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November 25, 2009

S-Curves for Everyone!

In project management terms, S-Curves generally relate to plotting project costs & units over time. You can see the original costs, cummulative costs and forecasted costs into the future. S-Curves, therefore, are a natural solution to be provided by business intelligence graphs.

Here is an example from MS-Project ... note the semi-sideways "S" shape of the curve:

But why limit s-curves to just costs and earned value metrics over time? Can't we also plot, say, project issues or resource capacity over time and forecasted into the future?

Of course, with analytical engines that can take trends and provide forecasts based on techniques like Monte Carlo, linear regression, etc.

But don't look to and EVMS solution here. To create similar curves over time for KPIs other than CPI or SPI, use data mining and data analytics in Oracle, Microsoft or SAS for that.

Posted by Mark Kromer at 9:30 AM | Comments (3)

November 24, 2009

Common hierarchies in Project star schemas

So you are designing your star schemas to store project history and your looking for those common dimensional hierarchies.

Well, here my friends, are a few that we come across quite frequently that you may find useful, both natural and not-so-natural. Note that I am not, at this point, telling you how to create these in ETL, but instead wanted to throw out some ideas of common hierarchies that your BI reporting users will want to see:

Programs > Portfolios > Projects
Programs > Projects
Portfolios > Projects
Projects > WBS > Tasks
Projects > WBS > Resource assignments
Projects > Costs
Programs > Costs
Resource Teams > Resources > Assignments
Resource utilization > projects > assignments

Posted by Mark Kromer at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)