Volume-based scheduling

In the world of construction, we estimate based on quantities (e.g. take-off’s, etc.) and then generally build and maintain the schedule based on cost, hours, time, or thumbnail “guestimates.” Spider Project uses volumes of materials and productivity rates for resources and/or teams that will generate the duration and cost of any activity in the schedule. Status updates consist of applying actual quantities of materials installed, costs incurred, hours and duration consumed. This is a much better method of managing a project and results in a significantly increased capability to incorporate as-built information back into estimating processes.

Resource functionality

Skills-based scheduling- (In Spider, we can tag each physical (or named) resource with a “skill” and can then assign that skill to an activity. When you calculate the schedule, Spider will use defined skills to automatically assign resources to activities based on their availability, productivity, and cost of completing the activity. No other tool on the market can perform this type of resource optimization. What this does is allow AUTOMATIC REPLANING AND REPLACEMENT of future resource assignments based on current progress- there is no need to rebuild the entire resource load if part of your network slips (or accelerates) creating an overlap of previously leveled resources. If you’ve used P6 (or even P3 for that matter) for resource planning and management, you know this re-planning work requirement can render your vision moot- I’ve been there. Nobody wants to plan the entire project every week.

Resources can be assigned to resources- For example, we employ excavators on a project. There is a daily or weekly ‘rental’ cost to each excavator. But they (and MANY other resources) use fuel that adds to the cost of the equipment. In Spider, you can assign a “fuel” resource to each excavator, crane, truck, etc. As each of these pieces of equipment are used, the cost of use includes the cost of fuel. On large projects, this can be a reasonably significant cost that is rarely considered (among others).

Resource Teams/Crews- In Spider, we can create teams of resources and can use the “skills” functionality discussed above to automatically assign teams to activities (for example, an excavation crew).

Critical Chain meets Critical Path in the same schedule

Spider can perform both CC and CPM scheduling. It doesn’t just optimize and level resources for the project but it displays “logic” that has been employed in resource optimization (“links” between resources performing work). These pseudo-links can be seen visually, on-screen, to allow planners and managers to better understand what is going on in the schedule and why.

Physical logic can be drawn between resource assignments (“preferential logic”). All logic between resources or activities can be ignored if desired, simply by checking a checkbox prior to calculating the schedule. The logic is not deleted; it is simply ignored during calculation. This can be a great enabler of what-if analysis.

Decentralized control of schedules

Schedules or parts of schedules can be automatically sent to those responsible for maintenance at job sites for updates. Updates can be performed without network connectivity and resulting files returned for incorporation back into the project, master, or portfolio schedule. No logic is lost and there is NO RISK of database corruption (this has always been an issue in P6). If returned results are not acceptable, simply don’t save the file.

No database means no IT support is necessary. Literally.

Costing capabilities

Unlimited cost accounts/centers/groups

Parallel budgets– maintain risk-based contingencies and management reserves in the same schedule. Produce reports and information with any slice.

Built-in Monte Carlo

Generate defined confidence level forecasts and information.

3-Points estimates

In Spider, you can define optimistic, pessimistic, and most probable schedules. This allows optimistic schedules to be used by the team performing the work, most probable schedules to be used by project managers and mid-management, and pessimistic schedules to be provided to executive or owner teams.  The best part is ALL SCHEDULES ARE AUTOMATICALLY MAINTAINED by updating a single schedule resulting in no redundant updates and associated costly or embarrassing errors and no more “lying” to a client- tell them the management strategy and truth!

Efficiency

I’ve seen 750,000+ activity schedules calculated in less than 1 minute on a standard notebook computer

Truly international

Spider is not just multi-currency, it is multi-language. I have seen schedules in Russian (I can’t read that!) and then, in another column of the same schedule, in English! If you or a client engages in international business, Spider can handle it.