Importing a schedule model from Primavera or MS Project

Important: the design of the schedule model you have built in Primavera or Project can strongly influence your ability to add uncertainty and risk events in a precise and logical way. Please read these tips for creating a schedule model suitable for Monte Carlo simulation.

To import a schedule model, select File | Import Schedule in the Tamara main menu:

You have two options:

1.       Select ‘From a file’ and navigate to the location of the baseline Primavera or MS Project file, and click Open.

2.       Select ‘From a Primavera P6 Database’. A dialog box will open in which you enter the necessary credentials to access the database. Please consult your IT department if this presents any difficulty:

 

To illustrate, we use the example model from MS Project called ‘Commercial Construction’:

The model was edited to include two extra tasks of zero duration to allow modeling the risk that building permit approval would be denied on the first attempt. The original schedule looked like this:

and two tasks were inserted to look like this:

Some cost rates and expense items were also added to the original model to be able to illustrate the cost modeling capability of Tamara.

MS Project automatically assumes that any task of zero duration is a milestone, so to change it back into a task, right-mouse click over the task, select Information. Then select the Advanced tab, and untick Mark task as milestone:

The file was then saved. A copy of this MS Project file is available in the directory Program Files (x86) | Vose Software | Tamara | Example models.

To import into Tamara, open Tamara, and select File | Import Schedule, and the From a fileoption. Then navigate to the saved Commercial Construction file, and click Open.

The schedule audit tool analyses the quality of the schedule for Monte Carlo simulation purposes during import, and produces the following report. Note that the two tasks are listed as having invalid dates because they are of zero duration:

If the quality of the schedule is sufficient for your needs, click Finish Import, otherwise click Cancel Importand modify the schedule as needed. The schedule audit report of a currently loaded schedule can be viewed again at any time by selecting File | File Info. Tamara will import the baseline schedule for the selected model and display it in the Main View as a table of tasks:

Right-click a column heading to add or remove columns from the view, to open a search tool, or to resize the column widths automatically to the best fit.

You can review the logical structure of the imported model by clicking on the Gantt icon:

Tamara creates a duplicate of the imported file and saves it with a .tam extension when you select File | Save.

As your project progresses, some tasks may be removed from the baseline schedule model, some added, and other will have the fraction complete change.

You can easily update the Tamara model at the same time. Simply select File | Update schedule. Tamara will find the latest version of the Primavera or Project schedule file, recreate the new logic, but remember the uncertainty attached to individual tasks, adjust any changes in the work type category, and retain any risk events that have been assigned to each task.

 

Viewing controls

In the Main View or Gantt chart, one can expand the entire tree or collapse it using these buttons:

The Gantt chart offers some other display options. The critical path can be highlighted, and one can expand and contract the network view using the zoom controls:

 

Critical path switched off

Critical path switched on. The tasks in red are determining the length of the project in this scenario.

Once a simulation is complete (by clicking the Results tab – see later), one can view different simulated scenarios plotted in the Gantt chart using the Iteration group of controls:

 

The controls are as follows:

 - go back to the first simulated scenario

 - go back one scenario

 - go forward one scenario

 - go forward to the last simulated scenario

 - select a random scenario

 

 

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