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Scheduling Good Practice


Location:  PMKI > Project Controls and Scheduling > Scheduling Good Practice. 

This subject focuses on core scheduling practice and looks at what makes a good schedule, what makes a good planner, and what should they do; the ‘good practices’ needed to create and manage an effective schedule.

The PMKI Library

Topics included in Scheduling Good Practice:

- TBA
- Useful external web-links

Other related sections of the PMKI:

-


 
 



 


Temporary Subject List - this page is being built:

Core Papers
These are substantial papers focusing on core aspects of our profession.
  • A Guide to Scheduling Good Practice describes the work undertaken by a scheduler to create an effective 'dynamic schedule' and is consistent with the PMBOK Guide and the PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling. [Open the paper]
     
  • Attributes of a Scheduler considers the personal skills and competencies needed by a person to be an effective scheduler and describes the various 'roles' a scheduler will have during the life cycle of a typical project including the difference between planning and scheduling and the scheduling value proposition. [Open the paper]
     
  • Dynamic Scheduling describes the benefits derived from developing a 'good schedule' as defined in a 'A Guide to Scheduling Good Practice'. [Open the paper]
     
  • Links, Lags & Ladders focuses on the issues, problems and challenges of overlapping tasks in a schedule using various link types (F-S, S-S, F-F-, S-F) with or without lead and lag durations, the more sophisticated 'ladder' concept, and the importance of actively managing the 'space' between tasks. [Open the paper 
      
  • Schedule Float discusses the various calculations and definitions for float in both ADM and PDM networks. [Open the paper]   
     
  • Schedule Levels provides a guide the 5 levels of schedule typically used on major projects from the 'Master Schedule' to the 'Detailed Short Term Schedule', adapted from Bechtel & Fluor standards. [Open the paper]
     
  • Schedule Calculations  a guide the Time Analysis and Float calculations used in PDM schedules. [Open the paper]

The GuideGuide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Major Projects: Dynamic Time Modelling, 2nd Edition. A practical treatise on the processes and standards required for the effective time management of major projects, including real life case studies dealing with strategic time management and high-density, resource-based scheduling. It is the definitive handbook for any project and program management professional seeking to manage time effectively on major projects. See more.



The need for good scheduling practice:

The disastrous state of schedule practice in the construction industry is detailed in the report Managing the Risk of Delayed Completion in the 21st Century [or download the smaller executive summary]. Between December 2007 and January 2008, The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) conducted a survey of the construction industry’s knowledge and experience of different methods of project control, and time management, record keeping, monitoring and training.  The findings suggested there was a lot of work needed to achieve general 'best practice'.


We definitely expect to see the management of 'time risks' improved from this work and the comparable efforts being lead by Planning Planet and  the publication of  'The Practice Standard for Scheduling' by PMI was only the beginning!


The Practice Standard for Scheduling 2nd Edition

Price: $85.00
(Australia only)

Effective project scheduling is critical to the success of a project. PMI's The Practice Standard for Scheduling is a systematic guide describing the hallmarks of an effective scheduling methodology, as well as providing quantifiable means for assessing the maturity of a schedule model. 
Chapters: 1 - Intro
2 - Schedule Model principles and concepts (methods and techniques)
3 - Good Practices Overview
4 - Scheduling Components 

ie, a listing of items and their characteristics: name, required/optional, calculated/manual, data format, behaviour description, good practices, associated component, definition
5 - Conformance Index and Conformance Scoring in Appx D and E.

Plus a lengthy Glossary
  
This standard is available from:
Mosaic's book shop
The PMI Bookshop: www.pmi.org
Amazon: www.amazon.com
 

Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Major Projects.   Publisher: Wiley Blackwell

Price: $110.oo (Australia only)

Without effective time management there can be no effective resource management, cost management or delay management. The primary purpose of this Guide is to set down the standards necessary to facilitate the effective and competent management of time in complex projects. It defines the standards by which project schedules will be prepared, quality controlled, updated, reviewed and revised in practice and describes the standards of performance which should reasonably be required of a project scheduler. 

The Guide has been developed as a scheduling reference document capable of wide application. It is a practical treatise on the processes to be followed and standards to be achieved in effective management of time. It can be used in any jurisdiction, under any form of contract, with any type of project and should be identified as the required standard for the preparation and updating of contract programs, progress reporting and time management.

The concepts contained in The Guide are implemented by the CIOB Complex Projects Contract; see more on the contract.

GAO Schedule Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Project Schedules - GAO-16-89G: Published: 22nd December 2015.

Price:  Free

This schedule guide is a companion to the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide. The Schedule Assessment Guide and Cost Guide, together offer a consistent methodology for developing, managing, and evaluating capital program cost estimates includes the concept of scheduling the necessary work to a timeline. Simply put, schedule variances are usually followed by cost variances. Because some program costs such as labor, supervision, rented equipment, and facilities cost more if the program takes longer, a reliable schedule can contribute to an understanding of the cost impact if the program does not finish on time. In addition, management tends to respond to schedule delays by adding more resources or authorizing overtime. Further, a schedule risk analysis allows for program management to account for the cost effects of schedule slippage when developing the life-cycle cost estimate. A cost estimate cannot be considered credible if it does not account for the cost effects of schedule slippage.

Download the 
GAO Schedule Assessment Guide from:  http://www.gao.gov/products/gao-16-89g  
Download the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide from:  http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-09-3SP  

Mosaic's Published Papers

  • 5-STEPS, Five Steps To Ensure Project Success - The ‘5 Steps To Ensure Project Success’ methodology is a proven process designed to focus the thinking of the key Stakeholders onto the parameters required to achieve a successful project outcome. [View Abstract]
     
  • A Brief History of Scheduling - The first paper is a brief history of scheduling from the late 18th century to the present, including the first 60 years of 'Critical Path' Scheduling; and arguably the evolution of modern project management. The suggestion is that the growth of modern project management is a direct consequence of the need to make effective use of the data generated by the schedulers in an attempt to manage the 'project' and control the 'critical path'.  The second paper, The Origins of Bar Charting looks at the emerging concepts that allowed bar charts to be developed in 1760. This paper starts with the Ancient Greeks and traces the underlying principles through to the 18th century. [View Abstract]
     
  • Avoiding the 'Tipping Point to Failure'   - A performing organisation can manage a level of complexity in its projects based on prior experience, maturity, supporting systems and the capability of the people managing the work.  As long as this ‘complexity quotient’ is within the management capability of the organisation and the people it deploys, reasonably predictable outcomes can be expected and normal risk management practices are likely to be effective.  Change any of these parameters to the point where the overall tipping point is reached and there is a sudden breakdown that causes a significant negative change in the likely project outcomes. Recovery is no longer a simple process of marginally increasing the resources deployed, what’s needed is a massive change in the capability of resources. Whilst it is impossible to predict where a tipping point may occur until after it has been reached, effective project control systems can provide early warnings. [View Abstract]
      

  • Beyond Reporting - The Communication Strategy - Communication is a science and an art. Communicating effectively with the project’s important stakeholders, so that their expectations can be both managed and met, is central to achieving a successful outcome. Reports are not enough! Communication is a complex two way process within the overall relationship between the project and the stakeholder. This paper identifies the key processes involved in developing and implementing an effective communication strategy. [View Abstract]
     
  • Calculating and Using Float  This paper argues that the lack of defined calculations for most of the float values in a PDM schedule must reduce the overall value of the schedule model compared to more rigorous approaches but also recognises that if scheduling is a modelling process designed to affect the future behaviours of people working on the project other factors may be more important. [View Abstract]
      
  • CIOB’s Contribution to the Effective Management of Time in Construction Projects - This paper outlines the major advances in the practice of project planning and scheduling introduced by the Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects (see more on The Guide) and gives an up-to-date report on current developments in the effective management of time being led by CIOB. [View Abstract]
     
  • Communication in organisations: making the schedule effective - There is no point working hard to develop a schedule that is not used! Once the schedule has been created or updated, it is its role as a communication medium that can have the most powerful influence on the successful delivery of a project and the skills outlined in this presentation become critical to realising the value embedded in the scheduling tool. [View Abstract]
     
  • (The) Cost of Time - or who's duration is it anyway? - Probably the most common action undertaken by schedulers everywhere is assigning a duration to a task. This paper outlines the factors influencing the choice of an optimum duration. Considers the factors that can cause the duration to be modified during the planning phase and then outlines some of the likely costs associated with accelerating the project. [View Abstract]
     
  • (The) Effective Management of Time in the 21st century  This paper overviews a range of ideas to assist in the effective management of time including:
        * The need for effective planning ahead of scheduling and the different objective of these two processes.
        * The concept of ‘schedule density’ and the need to schedule at an appropriate level of detail based on the contemporary knowledge available to the project team.
        * The need for on-going dynamic scheduling to manage time.
        * The need to contemporaneously assess the impact of delaying events in real time based on accurate and current schedules to allow effective mitigation.
        * The need for effective training and credentialling of planners and schedulers
    . [View Abstract]
     
  • (The) Effective Management of Time in Complex Projects - an ICT perspective  The IT industry’s inability to effectively manage time has been widely documented, other industries fare no better! In response to this challenge, the CIOB assembled an international team of project planning and scheduling experts to develop a Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects (the Guide). This paper will identify the key elements within the Guide that proactively contribute to the successful delivery of complex projects and offer a way forward to improve time management. [View Abstract]
     
  • (The) Effective Management of Time on Mega Projects - Why there are so many problems and how to solve them? - The construction industry’s ability to effectively manage time is getting worse. In response to this challenge, the CIOB assembled an international team of project planning and scheduling experts to develop a Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects (the Guide). This paper will identify the key elements within the Guide that proactively contribute to the successful delivery of mega projects, relate these ideas to practical examples of their use on mega-projects and offer a way forward to improve time management. [View Abstract]
     
  • Establish the project schedule - The steps needed to develop and validate an effective project schedule.. [Download the presentation]
     
  • Estimating Fallacies - excessive detail does not help - Estimating costs and durations can be done in great detail, however, detailed is not synonymous with accurate! This paper sets out a pragmatic framework for estimating that offers realistic levels of accuracy to generate sensible expectations for a reasonable investment of estimating effort. [View Abstract]
     
  • Float - Is It Real? - The existence of a ‘critical path’ and non-critical activities (with their associated ‘float’) grew out of the science of ‘scheduling’ as defined by Critical Path Analysis (CPA) and are barely 50 years old! This paper analyses the factors creating the ‘critical path’ and ‘float’ within a schedule and then look at ways of resolving the conflicting views of float encountered in the literature. Potential solutions include the UK ‘Delay and Disruption Protocol’, client led integrated teams and the use of alternative planning methods such as location based scheduling, trend analysis and earned schedule. [View Abstract] 
     
  • Henry L. Gantt - A Retrospective view of his work This paper describes the important contributions made by Henry Gantt to modern management and defines what a 'Gantt Chart' really is. What the modern worked calls a 'Gantt Charts' pre-dates Gantt by more than a century. A second paper looks at the potential source of the misuse of term Gantt Chart. [View Abstract].
     

  • Improving Schedule Management - This paper describes the changing role of scheduling within the complex dynamic environment of modern projects and programs. PMI’s contributions including the SEI, standards and credentials are identified. The attributes needed for an effective schedule and the skills needed by an effective scheduler are described and linked to the emerging paradigms of complexity theory. [View Abstract]
     
  • Managing for Success - The power of regular updates - Critical path scheduling techniques, supported by efficient scheduling software have long been recognised as a standard component in the overall project management process. This paper looks at the interaction between the analytical and psychological processes involved in schedule development and control systems to identify ways to deliver major enhancements in the planning / scheduling process. [View Abstract]
      
  • Practical project controls – the art of getting to ‘Done’! - Getting to ‘done’ is the objective of any project, done on time, done on budget and done to the satisfaction of stakeholders.  Most projects fail to achieve this. This presentation looks at the reasons for this failure and suggest a practical framework for successfully getting your projects to ‘done’. [View Abstract]
      
  • Project Controls in the C21 – What works / What’s fiction - This paper takes a controversial look at the relevance of project control systems and suggests the changes in skills, attitudes and practices needed to keep scheduling, cost control and EV relevant in the coming years. Updated to include a presentation to the AIPM PC-SIG on Trends in Project Controls [View Abstract] 
     
  • Project management vs Project scheduling - This presentation focuses on the differences between successful schedulers and successful project managers and how together they can create successful project outcomes. [View Abstract] 
     
  • Resource optimisation - a new paradigm for project scheduling A resource optimisation approach would involve changing the underlying philosophical approach embedded in CPM from a belief that the pre-determined duration and sequencing of activities takes precedence, to one that recognises the real objective of scheduling is to keep the resources working effectively. This paper looks at two alternative approaches to achieving this objective. [View Abstract]
     
  • Scheduling in a Defence Environment - The primary purpose of any schedule should be to help the project manager and project team optimise the overall strategy for the delivery of the project, coordinate work flows and assist in the decision making processes needed to resolve dilemmas and issues on a day-to-day basis. This paper identifies some of the symptoms of scheduling failure and then addresses three topics; a discussion of the real purpose and usefulness of scheduling. the current ‘state of play’ in the development of scheduling and some emerging trends that may re-focus scheduling. [View Abstract]
     
  • Scheduling Complexity - This paper précis the work of the CIOB focused on the management of complex projects and offer practical suggestions for the improvement of time management within the Australian context, including the professionalisation of the scheduling discipline. [View Abstract]
     
  • Scheduling in the Age of Complexity - This paper suggests that a radically different approach is needed to make scheduling relevant and useful in the 21st Century.  Starting with the ideas derived from Complexity Theory, Complex Responsive Processes of Relating (CRPR) and the concept of the project team as a ‘Temporary Knowledge Organization (TKO) one can see the delivery of the project being crafted by thousands of individual decisions and actions taken by people who are ‘actors’ within the social network of the project team and its immediate surrounds.  The role of ‘project management’ is to motivate, coordinate and lead the team towards the common objective of a successful project outcome. The project scheduler has a key role in this complex environment provided the right attitudes, skills and scheduling techniques are used in the optimum way. [View Abstract]
     
  • Seeing the Road Ahead - the challenge of communicating schedule data - The successful delivery of projects requires a broad understanding of what is required to be achieved, by whom and when. However, one of the key challenges facing schedulers has been to convert the rich data contained in their schedules into useful information that the project team can actually use. This paper outlines the evolution of the graphical presentation of time related data from 1765 through to the current time. [View Abstract]
      
  • Should your schedulers be certified? - This paper focuses on initiatives to revitalise our industry by creating a career path for planners and schedulers as well as clearly identifying the benefits of certification for organisations that employ planners and schedulers. New initiatives by the CIOB and Planning Planet are designed to deliver a career framework for professional ‘Time Managers’, taking people from novice, to a practitioner skilled in the art of planning and scheduling. [View Abstract].  See also: The problem with CPM.    
      
  • Standardising Quality in Project Scheduling - The publication by PMI of its Practice Standard for Scheduling in May 2007 followed by the CIOB Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects go a long way towards defining ‘good scheduling practice’and providing tools that for the first time allows the unambiguous assessment of the technical competence of any schedule. The definition of planning and scheduling and the certification of schedulers has also been the subject of much attention. This paper provides an overview of the Practice Standard, The Guide and the emerging credential framework for schedulers. [View Abstract]

  • Time IS NOT Money - “Time is not money; with money you can put it on the table and you can see it, and if you leave it, it may even accumulate - whereas with time, you can’t see it or touch it. It expires at a regular and consistent rate whether you use it or not.”
      -  Read the interview 'Time is NOT money', a conversation with Keith Pickavance' for some background on Keith's assertion the 21st Century will be 'The Age of Time'. [View PDF] 
      
  • Time management -v- Contract administration This paper defines the standards by which project schedules should be prepared, quality controlled, updated, reviewed and revised in practice to effectively manage time. And then describes the standards of performance which should reasonably be required of a project scheduler. [View Abstract]
     

  • Why Critical Path Scheduling (CPM) is Wildly Optimistic  - CPM tends towards an optimistic representation of the project’s completion date. Used appropriately, this can be a performance motivator. However, prudent management also requires an accurate prediction of the completion date. This paper will describe how both processes can be used in combination for the effective management of time. [View Abstract]


5-STEPS, Five Steps To Ensure Project Success (Planning & Scheduling)

The ‘5 Steps To Ensure Project Success’ methodology is a proven process designed to focus the thinking of key Stakeholders onto the parameters required to achieve a successful project outcome. It uses the development of the schedule as a central plank in its approach to developing an effective project team and fostering positive stakeholder involvement.

The process is designed as a logical sequence of activities (and importantly, agreements) but recognises iterative passes through some of the key steps may be required to achieve agreement.

The five sequential steps are:

  • Organise the Project (Scope and Stakeholders)

  • Plan the Work Flow

  • Set Reasonable Objectives

  • Gain Commitment

  • Manage for Success

The 5–STEPS methodology requires each step to be completed, validated and "signed off" before moving onto the next.

5-STEPS is supportive of, and recognises the overall structure of the PMBOK, but focuses on activities in the key Planning and Controlling ‘process groups’ to develop a realistic schedule and then managing it through to a successful conclusion.



  • Temporary Subject List - this page is being rebuilt:

    • Schedule Management & General Resources  
    • Planning -v- Scheduling: The different aspects of project management, planning and scheduling.
    • Planners and Schedulers: Personal attributes and certifications / qualifications
    • CPM - Critical Path Method - General
      • DPDynamic Scheduling. Describes the benefits derived from developing a logically linked schedule.  
      • WP: Project Planning -v- Scheduling. Planning is focused on optimising the sequencing of the work and the methods to be used as a precursor to scheduling which focuses on how the method will be implemented.  
      • Prs: Establish the Project Schedule. The steps needed to develop and validate an effective project schedule.    
            
    • Project Controls - Issues and Limitations with CPM - Options for improvement
      • Blg: The future of project controls. Using modern technology to focus on what really matters, resources accomplishing work in the optimum sequence for each location.  
      • PrsProjects controls using integrated data. The future of project time management as an integrated part of an overall project information system.    
      • PP: Improving Schedule Management. This paper defines a new role for the project schedule and the project scheduler within the complex, dynamic, collaborative environment that defines many modern projects.  
      • PP: The Project Start-Up Conundrum. At the time when the project team can exert the greatest influence on a project's overall success, the team itself is forming and at its least effective!!! Solutions are proposed.    
      • Art: The Scheduling Conundrum. Effective scheduling makes a significant difference to project success but in most projects, the schedule is ignored, bad scheduling practice is the norm and most projects finish late.  
      • Blg : Critical confusion – when activities on the critical path don’t compute…… The use of Finish-to-Finish and Start-to-Start links (particularly in combination) can cause significant issues in calculating the overall project duration. 
      • PP: Float - Is It Real?  Float only exists because of the limitations built into CPM calculations, while it is useful, it is not 'real' - full paper.    
      • Art: Float is it real?.  Float only exists because of the limitations built into CPM calculations, while it is useful, it is not 'real' - short summary.
      • PP: Why Critical Path Scheduling (CPM) is Wildly Optimistic. The biases built into the CPM methodology that underestimate project durations.       
      • Art: Problems with scheduling practice. A brief look at the three major problem areas affecting scheduling practice.          
      • Art: The problem with CPM. The problem with scheduling and CPM is not the technology, it’s a lack of skills on the part of the people employed as schedulers.  
            
    • Links, Leads,  Lags and Ladders (PDM)
    • Duration and Resource Estimating
    • CPM Calculations
      • DP: Schedule Calculations. A detailed guide the Time Analysis and Float calculations used in PDM schedules.  
      • Blg: Schedule Calculations – Old and New. The difference between old manual calculations starting from Zero, and the correct calculations used by modern computers.    
               
    • Critical Path & Float
      • WP: Defining the Critical Path.  There are many different descriptions in regular use, this WP provides a concise and accurate definition.      
      • DP: Schedule Float. discusses the various calculations and definitions for Free float and Total float. 
      • PP: Float - Is It Real? This paper analyses the factors creating the ‘critical path’ and ‘float’ within a schedule and then looks at the misuse and  value of 'float'.  For a summary, see also Art: Float is it real?.  
      •      

      Calculating and Using Float [G001]

      The concept of schedule float is the creation of the Critical Path Method (CPM) of scheduling in the late 1950s. In the 60s and 70s significant advances ion the concept of float occurred as the ADM scheduling methodology developed. Much of this sophistication has been lost in the intervening 40 years as the PDM methodology gained precedence. How significant is this loss of insight?

      From a practical perspective there are two issues of paramount importance:

      • Resources levelling and smoothing is completely reliant on having access to accurate and understandable float values. The absence of these means the scheduling algorithms are likely to be less efficient.
      • Contract management relies on clearly defining critical and non-critical activities and knowing how much flexibility (float) is reasonably available on the non-critical activities.

      This paper argues that the lack of defined calculations for most of the float values in a PDM schedule must reduce the overall value of the schedule model compared to more rigorous approaches. But also recognises that if scheduling is a modelling process designed to affect the future behaviours of people working on the project (ie, persuade them to work to the plan), other factors may be more important.

      Art: Calculating and Using Float. Based on the above, this review looks at the different types of float and slack that used to be calculated in ADM and PDM schedules, compared to the limited options used today.(see the original PM World Today article).

    • Schedule updating and control
    • Communicating schedule information
      • Prs: Seeing the Road Ahead - the challenge of communicating schedule data.  This paper briefly reviews the history of visualizing time from 1765 through to the challenges of presenting computer generated schedule data in a meaningful way.       
      • PP Understanding the Schedule - The challenge of informed consent. “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” [George Bernard Shaw] presenting a schedule does not mean the recipient has understood the information! 
      • Prs: Communication in organisations: making the schedule effective. The challenges associated with communicating controls information in a way that is understood and appreciated by stakeholders (particularly senior managers) so they can use the information to make informed decisions.   
      • Prs: Communications Control?  Schedules cannot control anything - they are inert sources of information! These papers look at the challenge communicating  the information to influence decisions and behaviour.  
      • Blg: Mind your language - A picture may tell a 1000 words, but it need to be a well designed picture if the message is to be meaningful. 
      • Art: What’s the message??  The way schedule reports are designed can change the understanding of key stakeholders.     
         
    • Resource scheduling and optimisation
      • PP: Resource optimisation - a new paradigm for project scheduling. This paper looks at ways to reverse the paradigm that makes the activity duration central to scheduling. The work is the constant, the resources used, the variable and the duration the outcome.     
      • Art: Resource Optimisation. The best schedule outcome is achieved by maximising the use of the available resources, but most scheduling tools fail to achieve this.     
         
    • Schedule Analytics & Quality
    • Scheduling methodologies (other)
      • WP: Relationship Driven CPM. The RDCPM® variation of the Critical Path Method of schedule analysis focuses on the reason for the relationship between activities and the reason for their overlap.    
      • WP: Momentology. Momentology uses the schedule to measure the momentum of work on the project. The loss of momentum is a reliable predictor of a delayed completion.   
      • WP: Critical Chain. CCPM is a method of planning and managing projects that puts the main emphasis on the utilisation of the resources required to execute project tasks.    
      • WP: Line of Balance. LOB is a method of showing the repetitive work that may exist in a project as a single line on a graph and shows the rate at which the work has to be undertaken to stay on schedule.    
      • WP: Multiple Activity Charts. Multiple Activity Charts show the flow of work within a cyclical process and as a consequence show which resource is controlling the overall progress of the work.  
      • WP: Timeboxing. Timeboxing is a simple process used to measure the complete of a defined amount of work in a fixed period, plus or minus an allowed variation (the 'time box').           
           
    • Schedule levels & integration (major projects)
      • Schedule Levels provides a guide the 5 levels of schedule typically used on major projects.     
             
    • Rolling Wave and Schedule Density
      • WP: Schedule Density. The concept of schedule density  is similar to rolling wave planning but applies a time based three stage approach to developing an overall summary, 12 month intermediate, and 3 month detailed schedule.    
      • WP: Rolling Wave Planning. Rolling wave is a form of progressive elaboration, increasing the detail in a schedule as more information becomes available.    
         
    • Schedule Risk & Uncertainty: Monte Carlo, PERT and managing schedule risk.
      • PP: Why Critical Path Scheduling (CPM) is Wildly Optimistic. The factors that drive CPM towards an optimistic initial assessment including psychological biases, single point estimates and limitations of the CPM modelling process are defined and quantified.   
      • WP: Understanding PERT PERT is the oldest and arguable the least effective / least accurate way to model uncertainty. This paper traces the origins of PERT and the reasons for its limitations.      
      • Art: Predicting project completion.  The use of Earned Schedule and the 'P-Factor in determining a realistic completion date are defined.   
      • Blg: Predicting Completion. The requirement to finish a 'project' on time with associated penalties for late completion hs been around for 3000 years. The question asked in this post is when did predictive tools start to emerge to give the contractor some insight into the consequences of current performance rates?  
      • Art: Standard Deviation for Project Managers.  The concepts behind Standard Deviation and how it is used.      
      • Art: Predicting Future Project Outcomes - The power of uncertainty Monte Carlo, Latin Hypercube and Sampling.        
              
    • Scheduling Complexity and Agile Projects: Scheduling projects where change is expected, unavoidable or intended.   
      • PP: Scheduling in the Age of Complexity. This paper suggests that a radically different approach is needed to make scheduling relevant and useful in the 21st Century based on an understanding of the effects of complexity. .    
      • PP: Scheduling Complexity. Managing complex project schedules using a layered approach to time management that focuses on adapting behaviours to overcome problems.      
      • Art: Controlling Complex Projects.  Applying the principle of auftragstaktik (or ‘bounded initiative’) to effectively manage complex projects.   
    Critical Path Method (CPM) Techniques
      
    Mosaic's Managing Director, Patrick Weaver, is an internationally recognised scheduling expert. In addition to the basic PMP and CAPM course materials, we offer a very popular 'How To develop a successful schedule' course [view course details] and an advanced course to prepare candidates for the PMI-SP credential 
    [view 'Scheduling Professional' course details]. Some of our key resources of direct relevance to PMP candidates include:
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: A Guide to Scheduling Good Practice describes the work undertaken by a scheduler to create an effective schedule.
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Attributes of a Scheduler considers the personal skills and competencies needed by a person to be an effective scheduler.
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Dynamic Scheduling describes the benefits derived from developing a fully linked schedule.
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Links, Lags & Ladders focuses on the issues, problems and challenges of overlapping tasks in a schedule. 
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Schedule Float discusses the various calculations and definitions for float.
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Schedule Levels provides a guide the the 5 levels of schedule typically used on major projects.
    - Scheduling Whitepaper: Schedule Calculations the basic Time Analysis calculations needed for the PMP and other exams.
      
    - Blog (Feb. 2009): Time IS NOT Money 
    - Blog (May 2009): The Last Planner and other Old Ideas
    - Blog (Aug. 2009): Project Planning  
      
      

    The development of CPM in the 1950s was limited by the limited processing power of the computers then available. These limitations can have significant impacts on the CPM modelling process.  Two emerging techniques focused on removing some of the identified shortcomings are RDCPM® discussed in WP1035 and Momentology discussed in WP1036.
    Developing CPM Networks
      
    -  PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling is available free of charge to PMI members as a non-printing PDF
         For instructions on downloading the PDF see: http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Books.html

      
    -  Core Scheduling Paper: Dynamic Scheduling
    -  
    Core Scheduling Paper: Schedule Levels
      
    Designing the schedule for a complex project is an art, the project needs to be 'planned' before an effective schedule can be developed; WP1039 focuses on planning. The concept of 'schedule density' discussed in WP1016 is one way to ensure an effective schedule is created (schedule density is a sophisticated update on the rolling wave approach to scheduling described in WP1060). 
      
    Every schedule requires activity duration estimates
    . WP1052 describes the processes involved in duration estimating. The important effect of cognitive biases on the way estimates are developed is discussed in WP1069.

    CPM Calculations
       
    - Core Scheduling Paper:  Schedule Calculations
    - 
    Core Scheduling Paper:  Schedule Float
    - Paper: The Cost of Time - or who's duration is it anyway? 
    - Paper: Float - Is It Real? 

      
    Blog (Aug. 2009): Mathematical Modelling of Project Estimates    

    The concept of the critical path is central to the practice of CPM. WP1043 offers a precise definition of the critical path for use by planners, lawyers and contract drafters

    Schedule Development & Control
      
    - Paper: Managing for Success, The power of regular updates  
      
    - Blog (Dec. 2008): Scheduling For Effect 
      

    Various approaches can be used to manage time including Timeboxing (WP 1020) , Schedule Density (WP1016) and Critical Chain (WP1050).
      

    The techniques used to compress the overall duration of a schedule are discussed in WP1059 - Shedule Compression 
     

    Managing delays and disruptions to a schedule are discussed in two published papers (see:http://www.mosaicprojects.com.au/Resources_Papers_035.html) the spcific issue of assessing parallel delays in WP1064 - Concurrent Delays


    Schedule Uncertainty
        
    - Paper: Scheduling in the Age of Complexity

      
    - White Paper: Understanding PERT


    Other Scheduling Techniques
        
    Critical path schedules and Barcharts focus on the logical flow of work by defining and linking activities. Whereas Line of Balance (LOB) and Time/Location charts focus on avoiding the conflicting use of workspace (see WP 1021) and Multiple-Activity Charts focus on optimising the use of resources in cyclical operations to determine the best cycle time (see WP_1025). 
      

    Line of Balance: Line of Balance (LOB) is a method of managing repetitive work such as constructing multiple dwelling units and linear work such as roads and railways. The primary focus of LOB is avoiding conflicts in the use of work space;  See WP 1021 or click the LOB chart to see an expanded version ->
      
    Multiple-Activity Charts: are a useful technique for optimising cycle times, the results can be used in either a LOB chart or normal barcharts and schedules. See WP_1025 for more.
       
     LOB Chart
    Critical Chain: focuses on the efficient use of resource effort.  See WP1050 for more.



    Useful external web-links

    Self-paced PMI-SP Training