Smartnet

Before looking at individual features there is one vital, but partially invisible, feature that underpins Anyplan and makes it different from anything else on the market. A plan is a highly connected network of dependent items. Everything is affected by calendars representing available time and resources assigned to activities. Activities, tasks, events, work orders - any time element in a plan - are also linked together. To get a fast, flexible, and highly scalable system that can plan almost anything we need something more than flat files or database tables. We need the SmartNet. Anyplan´s unique capabilities come from its design as an in-memory object network. 

Anyplan® SmartNet™
The network is served up to all users from an Anyplan server and partially replicated in the Anyplan client:

  • Permanent storage is in a database;
  • All changes saved by users update the network on the server;
  • The size of the network and the number of activities, calendars, resources it can contain is constrained only by server memory.
 

Net 
 

Intelligent activities

Traditional planning tools have simple behavior rules for how an activity (task, event or work order) can behave. In Anyplan the activity's attributes have been extended in order to create more realistic plans and easily adapt to other calculations and algorithms.


Intel
These elements of a plan are linked up in the Smartnet and can go beyond traditional time and resource critical calculations:


  • The activity duration can be calculated both in time and metric units.
  • Geo location of the activity, project, calendar or resource.
  • Advanced cost modeling of fixed and variable costs. Variable reporting periods.
  • Multiple methods for resource calculations are controlled from the activity e.g. fixed, variable, time, cost and metric functions.
 

Embedded graphics

EmbeddedAnyplan provides users with embedded graphics in real time. This means that users do not have to export data for graphical views and prints, nor process graphs in batch mode. The Anyplan Graphics has multi windows and displays, enabling planners and managers to view their plans in many dimensions.  Just click on an activity, task or work package and you’ll see the consequences displayed in curves and charts instantly.  

 

Gantt chart

No big surprises here. Anyplan is a planning system so it has a Gantt chart. We happen to think it is the best one you will have ever seen. The primary view of a plan is the combined Data Grid and Gantt chart. In Anyplan this has been designed to occupy as much of the screen as possible with attractive styling and easy-to-use features.

The Gantt chart is a visualization of the plan and can show many of its important aspects:

Gantt -image

  

  • Start/Finish times and Durations;
  • Progress;
  • Status (behind or ahead of schedule)
  • Links between activities;
  • Child/Parent relationships;
  • Due dates;
  • Baselines;
  • Float and Slack;
  • Critical paths;
  • Slots and routes. 
 

Data grid

The Data Grid is an easy to use way of entering and displaying activities and data. It can be used for direct entry or as a canvas for copy and paste. The grid can be controlled by menus and short cut keys for fast editing and data entry. The grid supports many data fields including custom fields that may be added by customers or 3rd party systems integrators. Columns can be hidden and moved. 

Sorting2

 

Filtering and Sorting
The Data Grid supports extensive sorting and filtering capabilities including multi-column operations. Anyplan filtering supports full real-time calculations so that all summary calculations and charts are the result of filtered plans or portfolios of plans.

 

Plan and Activity Properties

 Anyplan provides properties panels that can be selected and opened very quickly on any activity and at any level in the structure.

Activity

 

Standard and custom properties panels can be kept open and used for input or viewing of many details associated with items in the plan.

Custom Panel


Linking1Linking Activities
The Anyplan Gantt chart is highly interactive and includes the ability to create instant relationships between activities and parents. Drag the hooks and choose any one of the available anchor points that appear to create the relationship.

 

 

 

Anyplan Portfolio

Portfolio -capacity

 

Anyplan was designed to run portfolios from the start. Unlike other systems, it is not an afterthought. The SmartNet™ can deliver consolidated views across its whole network of plans and activities. This is because every plan in a portfolio is part of the in-memory network.

The benefit of this is that a portfolio can be defined for any set of plans and calculate the costs, revenues, resources and department in real-time.

The portfolio views are similar in design and functionality to the standard Gantt, Histogram and S-Curve views. The chart below shows resource usage (in cost or people) against available capacity for a selection of projects by their different categories (proposals, orders and aftermarket support).

 

Planning and scheduling

Planning

Scheduling is a process that analyzes a plan of activities. It is also referred to as network analysis. Activity duration, dependencies between the activities and any date constraints  all influence the result of the analysis. Activities are moved as early or as late as possible, depending on which schedule option that has been chosen. The Scheduling Engine has different options and business rules for project management, manufacturing and maintenance. Advanced maintenance scheduling is available using the planning agent to plan both short and long term maintenance according to business rules such as resource availability or load levels.

Scheduling Options
Anyplan is delivered with common scheduling options as standard. These can be extended or overwritten for more bespoke scheduling requirements.

 

Baselines and critical paths

Baseline1

Baselines
When a schedule has been established a data set can be saved as a baselined version of the plan. This is a copy of the project status at the time it was created and includes data for durations, resources, dates, and costs. The baseline data set is used for comparison when status updates are performed to see how the current status compares to the saved baseline.

Most customers use two baselines as standard in Anyplan but these can be extended or customized to meet an organization’s requirements.

Critical Paths
When a project is scheduled the scheduler calculates Float for the activities. Based on this information Anyplan can show users the Critical Paths (CPM). 

 

Collaboration and notifications

Locked -projectCollaboration
Anyplan is a multi-user system meaning that several people can update a plan at the same time. Collaboration features are available to help in this process.

Project Notifications and Locking
It is possible to see if another user has a project open through a notification icon and window. Notifications are instant but not intrusive.
Projects can be locked for major updates. In this state others can only open them as read-only.

 

Access and roles 

ProjectaccessAdministrators and users have extensive control over who can access different projects, resources and calendars. Anyplan provides control over data fields, availability by department or partners, or by categories of information. Information can be hidden from users or presented in a read-only format depending on the authorization of the users.

Access can be controlled by user roles in a corporate directory service. Typical applications would be to provide some users with a simplfied version of Anyplan, others might get read-only access, some might be able to schedule activities but not be able to see sensitive cost information.

 

Business rules

GoalS


Anyplan supports a wide variety of business rules. For example, some organizations require that the names of plans, activities and resources are unique for synchronization against ERP systems. Other business rules cover common scheduling options, how resource costs and forecasts are calculated, and how calendars are applied. Rules can be selected and customized by solution developers to meet any planning and integration need.

 

Alternative breakdown structures

The feature called Alternative Breakdown Structures (ABS) (i.e. reporting structures) can be used to create structures in order to create reports for special needs. These needs could be to reorganize the project to look at e.g. products (deliverables in the project) or by department. An extra summary level can be added into the project in order to display rolled up information for sets of activities. These structures can be saved and reused when needed. 

Alternative

Continue to the Modules section.

 
FIND OUT MORE
Please contact us for more information or a demo of Anyplan