The Need for A Good Critical Path“In most cases, 99.9% of the time, wecant produce a valid critical path.” - Mike Beattie, Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA), May 2007
Schedule Quality Is . . .• Trust – Is it the truth? Are the Tasks, Resources, Assignments, Costs, Actuals, etc. accurate?• Fidelity – Is the critical path really the critical path?• Detail – Does it contain the right level of detail? Trust Fidelity Detail
Schedule Quality Is Not . . .• Performance Problems• Defects in the Deliverables• Scheduler Quality Trust Fidelity Detail
Ten Common and Serious Problems
1. Missing Predecessors Task A
2. Missing Successors Task B
3. Use of Constraints Hard Constraints Soft Constraints Must Start On As Late As Possible Must Finish On Start No Earlier Than Start No Later Than Finish No Earlier Than Finish No Later Than A slip here . . . . . . won‘t cause a slip here.
3. Use of ConstraintsWill yourschedulepass thepush test?
4. Lags Lag
5. Leads Lead
6. Planned Start in the Past Task A Hasn’t Started Yet Task A has a planned Start Date in the past but hasn’t started. The existing Planned Start Date cannot be trusted! Status Date (or today if no Status Date)
7. Actual Date in the Future Task C Status Date (or today if no status date)
8. Summaries With Resources Summary Task B Task A Task B1 Task B2
9. Summary Tasks With Links Summary Task B No! Task A Task B1 Task B2 Yes!
10. Manual Scheduling Task A
The Impact of Poor Schedule Quality • Don’t Know True Project Finish Date • Rework • Schedule Slippage • Budget Overruns • Lack of trust
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