt task that Joe is solely assigned. He completes it in two work days (a “duration” of two days), which in this case is two actual days also.
Task B also starts on the project start day. It is also a two day effort task, but assigned to Alice. Alice also takes two work days to complete the task, but as she has Fridays off, she completes the task on Monday the 20th.
Task C is assigned to both. The earliest it can start is Tuesday, June 21st. It is a four day effort task. it only takes two work days to complete as both Alice and Joe are assigned to the task.
The entire project completes on June 22nd.
Changes to what Project Management is Displayed in an Entity
The effort is no longer shown in entities. This has been replaced by the list of resources (is any) assigned. Effort seemed less relevant especially now that effort and duration are no longer the same for a task.
There is a tool tip that is displayed when hovering the cursor over the project management information.This tip does show the effort and gives the hour in a workday that a task starts and ends.
Completion Auto-calculated for Milestones
Any task with zero effort is considered a Milestone. The completeness of a milestone is no longer by manually changed. Instead, it’s completeness is set to 100% or “C” if all immediate predecessor tasks are complete; otherwise, the completeness is 0%. Note that only immediate predecessors count — if a predecessor of a predecessor is not complete, that has no affect on the calculation. If you are using completeness value, make sure they are all up-to-date!
Chat View when Project Management Visible
If you have not already, you should read the Chart View section of the previous post if you are not familiar with this new display mode of the canvas.
Non-milestone tasks in the chart that have been a non-zero completion value are shown with a green bar down the center. This bar’s width is proportional to the completion value.
When Project Management is visible, five more columns appear in the Chart View table of elements: Effort, Start, Finish, completeness, and Resource. Also, the column header over the chart itself becomes a schedule, and the width of entities correspond to task duration. Milestones are displayed a small diamonds.
The additional columns also appear in the context menu for showing and hiding columns.
This completes this overview of Flying Logic Pro 3.0 changes!