The Mystery of Productivity Factors (STO Navigator)
Written on . By CPM Solutions
Despite the progress in technology and the development of scheduling algorithms—essentially around scheduling software, such as MS Project® and Primavera™ P6—Productivity Factor calculations remains a mystery; as does Leveling:
- What is Productivity?
- What is Performance?
- Why do we apply a Productivity Factor?
- What Factor should we apply?
- How do we apply a Productivity Factor?
- When do we apply a Productivity Factor?
- What is Leveling?
- Why am I afraid to use the Level feature?
Let’s take a look at each of these six questions in more detail…
The Mystery of Productivity Factors Revealed…
1. What is Productivity Factor (PF)?
A factor applied to a benchmark estimate during DSM Programming and Scheduling to account for non-productive time, e.g., safety meetings, travel, waiting for permits, breaks/lunch, etc.
2. What is Performance?
A measurement of how Wrench-time relates to Earned versus Planned (not Actual, which is cost) and is calculated, i.e., Earned/Planned X 100 = Performance as a % [not productivity]. Productivity is a factor. Performance is a measurement.
3. Why do we apply a Productivity Factor?
To effectively schedule resources based on net-capacity [available productive hours].
4. What Factor should we apply?
The PF is applied based on geographical location, contract type, contractor competence, equipment type, process system, craft type, etc.
- Asbestos removal work would have a PF of 0.03 due to the nature of the work
- Work in Saudi Arabia, where it’s very hot, would have a PF of 0.045
- Work at heights may have a PF of 0.047
- Typical North American PF is 0.055
5. How do we apply a Productivity Factor?
First of all, we do not apply a PF in Planning or Estimating. PF is applied only during Programming and Scheduling
- By adjusting the calendar or shift hours available for each Resource (recommended)
- By adjusting (global change) the duration of each Activity
- By adjusting the calendar for Activities
6. When do we apply a Productivity Factor?
During Programming and Scheduling
7. What is Leveling?
Leveling is a method of scheduling Activities (work) across a time-frame (days or months) to best utilize the availability of resources, i.e., resource optimization. The problem is, in STO we do not Level Resources, we Level Work, and bring in the Resources required to perform the work in the time allotted (Time Constrained Project). To level, you must Program, as in, DSM (Dynamic Schedule Management).
8. Why am I afraid to use the Level feature?
You don’t understand the algorithms in the scheduling software; I don’t think Primavera™ understands them either.
If you’d like to learn more about Productivity Factors and Dynamic Schedule Management in MS Project® or Primavera™ P6 please write to: [email protected]
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