Critical Path Method in Advanced Job Management

Dec 14, 2016 9:00:16 AM
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Critical Path Method (CPM) soon available in our Industrial Equipment Manufacturing solution suite for project-based manufacturers

In the upcoming release of Industrial Equipment Manufacturing for Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we have incorporated the Critical Path Method or CPM in the Advanced Job Management functionality area. That means you will be able to use the Critical Path Method approach in your project planning. We designed our solution updates to keep CPM on your projects as controlled and transparent as possible.

Understanding what CPM does

CPM is a project modeling technique originally developed in the 1950s. In various iterations, it has been used in manufacturing, engineering, plant maintenance, and many other disciplines. Many project-based manufacturers rely on a modern flavor of CPM. Today, we would describe CPM as an algorithm that could apply to any project which involves multiple, interdependent activities.

In CPM, you calculate the shortest time possible to complete a project. The calculation method establishes the longest path of activities in reaching your project goal, along with the earliest and latest times that each activity can start or finish without lengthening the project. CPM determines which activities are critical – they are on the longest path – and which can be delayed without extending the project, a property known as “float.”

Visual, intuitive, and efficient CPM

In the Advanced Job Management module of Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, you will find the Critical Path Method enabled by means of a number of changes and enhancements. Take a look at the screen image below to get a sense of how this works. CPM-related updates include the following:

  • Every Job Task can point to one or more Next Tasks. There is no longer a separate setting for serial or parallel data calculations.

  • When you Initialize Task Dates, the solution calculates the critical path and shows Job Task dates in red.

  • In a separate column, Parallel Tasks indicate float days in green. You can move them without disturbing the critical path.

  • When you Initialize Task Dates, you can either calculate Job Task dates forward from the Job starting date or backward from its end date. Once the first task is underway, you can only perform forward calculations.

  • A Planning Overlap alerts you to recalculate the critical path when the number of days or the end date has changed in such a way that there is an overlap with the next Job Task.

  • When you change Job Task Dates planning conflicts may occur on the Job Task Planning lines. Job Tasks with conflicts will be highlighted so you can resolve them from the Job Task Planning lines

  • The fields indicating duration and start and end dates are now linked: when changing a duration, a new end-date will be calculated, when changing a date, a new duration will be calculated.

 

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These enhancements should help you take advantage of CPM in an efficient, controlled manner. If you want to learn more, or see a demo of the CPM and other new features in Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, please get in touch. Send me a note using the form below.

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About Author
Luciano Cunha

Luciano Cunha

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) For Luciano, being responsible for To-Increase’s global sales and marketing means unleashing the company’s insight, innovation, and creativity to tell our story and help customers achieve their goals. On the road much of the time, he travels the world to meet with customers, understand their challenges and ambitions, and find the most effective ways to help them advance. Luciano develops and mentors our marketing and sales team, and creates strategies to help the To-Increase worldwide partner channel thrive and grow.
Making Customer Needs the Main Business Driver Luciano and his team have daily conversations with the To-Increase research and development organization to bring customers’ requirements and concerns into the road maps and design of our solutions. Luciano brings his insight to the marketing group to make sure the company’s communications resonate with customers and speak directly to their experience.
“I’m awed by customers’ innovative spirit in taking business management technology past its limits and by their generosity in letting us participate and empower them. I hope to transform our organization to become even more customer-centric than we are today. That means making more resources available to spend productive time with both our customers and partners, so we can ensure that we place into customer businesses effective solutions that fit the evolutionary stage of their operation and the way their people and processes work.”
Empowering a Global Channel
Because To-Increase only sells through partners, readying the channel to be successful in helping customers is a business-critical effort. Luciano aims to meet partners where their interests are. Partners who consider the relationship with To-Increase strategic can rely on our industry specialists to work with them as they plan their growth and serve customers. If partners prefer a less collaborative relationship, they still receive the rich To-Increase expertise and resources to ensure they win the business, perform a successful deployment, and retain a satisfied customer. In working with partners and their customers, Luciano brings to bear his experience of many years of creating successful, customer-focused business development and marketing strategies in many of the world’s countries and regions.
Enabling Customer Success in Challenging Business Environments
Looking into the near future, Luciano expects that customers will continue to expect To-Increase to help them make business sense of unfolding trends and technologies. For example, the internet of things (IoT) will thoroughly revolutionize manufacturing, engineering, and supply chains. Big data will be meaningful and valuable when decision-makers can use technology solutions to transform it into actionable business intelligence that supports key roles and business processes. Mobility will help companies become digital enterprises and move business processes forward from any location, at any time. Team To-Increase harnesses innovation to help customers translate the promise of these technologies into business results.
Before his current role, Luciano for several years was one of To-Increase’s global industry directors, responsible for our industry solutions. His experience also spans more than 17 years in IT and manufacturing management roles. These positions took him into various areas at IBM Brazil, serving as product manager for several software development companies, and included working in senior management at a manufacturing organization in the U.S.
Luciano is married with two young children. Away from work, he enjoys participating in a soccer class together with his son and daughter as well as taking relaxing walks in natural environments with his family.

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