There are several types of Planning in Epicflow:
- Infinite Capacity Planning is the functionality that automatically calculates the best possible way of executing tasks taking into account their duration and relations.
- Manual Planning – provides a project manager with an opportunity to reposition items in the timeline as well as increase or reduce their duration manually for certain purposes. This functionality is created specifically for external communication. It has no effect on prioritization and load graphs.
- Single Project Leveling – identifies the sequence of accomplishing project tasks based on their priorities and/or business value and infinite capacity for this project.
- Pipeline Leveling – is used to set up the sequence of tasks when running multiple projects depending on their priority, business value, and finite capacity of all projects.
To switch between these modes go to the Quick Edit More page of the project and select a necessary option from the drop-down menu.
Screen #1 – Planning Mode – Mode Selection
Infinite Capacity Planning
In this mode, Epicflow automatically plans the completion of all tasks as soon as possible based on their duration and relations between tasks and milestones in the project network. It assumes infinite resource capacity. With this planning type, the resource load graphs show you possible bottlenecks.
As has been noted above, in the Manual Planning mode, you as a project manager can reposition project items in the timeline, expand or decrease their duration manually for special needs. For instance, a project manager can change the project duration before the meeting with clients to hide the float (buffer) from them as they may consider it as unnecessary idle time. Besides, a PM can apply manual planning just to compare their own approach to the execution of the project and the way the Epicflow system suggests to run it.
Epicflow algorithms provide the best possible way to complete your multiple projects on time, so the Manual Planning functionality is just a way of communicating with clients. It has no effect on prioritization and load graphs.
Let’s consider the ways you can plan your project flow manually.
To plan the order of completing project tasks and summaries, a Project Manager (PM) can use an item re-positioning option provided by the “Manual Plan” mode by drag-and-drop directly from the Gantt chart.
Screen #2 – Planning Mode – Task Repositioning
Screen #3 – Planning Mode – Summary Repositioning
Remember that any Summary or Task position changes will affect all the chain of successors but won’t change predecessors.
If a Summary contains a milestone, the repositioning will limit one of the Summary boundaries.
Screen #4 – Planning Mode – Repositioning Summary with a Milestone
For all actions like this, the order of Summary sub-items remains unchanged.
To reset the item’s position to the initial one select the “Reset to Auto Plan” option in the context menu.
Screen #5 – Planning Mode – Position Reset
Please note that the position reset will be applied only for the selected item.
Task duration is one of the main parameters in project planning. It can be changed only in the “Manual plan” mode view.
You can extend or decrease task duration by using a special separator located to the right of the task at a Gantt chart. Please, note that this element appears only for tasks. The Summary duration can be adjusted only by changing its sub-items’ positions.
Screen #6 – Planning Mode – Task Duration
Screen #7 – Planning Mode – Changing Summary Duration
Keep in mind that initial estimations won’t be changed as a result of this action.
Leveling is the setting up of task execution sequence depending on their priority and/or business value as well as the infinite capacity for the project. You as a project manager can set a leveling parameter based either on priority or business value. The system will automatically calculate the dates for the tasks and create a corresponding Gantt chart.
To set up or change project leveling, a user must have corresponding permission.
If you have a ‘manage project/pipeline leveling’ permission you can run or rerun it in the QE mode.
Note that if a user has a ‘manage pipeline leveling’ permission they can’t run or rerun project leveling.
You can also run a pipeline or project leveling in the Quick Edit mode for a non-leveled project. To this end, open the QE mode for this project and choose a corresponding option in the plan selection drop-down.
To set leveling for a project,
- Go to the Quick Edit mode of the project,
- Choose the ‘Run Leveling’ option in the plan selection drop-down.
There you can see the leveling setting menu with corresponding leveling explanation. Also, you’ll see the priority-based value slider and the description.
- Click the ‘cancel’ or ‘run’ button to skip or apply the changes.
Screen #8 – Leveling Setting
Running Leveling for Projects
- To run leveling for a non-leveled active or inactive project, run a single project leveling, and set a priority-based value slider to ‘value’.
If an active project is already leveled, you can rerun its leveling by changing its value.
If there are two projects one of which is active and another one is not, when you run Pipeline leveling in the QE mode for an active one, it gets Pipeline leveling as distinct from the inactive project.
Leveling delay is the difference between the time when a task gets ready to start and the time it was leveled to be initiated.