TBG6 Architecture, Engineering and Construction
This specification provides the definition of the Project tasks planning message (PROTAP) to be used in Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) between trading partners involved in administration, commerce and transport.
1.1 Functional definition
The Project Tasks Planning message is used in various industry sectors when there is a requirement for all parties involved to formally establish and exchange planning and scheduling information. This information describes the tasks and resources needed to complete a project or provide a service. This can include such details as what activities or tasks are involved, who is available to do the work, who is doing the work, what must be completed or delivered such as a document or goods, and when the work will be completed or when the item will be delivered. This document may be part of the contractual documents exchanged for the preparation, status, or completion of a project or service.
1.2 Field of application
The Project tasks planning message may be used for both national and international applications. It is based on universal practice related to administration, commerce and transport, and is not dependent on the type of business or industry.
The industry sectors that typically exchange planning and scheduling information include construction, aerospace, aircraft, utility, defense, facility maintenance, automotive, and software development. Various government entities such as transportation, energy, space, and defense also exchange planning and scheduling information with their contractors related to construction, software development, research and development, and production. For departments or ministries of defense, this planning and scheduling information is typically part of the contractual requirements for weapon system acquisition and chemical or hazardous material disposal.
Although various regional and international differences do exist in the business terms used in a planning and scheduling environment, the underlying business requirements are similar.
In many respects, the various commercial off the shelf application software used for planning and scheduling around the world have established a default set of common principles and data requirements. Where regional and international differences do exist in business terms, the design of the message is flexible enough to accommodate them.
This message is designed to convey planning, scheduling, and resource information about a project and the business environment related to the project in a neutral data format.
This information exchange can be bi-directional between the parties involved. Only data associated with one schedule or plan is exchanged per occurrence of this message.
This message is structured to support the exchange of the three main groups of independent yet interrelated information typical in a project management environment and commercial off the shelf application software. These main groups of information are represented as segment groups within this message and can be used independently or together as needed to fit the requirements of the project. The main groups of information are 1) resource availability; 2) calendar information; and 3) activity or task details with related resource, calendar, milestone, and constraint information.
The header section in this message includes the resource availability segment group. The detail section in this message includes the calendar information and activity or task details.
While all three groups of information can be classified as detail data, the resource availability segment group was placed in the header section to prevent segment collision. In addition, the resource availability and calendar information is only exchanged infrequently; the core of the message is the activity or task segment group as this is the data that needs to be exchanged frequently to adequately manage a project.
This message can be used to exchange resource availability, calendar, task and related information between commercial off the shelf or company unique program management software applications. This exchange can be internal to company; for example, when one or more divisions within a company use different software applications or when the company wants to establish a common, standard data exchange format. This exchange can also be external to a company; for example, when data must be exchanged with customers, suppliers, or subcontractors regardless of the application software used by all parties.
Project planning and scheduling information can be highly proprietary to a company. The parties exchanging this data may elect to use various methods to ensure only the right people have access to the data.
1.3.1 Resource Availability Information
The resource availability group of segments is designed to convey information about company-wide resources that may be employed to complete work. This includes all types of resources such as labor, material, manufacturing or testing facilities, or capital used through out the company for all their contracts. Information about availability (percent of total time available or available dates a resource can be devoted to a project or task), efficiency factors, unit rate, inflation percentage, quantity, and cost can be described as needed.
Typically, this resource availability information is only conveyed early in the initial planning or proposal stage of a project or in the event the business base of the company has changed significantly during the execution of a project plan.
Depending on the business environment or requirements of the trading partners, this availability information may not be exchanged at all.
1.3.2 Calendar Information
The calendar group of segments is designed to convey information about the working calendars used to plan and schedule work. This includes information about non-working days, working hours, and holidays. There may be multiple working calendars if there are working shifts, different company divisions doing the work, or subcontractors doing the work. Typically, this calendar information is only conveyed early in the initial planning or proposal stage, when work is set to begin, or when there are substantial changes to the working environment.
1.3.3 Activity or Task Information
The activity or task related group of segments is the main focus of this message. It is used to convey information about the tasks that must be done or milestone events that must occur to complete the project plan as well as progress against the original plan, or changes to the original plan. This can include information about what must be done, when it must be done, and related details about the activity or task. Quantity, monetary amounts, and percentages can also be associated with the task for planning or tracking progress. An activity or task may include a calendar reference. This reference, when used, can relate to the calendar information segment group details.
1.3.4 Activity or Task Related Information
Within the group of segments used to describe an activity or task is subordinate group of segments that can be used to describe items that are related to an activity or task. This includes the resources assigned to a task (who is doing the work or what is needed to complete the work such as materials or facilities), a list of milestone events (a way to measure progress on a task), and relationships or constraints between activities. Quantity, monetary amounts, percentages, and rates can also be associated with these related items for planning or tracking progress.
When resources are assigned to an activity or task, these resources may relate to the resource availability segment group information if the option of building the resource availability data was used for the project. A project office can perform additional planning and scheduling functions with the combined information of available resources and resources assigned to a task to determine if there are enough resources available company-wide to complete a task. This may require the activity to be extended or require the company to hire or secure more resources to complete the work. In addition, a resource may include a calendar reference. This reference, when used, can relate to the calendar information segment group details.
1.3.5 Milestone Information
Milestones can be handled in two ways in this message. They can be treated as an activity that is an event (i.e., the activity or task segment group in the detail section) or they can be treated as a subordinate event assigned to a main activity (i.e., the subordinate segment group to the line item in the detail section).
1.3.6 Adding, Changing, and Deleting Information
Add, change, and delete notations are included for available resources, index structure details, tasks, milestones, and items related to a task such as milestones, resources, and constraint activities. This allows this message to be used in two ways. The first and most simple method is to send a PROTAP message that includes an entire set of data to completely replace or overwrite old data. The second and more complex method is to send only the tasks, resources, milestones, and so forth that have been added, changed, or deleted. The capabilities of the receiving application or receiving party's business environment will dictate how this capability is used.
1.3.7 Status Information
This message is designed to convey initial planning and scheduling information, replanning information, and periodic project status information. Initial planning and scheduling information is used to establish the original baseline plan or schedule data between parties. This baseline provides the foundation for comparison for status information as the project progresses. In the event a project runs into difficulties, it may be necessary to replan the balance of the project, with new baseline plan or schedule data exchanged between parties. The periodic status information conveyed between parties can include remaining duration, percent complete, or actual start and complete dates. Milestones, quantities, percentages, and monetary amounts can be used to calculate the value of the work completed. For the exchange of periodic status information, typically only agreed to key data for the plan or schedule are exchanged. This is a smaller subset of the data required to establish a baseline or rebaseline plan.
1.3.8 Other Functionality
Other functionality available in this message include the following:
Relationships to other projects can be described with notations on the type of relationship such as a parent, child, or other related schedule whether internal or external.
Relationships to other documents can be described with notations on the type of document, and where needed, information about the computing environment used to produce or process the information.
Related index structures can be described and defined for the project. This supports various reporting structures such as a Work Breakdown Structure or Organizational Breakdown Structure that relate to the project or specific tasks. The reporting structure can be up to six levels deep to accommodate very large, complex projects.
Notations about a work team, named responsible person, and product details related to an activity can also be conveyed.
See UNTDID, Part 4, Chapter 2.3 UN/ECE UNSM - General Introduction, Section 1.
3. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
3.1 Standard terms and definitions
See UNTDID, Part 4, Chapter 2.3 UN/ECE UNSM - General Introduction, Section 2.
3.2 Message terms and definitions
The terms "planning" and "scheduling" have different meanings.
A project plan is a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumptions and decisions, facilitate communication, and to document the approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines; these baselines serve as the foundation to measure progress and track changes.
A project schedule is an essential part of any project plan. A schedule provides the details about the activities that must be done, when they must be done, who is doing the work, and work progress measurement criteria.
The terms "task" and "activity" are used interchangeably to describe the work unit that must be completed to reach the end objective of the project.
4. MESSAGE DEFINITION
4.1 Data segment clarification
This section should be read in conjunction with the segment table which indicates mandatory, conditional and repeating requirements.
The header section for this message includes project unique identifying details, general project information, details about the parties exchanging data, information about computing environments, applicable index structure definitions, and the resource availability segment group.
The detail section for this message includes the calendar information segment group and the activity or task segment group. Within the activity or task segment group a subordinate segment group is included to provide related information about an activity or task such as assigned resources, milestones, or constraints.
The summary section provides an optional control total segment for checking purposes.