Contents of the OPTIMA02.DOC file
OPTIMA Product Description
OPTIMA is a management system. If you must organize, schedule
and manage the work of skilled people you need OPTIMA. Addi-
tional documentation is built in. Complete documentation is in
OPTIMANn.EXE. It contains a file reader, and five text files.
These are ASCII files, so you may edit them to tailor them to
your needs. You may print them. Remember, they are copyrighted.
OPTIMA allows you to define as many as twenty separate jobs.
These jobs may be concurrent. You need not worry about conflict-
ing work schedules. OPTIMA does resource-availabilty scheduling.
When inevitable delays occur, OPTIMA provides analyses which will
flag potential problems and help to minimize or prevent them.
OPTIMA requires a PC which uses MS-DOS version 2.00 or later. It
must have at least 512K of RAM, and a fixed disk drive, from
which the computer boots. You must have ANSI.SYS, and your
CONFIG.SYS file must contain the line DEVICE = ANSI.SYS. Run the
companion file OPTIMAnn.exe to extract and install all packages.
Neither a graphics monitor nor a graphics printer is required.
The printer must, however, be able to print 132 columns of text
-- either wide carriage or compressed print -- for the PERT
diagram and Gantt chart.
OPTIMA is designed especially for managing small groups of skill-
ed people, people who may be working on more than one job at a
time. A perfect example is an architect - engineer firm. OPTIMA
would be used to determine the schedule of the in-house work, but
not of any subsequent construction. Construction projects use
what might be called commodity labor. Their scheduling and
management is totally different.
To use OPTIMA you first create your calendar. This specifies the
normal days off each week, and as many as ten holidays per year.
In response to the needs of European clients, any holiday may now
span a period of days. This feature should prove equally attrac-
tive to firms that shut down for their annual vacation.
You next specify the resources (people) which will do the work.
There may be as many as twenty different classes of resource.
Some may be individuals. Others may be groups, where the members
have interchangable skills. For each class, you specify the
maximum quantity available each day -- usually in hours -- and
the billing rate per unit of time. This rate should include all
burden -- overhead -- which is part of the labor billing. Other
overhead is handled separately. You may charge three types of
overhead cost to each job, and to activities within that job:
Lump-sum; Daily, on work days only; Daily, on every day.
When you use OPTIMA, you may choose to make your first job one
that covers general administration. Use this to specify recur-
ring tasks which require resources and which must be done. These
include periodic reports to your own management and reports to
the government. This is also the place to schedule vacations and
full-time training periods.
Once all of this is done, you start creating individual projects
(jobs). Each may include as many as 200 activities. An acti-
vity is specified with an active verb in the past tense -- in
other words it identifies a concise deliverable result. You may
start with a simple list. Then you may arrange or re-arrange the
work sequence. When the flow of work makes sense, you may add
resources to activities and assess the costs. When these are ac-
ceptable, you may calculate the work schedule. Then you hope
that you have not promised completion dates which cannot be met.
If the schedule is not acceptable, you attempt to rearrange the
work, tighten up activities, or get a higher priority for the
At each stage of the planning and execution of your project, you
have displays and reports which help you analyze and adjust your
work. These include the usual PERT and GANTT charts, of course.
Lists of activities requiring specific resources, status
reports showing cost and schedule information, and manning levels
by specified time period are available.
OPTIMA is shareware. If you decide to use it, you are obliged to
pay a registration fee. When you register as a licensed user, you
receive a customized version Pocket Planner cards and technical
support. The registration fee is $100.00 in United States funds.
$120.00 from a foreign bank. Visa and Mastercard are accepted.
Azimuth Group Limited
11711 Farmland Drive
Rockville, MD 20852-4301
1 (301) 881-1562