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Gannt Upgrade

So I guess this is the best forum to bring up this concern.  The gannting in shotgun is to remedial.  It really needs to get some further development.  Our scheduling department is constantly battling managing projects inside of shotgun.   It lacks a few features that are super important in our line of work, like

  • Splitting of Tasks.
  • Parenting of Tasks
  • Dependencies between Tasks
  • Trendlines for Tasks
  • Indication of percentage of Task completed
  • Switches to include exclude Saturdays and Sunday on a per task basis
  • Per Task preferences such as day length

We have been using a product called Fusion Charts to do reporting.  They have a flash gannt chart that pretty much sums up the type of functionality we need from the gannt  These demonstration are fairly interactive and worth looking at to get an idea of what Shotgun users requirements might be. 

 

http://www.fusioncharts.com/widgets/gallery.asp#gantt

 

-Romey

 

 

댓글 19개

  • 2
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    Joe Frayne

    Just spoke with one of our production managers who asked for this kind of stuff, too. Specifically he mentioned:

    • Task dependencies - TaskB can't start until TaskA is at least 75% complete (either in time or progress, configurable...)
    • Task priorities - just a number value.
    • Resource levels - who is good at what kinds of tasks.
    • Resource availability - don't schedule somebody for two different tasks at the same time.
    • From all the info added for the project and tasks and artists, automatically produce a schedule, the way Microsoft Project does.
    • Support for subtasks.

     

    Romey's post is from a while ago, but my quick search of the websites didn't come up with much info on this type of thing. Did any of it make it in, or is it in the plan?

     

    Thanks!

    Joe

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    Don Parker

    I'm curious about what others think of this feature set as a priority for our development.  We're worried about adding in too much complexity, or trying to rebuild something like MS Project.  But we also don't want to ignore requests for critical functionality.  Thoughts?

  • 0
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    Marten Coombe
    Sadly I think a fair bit of what is in Project will be need for proper analysis of the data and to project material thoroughly. I have been forced to reproject some jobs in MSPro to look at dependencies and to gauge how a project is coming along. The other side of this same coin is in reporting and having that data presented in a form that allows for a clear gauge of a projects status. How many shots are completed, what rating are they etc without having to build further pages. Almost like an account package would handle it. I think it would be better to build (and perhaps save the query but not as a page so it can be used again at another snapshot date) and have the stats summed up in a form that would be digestible to non creatives in management - bean counters and the like. This would ease heart rates some during the progress of most jobs. I find I have to sum up in a very manual way and reformat the results each time I wish to give an accurate report. Any thoughts on this? Cheers Marten
  • 0
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    clinton downs

    Hi Don

    Upgrades to the gantt sit high on our shotgun wishlist.

    The gantt within shotgun has the opportunity to be waay cooler than Project as it is linked to real production data. From the lists above we see the following as important:

    • Split tasks.
    • Dependencies.
    •  Percentage of completion.
    • Weekend scheduling.
    • Resource availability (though it should always remain possible to 'double up').
    • Bid/Estimate shown inside a task (I mentioned this one a year ago I think :)
    • More right-click functionality eg 'Enter timelog' directly on a gantt item.
    • Many more things if I sat down and I thought about it some more :)

    thanks, clinton.

     

     

     

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    Kate Phillips

    I'm late to this party, but I'd add that revisions to the Gantt/scheduling side of Shotgun would be a priority for me too; at the moment it's certainly my biggest gripe in an otherwise happy user experience. Everything on Clinton's list would be nice but, for me, the two priorities would be:

     

    1) Task dependency - this is an absolute priority. Trying to keep the schedule for a heavy CG sequence up to date when every task has to be manually tweaked is getting very tiresome indeed.

     

    2) Ability to set non-working days (and, in turn, to mark selected weekend days as working). Seems minor but it makes a big difference. I keep on forgetting when Easter is!

     

    Thanks,

    Kate

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    Don Parker

    Thanks all, we hear you and are absorbing these ideas.  They are on the list for sure, but we're debating when to dive in.  Please keep the input coming and I'll be sure to update you when we have a feeling on timing.  Hang in there in the meantime!  I owe y'all drinks.

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    Pliny (John Eremic)

    My two cents very briefly: A Gannt chart really isn't useful at all without dependencies.

    One of the things that got my blood going the first time I checked out Shotgun was a thumbnail image on the home page showing a Gantt chart.  There's nothing wrong with re-inventing MS Project ...  As other commenters here have pointed out, going between MS project and SG partially defeats the purpose.  At its core, SG is project management software after all, not CRM or Supply Chain or Biz Intel.

    Now in a really perfect world SG would support Critical Chain project management (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_Chain_Project_Management) as distinct from Critical _Path_.  But maybe that's something to ask for in version 3.0...

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    Izabela Bobel

    Don,

    I have just looked at the 2.0 release features and it seems that the gantt task dependence function has not been included in this release.

    Can you give us an indication if this enhancement is on SG list and if so when do you think / estimate we would see it released.

    Many thanks,

    Izabela

  • 0
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    Don Parker

    Hi Izabela, we are starting to dive into scheduling updates for 2.1 and will continue for the following few releases (at least).  First up in 2.1 will be custom work schedules, so you can add holidays, track vacation, and set up exceptions, like 6-day weeks.  We're working on that now, and 2.1 will be out in early August. (we're also making updates to file-based workflows and some progress on printing).

    Then in 2.2 we're going to do the back-end work for dependencies.  We say back-end because we have to do some experimentation to figure out how to make the UI update dynamically without being slow (you could literally change 5,000 tasks by moving just one - we know how to do that slow - we have to figure out how to make that fast).  One potential goal of 2.2 is to support import/export with MS Project and other schedule aps so we can leverage their UIs.  How would you feel about that?  2.2 is due out at the end of September. Then we're planning to have the UI support for dependencies in 2.3, which will roll out the end of October.

    So we have officially shifted focus to scheduling.  We know this is super important to many of you and we're getting after it.  Email me if you want to set up a time to go through all this in more detail:  don@shotgunsoftware.com  We can also discuss potential short-term work-arounds if you're in a jam.

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    Pliny (John Eremic)

    Not on the top of my priority list - but - I'll point out that dependencies are part of what defines a Gantt chart.  Sans dependencies it's a nice looking graph.

    Don, the features slated for 2.1 sound like important groundwork however, so I look forward to seeing these.  (And I'm going to send a separate plea for Critical Chain [as distinct from Critical Path] methodology.)

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    Pliny (John Eremic)

    Just took a test drive of the dependencies features.  A few shoot-from-the-hip reactions:

     

    • Nice, Shotgun-ish implementation.  The new feature are instantly useful.
    • I see that there is an "offset" feature that may mitigate some of this.  I have not played with that feature yet.
    • Right now it seems that SG considers each task happening on a separate day.  I.e. task A is assigned a duration of 2h, and task B 3h, and I make B dependent on A's completion -- then SG has Task A on happening Monday and Task B on Tuesday.  They should both be happening on Monday.
    • Per the last bullet point, Admin -> Work Schedules would want the ability to define work hours.  If not in/out time, at least the number of hours we work on a given day (8 for humans, 24 for machines), and then the ability to add OT to specific resources on specific days.
    • Speaking of resources: human beings are usually not the only resource required for a task.  We also need rooms, workstations, software licenses, and Nespresso machines.  An full-fledged dependency-based project management system will take those other types of resources into account.  I see that the human-resource angle is being considered--for example, if I give someone the day off, his tasks are pushed.  Good.  But what about rooms, systems, floating licenses, additional equipment, etc.?  In my business those matter a lot and heavily influence project schedules.

    Excited about the new features. More feedback to come.

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    Ben Hadden

    Hi Pliny-

    Thanks for your feedback!  

    <<I only see one type of dependency: finish-to-start>>

    We'll definitely be rolling the rest of those into a future release.  We took a survey from a few clients and heard that finish-to-start dependencies were top in their list, so we banged those out first (in the interest of just getting dependencies into Shotgun asap).  Keep an eye out for the rest soon.

    <<Right now it seems that SG considers each task happening on a separate day>>

    The missing piece here is hourly scheduling.  Shotgun currently understands duration in terms whole days.  It's on our roadmap to support hourly scheduling on the gantt, but at this point we can only store and calculate that information in the Duration field.  Once hourly scheduling is available this should behave as desired.  

    <<ability to add OT to specific resources on specific days>>

    Yes!  We are definitely going to support OT.  It should come shortly after we support hourly scheduling on the gantt.  I updated our feature request with your comments.

    <<  We also need rooms, workstations, software licenses, and Nespresso machines.>>

    Have you tried making use of our custom entities?  There are clients who activate our custom entities, rename them, and then use them just for this purpose.  We don't have a way to manage their work schedules (yet), but it makes sense that you'd want to.  So in this case, would you want to see a Flame suite, for example, push its schedule if it were hooked up with dependencies and the previous user was going over?  It'd be good to know which resources were connected to people (or each other) so we can start imagining how this would look in Shotgun.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.  Keep them coming!

    Cheers,

    Ben 

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    Pliny (John Eremic)

    Ben -

     

    Re: Dependencies - sounds good - glad you're thinking of it.

    Re: hourly scheduling, makes sense.  It's a wee bit counter-intuitive since I can enter a duration like "3d" - but I guess that gets rounded up to "1d" in the background when scheduling on the Gantt?

    Re: custom entities, hah.  Most of my SG deployment is custom entities.  However AFAIK these entities cannot be defined as bookable items with work schedules and therefore don't interact with Gantt scheduling - right?  They would need to show up under Admin -> Work Schedules -> Custom Work Schedules.  Then I could define hours of operation for a room, a machine, etc.

    A rather kludgey hack would be to create these other resources under the "People" entity and give them 24-hour work schedules, but I don't think I want to go down that road ...

  • 0
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    Ben Hadden

    Hey Pliny-

    Riffing off your idea for a "resource" on the Gantt, do you think you'd end up scheduling those the same way you do people?  In other words, if we decided to add something like a "Resource" entity to Shotgun, would you expect to link it to Tasks in the Assigned To field, or would you not use Tasks on it at all?  Let me know!

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    Pliny (John Eremic)

    Ben - I'd expect them to behave in the same way "People" do.  Only difference would be that non-human resources work different hours.  So yes, I would want to link them to tasks and have ripple effects on the Gannt in the same way.

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    Ben Hadden

    Hey everyone, I just wanted to announce that we're officially going to support one of these wishlist items in Shotgun 4.2: Split Tasks!  Here's a sneak peek:

    split_tasks.png

    More detailed documentation and walk throughs coming in December.

     

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    Huong Nguyen

    We are definitely interested in seeing this.  Do you have an estimated release date for v4.2?

  • 0
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    Ben Hadden

    Hi Huong, we're targeting December 9th for our hosted clients, so most likely a week after that for local istalls.  We'll send a release announcement out on December 7th to confirm.

  • 1
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    Dení C. Gloria
    Hey peeps, any news on implementation of subtasks?
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