In this post I’m going to do talk about a tool that’s new to me: Deltek Acumen Fuse. Although the tool itself has been around for a long time, many people (myself included) haven’t integrated it into their toolkits, and it’s time to change that.
If your department is serious about project scheduling and you’re not using Deltek Acumen Fuse, then you’re missing out on some serious power-house schedule analysis.
But let’s start with some basic schedule analysis.
Let me show you how to run a DCMA 14-point schedule check on your project using this Deltek Acumen Fuse.
Let me start by saying: Wow!
If you’ve never used Deltek Acumen Fuse before, it’s a little bit like stepping into the cockpit of a 747. There’s an enormous amount of buttons and gadgets and colors, and you can tell this is a power tool … but how do you make it go up? Let’s take a crack at that using, no surprise, P6 XER files.
Import a Project into Deltek Acumen Fuse
So, let’s go to the Oracle Primavera P6 menu here and import a single project from an XER file, which is a two-step process. Note the program will show you a notification giving you the option to take various actions on the project, but you can just click past that and import it right in.
On the S1 projects tab, you can see the activity list. If you want to see the whole project at once, just head to the bottom display level and find the slider. Slide it all the way over, and you should be able to scroll and view it all. It’s very much like being in a P6 type setting with my tabs on the bottom, and my Gantt chart up in the top.
But how do we get to that DCMA 14-point analysis?
Running Diagnotics on Your XER Project
Let’s start by running some diagnostics, a process they call “fuse” rather than “schedule.” So, let’s go ahead and click fuse, which initiates the analysis on the project. All of a sudden, there’s my dashboard again, and down at the bottom, you can see there are a whole bunch of different analysis options.
Pick the DCMA 14-point tab. Note that you may have to “fuse” it again to get the results to pop up.
Making Sense of Your Results
Now, let’s have a look at what’s going on here. In the top upper left-hand corner, we have a timeline for the project. It’s a 12-month timeline with a rough, single-line bar Gantt chart. The analysis has also taken those 14 points by DCMA and given me all the information on the right-hand side for the entire project, as well as breaking it down into a monthly view on the left.
So, for each month, I can see those in which logic is a problem, those activities that have a problem with high float per month, and so on. Lots of slicing and dicing right away.
Note that there is a lot going on, and it might take you a minute to acclimatize yourself. All of the options are clickable by colored areas. Choose which you want to focus on and it will let you focus in.
For instance, I’ve chosen to focus on high duration, Number 8. (Pro tip: the popup tooltips are really handy, and if you’re not sure what Number 8 is, for instance, it will let you know that it’s the “Total number of activities that have a duration longer than two months.” Really neat.)
Now I set my parameters: It should not exceed 5%. That’s the DCMA threshold. I click three. I click the orange box. And down here at the bottom … wow, I get a lot of stuff. You’ll want to watch the video to see exactly what I’m talking about here, but I can choose between a scorecard and a tabular view to see which activities are performing in what ways. Then I can zoom in manually to get a really granular look.
Want a bit more detail? Let’s do a Gantt chart, which allows me to analyze activities, see where they start, see where they finish.
Export Information Into Detailed Reports
What if I want to export this into a report? Well, I can. There’s a Microsoft Excel button right in the screen to allow me to export it into spreadsheet form, then open it in Excel. Now I have a mini-report available to me, and others, for those particular activities.
If I want to export the entire report to Excel, I simply click “Reset display” and it will fuse one more time. Then I’ll go to publish, and publish the entire report to Excel, save it on my desktop, and voilà: easy viewing with tons of beautiful formatting.
Look for More Deltek Acumen Fuse Tutorials in Future
The takeaway? This tool offers tons of flexibility and tons of options. To recap, you want to run the DCMA 14-point schedule check, export the information you need into Excel, then you can take it and cross-reference it with P6 and make corrections. Easy-peasy.
So, if you’re completely new to Deltek Acumen Fuse, hopefully you got a couple of tips and tricks in this video. I will be bringing more videos to you to unpack more of Deltek Acumen Fuse as we go. See you in another video!