v2 Release Notes

We are proud to have released a major update to our Advanced Forensic Scheduling, cloud-based software.

The following are some of the highlights. For a complete list of historical release notes, view the FPM Wiki.

The Demo is available and updated with the latest version.  Import a collection of XERs that you are struggling to analyze to see the recent updates.  Jump right into your analysis with any Microsoft or Google account.

User Interface Improvements

Various UI improvements across the product, including:

  1. Tables now exportable to CSV files
  2. Re-arranged the Windows page to better use existing space
  3. Added informational messages when the AFS algorithms are updated and an existing project collection has not been processed using the updated algorithms.  Re-processing the collection is optional.
  4. Improved formatting of the Gantt chart
  5. Added direct links to wiki help pages in some appropriate areas

Project Collection Configuration Improvements

  1. Users can now re-process XERs instead of deleting and re-importing
  2. XER files saved in “UTF-8 with BOM” format now supported
  3. Now detecting and displaying schedule calculation settings, and warnings when these settings are missing from the XER
  4. Improved information about how to process a single snapshot against itself (typically we operate on the Window level, requiring at least  two projects; now allowing a single project to be analyzed)
  5. Added progress bars for XER imports and Project Collection processing
  6. Display Project Title (long name)

Schedule Analysis

  1. Significant improvements to Relationship Free Float calculation, including calculating RFF down to the minute based on exact daily working periods
  2. Include holidays and exceptions from base calendars
  3. Added additional filters for path selection, such as “Critical”, “Near-Critical”, “Top 10”, etc
  4. Now expiring lag when appropriate to more accurately calculate Relationship Free Float; generally improved lag handling
  5. Exposed experimental Driving flags for activity Starts, Finishes, and Relationships.  These flags indicate how an Activity or Relationship is being driven (e.g., DataDate, Actualized, Remaining Lag)
  6. Improved Out of Sequence detection
  7. Improved Satisfied relationship detection
  8. Improvements to the way “Driving Starts” are selected for path ranking and display
  9. Beta: released a project dashboard and planned-earned chart for user feedback

Infrastructure

  1. Implemented a Service Fabric backend cluster to operate the processing algorithms, providing better scalability and uptime
  2. Improveded performance of XER import and analysis
  3. Implemented global deadlock resilience
  4. Continuing to improve FPM Wiki help pages

Primavera P6 Calendar Settings

Where Primavera P6 can create confusion by using standard calendar settings, our software provides relationship free float in days based on defined working periods. Calendars in P6 provide flexibility for managing schedules with different standard work weeks and disparate work exceptions, requiring users to maintain two types of calendar settings:

  1. Hours Per Time Period is used for converting a day into standard hours and allows users to manage schedules at the day granularity.
  2. Work Hours defines periods when work can occur, which P6 uses to allocate durations during CPM calculations.

The user is responsible for managing these independent settings consistently or CPM results will be incorrect. For example, Task A will be performed on the standard 8-hour per day schedule, but the user modifies Work Hours of two specific calendar days to reflect 12-hour days.

Although schedulers refer to task durations at the day granularity, P6 calculates at the hour granularity for purposes of storage and calculation. P6 also uses Hours Per Time Period to convert calculation outputs from hours back to days for the user, based on the User Preferences settings.

P6’s use of Hours Per Time Period creates confusion when converting CPM output such as float, as P6 fails to consider any modified Work Hours. In the Task A example above, P6 converts hours back to days based on the standard 8-hours per day and does not consider the two 12-hours days.

We believe P6 should use the Hours Per Time Period setting only to convert user-defined durations and not for converting calculation outputs such as float. Instead, P6 should calculate based on specific Work Hours.

Task A’s output from P6 varies greatly based on the standard calendar settings and the modified assigned hours. P6 would convert 24 hours of relationship free float into three days, based on the standard 8-hour work day setting, even though two days had working hours set to 12. Based on the full scope of the calendar, the relationship free float is actually two days, showing more critical.

Rather than converting to days post calculation, our software calculates relationship free float in days simultaneously to calculating in hours based on the full scope of the working ranges.