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Setting up Swimlanes

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Lanes are a way to organize activities visually on the canvas. Lanes can be based on codes and their values or on work breakdown structure headings. Once applied, a lane is represented by a horizontal shade extending the entire width of the canvas, and a name (which may or may not be displayed). The height of the lane is determined by the number of activities in the lane and if and how they overlap.

To create lanes from a work breakdown structure, you must first configure the WBS via the Codes Manager.  To create lanes from codes, you must have a single-assignment code and its values defined and activities assigned to them. The values will become lanes, and the activities assigned to them will be placed accordingly. For more info on creating and assigning codes and values, see the Codes chapter.

NOTE: For large schedules or to reduce processing time, make sure lanes are turned off. For more details, see Running On Large Schedules of the Running Automated Layouts section.

Steps

Activating Lanes

  1. Click Schedule > Open Layout Manager from the menu bar and choose the Structure view.
  2. Check the box next to Derive Lanes from. Codes will be chosen by default.
  3. To create lanes from WBS levels, click the dropdown on the left and choose WBS.
  4. Click the dropdown on the right, and choose the desired code (or the level, for WBS).
  5. To exclude a value from having a lane created for it, un-check the box next to it under the I/O column.
  6. Click Run. For more info, see Running the Engine.

NOTE: After running, all shades and text boxes will be hidden automatically. To unhide, see Managing Shades/Text of the Working with Layouts section.

Customizing Lanes

  1. Click Schedule > Open Layout Manager from the menu bar and choose the Structure view.
  2. Click the Configure button. The Lane Properties window will open.
    1. Adjust the properties and click the Update button.
    2. If desired, select another lane in the Layout Manager to refresh the Lane Properties window.
    3. Repeat steps a and b.
    4. When finished, click the Exit icon in the upper right.
  3. To change where a lane will show up, click on its row anywhere in the list.
    1. Keeping the mouse depressed move the row up or down. The new location will be indicated by a red line and two arrows.
    2. When finished, release the mouse.
  4. Click Run.
  5. When satisfied, click Close. WARNING: Any changes made in the Lanes view and Lane Properties window will reset after changing to another view or closing the Layout Manager, respectively (even if using the Save button).

Notes

Lanes View

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The Lanes view consists of two list boxes.

Upper List

The main list on top shows a preview of the lanes in the order that they’ll appear on the canvas. Each row represents a lane, and the background color of the row corresponds to the color of the lane on the canvas. As you click through the top list, the secondary list on bottom refreshes to show which activities are assigned to the selected lane (value).

Column Definition
I/O Controls whether or not a lane will be created from the value.
Value The description of the lane, as inherited from the value.
Title A customizable description of the lane that can be displayed on the canvas.
Lower List

The lower list show which objects are assigned to each lane. As you click through the list, the canvas will scroll to the location of each object and it will be spotlighted in yellow.

Column Definition
Icon An image representing the type of object.
Description The text field for describing the object.
Abbr. Description The text field limited to 48 characters to be displayed on the canvas if the description is too long
ID The user-entered unique identifier.
Start Date The date and/or time the object begins.
Duration The amount of time the activity takes to complete.
Finish Date The date and/or time the object will be finished.

Lane Properties

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Field Definition
Title The description for the lane. By default, it inherits the same value that was entered in the structure view. It can be hidden or displayed on the canvas as desired. To adjust the font or formatting of multiple titles at a time, use the Text tab of the Set Global Properties window. For more info, see Bulk-Editing Objects.
Shade Color The color that the lane will display as. For codes, lanes are assigned a global scheme of alternating yellow and white shades but can be customized on an individual basis by un-checking Use Global Scheme. For WBS nodes, lanes are assigned a default color based on their level, up to level 6. Any levels past 6 will be white.
Assigned Objects If checked, the color will apply to all activities assigned to this lane with a total float value less than or equal to the criticality threshold.
Displays The title can be toggled on or off the canvas. When checked, it shows up as a text object toward the top of the lane along the left edge of the canvas

NOTE: Any changes made here will NOT apply in real-time or to previously stored layouts, only to those created in the future after the layout engine is re-run.

Global Swim Lane Settings

Unlike the settings in the Lane Properties window which apply to individual lanes, these options apply to all lanes globally and are stored uniquely for each schedule.

Lane Color (Codes)
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If a lane’s shade color is selected to use the global scheme in the Lane Properties window, it’s color will be determined here. If it’s the first lane on top, third, fifth, etc., it is an odd-numbered lane; if it is the second from the top, fourth, sixth, etc., it is an even-numbered lane.

Lane Color (WBS)
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If using a WBS hierarchy, the lane’s shade color will be determined slightly differently. Instead of even and odd, colors are assigned to each level up to 6. Any levels past 6 will be white. Colors can be reset for each level by clicking the dropdown and choosing the color under Default.

NOTE: Any changes made here will NOT apply in real-time or to previously stored layouts, only to those generated in the future after the layout engine is re-run.

Creating Lanes from WBS levels

When creating lanes from a work breakdown structure, you can choose which level to use as the bases for the lanes. This does NOT mean that ONLY the activities assigned to that level will be drawn but rather that any activities assigned to a lower level will also be drawn in their higher visible level. For example, if choosing Level 1, any activities assigned to Level 2 or below will show up in their corresponding level 1’s. With the following WBS, for example:

  1. 1.0 Lincoln Hospital
  2. 1.1 Design and Engineering
  3. 1.2 Interior Finishes
  4. 1.2.1 Coverings
  5. 1.2.2 Paint
  6. 1.3 Foundations

A lane would be created for Design and Engineering, Interior Finishes, and Foundations. Any activities assigned to Coverings or Paint would end up under Interior Finishes.

If choosing Level 2, a lane would be created for Design and Engineering, Interior Finishes, Coverings, Paint, and Foundations. In this case, the lane for Interior Finishes could be empty if every activity were actually designated at the second level.