Original Post Date: Wednesday, March 16, 2011

True Planning results have many options, including viewing Costs by Activity. While simple, this view can be quite powerful, especially when exported for re-organization manipulation. 

In a recent exercise, the WBS mapping of common objects, estimated by separate multiple scenarios, presented a non-trivial chore in Excel. “Transposition” features work fine for matrices, as do pivot tables. But how does one map object by activity grids into activity lists, similar to MIL-STD 881a, with singular “roll up” instances of all nonzero object costs? 

The secret is in how True Planning appends each activity output with the [object] tag. Once exported (via “Send to Excel” or “Copy Grid” options), a simple Data-Sort by Activity name will, by default, alphabetically group activities. From there, either then group by phase and/or group by scenario. The latter can be the original organization or an entirely new one. Next, use Excel’s Data-Group option to build subtotaling and roll up controls. This also gives you the ability to hide/view object instances, which are essentially activity subtotals. Finally, at your discretion, shred any scenario-shared costs such as SE/PM or personnel. Of course, build checksums to cross-check. 

Last piece of advice on this: for each step in your approach, document process refinements and save your interim artifacts as templates. The next time you are asked to rework the steps with a new scenario set or organization, your life will be even easier.