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Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

  • 1.  Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

    Posted 11-30-2017 02:54 PM

    Is anyone using CA PPM on demand 15.2 with MSP successfully?

     

    We are facing a showstopper in our transition rollout in using CA PPM, because whenever we try to save a schedule into Clarity with Remaining work, in CA PPM when you view the ETC By Period for the task in a weekly time scale, CA PPM has the total Remaining work correct, but the weekly view does not match the Time Scale view in MSP.

     

    We have tested with:

    • Microsoft Project 2010 Legacy driver (14.2)
    • Microsoft Project 2013 no SP1 legacy driver 15.2
    • Microsoft Project 2016 XML driver (15.2)

     

    We get mixed results based on the work contour as well in MSP.

     

    I find it very hard to believe that no other clients are facing this issue! This is a huge show stopper for us.

     

    1. Does anyone else who uses Microsoft Project w/ CA PPM able to confirm that the Remaining Work in the MSP time scale view equals to the weekly ETCs for the task in CA PPM? If so, what version of Clarity, MSP, Connector you are using? 
    2. For anyone who needs schedules where ETCs matter by week, are you successfully using MSP or are you using Open Work bench? 

    We were not aware that there were so many existing issues with CA PPM and Microsoft Project.



  • 2.  Re: Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

    Posted 11-30-2017 02:56 PM

    https://communities.ca.com/message/241787088 - There is a thread in CA community which is almost of same kind of issue as same as we have. vtleogal2



  • 3.  Re: Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

    Posted 11-30-2017 03:18 PM

    we dropped MSP. We are only using OWB and doing well with it.. thanks!



  • 4.  Re: Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

    Posted 12-01-2017 03:21 AM

    Can you try with Uniform loading pattern and one of these combinations?

    15.2 + new driver has a hard requirement of at least February 2016 patch, but November 2017 has already been validated and fixes some earlier defects in the MSP tool:

    Release Notes (On Premise) - CA PPM - 15.2 - CA Technologies Documentation 

    How do Microsoft Project monthly patches impact CA PPM? 

     

    Countour has different implications in PPM than in MSP. Each software has its own business logic and MSP will rearrange it according to his own; PPM won't unless you do autoscheduling from the PPM Gantt. Also, regardless of that, MSP is a scheduling tool and the way the integration is built around it requires automatic scheduling, see: How to Configure Default Settings in Microsoft Project to use with PPM. We recommend using only one tool (either PPM, MSP or OWB) when scheduling projects.

     

    MSP is also expected to move around some dates in certain circumstances when using the new driver, as this is the way MSP autoschedules:

    If you create a task in CA PPM that is not pinned through a dependency, and the task does not start on the project start date, define a constraint. The Microsoft Project Interface does not automatically put a constraint on a task and move the date.

    Manage Projects with Microsoft Project (MSP) - CA PPM - 15.2 - CA Technologies Documentation



  • 5.  Re: Issue with MSP and CA PPM integration

    Posted 12-01-2017 02:24 PM

    We have been using MSP 2010 with CA PPM for several years and have experienced a wide variety of challenges using the two applications together. If you are using the CA PPM weekly timesheet to capture actual work on project assignments as we are, the scheduling environment becomes even more complex due to team member time reporting behavior.

     

    We are currently on CA PPM v15.2 and use the legacy connector with MSP 2010. I have not seen the specific issue you describe with time scale view differences in weekly ETC, but here are a few things we have done to overcome some of the challenges we’ve experienced using MSP with CA PPM: 

    1. Uncheck the "Split in progress tasks" option in MSP, especially if you are using timesheets to capture actual work. This setting has been problematic even though it is a required in the CA documentation. We have found that when the “Split in Progress Tasks” option is checked, MSP does indeed split the task and adds assignment delay, but the manner in which it splits tasks can be unpredictable, can cause MSP to add future actuals on assignments, and creates additional work for project managers each week after timesheets post. Unchecking the option appears to have minimized the unexpected changes in MSP after timesheets post.
    2. Check the "MSP Assignment Units Mapping with PPM Assignment "Max % Load" option in Project Management Settings under Administration. Display the "Max % Load" attribute in the Assignments list view in CA PPM so the PM can see that the assignment units they set in MSP are reflected accurately on the assignment in CA PPM. This setting gives MSP control of assignment units and eliminates the influence that allocation % at the team level can have on assignments.
    3. Make sure that the MSP Schedule Option “New tasks created” is set to Auto Scheduled, and turn “Calculate project after each edit” to Off (CA PPM documentation recommends that this setting be set to On). When the “Calculate after each edit” option is turned off, the project manager uses F9 to recalculate the schedule in MSP. Changes to dates, durations, work, etc., are highlighted in light blue making it easier to identify tasks with unexpected changes based on data coming from CA PPM (timesheet actuals, team member availability, etc.). Make sure the project manager recalculates and saves changes in MSP before saving the schedule back to CA PPM when they have completed their updates. Also, the PM should make sure that all tasks have appropriate predecessor/successor relationships and that they do not use hard constraints on tasks (must start on, etc.) to allow MSP to schedule tasks.
    4. Use the "Allocate from Estimates" job in CA PPM to keep the Assignment and Allocation curves in CA PPM in sync as schedules are modified in MSP. We scheduled this job to run every 30 minutes on our very large projects where there tend to be frequent updates to resources and assignments. This approach seems to have stabilized the scheduling environment on our largest projects and works well for our organization because we focus on how resources are utilized vs. how they are allocated. There is often a lot of confusion about CA PPM’s use of Allocation for resources at the team level and MSP’s use of Allocation at the assignment level, so keeping these two curves in sync in CA PPM has helped alleviate some of that confusion and provides a more accurate picture of resource utilization and availability.

    Loading patterns also influence how MSP schedules tasks, and we use recommended “Uniform” loading pattern in CA PPM which maps to Flat in MSP. If you use a Fixed loading pattern (Contoured in MSP), MSP will change the loading pattern back to Uniform/Flat if there is a gap between actual work and remaining work. There is a KB article about modifying the registry setting to force MSP to retain the Fixed/Contoured loading pattern, but we have not tested it and hesitate to control MSP scheduling behavior at the registry level. Also, each time the CA PPM connector to MSP is reinstalled, the registry setting is over-written and you will to need modify it again. To further complicate the scheduling landscape, we often have multiple people who download and update project schedules, so this registry setting must be changed on every machine. You can see where this is going… a lot of extra work for your IT support team and an increased potential that it will be missed when you upgrade.

     

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Katie Fears, Clarity PPM Team Lead

    California State Teachers' Retirement System