Oracle Primavera Risk Analysis & Deltek Acumen Risk HEAD to HEAD

By Pedram Danesh-Mand - Director Risk, NSW Chair of Risk Engineering Society (RES)

One of the great things about being part of a leading and passionate engineering team is having continuous opportunities to THINK about any problem, then challenge our assumptions and then THINK again about the same problem from different angles to eventually support clients in their executive decision making in development and delivery of major projects under uncertain circumstances and risk exposure.

At Aquenta (a Jacobs Company) , we are constantly fielding questions about different practical applications of project cost estimation, planning/scheduling and contingency quantification to assess the confidence level of the project plans (i.e. cost estimate and/or project schedule) and their likelihood of success on key objectives.

Last week, we absolutely enjoyed working with a high profile mining client to develop and run a Schedule Risk Analysis (SRA) model to assess the schedule’s likelihood of success and required schedule contingency for budgeting purposes by using Oracle Primavera Risk Analysis (PRA or previously known as Pertmaster) software. The project had a multidimensional schedule mainly due to the resource-based driven nature of this mining project rather than a logic-based driven structure as well as many interactions between its construction activities.

To evaluate and confirm our recommendations (and also to increase our confidence level in the contingency %’s mainly due to a considerable level of risks correlations and interfaces – yes, us too!), we decided to take a couple of more steps (free of charge of course! :)) by developing another SRA model with the same input data by using Deltek Acumen Risk software.

Project Scope: a coal mine expansion project includes site preparation, haul roads, sediment dams and monitoring infrastructure, drainage structures, dewatering infrastructure, noise bund, operational facilities and radio communication infrastructure.

Input data: following two quantitative risk workshops (one for the schedule and one for the cost) with the team, a common set of data and inputs including documents below were used for both SRA models: Quantitative Risk Register for Contingent Risks, latest Primavera XER schedule, latest Basis of Estimate including productivity rates and quantum, latest Basis of Schedule, Ranges for Inherent Risks, rain data from 2012 to 2017 from BOM, etc.

SRA Process:
  1. Undertake a Schedule Health Check against 3 criteria of contractual requirements, structural checks and integrity checks
  2. Carry out a Range Analysis on assumptions including productivity rates, quantum, size of crew, equipment, etc. as well as indirect costs assessment to identify possible correlations
  3. Assess rain data 2012-2017 in groups of less than 5mm, 5mm-15mm, 15-30mm and more than 30mm, Consequential Factor (CF) for each group on different construction activities, etc.
  4. Facilitate a Schedule Risk Workshop to discuss and quantify key ROCKS for their time impacts
  5. Facilitate a Cost Risk Workshops to discuss and quantify key ROCKS for their cost impacts
  6. Consolidate quantified contingent risks for an updated Quantitative Risk Register
  7. Identify and assess key correlations not only between activities but also between risks and uncertainties
  8. Develop and simulate the SRA model
  9. Review the results, further adjustment, evaluation and recommendations

Assessment Scores: Software Assessment Form (SAF) is a simple assessment tool helping our teams to evaluate the technical and operational capabilities of project management software. SAF uses the scoring based assessment criteria below:

Assessment Criteria:

Results Comparison: Now exciting part, as I can imagine that you are so keen to see and compare the results from two solutions! Here we go, let’s have a look in the recommended contingencies below between two software.

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Tags: Primavera , Risicomanagement