Deltek Acumen 360 provides a 360-degree view of all your scheduling possibilities. Here we examine the main features in Acumen 360 show how it works.
Deltek Acumen 360 lets you generate schedule scenarios in real-time so that you can model duration slippages and savings in scenarios and immediately assess the impact. You can accelerate (or decelerate) any area of the schedule and immediately see the impact on the project.
You can also inspect delays and accelerations at all levels in the schedule. This includes the activity, deliverable, and project levels, providing upper and lower schedule perspectives.
The ability to investigate both duration setbacks and savings and at all levels of the work breakdown structure (WBS) and associated efforts or individual tasks makes for a truly 360-degree view of the potential schedule outcomes.
This article explores the main features of Deltek Acumen 360 that provide for an all-encompassing perspective of the scheduling prospects.
Deltek Acumen 360
Deltek Acumen 360 has additional features, but we focus our current investigation on those aspects of the software module that are reflective of its name, 360. In other words, those features that provide us with a 360-degree panoramic view of our scheduling possibilities.
We have in Figure 1 our demonstration P6 Underground Pipe Branch Addition Project, Figure 1.
This same schedule imported into Acumen is displayed in Figure 2.
It is the calibration slider that provides the 360-degree perspective of the schedule. Proceeding with the Calibration Slider in the Scenario Generation ribbon group choose Scenario Calibration | Calibration Template, Figure 3.
Adjust the Calibration Template size so that the calibrator spans from requires significantly less time thru realistic to requires significantly more time, Figure 4.
So, the calibration template setting includes different angles of perspective from levels that require less time, thru realistic, to levels that require more time. As Figure 4 displays durations requiring less time are multiplied by a factor less than 1. Realistic durations are multiplied by 1. Finally, durations requiring more time are multiplied by a factor greater than 1.
Continue in the navigator pane and select the Pipe Branch schedule then right click on it and choose create scenario from the popup menu, Figure 5.
This creates a scenario copy of the schedule, Figure 6, that the scheduler can modify using the calibration slider.
The scenario in Figure 6 is selected, and in the activities ribbon group we choose Activity View | Grouping | Display Level – 4, Figure 7.
You will most likely have to adjust the display slider back to level 1 and then shift it again back to level 4 to have the slider refresh before displaying the full Pipe Branch Scenario schedule in the Activity View. After adjusting the size of the Gantt chart for easy viewing the schedule appears in Figure 8.
Note the 07/31/2024 Finish Date of the schedule when the Calibration Slider is off, Figure 9.
We adjust the Calibration Slider for the entire project to Requires Significantly Less Time, Figure 10, and note the new Finish Date, 06/27/2024.
This finish date was generated in real-time, i.e., with an unnoticeable time delay.
When the Calibration Slider is set to Realistic the dates are the same as when turned off, Figure 11.
Not only can we modify the Calibration Slider for an entire project but also for a respective deliverable and all deliverables and activities below it. In Figure 12 we modify the Submittals deliverable so that it requires less time, Figure 12.
When you adjust the Calibration Slider for Submittals you will observe that all the associated activities move in lockstep. Note that Permits is no longer on the critical path in Figure 12. We then adjust the individual activity PB1100 Delivery Piping & Valve & Tee Fitting Calibration Slider to Requires Much More Time, Figure 13.
We find that PB1100 extends to 18-days remaining duration but has no effect on other deliverables or activities. Now watch what happens when we adjust the PB1100 Calibration Slider so that it Requires Significantly More Time, Figure 14.
Now significant changes occur. PB1100 Delivery Piping & Valve & Tee Fittings becomes critical. The Excavation deliverable and associated activities become non-critical. So, the critical path now proceeds through Procurement and not Excavation. Notice also that Site Preparation activities become non-critical, except for PB1120 First Working Day.
Why does First Working Day remain critical? To investigate we select PB1120 First Working Day and review its status details in Acumen, Figure 15.
We find that PB1120 First Working Day is held in place by a 06/17/2024 Start On activity constraint, which explains why First Working Day remains critical. It is critical in due to its activity constraint.
In our investigation we viewed the Calibration Slider adjustment impact at the project, deliverable, and activity levels. We also inspected the impact when the schedule elements’ durations require less time and then more time.
So, at all levels in the schedule, we reviewed the impact of duration increases and decreases providing for a truly 360-degree view of the scheduling possibilities.
Deltek Acumen 360 generates the real-time impact of duration extensions and compressions for the entire project, upper-level and lower-level deliverables in the work breakdown structure (WBS), or individual activities. In this way Acumen 360 provides a 360-degree panorama of scheduling possibilities.
Schedulers may view duration changes directly in P6, but it is not real-time. And it does not have a Calibration Slider to make duration changes to all activities in a deliverable simultaneously.
Primavera P6, however, does display the activity relationship lines on the Gantt chart, while Acumen 360 does not. But Acumen 360 has other features to support acceleration scenario investigations. Therefore, Acumen 360 does not completely replace the need to review scheduling possibilities in P6.
However, it speeds up the investigation, particularly, when duration changes are at the deliverable level and affect all the associated tasks. If this is your schedule scenario investigative situation than Acumen 360 and P6 will complement each other.
And purchasing the Deltek Acumen 360 module may be worth the cost for the 360-degree view of scheduling possibilities and other schedule acceleration features. We will save discussion of these Acumen 360 schedule acceleration features for another blog.