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Tasks from MSProject

Posted: February 20th, 2021, 6:51 pm
by jordibares
It would be amazing if we could import (or even better, synchronise) the tasks for assets & shots from an MSProject XML file.

The idea is simple, MSProject for plan modeling and once we have a solution that we approve, then we construct the assets on NIM along with the tasks including dependencies, time allocated, artist attached, scheduling information and all that.

If I were to keep the MSProject updated and was able to synchronise with NIM, that would give me a superior view of the project status, as data coming from NIM to MSProject would allow me to carry on modelling scenarios and update and adapt to client changes.

These type of advanced project management tools are used in architecture, engineering and other complex fields so having this connected to NIM could be great.

Just to clarify, I use MSProject and Merlin project management a lot, like... on every job.


Re: Tasks from MSProject

Posted: February 22nd, 2021, 8:18 pm
by andrew
Hi Jordi,

I'd love to hear what the key features in MSProject and Merlin that you find the most useful. I used to use Merlin quite a lot actually and really like it. Obviously our goal is to remove the need for you to goto a 3rd party package just to drive data in NIM, however we can checkout at what the importing/merging of tasks via CSV or XML would look like. We already have import/merge capabilities for assets and shots so extending this to tasks may not be too bad. The only issue that I currently see is that tasks do not have a unique identifier as in a shot or asset has a unique name, where a task only has a task type and you can have multiple tasks of the same type on an object. If either MSProject or Merlin exported a unique ID per task and all tasks were originated from there, then we could store the external ID on the task.

I'm just thinking out loud here, but in the bigger picture I think it should be doable.


Re: Tasks from MSProject

Posted: June 7th, 2021, 5:33 pm
by jordibares
Thanks Andrew for the reply, apologies for my late review.

In the general scheme of things, having a GANTT chart invariably fall short because it is a highly specialised field, so for example, blocking out tasks and that without taking into account dependencies on the resources available, user calendars & holidays, etc.. is simply like a sketching pad which is great, but I am after something a lot bigger.

My goal is to prototype the planning in a very accurate way, explore options on that planning, review if we need to work on weekends and what not _before_ we get into the meat of the job. Once that plan is done, I want to pass it to NIM and keep updating it as things change constantly in real life.

For example, the capabilities of both Merlin and MSProject to analyse and optimise the critical path is something that is fundamental, analyse artists loads and downtime is equally critical because I rather book an artist for the job without any gap, and these things can only be done properly via Project Management.

Furthermore, if done well I can model the costs of the job and even the cash flow which makes me thing that may be out of the scope of NIM and perhaps is best to leave those workflows to specialised tools.

Finally, there is something really elegant about the idea of me testing and prototyping and once it is done, then to "publish" that solution to NIM to be executed so I rather build the glue to make that frictionless than trying to replicate MSProjetc.

I hope it makes sense.

Thanks in advance