by Ed Merriman
| November 16, 2016
TrueMapper strives to provide an environment that allows users to be as efficient as possible when creating mappings. Sometimes users need to map all of a specific type of Cost Object, Activity or Resource to specific WBS items. In this case users would use the “Generic” tab of the Mapping Assignment Window. Assignments made from this tab can be stored off in a *.tpgen file and used against any PBS structure.
Recently, some TruePlanning users came across a situation where they needed to assign all Resources from specific Cost Objects to a specific WBS element, except one. Those familiar with the 881C WBS fill be familiar with the one Resource that needed to go to a different WBS element: System Engineering. The users could easily assign all of the System Engineering Resource hours and costs using the Generic tab, but if they didn’t want to ‘double dip’ on System Engineering when they assigned the rest of the Cost Object they had to either: A) assign each Resource from each Cost Object one at a time, or B) assign the Cost Object as a whole, and then reassign the System Engineering Resource to zero. This is a situation the US Air Force, with their focus on Aircraft, is familiar with, and encountered in their work on the B-52 retrofit work, which required extensive mappings.
Either approach is labor intensive. A way to make this easier is to allow users to clear mappings on specific Resources at the Generic level. The “Cost Object” and “Detailed” tabs of the Mapping Assignment Window already have the ability to clear assignments, so providing similar functionality on the Generic tab makes sense. This would allow users to make assignments at the Cost Object level, assigning all Activities and Resources, and then clear out all assignments for a single Resource like System Engineering across the entire PBS in one action. Then the Resource can be assigned on the Generic tab. This means instead of having to clear out a Resource like System Engineering over and over again, it can be cleared out once per Activity per Cost Object. This reduces the work users have to do from hundreds of actions to a few actions.
To execute a clearing of mappings at the Generic level, simply right click on the target Activity or Resource and select “Clear Mappings”. This will result in the clearing of all mappings for the selected Activity or Resource across the entire PBS and WBS. In this case ‘all mappings’ means all mappings from all of the tabs: Generic, Cost Object, and Detailed.
In the painfully simple TruePlanning project below, we have a PBS that mirrors the 881C WBS. Each of the Hardware Components will be mapped in their entirety to a specific WBS element, except for the System Engineering Resource.
All System Engineering Resource hours need to go to the WBS element: “1.2 System Engineering” regardless of the parent Cost Object.
Before the ability to clear at the Generic level, users would need to either Map each Resource for each Activity, for each Cost Object one by one, or map the entire Cost Object, but then clear out each instance of System Engineering. Below the mapping had started with a generic assignment of all System Engineering Resources to the “1.2 System Engineering” WBS element. Then the Hardware Components were assigned to their respective WBS elements, which has resulted in ‘double dipping’ for System Engineering. To resolve this, users need to manually clear out each System Engineering assignment for each Resource in each Activity, in each Cost Object. In this simple example it would be eight clicks. In a complex example it could be thousands of clicks.
Below the “Clear Mappings” was applied to the System Engineering resource of the Development Engineering Activity on the Hardware Component Cost Object (Development Manufacturing doesn’t have any hours in this example). This has removed the ‘double dipping’ of the Generic assignment and the Cost Object assignment seen in the above screenshot. In fact, the “Clear Mappings” on the Generic tab has removed all assignments for System Engineering.
Now users can reassign from the Generic tab and properly assign hours the System Engineering WBS element. As can be seen in the screenshots below, the Cost Object level assignments have been kept, and the user was able to make the assignment to “1.2 System Engineering” with a single assignment.
By providing the clear on the Generic tab, users are able to much more easily and quickly handle assignments where users need to put one or two Resources somewhere generic, but assign the bulk of Cost Objects to specific WBS elements. In the future, the processing of *.tpgen files will be updated so they could be applied at the end of mapping and apply themselves without disturbing any existing mappings.
Please feel free to contact PRICE if you have any questions about this feature, TruePlanning, TrueMapper, or any other PRICE products and services.