In December 2017, Software Engineering Company “Smart Solutions” successfully completed development of an intelligent system for supporting decision-making on resource management in R&D projects for the rocket and space industry. The project was successfully commissioned. It lasted for three years (2015-2017) and has made it possible to create a completely new product that exceeds traditional systems of this class (Microsoft Project Server, Oracle Primavera, 1C: Project Management, Advanta and others) which do not take into account a number of important specific requirements of the rocket and space industry.
Within this project, our company has developed the concept of end-to-end coordinated resource management for projects of the rocket and space enterprises. This concept includes principles of construction and harmonization of employment plans at various levels of management — the enterprise work program, plans of thematic subdivisions and individual workgroups, and even separate employees. It has made it possible to anticipate not only the plan and the fact, but also the forecast for implementation of contractual terms and project budgets.
To support the developed concept of end-to-end project management, models and methods of coordinated volume planning were developed. They allow users to solve complex planning tasks for thousands of related tasks taking into account lots of criteria, constraints and preferences of project participants. The developed methods make it possible to adaptively («on the fly») adjust multi-level plans taking into account the emerging unforeseen events (a new project, changes in estimations of the required labor input, inaccessibility of resources, etc.), allowing managers to always see the actual project plan and forecast possible risks.
In order to take into account the specific features of enterprises and projects of the rocket and space industry, a knowledge base was developed on the principles of the Semantic Web, which includes the basic ontology of project management and sets of project classifiers, types of products, classes of work, document types, competencies of departments and employees, etc.
The developed pilot model of this intelligent system makes it possible to solve the following main tasks:
- Interactive generation of schedules for rocket and space projects, taking into account the project’s charter, costs, deadlines, etc.;
- Automatic planning of a set of rocket and space projects within a single resource pool, taking into account the number of employees in the units and their qualifications;
- Automatic scheduling of tasks for each employee of the aerospace enterprise unit for many projects;
- Automatic identification of problem situations associated with labor shortage, time and financial resources in the plans of aerospace projects;
- Filling in and using the knowledge base on enterprise resource management in projects for development and manufacturing of products for the rocket and space industry;
- Visualization of plans, schedules, status and progress of aerospace projects, problems and performance indicators of projects and managers;
- Development of result-oriented (based on the division schemes and specification of work design documentation) calendar project plans, taking into account the complexity and specific features of rocket and space products;
- Automation of business processes for implementation of projects, including accounting and operational management of departments and employee tasks;
- Accumulation and preservation of data and obtaining analytics in the course of projects for managers of all levels on business radars.
- Integration with domestic and foreign corporate systems of any manufacturer.
The pilot system was tested on real projects in the main project office of Rocket and Space Corporation “Energia” and in NTC-1C (Research and Development Center) — a thematic subdivision for design of manned space complexes and systems.
The system enables the enterprise management to see the current key indicators of the project activity both for the enterprise as a whole and for each program/project manager at any moment. Moreover, if necessary, it can also demonstrate the progress in any unit down to each employee.
In January 2018, RSC “Energia” launched a pilot project for implementation of this system at all projects of the main project management office and in a number of thematic units (project engineers, designers, specialists in targeted use of ISS resources and others).
Prospective directions of development for the created product are the following ones:
- expansion of the system Knowledge Base by task classifiers on the basis of industry standards in application to R&D products (RK-16, etc.);
- building up «smart services» for work with projects, including recounting of the financial project picture for each important event, etc.;
- development of mechanisms for teamwork of employees in order to overcome barriers between departments and increase the effectiveness of project activities;
- use of the system for control of plans and executed works of subcontractors of the rocket and space enterprise.
At present, the system significantly differs from products known on the market, including both domestic and foreign ones. It can be considered as the basis for the industrial digital platform of the rocket and space industry and, in a lightened form, has significant potential for export to developed and developing countries.