Original Post Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Last November I hosted a webinar that discussed the use of the companion applications Live! This session helped to further explain how to use them in congruence with TP, the history, & why we created them, etc. During the presentation I showcased the success’s I have encountered with using them both in the recent AOA I described in part 2 and this blog part 3. You can find the recorded webinar on our site.

In addition I described as I am going to do here the differences between the large project engine and the excel companion solution.

However back to business at hand to finish this series and to exhibit some more capability of how we have a “Companion APP” for that.

I recently ran into the old time favorite saying with my client of “We need a whole new estimate in 2 weeks”.  How was I going to complete 30plus models in two weeks? Well I leaned on my development team to help develop an application that would allow me to do this even faster than I could in excel.

We informally call it the “Large Project Engine” (LPE) because it can take files of 800plus objects and import it in TP through VVA instead of VBA! So of course initially there were some bugs in the software but as we went further down the line of ensuring that it calculated in TP correctly and sent the information back to excel, we were golden!

Now I was able to make mass data changes to my original baseline estimates (all 30) in excel, import it into TP, and calculate in a matter of an hour/ hour and a half for each file. I was able to complete the files in a week!  This originally took me almost a month the first time!  This is like having a machine gun at a knife fight!  It allowed the team to complete the estimate, QA and then produce the files for analysis and complete a variance document for the customer all in two weeks as requested!

This project engine is not totally ready for mass release but when it is it will be a force to be reckoned with in congruence with the TP Model.

To wrap up I want to briefly explain the differences between two applications even though each is very effective. The table below depicts the differences:

 

Excel Solution

Large Project Engine

VBA ( No require install)

VVA ( Requires and Install on computer)

Segregated tabs for different components (HW/SW)

All inputs for all Components on one tab including Lifecycle

Complete in formatting and Usability

Out of the box, raw engine, still being refined

For the Novice to Expert User

For the Intermediate to Expert User

Performs Calibration

No Calibration added yet

Slow in run time – Fills in all inputs

Fast in run time – Fills in all inputs needed

Does not pull out any Prepopulated charts

Can be modified to pull out Prepopulated charts

 

Now I have only explained in detail really 3 of our 8 companion applications. Nevertheless we offer mentoring, training and webinars which all can be used to help gain a deeper understanding of the other companion applications as well as the 3 I talked about in my blogs.

http://blog.pricesystems.com/blog/marlena-mcwilliamss-blog/excel-friend-or-foe-part-2-using-the-companion-applications-on-large-cost-estimation-projects