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PMICOS Webinar: Building a Sound Schedule in an Enterprise Environment

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Dr. Dan Patterson presented a one-hour webinar on effective scheduling using metrics analysis. He reviewed some of the common problems found in schedules and the research that backs the claim that, in …

Dr. Dan Patterson presented a one-hour webinar on effective scheduling using metrics analysis. He reviewed some of the common problems found in schedules and the research that backs the claim that, in the end, the schedule drives project success.

Published in: Technology, Business

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  • 1. building a sound schedule in anenterprise environment usingschedule metric analysis Dr Dan Patterson, PMP l CEO & Founder, Acumen
  • 2. 2Introductions! Dr Dan Patterson PMP ! Founder, CEO Acumen ! 20 years project management software ! Risk/schedule thought leader ! Welcom, Pertmaster, Primavera, Acumen legacy! Acumen ! Project analytics ! World-recognized risk workshops ! S1 > S5 schedule maturity ! Acumen Fuse project analysis tool September 21, 2011
  • 3. 3Presentation Overview! Importance of a sound basis of schedule! The CPM schedule building blocks! Introduction to metric analysis! Industry standards! Your metric toolkit: key metrics! Scorecarding! Metrics for execution & forensics! Results from research on planning quality! Q&A September 21, 2011
  • 4. 4The Importance of aSound Basis of Schedule •  Schedule Basis! A schedule is a •  Reflects latest scope/contractor S1 updates forecast •  Critiqued Schedule! Used as a benchmark •  Structurally sound, no contingency, S2 sound logic against which to measure performance •  Risk-Adjusted Schedule •  Estimate uncertainty, risk events S3! Means of defining & capturing scope •  Optimized Target Scenarios •  Reduced hot spots, higher confidence S4! Means of communicating the •  Team Validated Scenario •  Buy-in on mitigation plans plan to stakeholders S5 September 21, 2011
  • 5. 5Linking Scope to Work! Schedule needs to Project • What are we building? Objective • Criteria reflect the work needed to achieve Project • Performance Scope • Cost, quality etc the overarching objective of the Project • List of ‘features’ Deliverables project • Breakdown of! Separate deliverables WBS deliverables from work • Detailed work, durations, Activities! Start your plan with a sequencing etc WBS… Resources • Capacities, demands etc September 21, 2011
  • 6. 6CPM Building BlocksProject Defines start or finish of the job Encapsulates the defined work Scheduling tools are an excellent meansActivities Defines duration for a given scope of work of modeling theseLogic Links Defines sequence of work moving parts. But…Calendars Defines when an activity/ resource can work They do little forConstraints Defines date overrides making sure the building blocks areResources Defines who/what is available to used correctly…. execute workResource Links the “executors” to theirAssignment work September 21, 2011
  • 7. 7The Problem with Gantt Charts…! Highly vertical in nature ! A row per activity required ! Humans like timelines!! Logic adds complexity ! Difficult to trace! Detail lost in summaries ! Just shows earliest/latest! Activity-centric ! Doesn’t show by resource September 21, 2011
  • 8. 8Introduction to Metric Analysis! Definition: “Analytics leverage data in a particular functional process to enable context-specific insight that is actionable”! Objective means of determining schedule quality ! Analytics for a previously subjective science! Analyzing output from schedule, cost, risk models ! Doesn’t replace need for a sound CPM tool! Objective of pinpointing hotspots ! Shortcomings, issues, overruns, trends! Thresholds measure acceptability ! Comparison against benchmarks/tripwires! Trending over time ! Comparisons, performance improvements September 21, 2011
  • 9. 9Metrics! Metric definition ! “a measurement used to mathematically gauge a quantity”! Metric Score ! Typically a count of activities ! Can be a summation e.g. cost! Metric percentage ! Provides context e.g. within a set of activities! Threshold or Tripwire ! Acceptable bandwidth relative to a given basis September 21, 2011
  • 10. Sli de 10Metric Examples
  • 11. 11Industry Standards! Government agency (compliance) ! Government-wide ! Department of Defense (DoD) ! NDIA’s Generally Accepted Scheduling Principles (GASP)! Non-government specific (best practice) ! Project Management Institute (PMI) ! AACE International ! Thought leaders e.g. Acumen ! Company-specific September 21, 2011
  • 12. 12Compliance MetricsDCMA 14 Point GAO Scheduling Best Practices1.  Logic: identify how schedule is linked together 1.  Capturing all activities: Schedule should reflect all activities in WBS (government and contractor)2.  Leads: leads distorts total float in schedule 2.  Sequencing all activities: Activities sequenced in3.  Lags: hides detail in schedule the logical order they are to be carried out4.  Relationship Types: Focus on Finish-to-Start (FS) 3.  Assigning resources to all activities: reflect what5.  Hard Constraints: overrides natural CPM resources are needed to do the work 4.  Establishing duration of all activities: realistically6.  High Float: network may not be logic-driven reflect how long each activity will take7.  Negative Float: result of forced planning 5.  Integrating schedule activities horizontally and8.  High Duration: lack of detail vertically: breadth & depth scope 6.  Establishing critical path for all activities: driving9.  Invalid Dates: errors around the data date path through schedule10.  Resources: verification that tasks have resources 7.  Identifying float between activities: schedule11.  Missed Tasks: comparison to baseline flexibility can be determined12.  Critical Path Test: tests validity of driving path 8.  Conducting schedule risk analysis: predict level of confidence13.  Critical Path Length Index (CPLI): “realism” 9.  Updating schedule using logic and durations to14.  Baseline Execution Index (BEI): performance determine the dates: realism 10.  Creating a baseline schedule September 21, 2011
  • 13. 13Sound Logic! Use of FS, FF, SF, SS links! SS links don’t account for durations! Lags hide schedule detail redundant! Leads cause reverse dates A ! Circular logic between projects B ! Out of sequence updates! Open start/finish: hidden open ends C ! Logic Density™! Logic Hotspot™! Redundancy Index™ September 21, 2011
  • 14. 14Logic Density™! Great measure of complexity! Dual-band threshold: 2 to 5…! Determine Logic Hotspots™ in your schedule September 21, 2011
  • 15. 15Redundancy Index™! Overly complex, non-necessary logic! Negatively impacts a schedule risk analysis! Look for less than 15% redundancy in schedule September 21, 2011
  • 16. 16Appropriate use of Constraints! Understand the use of constraints ! Delivery dates?! Look for open ends with constraints ! These are OK! Understand float around constraints ! Float often artificially generated! Avoid hard constraints ! They go against the whole premise of CPM! September 21, 2011
  • 17. 17Calendars! Appropriate use of calendars ! Use reasonable number of calendars! Use reasonable level of detail ! Don’t use hourly calendar on a 3 year construction project!! Be careful about multiple calendars in sequences of activities ! Logic links inherit either predecessor or successor September 21, 2011
  • 18. 18Durations & Level of Detail! Durations define level of detail in schedule! Ensure sufficient level of detail to: ! Track performance ! Publish status ! Collaborate the work with the project team! Differentiate between critical/non critical ! Great indicator as to how risky a project is September 21, 2011
  • 19. 19Float Analysis! Average Float! Maximum Float! Float ratio (# of days float per day of work)! Float Map™ September 21, 2011
  • 20. 20Visualization! Means of grouping activities ! Against which we can apply metrics! Means of quickly changing grouping ! Multiple dimension slice and dice! Means of also slicing by time period Ribbon Visualization September 21, 2011
  • 21. 21Scorecarding! Metrics are useful but don’t give overall picture! Scorecarding: group individual metrics into single score! Schedule Quality Index™! Scores can be either ! Activity based: number of activities that fail a test (less detailed, higher scores) ! Metric based: number of metrics that fail a test (more detailed, lower scores)! Weight importance of metrics September 21, 2011
  • 22. 22Tracing Driving Logic! Driving Logic trace shows key path(s)! Based on: ! Forwards only view ! Backwards only view ! View between any two given activities ! Analyze the driving path through metrics September 21, 2011
  • 23. 23Metrics for ExecutionBaseline Compliance™! Traditional measures include: ! Earned value: heavy time investment to implement ! Earned schedule: similar to EV ! % complete: what does this really tell us? ! Ahead/behind baseline: too granular a scale…! Baseline Compliance™ ! Used to determine how close a schedule is planned and executed against it’s baseline ! Measure of well the plan is being executed ! More than just date comparison ! Looks at period-compliance September 21, 2011
  • 24. Compliance Scenarios
  • 25. Compliance Metrics
  • 26. Example Baseline Compliance™ Analysis100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%
  • 27. 27Metrics for Risk Analysis! Hidden critical paths! Risk Hotspots! Risk exposure over time September 21, 2011
  • 28. 28Metrics for Schedule Forensics! Compare multiple updates, iterations etc! Means of pinpointing ! Changes e.g. duration, logic! More importantly, should be: ! Insight into impact of changes e.g. float! Scorecarding ! Use as means of showing improvements September 21, 2011
  • 29. Sound Planning Equals Project 29Success… 100% 90% R² = 0.603 80% 70%Finish Compliance Index™ 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Schedule Quality Index™ September 21, 2011
  • 30. 30Conclusions! Sound basis of schedule is “king” for all things project management…! Scheduling tools provide excellent framework for developing CPM schedules! Yet they do little to help guide scheduling maturity – garbage in, garbage out…! Metric analysis provides objective measurement! Visualization is as important as the analysis! Sound planning drives project success… September 21, 2011
  • 31. 31More Information Dr Dan Patterson PMP ! ! dpatterson@projectacumen.com ! Acumen Fuse Website ! www.projectacumen.comSeptember 21, 2011