Sensei Task Analyzer
Sensei’s Task Analyzer™ helps to ensure a high quality schedule by analyzing each task for potential issues. The ‘Checks’ in the Task Analyzer are based on industry standards and best practices, including Sensei’s Proactive Scheduling™ and the Project Management Institute’s Practice Standards for WBS and Scheduling.
Select a task in the schedule to see potential issues. Once they have been resolved, the Task Analyzer will mark the tasks as “100% Compliant”.
The Task Analyzer™ performs checks for Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Resources, Link and Schedule compliance items. Set your defaults to match organizational scheduling standards and ignore those checks that are not relevant.
Individual ‘checks’ can also be ignored temporarily during the planning process only to be activated at a later date.
Sensei Task Analyzer - App for Project 2013View this video on YouTube
Schedule compliance verifies that project schedule and WBS are built upon a foundation of standards that promote the development of sound and well-maintained schedules. The standards used in schedule compliance are based on generally accepted industry standards and best practices, including Sensei’s Proactive Scheduling™ and the Project Management Institute’s Practice Standards for WBS and Scheduling.
How Sensei Task Analyzer Supports Schedule Compliance
Consolidate Compliance Checks
Project management teams have used a variety of tools to identify compliance issue including filters and manual checklists. Sensei Task Analyzer consolidates these methods in a single easy to use tool.
Provide Immediate Feedback
Sensei Task Analyzer defines a number of schedule compliance checks that are performed whenever a task is selected in a Microsoft Project Schedule. Any identified issues for the selected task are display immediately with a title and brief overview of the issue. Once issues have been addressed they are immediately removed from display.
Support Customizations of Checks
Schedule compliance does not mean that standards should always be applied consistently to all project schedules. Recommendations can be ignored if the project management team has reviewed the standard and determined it is not appropriate for a given project.
Sensei Task Analyzer allows compliance checks to be customized. The severity level of a check can be changed to Issue, Warning or Message, if a severity check has been determined to not be valid within an organization or for a particular project the severity check can be turned off.
Allow Exceptions for Individual Tasks
Schedule compliance recommendations may not apply to all tasks in the project schedule. The project management team can decide that it is justified for individual task within the project schedule to ignore a schedule recommendation.
Sensei Task Analyzer allows compliance checks to be ignored for individual tasks.
Verify Schedule Tasks
Use the 'Analyzer' section to examine the selected task for compliance items. Any 'Issues', 'Warnings' and 'Messages' will be displayed with guidance to help determine how to best resolve these items.
When the Sensei Task Analyzer starts an application overview is displayed (see Fig 1.). The overview provides a high level description of how to 'Analyze Tasks' and 'Review Checks'. To prevent this overview from displaying when the Sensei Task Analyzer opens uncheck 'Show overview when starting'. To again show the overview at startup go to the "Help' section and check 'Show overview when starting'.
Simply select a task and Sensei Task Analyzer will examine that task against all selected compliance checks. The number of checks performed and number of compliance items found will be display at the bottom of the 'Analyzer' section.
If no compliance items are found a message is displayed indicating that the task is 100% compliant (see Fig 2.). If compliance items are detected the compliance items are displayed. The compliance item includes the item name along with guidance to help with resolution. The item can be an issue, warning or message. The severity of the item is indicated by an icon (see Fig 3.).
Ignoring Compliance Issues, Warnings and Messages
A task may be an exception to the reported compliance item. If the compliance item is should be ignored for the whole project the compliance check should be updated in the 'Checks' section. However, if the exception is only for the selected task the compliance item can be removed by selecting the ignore option. When the ignore option is selected the compliance check will no longer be performed when the task is selected.
Restoring previously ignored Issues, Warnings and Messages
To again perform all checks on a task choose the 'Restore Ignored Items' at the bottom of the 'Analyze' section. This command allow ignored items to be rechecked for the current task, for the entire project or even for all projects on this system (see fig 4.).
Reviewing Compliance Checks
Select a 'Checks' category to display compliance checks related to that category. The available 'Checks' categories are 'WBS' (see Fig 1.), 'Resources' (see Fig 2.), 'Links' (see Fig 3.) and 'Schedule' (see Fig 4.). When a category is selected the related compliance checks are displayed with their current severity level.
The severity level for a compliance check can be changed by selecting the 'Severity Level' drop down associated with the checks. When the 'Severity Level' dropdown is display adjust the severity by selecting from one of the available severities 'Issue', 'Warning', Messages (see Fig 5.). The new severity value will be maintained whenever the 'Sensei Task Analyzer' is used on this system.
Cancelling Severity Updates
To cancel the update that have been made since opening the 'Checks' section select the 'Cancel Updates' option at the bottom of this section.
Severity Updates to Default Values
To severity level for a compliance checks back to the original values select the 'Set to Default' option at the bottom of this section. This will set the severity levels to the values used when the 'Sensei Task Analyzer' was first used.
Ignoring a Compliance Check
You organization may decide not to follow a compliance recommendation used in 'Sensei Task Analyzer'. If after reviewing a compliance recommendation it is determined that it is not to be appropriate for your organization it can be ignored by selecting 'Ignore' in the 'Severity Level' dropdown (see Fig 5.).
Adjusting Check Values
Duration and work checks in the 'Schedule' section include values for the maximum and minimum amount of duration and work allowed. These values can be adjusted to reflect values consistent with your organization's practices.
The 'Checks' in the Task Analyzer are based on industry standards and best practices, including Sensei's Proactive Scheduling and the Project Management Institute's Practice Standards for WBS and Scheduling.
Outline Level 1 should not contain a detailed task
To manage the scope and align with industry standards for WBS, Outline Level 1 should contain only Phases and Project-level Milestones.
Outline Level 2 should not contain a detailed task
To manage the scope and align with industry standards for WBS, Outline Level 2 should contain only Deliverables and Phase-level Milestones.
Task names should be verb-driven, action-oriented, specific and unique within the schedule
Team members should be able to interpret the task without seeing the context of the WBS.
No blank lines should exist in the schedule
Blank lines count as tasks and should be avoided in project schedules.