How to Identify and Minimize Risk with ALICE Core

This article explains how users can assess the quality of an imported schedule using ALICE Core to identify and address risks due to infeasibility or unrealistic resourcing.

To learn more about how schedule assessment in Core can generate value, go here.

There are three stages to assessing a schedule in ALICE:

  1. Uncover hidden schedule busts
  2. Determine realistic resource needs
  3. Stress test the schedule

At the end of the process, the output will be a schedule that you have validated as achievable.

Uncover hidden schedule busts

Key Concept: ALICE Core supports guaranteed constraint resolution, unlike traditional scheduling tools. This means that any constraint that you’ve input will be honored. If there are contradictory constraints that absolutely cannot be resolved, ALICE will generate an infeasibility report to tell you which constraints are not possible, so you can change your logic.

Watch this video to learn how to uncover hidden schedule busts optioneering with Core 

Step by Step:

  1. Import your P6 schedule.
  2. Hit reschedule on the plan page. 
    1. ALICE will now try to schedule your project while honoring all scheduling existing constraints.
  3. Look for the infeasibility report.
    1. If there is no infeasibility report, it means your logic is feasible.
  4. Correct infeasibilities on the plan page to arrive at a feasible baseline.

Output: A schedule without logic infeasibilities.


Determine Realistic Resource Needs

Key Concept: ALICE prevents resource overallocation in every generated solution. Upon import, ALICE calculates the peak resource requirement for each crew based on the P6 histogram peaks. It is often the case in traditional scheduling tools that schedules inadvertently allow resource over-allocation.  Every scenario generated by Alice respects your resource constraints and prevents resource over-allocation. You can use ALICE to see what the peaks are in your imported schedule, input realistic maximum crews, and let the ALICE algorithm optimally distribute those crews across your schedule.

Step by Step:

  1. Start with a schedule that you have already checked for infeasibilities (see steps above).
  2. Open the Resources tab on the Plan page.
  3. Look at numbers in the # Available column. These numbers represent the peak crew utilization from the imported schedule. Validate if you think that many crews can be supplied to the project.
  4. Adjust the max available crews based on your knowledge of the job and regional crew availability by changing the number inside of the # Available column.
  5. Reschedule to see the impact of the adjusted crew maximums on your schedule.
    1. On the Explore page, look for differences in milestone completion dates and the overall completion date.
    2. On the Explore page, you can use the compare solutions feature to understand the differences between the imported baseline and the adjusted solution.

Output: A schedule with resourcing that you have validated as realistic for the job.

Watch this video to learn how to determine realistic resource needs in schedule assessment  


Stress test the schedule

Key Concept: After you’ve done the first two steps, you’re ready to stress test your schedule. In ALICE you stress test by optioneering to simulate common risks that may impact your job.

Step by Step:

  1. Start with a schedule that you have already checked for infeasibilities and confirmed realistic resources (see steps above).
  2. Go to the Explore page and start creating scenarios based on possible risks that may be encountered. In steps 3 and 4 below, we suggest some common starting points. 
    1. What you’re looking for here is bottlenecks or areas of high sensitivity in your project. 
  3. Milestone delay stress test
    1. Optioneer impact of delays to key access or handover dates. 
    2. Change the dates of milestones on the explore page and view the dates.
  4. Crew Sensitivity stress test
    1. Simulate reduction in workforce to understand which crews can pose the biggest risk to key dates.
    2. Limit daily workforce peaks to simulate workforce shortages or limitations and understand the impact to key dates.

Output: Scenarios that help you understand key areas of risk in your schedule so that you can remove bottlenecks and plan risk mitigation strategies.


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