This subject focuses on the emerging science of measuring schedule quality and conformance to ‘good practice’ and the automated tools that are now available to assist in this process. There is a strong correlation between a well-constructed schedule and a desirable project outcome, applying these concepts will enhance the probability of on-time completion.
- Useful external web-links
Other related sections of the PMKI:
|Schedule Quality & Conformance Scoring|
of the foundations for successful project management is
to start with the right schedule. The devil is not in
the detail.... it is in the schedule!! Always
check the schedule. The
subjective view of someone in the project team which in
itself is open to inconsistency is
often based on their personal assessment
of what the ‘right’ schedule looks like and whether a
particular schedule is good enough, there are better
The PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling include a conformance scoring system that allows schedules to be rated for conformance with accepted good practice. This version of the Standards allows assessors to assess whether a schedule uses (ie contains) a component correctly, not the way it is utilised (ie, its usefulness). To purchase a copy of the PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling go to our shop (Australia only)
The DCMA 14 Point schedule assessment: see WP1088 (required by the USA government). More comprehensive guidance on creating and maintaining a schedule is included in the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Schedule Assessment Guide which supports the scheduling concepts introduced in the Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide.
Effective analytical tools are available to automate the checking process. These tools reverse engineer schedules created in a range of software tools and check for errors and inconsistencies. Some of the better options include:
Assessing the 'usefulness' of a schedule is more complex, a good starting point is for managers to ask the right questions, our article: Testing Schedule Quality: Why do so many organisations and clients accept bad schedules? suggests five key questions to ask.
APM Planning SIG’s scheduling maturity model can also
help to providing an objective, consistent method for
firstly establishing what attributes the ‘right’
schedule should have and then for assessing an
individual schedule against this standard. Available