Subject of consideration of given article – control facilities projects of industrial technological installations and accompanying Infrastructure.
Competitiveness and efficiency of the design organisation – that most important task by which ideas of many articles are subordinated.
Among information systems of different function without which it is impossible to present work of the modern design organisations, the control system of projects posesses a key role. It is supposed that that design organisation which is effective for the customer is effective. And the customer, as it is known, estimates work of designer in a context of the investment projects.
Let's consider the investment project and its realisation
We understand the undertaken action initiated by the customer-investor and directed on achievement of certain economic benefit at the expense of modernisation, expansion or new building of capacities as the investment project. The investment project is realised in the conditions of restrictions on time and the budget, following of the feasibility report put in its basis. Each investment project is a complex of the coordinated actions which are carried out both contractors, and the customer in several spheres of activity, namely:
- is administrative-legal maintenance of the project;
- preparation of the design technical and economic documentation;
- the organisation of deliveries of the equipment and completing products;
- performance construction and starting-up and adjustment works;
- acceptance actions, commissioning, statement on a fixed capital.
To realise the investment project in set and, as a rule, there are enough deadlines probably only at parallel performance of the listed processes. For the design organisation this situation means that:
- the initial data will be given by the customer not at once and in full, and parts already against design works;
- the customer, without waiting the full termination of design works, will demand delivery of certain parts of the design documentation.
Even more the difficult situation arises, when the design organisations are involved in design works some and accordingly the organisation of an information exchange not only with the customer, but also with accessory manufacturers is required. The investment project is realised in the set time borders under condition of accurate coordination of actions of all participants, based on the general planned schedule of performance of works and private planned schedules of each of partners.
Interested in successful realisation of the projects the customer comes sooner or later to understanding of that the initial information is necessary for own information systems of financial planning and budgeting, logistics for it. As consequence – occurrence from outside the customer of specific requirements to the design documentation: estimates and equipment specifications should be issued designer not simply in electronic, and in a relational format, that is at once as a database.
Let's consider designing as a part of the investment project
It is obvious that an information technology – DBMS, CAD, electronic document circulation – raises efficiency of separate operations, however a course of working out of the project as a whole depends on presence of means of automation much less, than from interaction with the customer and the adjacent organisations.
Branch the design organisation, which production represents engineering specifications on new industrial targets, always works in the conditions of the external investment project. Therefore designer the internal plan of the coordinated actions directed on satisfaction of inquiries of the external investment project in the conditions of set financing and set terms of delivery of parts of the design documentation should be prepared.
From the point of view of the design organisation following problems of management of the project are actual:
- planning of events of an external information exchange;
- planning of events of an internal information exchange;
- planning of design works;
- planning of loading of the engineering personnel;
- planning of physical development of the design documentation;
- the periodic account of actual progress of design works, both under the documentation, and on an information exchange with the subsequent replanning of the part which have remained before end.
Let's consider scheduling of design works and events
Let's consider planning procedure. Decomposition of works (the simplified scheme):
1. External events of the project.
1.1 entering information from the customer and accessory manufacturers.
1.1.1 sections of the project.
1.2 proceeding information.
1.2.1 sections of the project.
2. Divisions of the design organisation.
2.1 sections of the project.
2.1.1 entering events of an internal information exchange
2.1.2 design works.
2.1.3 proceeding events of an internal information exchange.
External events of the project join in the planned schedule according to bilateral documents and official correspondence in which terms of these events are appointed.
The internal information exchange is originally planned on the basis of operating regulations of design works, and then specified according to features of each projected object.
All events of an information exchange (both external, and internal) are treated as a project mark, have no duration, to them resources do not become attached.
The structure of design works is defined individually on each section of the project so that to meet following requirements:
- the quantity of works should be minimum, but thus to reflect various technological stages if those are available (calculations, modelling, an equipment choice, working out of schemes etc.);
- names of works should reflect whenever possible the maintenance of design documents which will be adhered subsequently to them;
- works should have predecessors among entering events, followers among the proceeding.
It is expedient to avoid the task of direct connections between works in section, adhering to the following scheme:
Entering event of section-> Design work-> Proceeding event of section.
If two design works in the planned schedule have kind communication “the end-beginning” and between them there are no proceeding events in the given knot the structure is unfairly complicated and such pair of works should be united.
Duration of separate design works is defined by two independent approaches:
- resource – by quantity and qualification of executors;
- calendar when the time interval defined by previous and subsequent events can be given work.
Let's consider project resources
There are two kinds of the resources which movement can be considered by the planned schedule: a resource involved for performance of works, – the engineering personnel; a resource developed – cost. We speak “it can be considered” for the reason that work with resources 10 times complicates problems of scheduling and reflexion of actual progress. For the design organisation starting introduction of control facilities by projects, initial debugging of work actually with planned schedules makes sense.
Before to appoint executors to design works, it is necessary to prepare the structure of resources reflecting organizational structure of the most design organisation. The structure of departments, specialised groups, number of experts in skill levels (the main things conducting, seniors, ordinary) should be reflected. The qualifying cast for each work is defined simultaneously with structure of works. The information on the requirement of the project distributed in time in the experts distributed and total labour input of performance of the project as a result should be generated. If practice of scheduling of all design works affirms as the design organisation taking into account requirement for resources, such organisation receives the powerful tool of management based on resource planning.
Even more the challenge is represented by reflexion in the planned schedule of dynamics of development of the design documentation. Appointment to design works of a cost resource or development reflects that fact that the customer expects from designer first of all the design documentation. Project cost can be expressed in abstract units (for example, in the mastered labour input) if the investor and a management of the design organisation relative indicators interest only, but it is possible to plan development of real cost of the project that gives the chance to the design organisation to make the economic analysis of the activity.
In practice can take place and such state of affairs when in treaty provisions the customer as a control device behind a course of working out of the project provides monthly granting of the design organisation of the reporting about actual development of the design documentation in comparison with planned (as well as granting of the data about actual expenditures of labour under the project in comparison with planned).
To calculate planned and actual development under the project it is possible only on the basis of the detailed account of the design documentation planned to release. Means DBMS form a database containing:
- structure of the design organisation;
- structure of design sections let out by the design organisation;
- the list of the documents which are a part of each section, with instructions of a share of cost of each document in section cost;
- the list of marks of readiness of the document (it is ready conceptually, ready for viewing, is let out by the executor, is let out by department, is confirmed chief project engineer, is ready to sending to the customer);
- comparison of percent of readiness of each kind of the document to the specified marks;
- structure of the documentation on the concrete project, cost distribution under documents;
- the table of communications of documents with planned schedule works.
Documents contact works of the planned schedule as the relation “many-to-much” – with instructions of degree of readiness which reaches each document on termination of each design work. Thus we define a project increase in value on each work and, having appointed this size to work as cost a resource, we receive dynamics of increase of cost of the developed documentation.
This approach is based on possibility of preservation of all data of the project given by system Open Plan in tables chosen by user of DBMS with open and well documentary structure of the data.
The account of actual development of the design documentation is a problem special case in which it is required to receive planned and actual distribution in time of the indicators which do not have own binding to a timebase. Such problem arises in any subject domain on a joint of technological planning and economy. The similar approach can be applied also to definition of planned targets of development and expenses in capital construction at planning of the same investment projects.
Let's consider the account of actual progress of design works
Management of the project only begins working out of calendar and resource plans. Throughout all period of performance of design works in the design organisation procedure of gathering and data processing about actual progress of design works should be carried out monthly. Its size is defined by progress of the connected documents which, in turn, gathers by filling with chiefs of design departments of special polling forms. The data about progress of documents is deprived subjectivity as the estimation is possible only on the several fixed marks.
Experience shows that the events of an information exchange provided by the planned schedule, progress (or do not progress) enough irrespective of design works and the data about an actual state of the planned events should be specified. At performance of the listed actions the picture of a condition of the project will develop quite objectively both regarding actual development, and regarding the remained duration of works.
Let's consider integration of control facilities by projects into an information infrastructure of the design organisation
The control system of projects should co-operate with other information systems functioning in the design organisation, first of all – with document circulation system.
From the point of view of management of electronic document circulation (sometimes it name management of the design data) the design document is characterised by a route and life cycle. The route reflects document movement on divisions of the design organisation, and life cycle – change of the status of the document. Now it becomes clear, as much in common in problems of document circulation and management of projects and as it is essential these systems enrich each other:
- the route is a movement of the document on works and planned schedule events;
- life cycle – reflexion of marks of readiness of the document.
The control system of projects gives to system of document circulation the data about planned terms of moving of the document or change of its status, and document circulation in turn informs the fact sheet which find reflexion at calculation of indicators of progress. If the general is put in a basis of such interaction DBMS work of the design organisation on the project can be analysed on a parity planned and an actual state of affairs.
Let's consider customised applications for gathering of the design information
At introduction of control systems by projects by a bottleneck there is a gathering of the fact sheet about a condition of works. The reason – in impossibility or inexpediency of installation of the software of management of projects on set of those workplaces where the necessary information is formed. In such cases customised applications with the minimum set of functions and the simple interface allowing the user to enter into base the demanded data – for example, about progress of design documents are developed and take root.
Let's consider preparation of the design organisation for participation in the tender for working out of the next project
For the design organisation the moment when it makes the decision on participation in the new project is very responsible or receives the order for working out of the new project.
If in the design organisation practice of calendar and resource scheduling there is a possibility of the analysis of the new project from the point of view of its realizability on terms and executors is introduced. That this analysis was carried out quickly and without derivation of experts in departments, it is expedient to have preliminary developed templates of planned schedules of designing of typical objects. Certainly, design works of such template should contain the data about requirement for technical resources: then combination of the new project with carried out will show, by what kind of resources and during what calendar period the overload is possible.
Let's consider family of software packages Welcom for management of projects
Now into this family of products enter:
- Open Plan – the scheduling and control system intended for management by realisation both separate projects, and difficult design programs in time and within the limits of the budget;
- Cobra – a control system of the budget of the projects, allowing to plan and supervise cost of realisation of the project, and also to carry out the analysis and to predict a course of performance of the project on the basis of indicators of the mastered volume;
- WelcomHome – the web-focused tool for creation of virtual office of the project, allowing considerably to raise quality of communications between members of the distributed command at teamwork over the project.
Feature of family of products Welcom is their close integration among themselves, and also open architecture and rich possibilities on data exchange with other appendices. It allows to build effective control systems of projects at the enterprises with already developed information infrastructure.
At the heart of approach Welcom to construction of a uniform control system by projects at the enterprise integrated solution creation lies. It, in particular, means presence of uniform storehouse of the data of the project and access to this data from different appendices according to access rights and a role of the user in the project. And access is possible as in a local network, and far off through Internet.
Let's consider Open Plan – scheduling and control means
Traditionally basis of control systems of projects is made by the software scheduling and the control. Family Welcom includes two versions of software scheduling: professional – Open Plan Professional and desktop – Open Plan Desktop.
Both professional, and desktop versions Open Plan first of all include following traditional functions of scheduling:
- working out of structural decomposition of works of the project and network schedules;
- calculation and optimisation of planned schedules taking into account restrictions on resources;
- working out of schedules of requirement of the project in resources;
- tracing of a course of performance of works and comparison of a current condition with the initial plan;
- reporting granting under the project.
Both versions work with a uniform database of the project (that means full compatibility by data), possess similar functionality and the interface.
The basic difference Open Plan Professional from the desktop version is presence of functions of multidesign planning and the control, and also specialised means of adjustment of additional fields of a database of the project, typical procedures of work with the data, screens and system reports.
Users Open Plan Desktop receive in the order all means for creation of projects, working out and optimisation of planned schedules taking into account restrictions on resources, managements of them in the course of realisation, the reporting, but have no access to a number of procedures of adjustment.
Thus, Open Plan Desktop it is focused first of all on the managers who are responsible for separate projects (the size of projects practically is not limited), and Open Plan Professional is the tool of the managers who are responsible for multidesign management, providing consolidation and the coordination of the data under several projects. Besides, the professional version is used by experts in management of projects for working out of templates of reports of the enterprise and adjustment of workplaces. Owners of desktop versions will use the options created for them in the professional version.
The architecture of the system, using two version of software within the limits of the organisation, provides clear interaction of the strategic and tactical tools used in the company at different levels of management, and allows to reduce a total cost of the decision considerably.
For the design organisations which are necessary for operating projects, the particular interest is represented by the following key functionality Open Plan:
- a simular and optimisation of use of resources in the project;
- possibilities of modelling of large-scale projects;
- means of multidesign planning and the control;
- possibilities of adjustment of workplaces of users;
- open architecture.
Thus, we will note advantages which the design organisation which has introduced methodology and control facilities by projects possesses:
- mutual understanding with the customer, ability to render it qualitatively new service, namely not simply engineering specifications, but information basis for management of the investment project;
- the approach to participation in the tender for the project performance, based on authentic estimations of own possibilities;
- readiness for rendering engineering services for any customer, that is and in that case when presence at the designer of technologies of management of projects is the integral condition.