Free Lesson: S1 to S5 Maturity Framework and the Power of Acumen Suite of Applications (Course Preview)

Deltek Acumen is probably the best application in assessing and improving the quality of project schedules. Project success does not happen by accident.

"Hi, My name is Rufran C. Frago... Founder and CEO of PM Solution Pro and today, I'm going to tell you, and demonstrate to you a little bit more about Deltek Acumen Suite of applications. So stay tuned."

Acumen suite of applications gives the best handle managing the schedule by using S1 to S5 maturity framework checkpoints. That's the one you see on your screen.

You have a schedule, you upload it, that is your S1. You critique and diagnose the schedule quality, that's your S2. We then identify schedule risks and uncertainties, that's our S3. We then adjust the risks, and optimize the schedule, that's our S4. The final checkpoint S5, is to achieve team alignment. The project team has to be on the same page!

Acumen supports the most popular scheduling tools in the industry. I'm now opening a schedule from Deltek Open Plan. So easy! We just did S1!

Let us quickly go to S2 and diagnose schedule quality. The ribbons show the quality score based on the project's adopted (approved) metrics...remember that!

By drilling down the fields, issues can be identified. Address the issues and you greatly improve schedule quality. This schedule has excessive constraints, and questionable logics. Check if it is the true reflection of the plan. Otherwise, execution fails! The schedule looks unrealistic. By using Acumen Fuse schedule cleanser, you can quickly create a more realistic schedule, easy for the project team to understand. Isn't it what we all wanted?

The S2 Module has many capabilities. There's charting, trend analysis... and over 300 built-in metrics to choose from. You can custom view them and you have the ability to create your own metric. You can create your own scoring criteria.

S2 Logic gives you the in-depth ability to analyze schedule sequencing. Helps identify issues in a click of a button and address them. S2 Benchmarking lets you compare your project to a database of known completed projects. It is an excellent way to see potential success of your project by comparing to projects similar to yours.

Let us compare your improved schedule. All you need to do is select the index, the type of industry, and you can see your own index quality score. The higher the score, the better. In this instance, your project schedule is on the high-side of the curve at 88% Fuse index with an estimated 91% probability of success. That's great! This is a good indicator of your project's future.

"It is not just having a schedule. A project has to have a good quality schedule, achievable, and predictable. You have to make sure that your schedule is sound and complete...and it is aligned to the plan."

Let us go to Acumen S2/Forensic module. We all know that projects cannot do away with change. It is part of progressing. It is part of updating. Forensic tracks changes by fields. Scope changes can then be properly recognized and recorded. Nothing escapes this forensic tool. This is almost like a tool on steroid! Strong and unstoppable!

Status progressing, activities going in and out of the critical path. Dates changing, you will see quickly how many and what dates have changed. It gives you an idea right away whether the change you are expecting are actually happening or has happened. Therefore, gives you a good glimpse of other possible consequences.

Time to go to S3, Risk identification, Risk assessment. These are list of driving risks to the projects ranked by impacts. These are activities and risks that can delay the project schedule. Using these indicators, management will know where to focus it's mitigation efforts. The wonderful thing is there's nothing complicated in this assessment process. Anyone can learn it within a relatively short time.

Let us go to the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) view of the project schedule. Start by calibrating the uncertainty of each WBS header and the specific activities underneath it. The calibration colours (transitioning green, yellow, red) make sliding process easier to understand. By doing this, we are saving time. The risk analyst don't need to create another schedule, nor forced to waste time building a summary schedule. It is not needed. The project can use what it has!

After ranging the uncertainties, we go to the project risk register. In this register, schedule risks, that is, opportunities and threats, had been identified, including probabilities of occurrences. Also highlighted are risk scores to indicate severity.

Click and select any WBS activity level on the left. Select the risk/s that will most likely affect the activity that you have selected on the left.

As you can see now, it is quite easy. It will help you make the right decision in mitigating your risks. Once you run the risk simulation, you will generate the distribution chart. You'll be able to read the confidence level of project outcomes. You can even review the impact of risk mitigations. You will be able to recommend optimal mitigation expenditure. You can inspect risk-based critical path. Always remember this. Static critical path will change when risks are applied to your project schedule.

There are plenty of other available risk analytic reports. The window to your right shows the distribution analyzer. Use this to compare your risked schedule to your original schedule. You can compare your risk-mitigated schedule to your risked schedule. You can note changes in durations, changes in probabilities. You can identify possible consequences. Of course, your risk-adjusted schedule is more realistic than your S1 schedule. However, the adjusted schedule might not be what the client wants. Make sure that your adjustment satisfies the objectives of the customer but without violating best risk-based practices.

Creating the risk-adjusted schedule leads us to our S4 checkpoint which calls for an optimized schedule.

Acumen 360 will get the project back on track. The acceleration module is very good. With your (project's) input, you can create a scenario whereby you can bring the project to finish on time and on budget.

In this example, the client is asking for a 10% project recovery. Let us use the schedule cleanser to start with. Take advantage of different selection tab of the 360. You can include or exclude certain areas of the schedule. This results in a brand-new schedule (adjusted accelerated version).

We go back to our S2/Forensic tab. We compare the newly created scenario to the risk-adjusted schedule. The red entries suggest that the corresponding activity needs more money and resources for it to accelerate. We do not touch it, when it is blue. You do not need money and resource to accelerate that area. Acumen Fuse runs thousands of acceleration simulations and comes back with the path of acceleration with the least schedule impact.

Acumen dashboard let everyone see all the information together. The dashboard brings everyone to the same page. To make sure everyone understand that the schedule is sound and realistic. The dashboard is important. It is a good communication tool. It offers plenty of information and details.

Let us go back to the S2/Diagnostic Tab. Click on PUBLISH to generate an Executive Summary Report. It is an automatically generated narrative. Using WORD Document lets you edit where needed.

This concludes today's Overview presentation on Acumen Suite. It is my hope that all of you developed more appreciation of the software. If you or your company is interested with Acumen Suite, CONTACT US! Our information is on your screen."

"Thank you so much for tuning in everyone...and until next time."

This training Video was produced by:

PM Solution Pro Continuing Education

PM Solution Pro is a Deltek Partner

A trademark of Risk-based Management and Services Inc.

Website :

Contact : 1+ (587) 899-1202

Video and Document Copyright 2015/2018, PMSP

Complete and Continue