As one of its core roles, the Network Coordination Office (NCO) maintains a Facility Scheduling Dashboard which allows researchers and Experimental Facilities (EF) to centrally manage the effecient use of assets at each facility during time dedicated to use by NHERI projects. A full-time Facility Scheduling and Operations Coordinator (FSOC) works with a designated manager at each EF site to handle the scheduling of projects at each EF site. To aid these tasks, a standardizing scheduling protocol is used along with an online scheduling system through the Microsoft Project Online platform to maximize the throughput of projects during the time each EF site has pledged to NHERI.
The NCO has developed, with input from the EF sites, a protocol to standardize the scheduling of NHERI projects. This protocol is composed of six phases through which each approved NHERI project will progress. The first two phases involve training of researchers in the utilization of a facility's equipment and the development of a detailed experimental plan for how the facility's equipment will be used. These phases are scheduled at the discretion of the researchers and EF site staff. Phases 3-6 involve the actual use of the facility which means the scheduling of these portions of each project will be managed centrally by the NCO to fairly and efficiently share the facility resources among all. Learn more and download a copy of the protocol specifications to review at:
In order to ensure the maximum utilization of time dedicated to NHERI at each EF site, it is important to accurately track how closely established schedules for projects are being followed. A variety of metrics is being developed to display the amount of variance from the established schedule at each EF site. These metrics will be displayed on the DesignSafe-CI website for public review by the NHERI community.
The following example reports from the Microsoft Project Online environment show the projects already being tracked in the Facility Scheduling Dashboard and some of the types of data available for creating these metrics. These values are recalculated nightly and refreshed automatically.
A history of the tracked metrics will be maintained on the DesignSafe-CI website, as well, to determine trends in scheduling adherance.
NHERI project scheduling has shifted from individual management by each EF site to the centralized Facility Scheduling Dashboard. As new projects are created and scheduled, the DesignSafe-CI website will include timelines of current and upcoming projects at each facility to help researchers better request their own new projects based on realistic expectations of availability.