When you are assessing your schedule’s quality there are typically activities that you want to exclude for the analysis so they don’t cloud the results. You might have some activities that represent work your customer is going to do for example, that you wouldn’t assign resources to (skews Normal Tasks with No Resource metric). Also, you may have activities that deliver something external to the project but that are not directly associated with pushing the end date of a project (skews incomplete logic metric).
You may also have activities that are far enough in the future that they haven’t been fully planned. All of these things are fairly typical when building a schedule. The issue comes when you want to do an assessment of the schedule, you don’t want to treat all activities the same. Acumen Fuse offers a way to exclude activities manually using the Exclude box in the activity details section of the Fuse interface.
With this check box selected, you can rerun the assessment and these activities will be excluded from any of the metrics. This is great if you are reviewing your data and see one or two activities that should not have been considered for some reason. But if you have a lot of activities that you want to exclude, this method can take a lot of time and more importantly will have to be redone when you import the project again.
The good news is there is an easy way to use a field in your schedule to identify activities that should be excluded from the analysis prior to importing the project into Acumen. You can use any field on the task to store the flag. Once it is coded in the schedule, you can then just tell Acumen to ignore that activity. And even better, the activity exclusion can be applied metric by metric, it is not a global setting. So, if you do not want an activity used for calculating the “Tasks without Resources” metric, but do want to have it considered for logic, no problem!
Here’s how you go about implementing this filter capability:
1) Identify a field in the schedule to use to flag activities for exclusion. A text field is easy. In this example we set Text20 as the field and change the Title to “Exclude from Acumen”
2) Flag the activities you want to exclude from the metrics with a consistent value. For example, simply putting an ‘X’ in the field will work. (If you are using MS Project you could have selected a flag field and used the default entry in that field).
3) Make sure the field is included in the import mapping in Acumen in the “Fields” tab so you are sure the value will be brought in when the project is imported (this is what is nice about the text fields as they tend to be imported by default).
4) The final step is to update the metric you want to exclude the tasks flagged with this field. You can do this by going to the “Metrics” tab and selecting the metric you want to edit and adding the field you set up in the Filters section, like the item below.
Now when you run analysis on the project only the activities without the ‘X’ in this field will be considered for the ‘High Float’ metric. The same activities can be excluded from other activities in the same way, you just need to update the individual metric.
So now you can use the coding capability in your schedule to quickly and consistently exclude tasks from individual metric logic for a better assessment in a few easy steps!
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