Introduction to Aurora
Aurora™ is the world’s leading intelligent planning and scheduling software solution that utilizes advanced artificial intelligence. It was originally developed to help NASA tackle difficult, mission-critical scheduling problems with complex constraints by incorporating the judgment and experience of expert human schedulers. Aurora is particularly effective when applied to large projects with complex constraints and resource requirements. Over the last 25 years, an increasing number of organizations have chosen Aurora to manage operations more efficiently than any other system it has ever been compared to, and for Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Aurora has proven vastly more powerful than any other solution including Microsoft Project and Primavera P6 (see customer testimonials).
Aurora outperforms conventional software solutions
Aurora outperforms conventional software because it uses artificial intelligence technologies to encode and apply extensive scheduling knowledge and rules to perform automatic resource scheduling. In a study conducted by the Boeing company, Aurora managed resources more efficiently than software developed and updated by Boeing for almost two decades, that was specifically designed for their application. When compared to Primavera, Aurora reduced turnaround time by 20%. Compared to Microsoft Project, Aurora’s schedules were 30% shorter. Aurora is not only more efficient but also provides many capabilities not available in other project management software such as Microsoft Project and Primavera P3 / P6 (see unique capabilities below).
Aurora takes a different approach
Most systems use simple rules to select and schedule activities and assign resources to carry them out. Often, these schedules are far from optimal. Aurora solves complex problems more effectively by encoding and applying sophisticated scheduling knowledge and decision-making rules, along with complex constraints and resource requirements. Aurora encodes attributes of individual tasks, groups of tasks, resources, resource sets, and constraints. Aurora’s built-in and user-supplied decision rules produce better schedules by considering these attributes at key scheduling decision points such as determining which task to schedule next, assigning the best time and resources to each task to optimize the overall schedule, and handling situations in which some resources are not available when the task is scheduled.
In addition to allowing rapid, easy schedule development Aurora addresses issues overlooked by many scheduling systems. By focusing on resource requirements and temporal scheduling in combination Aurora considers these different scheduling aspects in combination. This is especially important in domains where there are a range of resource requirements. Aurora provides many capabilities not available in other Project Management software such as Microsoft Project and Primavera P3 / P6; or other finite capacity scheduling software.
Aurora is user-friendly
Aurora’s graphical user interface enables users to enter domain-specific scheduling knowledge and requirements quickly and easily. Interactive graphical displays enable users to visualize and edit the schedule’s resource allocations and temporal relationships among activities. Aurora automatically detects and highlights scheduling problems such as unresolved conflicts. For further details view this presentation on Intelligent Scheduling. If you’d like to know what our clients are saying about Aurora you can view our customer testimonials. If you still don’t believe we can help reduce your project turnaround times then contact us to take the Aurora Challenge!
- Project Portfolio Management (PPM) / Enterprise Resource Planning Optimization (ERPO): Aurora optimizes the resource planning of all of an enterprise’s resources across all projects.
- Shortens projects by allocating resources more efficiently. I.e., improved capacity planning, improved Advanced Planning and Scheduling (APS), improved Project Management (PM), improved automatic resource scheduling.
- Saves the labor of human schedulers by automating what they do.
- Enables more robust modeling of scheduling problems, so it can schedule projects automatically that other tools cannot even model.
- Interfaces with Primavera P6, Microsoft Project, Siemens TeamCenter, Artemis, PSS, Open Plan, PS8, Oracle and other enterprise applications; to import, analyze, and export schedules.
- Provides intelligent conflict resolution.
- Provides explanations on why each activity/task was scheduled where it was, adding transparency.
- Disruptions to the original plan including interjections of new tasks during execution are handled optimally.
- Multiple-pass intelligent resource-constrained scheduling – This intelligent resource leveling tool results in shorter project schedules than the single-pass resource leveling option provided in Microsoft Project and Primavera P6.
- Mixed-mode scheduling – Aurora provides both forward and backward scheduling, available on a task-by-task basis.
- Schedule Rationale – For each task, Aurora provides the rationale on why it was scheduled where it was scheduled, so it is easy to determine what changes could be made for a task to occur earlier.
- Interface with other scheduling tools – Since the benefits of scheduling are only a mouse click away, Aurora is designed to interface with Microsoft Project, Primavera P6, Artemis, TeamCenter and others. You do not have to change the way you work to receive the benefits of Aurora’s scheduling engine.
- 64-bit version can handle projects into the hundreds of thousands of tasks.
- Ability to run how the client wants to run. Aurora can be run as a web-based application or a standalone application under Windows, Mac and Linux.
- Supports more types of constraints beyond finish-to-start, start-to-start, finish-to-finish & start-to-finish, including:
- physical space constraints, including taking into account the creation and elimination of the space during the project,
- ergonomic constraints,
- shift-based constraints,
- resource Links — graphically depict when resource availability is driving the start date.
- Supports complex human classifications
- E.g., occupation plus various skills and or certifications, and Aurora optimizes taking these into consideration.
- NASA designated Aurora a Small Business Innovation Research Success Story.
- NASA showcased Aurora’s innovative technology in a Hallmarks of Success video.
- Aurora has been featured in MDA Tech Update, Defense Tech Briefs, NASA Tech Briefs, and Spinoff (NASA’s premier publication featuring successful spinoff technologies).
So Many Benefits, but Paradigm Shift Slows Adoption: A Lesson to Learn from GM, NUMMI & Toyota
GM provides a prescient lesson to slow adopters of intelligent scheduling or critical chain. In 1984, General Motors and Toyota opened NUMMI as a joint venture. Toyota showed GM the secrets of its production system: How it made cars of much higher quality and much lower cost than GM achieved. Although all was made available to GM, GM did not change and paid the price. Listen to the details here.
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Individual Customer Success Stories
The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company uses Aurora to prioritize production of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner™. Aurora’s dynamic assembly schedule adapts to real-time production variations, so Boeing can produce aircraft as efficiently as possible.Learn More
Aurora-ProPlan is a component of the Intelligent based Manufacturing (IbM) initiative at Pfizer. It adds capabilities necessary to perform pharmaceutical production optimally.Learn More
General Dynamics Electric Boat
Aurora is being leveraged by General Dynamics Electric Boat (EB) for the scheduling of various aspects of submarine construction.Learn More
Air Force Satellite Scheduling
The Aurora intelligent scheduling framework has been applied to Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) scheduling to create an automatic scheduling and deconfliction capability called MIDAS.
Read the MIDAS Story
Mass General Hospital
Aurora is used by the Massachusetts General Hospital to schedule its medical residency program. Aurora reduces the time and effort needed to generate schedules, and provides better support for the hospital’s complex staffing needsLearn More
Aurora helps Bombardier Learjet schedule their airplane assembly operations more quickly, so they can handle production rate changes and component delivery delays more effectively.Learn More
A major automobile manufacturer selected Aurora to optimize its vehicles for destructive and non-destructive crash testing.Learn More
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) is using Aurora to accelerate its production of Boeing 787 Composite Wing Boxes.Learn More
United Space Alliance
United Space Alliance included Aurora in the design of Temporis, a scheduling system targeted for use by NASA crew members on board next generation spacecraft during deep space missionsLearn More
Korea Aerospace Industries
Aurora helps Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) to schedule production of composite parts for Boeing’s Dreamliner.Learn More
Navy: Submarine Support
The US Navy has selected Aurora-CCPM™ software to schedule submarine maintenance operations at the Naval Submarine Support Facility (NSSF).Learn More
Pilot training involves a variety of specialized functionality and logic. The scheduling and logic enforcement was historically a slow and painstaking process, with a significant amount of manual cross-checking.Learn More
Dental Student Scheduling
New York University (NYU) College of Dentistry uses Aurora to create dental student schedules, including scheduling student courses while accounting for clinical rotations. Aurora schedules ensure that all students have all the necessary experiences, while appropriately staffing all clinics. Furthermore, Aurora determines how to appropriately allocate all rooms, taking other programs and special events into account.
TenA Company, founded in 1982, is the premier mortgage quality control service in the United States, assisting thousands of mortgage lenders each year. Among their carefully vetted personnel are counted Legal & Compliance experts and a QC Solutions team.
NASA: Space Shuttle
Aurora/AMP, in service for 18 years at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, generated short- and long-term (10 year) schedules of ground-based activities that prepared and refurbished Space Shuttles before and after each flight. Rapid scheduling enabled NASA to analyze numerous what-if scenarios efficiently. Aurora/AMP was used until the final space shuttle program concluded.Learn More
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), selected Aurora for its unique capabilities including intelligent resource scheduling to improve their project management, including increased throughput and greater project transparency.Learn More