|How can one solve the problem of over- or under-use of resources and bottlenecks?
||Once orders are introduced into the system, the planning engine’s algorithms detect and resolve bottlenecks by speeding up, slowing down, combining or dividing up certain tasks so as to spread workload evenly across the value chain. Overall productivity is therefore automatically improved – painlessly and effortlessly.
|How can we cope with a missing resource and determine the impact of a given shortage on order delivery dates?
||If the system detects an anomaly, such as the lack of a resource or a supplies delay, the planning engine automatically calculates the impact of this anomaly on order delivery dates and informs the manager of scheduling changes that will have to be made so as to minimize effects.
|How can we coordinate the full set of actors and locations and manage the complexity of the whole set of processes?
||The comprehensive planning approach is based on the principle of “one truth for all”. Instead of having to consult dozens of different schedules which deal sometimes with identical topics, albeit expressed differently, here managers have comprehensive, clear and consolidated vision that allows them to coordinate in real time the work of each actor in the value chain, regardless of his or her role or place of work.
|How can we help the organization to grow in maturity?
||The steering cycle, the management committees, the prerogatives of actors, the activity models, the competency matrix... are all aspects that will be examined or implemented in light of objectives such as the quest for greater efficiency, the reduction of bad stress, transparency in communication or stability in decision making.
|How can we optimize the value of the entire project and order portfolio?
||Historical data coupled with simulation techniques help us determine how a project or project category adds to the overall portfolio value. By extension, this technique helps define the “ideal” portfolio, taking into account the company’s capacities at any given moment. Since they can change over the long term, the study can be run simultaneously from either side of the optimization puzzle (business activity and resources) so as to increase gains over the long term.
|How can we reduce standard production costs without negatively impacting operations and order completion?
||Improving the use of critical resources, eliminating bottlenecks, reducing the costs due to subcontracting and overtime hours, reducing stock, optimizing incoming and outgoing logistics, reducing changing prioritization – these are all ingredients that come together symbiotically to reduce costs and standard production times.
|How can we manage how oversights and uncertainties affect workload involving certain tasks?
||Different techniques can be implemented to solve the problem:
1) the ‘rolling wave planning’ technique;
2) the use of uncertainty coefficients;
3) the search for similarities in historical data so as to estimate the realistic workload to accomplish these tasks.
|How can we speed up new product time-to-market?
||1) By being more selective in terms of the new project portfolio by measuring the real contribution of each project to the value of business and by ensuring that the necessary resources will be available;
2) By focusing on quality by delivering the right resources to the right place and by stepping up analysis and testing phases;
3) By having stable project management by reducing changes in priority once the projects have begun, but also by knowing how to stop a project if it turns out to cause the rest of the portfolio to suffer.
|How can we set up more “agile” project planning?
||PlanningForce’s planning techniques are by their very nature “agile”. Proponents of the Scrum method will be able to define and manage “sprints” with PlanningForce by following the governance rules of the steering cycle that determine the backlog at the beginning of the sprint and the objectives by team during the sprint. The Scrum Master will be able to follow daily progression using burn down charts and Kanban-style tracking.
|How can we monitor how all activities are carried out on a regular schedule and accurately so as to be able to make the right operational decisions at the right time?
||The functions of operational steering (from an MES-style approach) conducted by PlanningForce allow monitoring and optimizing how operations are carried out in real time by interacting either with numerically controlled (NC) machines, or with operators using barcode or tactile screen systems.
|How can we manage change requests, such as changes in priority or changes in scope?
||The simulation tools allow for simulating the consequences that a modification in priority or scope might have, not only on the order affected by the change, but also on the entire order portfolio. Each stakeholder is thereby fully aware of the impact in terms of time and money that each type of change can cause once the project is underway.
|How can we take into account time spent at work that is not directly linked to the delivering orders or completing projects?
||Time periods identified as ‘non productive’ are expressed either by using coefficients of unavailability, or through the explicit creation of tasks that capture a part of resources’ available time, reducing to that extent their productive time. This last method allows one to evaluate the importance of so-called ‘unproductive’ tasks and to try to reduce the effects on overall productivity.
|How can we identify the resources or the activities that can be externalized and those that have to be handled internally?
||The need for each resource and each activity can be analyzed historically, but also in a way that is forward-looking as a function of the chosen strategy. The results of these analyses allow identifying what kind of resource can be externalized without hindering ongoing operations as well as those that the firm should maintain under its own control.
|How can we review the historical data for certain projects? (Predictions that were made and real data from the past)
||All of the data are logged for use later on in planning and the revision of successive planning iterations. PlanningForce offers tools that allow comparing data forecasts run at the outset with data re-examined during production, and finally with data that were actually observed.
|How can we express the fact that a resource has several competencies? And how can we distinguish different levels of expertise or yield for a given competency?
||The description of resource competency profiles takes place within a competency matrix. This matrix allows assigning one or more competency to each resource and, for each competency, a level that takes into account experience, and perhaps even productivity.