SAS/OR® Software

Comprehensive Tools for Project and Resource Scheduling

SAS/OR software's project management and resource scheduling capabilities offer a great deal of flexibility to plan, manage, and track project and resource schedules through a single integrated system. Project management is achieved through management of schedules, resource requirements, resource availabilities, and calendars. Each of these project-defining components is represented in a SAS data set. The data sets can be analyzed and used by various procedures to schedule the project and report on schedules, resource availability, and resource usage.

Scheduling Techniques

Critical Path Method (CPM)

The CPM procedure enables you to produce and update single-project and multiproject schedules subject to precedence, time, and resource constraints. Inputs to the scheduling process include hierarchical project structures, resource requirements, and workshift/calendar/holiday information for activities and resources. The CPM procedure produces no printed output but saves the schedule and the resource usage information in SAS data sets for maximum flexibility. The procedure gives you control over scheduling algorithms with task and resource prioritization, skillpooling, resource-driven durations, activity splitting, and so on.

Constraint Programming

The CLP procedure is a finite domain constraint programming solver for constraint satisfaction problems (CSPs) with an emphasis on scheduling. In addition to having an expressive syntax for representing CSPs with scheduling, linear, logical, and global constraints, the procedure features powerful built-in consistency routines and constraint propagation algorithms, a choice of nondeterministic search strategies, and controls for guiding the search mechanism that enable you to solve a diverse array of combinatorial problems. The CLP procedure also enables you to specify an objective function, meaning that it can provide an alternative method of solving optimization problems.

Interactive Scheduling Capabilities

The Project Management suite provides a method of managing projects interactively: the PM procedure.

The PM procedure enhances the extensive project management capabilities of SAS/OR software by providing a graphical user interface for creating, editing, and scheduling projects. The PM procedure's Project View combines a Table View and a Gantt View to enable you to define and modify project models interactively with immediate visual confirmation of the effects on the project schedule.

Project Visualization

Gantt Charts

The GANTT procedure produces graphical, line-printer, and full-screen Gantt charts from a project schedule. Such a schedule can be the result of applying the CPM procedure to a project model or can be a custom-crafted schedule. The procedure supports drawing network logic and extensive labeling capabilities.

Network Diagrams

The NETDRAW procedure provides graphical, line-printer, and full-screen network diagrams. The procedure is designed to draw activity networks, tree diagrams, and general cyclical and acyclical networks. However, it is particularly suited to displaying large, complex project networks that have been scheduled. These networks can be displayed as time-scaled and zoned network diagrams.

The Earned Value Management (EVM) Macros

The set of earned value management macros supplements the SAS/OR project management procedures and can be used to conduct earned value analysis of projects, comparing actual progress to planned progress as of a chosen date/time on both cost and schedule bases. Two distinct types of macros are included:

Microsoft Project Data Conversion Macros

The %MSPTOSAS macro converts Microsoft Project data saved in an MDB (Microsoft Access database) or XML format into data sets that are readable by the PM procedure. The macro converts Microsoft Project 98, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2010 data. The macro generates the necessary SAS data sets, determines the values of the relevant options, and enables you to invoke an instance of the PM procedure with the converted project data. Execution of this macro requires SAS/ACCESS Interface to PC File Formats software.

The %SASTOMSP macro converts data sets used by the PM and CPM procedures into an MDB file that is readable by Microsoft Project 2000, 2002, and 2003. The macro converts information that is common to both the CPM and PM procedures and Microsoft Project, including hierarchical relationships, precedence relationships, time constraints, resource availabilities, resource requirements, project calendars, resource calendars, task calendars, holiday information, and workshift information. In addition, the early and late schedules, the actual schedule, the resource-constrained schedule, and the baseline schedule are also extracted and stored as start-finish fields.

Note: The MDB file that is created by the %SASTOMSP macro cannot be read directly by versions of Microsoft Project dated 2007 or later. To circumvent this problem, open the MDB file in Microsoft Project 2003 and save the file in a format supported by versions of Microsoft Project dated 2007 or later (.mpp or .xml, for example).