SSI Offered Training Courses

Driving/Critical Path Dependency Analysis Tools

Course Description

SSI Trace Tools helps you navigate a complex network to quickly isolate tasks that are “driving” the schedule for project milestones or project deliverables. Use these tools to automatically identify and display the end-to-end Driving Path to an item you select using the Critical Path Method (CPM).   You can even trace network logic (predecessors or successors) one step at a time. SSI Trace Tools help you quickly find the Root Cause of schedule variances and shows your best opportunities to mitigate those variances.

  • With just one click you can identify and display the longest work stream of preceding tasks to an item you select using the tab named Driving Path Analysis.
  • The tab named Trace & Show Dependencies, identifies and displays the predecessors or successors of tasks you select in a project.
  • The tab named Trace & List Dependencies, allows you to inspect key information about a selected task’s predecessors or successors in a list.  Then follow a dependency thread by double-clicking one or more items in the dependency list.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Schedule Trace Tools from the Task Dependency Analysis Group

Best Practices and Audit Tools

Course Description

SSI Schedule Integrity Audit Tools scores your project against “best practice” criteria found in Government and Industry guideline documents.  In addition to the DCMA 14 Point Assessment, SSI Tools tests and reports results for 29 conditions that could affect your ability to use the schedule as a reliable Early Earning System, as a tool to find the Root Cause of schedule variances and as the basis of Corrective Action plans.

A schedule is more than a “to-do” list of project tasks.  It must also be able to reliably predict the dates of Program Events (milestones) that may be months in the future.  The consensus of Government and Industry guidelines related to project scheduling can be found in the following documents:

  • The Planning & Scheduling Excellence Guide Release 2.0: (PASEG 2.0).
  • The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide).
  • The Integrated Master Plan and Integrated Master Schedule Preparation and Use Guide (Department of Defense).
  • The GAO Schedule Assessment Guide.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Schedule Integrity Audits from the Task Dependency Analysis Group

Status & Performance Reporting

Course Description

SSI Status & Performance Reporting Tools help you keep a project plan up to date by ensuring that:

  • All Work Accomplished is posted prior to the Current Status date.
  • All Work Remaining is posted after the Current Status date.
  • The Actual Start and Projected Finish is accurate and up to date.

Key members of the project team know which tasks are occurring in the Current and Near Term performance window.

Updating the status of tasks and milestones in a Project Plan is crucial to the effectiveness and accuracy of the schedule.  If the status of in-progress or near term tasks is incorrect, then the dates shown for far term tasks and key project milestones will also be incorrect.

SSI Tools Used

Tools from the Tools/Utilities Group

Variance Analysis, Root Cause Identification & Corrective Action Planning

Course Description

Demonstrates Microsoft Project techniques and SSI Tools used to identify variances that occurred in the current reporting period (Current Period Variance) or cumulatively since the baseline plan was established (Cumulative Schedule Variance).

  • The importance of setting a Baseline and taking periodic “snapshots” of schedule dates.
  • Built-in Microsoft Project techniques used to show variances.
  • SSI Variance Analysis tools.
  • SSI Tools used to show root cause drivers of schedule variances.
  • Suggestions for corrective action planning.
Schedule Risk Assessment and Sensitivity Analysis

Course Description

SSI Schedule Risk Assessment Tools take the variability of task durations into account to predict the probability of meeting Program Events on their current date.  Subject Matter Experts on the project team enter a range of possible durations for key tasks using an estimate for the Best Case, Worst Case and Most Likely duration.  SSI Tools uses values within this duration range to predict schedule dates using “Monte Carlo” simulation.  Results are displayed as a histogram of predicted completion dates for key Program Events.

SSI Tools Used

Tools from the Tools/Utilities Group

Time Scaled Resource Assignment Analysis

Course Description

SSI Time Scaled Values tools add another dimension to the analysis that can be performed on a project having resource assignments.  Since tasks are performed over time with overlapping periods of performance, it is often useful to see project data from a time scaled perspective of resource usage.  Structured Solutions provides this analysis with its Time Scaled Values tool from the Toolbox collection.

SSI Tools Used

Tools from the Tools/Utilities Group

Earned Value Analysis Plus the SSI Tools Bridge to Deltek Cobra and MPM

Course Description

Structured Solutions Performance and Earned Value tools include built-in Earned Value reporting using project data.  Data showing the Plan Value (aka PV or BCWS), the Earned Value (aka EV or BCWP) and Actual Value (aka AV or ACWP) can be determined by Task Days, Task Work or Task Cost

  • When Using Task Days as the EV Unit of Measure, SSI Tools reports the days of work scheduled through a reporting period vs. days of work performed (using the Baseline Duration as the basis) and the actual days taken to perform tasks in the schedule.
  • When Using Task Work as the EV Unit of Measure, SSI Tools reports the hours of work scheduled through a reporting period vs. hours performed (using the Baseline Hours as the basis). The Actual value for work hours can be taken from Microsoft Project or it can be imported and held outside Microsoft Project.  Work hours can be reported at the Work Package level or rolled up to the Work Package Parent level.
  • When Using Task Cost as the EV Unit of Measure, SSI Tools reports cost values scheduled through a reporting period vs. cost performance (using the Baseline Duration as the basis). Actual costs can be taken from Microsoft Project or imported and held outside Microsoft Project.  Costs can be reported at a Work Package level or rolled up to the Work Package’s Parent level.

For those needing to use a formal Earned Value Management System, SSI Tools includes data generators for Deltek MPM and Cobra.  SSI’s Cobra and MPM interface tools make import/transaction files that include WBS, Planned Value, Earned Value, and Estimates to Complete.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Performance And Earned Value Group

External Dependencies & Cross Project Dependencies

Course Description

A “Program” is often a collection of Projects and Subprojects.  Often, these projects and subprojects are owned and maintained by separate teams or organizations within a company or even by different companies.

For the most part Projects and Subprojects have Internal Dependencies between their own tasks and milestones.  In many cases, however, an External Dependency exists where the predecessor or successor is part of another project or subproject.  Common names External Dependencies include “Givers” and “Receivers”, “Inputs” and “Outputs” or just “Cross Project Dependencies”.

Managing a Program having External Dependencies requires explicit identification of these dependencies which may include a Unique Identification Code or number and Tags to show which project Provides (the “Giver” or “Provider”) the external dependency and who Receives (the “Receiver” or “User”) the external dependency.

SSI Tools support this environment with tools that can:

  • Identify, code and flag dependencies that are incoming or outgoing a range of task IDs in a project.
  • Recognize Outputs in a project and link them to their corresponding Inputs based on codes and flags.

Push and pull input/output dates from external projects to keep them synchronized.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Multi-Project Tools

SSI Presentation Professional Parts 1 & 2

Course Description

Structured Solutions Inc.’s Presentation Professional enables users to create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations containing objects (shapes) that are linked to Microsoft Project schedule items (Summaries, Tasks and Milestones). The purpose of this tool is to enable rapid production and efficient maintenance of “to-the-point”, executive level PowerPoint presentations that convey the status and performance of key and critical schedule events and life cycle phases.

The first 2 sessions show users how to make and update Timelines, Tasks, Milestones and Summaries on a PowerPoint page using the active project.  Topics covered also include Import/Update Setup and Page Setup and Shape Text Tools

SSI Tools Used

SSI Presentation Professional

SSI Presentation Professional Parts 3 & 4

Course Description

Structured Solutions Inc.’s Presentation Professional enables users to create Microsoft PowerPoint presentations containing objects (shapes) that are linked to Microsoft Project schedule items (Summaries, Tasks and Milestones). The purpose of this tool is to enable rapid production and efficient maintenance of “to-the-point”, executive level PowerPoint presentations that convey the status and performance of key and critical schedule events and life cycle phases.

These sessions show users how to add Legend to a page to control the attributes of new or updated tasks, milestones, summaries and timeline shapes.  This session shows users how to add Reference dates to tasks and milestones such as task Progress, Baseline dates, Deadline dates, prior Start and Finish dates.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Presentation Professional

SSI Built-in Earned Value “Express” Tools

Course Description

Structured Solutions’ Performance vs. Baseline Tools includes built-in Earned Value reporting using project data.  Data showing the Plan Value (aka PV or BCWS), the Earned Value (aka EV or BCWP) and Actual Value (aka AV or ACWP) can be determined by typical EV metrics such as Task Work or Task Cost.  Projects can even use SSI’s Earned Value tools if tasks have no resource assignments using Task Days as an Earned Value metric.

SSI Tools Used

SSI Performance Reporting Tools

Project 2010-2016 Level 1

Course Outline

LESSON 1 – THE BASICS

1.1        UNDERSTANDING PROJECT MANAGEMENT

1.2        LAUNCHING MICROSOFT PROJECT

1.3        THE PROJECT ENVIRONMENT

1.4        CREATING A NEW PROJECT

1.5        ENTERING PROJECT INFORMATION

1.6        CREATING A PROJECT CALENDAR

1.7        SAVING AND CLOSING A PROJECT

1.8        OPENING AN EXISTING PROJECT

1.9        HIDING THE RIBBON

1.10      SETTING PROJECT OPTIONS

1.11      GETTING HELP

LESSON SUMMARY – PROJECT BASICS LESSON 1 QUIZ

LAB 1 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 2 –  WORKING WITH TASKS

2.1        ENTERING TASKS

2.2        EDITING TASKS

2.3        REARRANGING TASKS

2.4        INSERTING AND DELETING TASKS

2.5        ADDING A PROJECT SUMMARY TASK

2.6        OUTLINING TASKS

2.7        ADDING A RECURRING TASK

2.8        DISPLAYING WBS CODES

2.9        CUSTOMIZING WBS CODES

LESSON SUMMARY – WORKING WITH TASKS LESSON 2 QUIZ

LAB 2 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 3 –  LINKING & SCHEDULING TASKS

3.1        ABOUT TASK RELATIONSHIPS

3.2        LINKING TASKS

3.3        ADDING LEAD TIME AND LAG TIME

3.4        CHANGING TASK DEPENDENCY

3.5        SPLITTING TASKS

3.6        SETTING TASK TYPE

3.7        SETTING TASK CONSTRAINTS

3.8        SETTING MILESTONE TASKS

3.9        SETTING TASK DEADLINES

3.10      INSPECTING A TASK

3.11      WORKING IN NETWORK DIAGRAM VIEW LESSON SUMMARY – LINKING & SCHEDULING TASKS LESSON 3 QUIZ

LAB 3 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 4 –  RESOURCES & COSTS

4.1        ENTERING RESOURCES

4.2        CREATING A RESOURCE CALENDAR

4.3        ASSIGNING RESOURCES TO TASKS

4.4        FILTERING RESOURCES

4.5        EFFORT-DRIVEN SCHEDULING

4.6        ENTERING RESOURCE COSTS

4.7        ENTERING FIXED COSTS

4.8        USING THE COST TABLE

LESSON SUMMARY – RESOURCES & COSTS LESSON 4 QUIZ

LAB 4 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 5 –  WORKING WITH VIEWS

5.1        WORKING IN CALENDAR VIEW

5.2        FORMATTING A GANTT CHART

5.3        USING MORE VIEWS

5.4        USING SPLIT VIEWS

5.5        USING TASK USAGE & RESOURCE USAGE VIEWS

5.6        SORTING TASKS & RESOURCES

5.7        USING AUTOFILTERS

5.8        USING TABLES

5.9        PRINTING A VIEW

LESSON SUMMARY – WORKING WITH VIEWS LESSON 5 QUIZ

LAB 5 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 6 –  FINALIZING THE PLAN

6.1        VIEWING THE CRITICAL PATH

6.2        IDENTIFYING SLACK IN A PROJECT

6.3        SAVING A BASELINE PLAN

6.4        SAVING AN INTERIM PLAN

6.5        OVERALLOCATED RESOURCES

6.6        LEVELING OVERALLOCATED RESOURCES LESSON SUMMARY – FINALIZING THE PLAN LESSON 6 QUIZ

LAB 6 – ON YOUR OWN

CLASS PROJECT Client Relevant Project

Project 2010-2016 Level 2

Course Outline

LESSON 1 – UPDATING & TRACKING PROJECTS

1.1        UPDATING TASK PROGRESS

1.2        UPDATING WORK PERFORMED

1.3        MANUALLY UPDATING COSTS

1.4        RESCHEDULING UNCOMPLETED TASKS

1.5        FILTERING TASKS

1.6        DISPLAYING VARIANCES

1.7        VIEWING PROGRESS LINES

LESSON SUMMARY – UPDATING AND TRACKING PROJECTS LESSON 1 QUIZ

LAB 1 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 2 –  WORKING WITH DATA FROM OTHER APPLICATIONS

2.1        COPYING AND PASTING TO OTHER APPLICATIONS

2.2        IMPORTING A TASK LIST

2.3        CREATING AN IMPORT MAP

2.4        EXPORTING PROJECT DATA

2.5        USING THE COPY PICTURE COMMAND

LESSON SUMMARY – WORKING WITH DATA FROM OTHER APPLICATIONS LESSON 2 QUIZ

LAB 2 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 3 –   WORKING WITH REPORTS

3.1        PRINTING A VIEW AS A REPORT

3.2        VIEWING STANDARD REPORTS

3.3        CREATING CUSTOM REPORTS

3.4        MODIFYING A HEADER AND A FOOTER

3.5        INSERTING A GRAPHIC INTO A REPORT

3.6        CREATING CROSSTAB REPORTS

3.7        ADJUSTING REPORT MARGINS

3.8        PRINTING A REPORT

3.9        CREATING VISUAL REPORTS

3.10      WORK WITH VISUAL REPORT TEMPLATES LESSON SUMMARY – WORKING WITH REPORTS LESSON 3 QUIZ

LAB 3 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 4 –   MANAGING MULTIPLE PROJECTS

4.1        CREATING A RESOURCE POOL

4.2        LINKING PROJECTS TO A RESOURCE POOL

4.3        UPDATING RESOURCE POOL INFORMATION

4.4        CONSOLIDATING PROJECTS

4.5        LINKING TASKS BETWEEN PROJECTS

4.6        SHARING ELEMENTS BETWEEN PROJECTS

4.7        SAVING A WORKSPACE

4.8        CREATING A PROJECT PLAN TEMPLATE

LESSON SUMMARY – MANAGING MULTIPLE PROJECTS LESSON 4 QUIZ

LAB 4 – ON YOUR OWN

LESSON 5 –  FORMATTING A PROJECT FILE

5.1        FORMATTING BAR STYLES

5.2        CHANGING BAR STYLES

5.3        FORMATTING TIMESCALES

5.4        CREATING CUSTOM FIELDS

5.5        CREATING CUSTOM TABLES

5.6        CREATING CUSTOM VIEWS

5.7        CREATING CUSTOM GROUPS

5.8        USING DRAWING TOOLS

5.9        CREATING A MACRO

5.10      RUNNING A MACRO

LESSON SUMMARY – FORMATTING A PROJECT FILE LESSON 5 QUIZ

LAB 5 – ON YOUR OWN

CLASS PROJECT – Client relevant project