I’m looking for the best way to track aircraft development and basing. The gaol is to create multiple projects in order to pull information from each for tracking and conflict purposes. The resources would be the bases and individual aircraft
The easiest way of course would be to use Project Server. Assuming that isn’t an option here the best way to manage resource availability (and conflicts) across multiple projects is with a shared resource pool. There are lots of information on this topic online, but it is a more advanced topic for Microsoft Project. Let me know if you would like some help.
First, a solid WBS needs to be created to define the entire program down to the Work Package level. Project’s WBS field is lacking in flexibility, so you might want to use a custom field. The entire aircraft systems and sub-systems, including sub-contractor work needs to be incorporated into the WBS (flight controls, structures, avionics, electrical design, engines, cabin systems & etc.).
Are you planning on using earned value and/or tracking cost? If so, this further highlights the need for a good WBS. And, the labor charging system needs to be aligned with the work packages to which labor and material costs will accrue.,
Secondly, how large a program is this (rhetorical question as the answer is none of my business)?. You will have to make a determination on how large your master schedule will be.
Third, all IPT members must be included in planning process for scheduling development.
I know from experience how large an effort this is. If EV/cost management/labor tracking is involved and the schedule is lookinbg like it is going to be very large, I would propose re-assessing which scheduling tool you employ, and highly recommend bringing in scheduler(s) as consultants/contractors who have this specific experience.
There are very unique and complex aspects to aerospace development, and I am suspecting that your question is the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
This will be a big project at the HQ level.
Was thinking on using one project per aircraft and then pulling information from each for commander presentation pertaining to modifications, basing, and recapitalization.
Each project will have their own SME as the owner and all information will go into a primary server. I believe that in order to pull date from each, I can only use resources, it this correct? Therefore the base and aircraft tail numbers are resources (material). We are planning on adding cost and manpower at a later date.
First need to be able to make the right shells for all the projects first.
Not sure what you mean by “pull date from each, you can only use resources”. Dates come from the task, but leveling resources across aircraft will require using resources and a shared resource pool. I also agree with Josh that someone on staff needs to be an expert on Microsoft Project. I can guarantee that setting them up right to start will save in maintaining these projects considerably. I will be presenting a three-part MPUG series on managing resource constrained projects next week (good timing on your part). This series might help understand some of what you can get out of Microsoft Project by setting it up properly. Hope that helps…
It was pull data. For instance, we should be able to see where our aircraft are located, what mods are being done, and what is available for missions. How will I be able to see your briefings?
Chuck, is this aircraft development (new) or aircraft modification? By “Basing” I presume where the aircraft is located/(airport, militarybase, etc.)?
Regardless, there has to be a structure of the work defined to assign resources and to track performance. Do you have this structure in place? As I mentioned previously, is there a Work Breakdown Structure defined? If development, all aircraft work would be similar, other than modifications. If a modification effort, then not all aircraft may be undergoing the same work flow, but the WBS would accomodate which systems are being overhauled and repaired, hence, my question.
To reiterate what Larry mentioned, what data are you intending to get out of this, and how are you planning on managing the work=?
Currently these projects are at the operational level, i.e. information for general officers and staff. managing work may come at a later date. Since our HQ is responsible for multiple aircraft at multiple locations, we are trying to sync up our data to aviod redundancy and misinformation. It entails both old and new aircraft along with recapitalizing.
What type of data are you capturing? Perhaps a Microsoft Access application can be used instead of Project.