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Warren Buffett.


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Core Papers & White Papers:

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The questions 'what makes a good schedule?' 'what makes a good planner?' and 'what should they do?' are addressed in these papers:
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]
Latest White Papers
These are relatively short papers on a
specific subject.
For a complete annotated list of WPs and Blogs visit our
Time Management Reference Page

WP1039 Project_Planning
WP1043 Defining the Critical Path
WP1052 Duration Estimating
WP1059 Schedule Compression
WP1060 Rolling Wave
WP1064 Concurrent Delays
WP1088 DCMA assessment
WP1093 Project Controls
We are regularly adding new
White Papers on a  wide range of topics
[Go to the PM Knowledge Index]
See below for a listing of our
published conference papers
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 suggest there is a lot of work needed to achieve general 'best practice',  Based on the reports findings, the CIOB believes that it is essential to educate project planners and schedulers in time management best practice with an aim to reduce the incidence of delayed
project completion. To achieve this, the CIOB have adopted a three-phase strategy to develop the required standards for the performance of effective time control. The CIOB’s Policy Statement defines their 3 phase approach to improving schedule management in the construction industry. Mosaic's Patrick Weaver is a member of the group of international planners and schedulers working on this project.

The key person driving the report and the on-going work by CIOB to develop the 'Best Practice' standard and scheduling certification was Keith Pickavance, former CIOB President and Keynote speaker at PM Asia 2008.  Read 'Time is NOT money', a conversation with Keith Pickavance' for some background on this initiative and Keith's assertion the 21st Century will be 'The Age of Time'. We are working to support the CIOB initiative to develop 'The Guide' and it's associated training/certification.

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 PMI Scheduling Community of Practice.  Publication of  'The Practice Standard for Scheduling' was only the beginning!

The Practice Standard for Scheduling 2nd Edition

Price: $60.50
(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. See more on 
Schedule Conformance Scoring

Plus a lengthy Glossary
This standard is available from:
Mosaic's book shop
The PMI Bookshop:

Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects.   Publisher: Wiley Blackwell & CIOB UK

Price: $99.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 2013 (CPC2013); see more on the contract.

Read the background to the development of The Guide.
Preview a chapter and buy The Guide
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:  
Download the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide from:  

Scheduling Training and Certifications 

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  • PMI-SPsm  Scheduling Professional Credential - PMI's credential for professional schedulers.  For more information on the credential and Mosaic's PMI-SP exam prep course options, see:PMI-SP Exam Information & Courses 
  • CIOB (UK) Project Time Management Qualifications - withdrawn by CIOB   
  • 'How To' Develop an Effective Schedule - These workshops are designed to build and maintain a positive stakeholder consensus using the power of pro-active 'dynamic scheduling' to build and foster a strong team commitment. Based on the PMI Practice Standard for Scheduling and the CIOB Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects, the workshops focuses on effective schedule planning and control techniques. These courses are designed for people who already know how to use a scheduling tool and wish to move their practice to a more advanced level focused on achieving positive outcomes. The workshops can also form the initial classroom phase for both the PMI-SP and CIOB PTMC Blended exam prep courses.
  • The Guild of Project Controls Scheduling Qualifications - The Guild of Project Controls have announced the development of a scheduling certification structure. For updates visit
  • AACE Planning and Scheduling Professional™ (PSP™) – An advanced credential focused on construction & engineering professionals with 4 to 8 years experience. See:
  • AACE Certified Scheduling Technician (CST) – An credential to give less experienced professionals with 0 to 4 years experience the opportunity to advance their scheduling skills, knowledge, and professional development. See:  
  • The core attributes of a scheduler are defined in:  Core Scheduling Paper # 2
  • Our thoughts on the value of scheduling credentials Should you certify your schedulers? presented at the Construction CPM Conference, Florida, 2012download the presentation

We have built a new website for Scheduling Certifications - Click below to

Scheduling Consultancy and Support 

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Schedule Risk Assessment & Management

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Every estimate included is a schedule has a degree of risk (ie, uncertainty that matters) associated with the estimate. It is impossible to predict the future with complete certainty - recognising and managing this risk leads to far better project outcomes than attempting to avoid the risk through contracts or simply ignoring the issue. For more on managing risk, visit our PM Knowledge Index.

Tools to help assess schedule risk include:
  • Acumen Risk™ - an integrated cost/schedule risk analysis tool combining true cost and schedule risk analysis against a native project plan together with identified risk events from a project risk register. It is the first truly integrated and easy-to-use cost/schedule risk analysis and risk register software that helps you effectively account for and proactively reduce project risk exposure. Acumen Risk’s Uncertainty Factor is a simple-to-use sliding scale that project teams can relate to, to develop a truly integrated means of linking schedule risk to cost risk so that you can determine the impact of schedule delays on your project cost estimate. See:  
  • Barbecana’s Full Monte is schedule risk analysis software that integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Project 2007 through to 2016. Full Monte for Oracle Primavera P6 is a standalone application working directly against the P6 database, so requires no import or export. Full Monte utilizes the Monte Carlo simulation method, and is fast and easy-to-use. Some of the features include:
    • Probability distributions for task durations, resource cost rates, and calendars.
    • Correlations between durations, cost rates.
    • Autocorrelation and seasonality in calendars.
    • Full results for every task.
    • Sophisticated sensitivity analysis.
    • User-defined reports.
  • JUJU Scan: Because the plan isnt gonna fix itself!  BETA version - P6 and MSP analytics:
  • SCRAM:  The Schedule Compliance Risk Assessment Methodology (SCRAM) is an approach for identifying risks to compliance with the program schedule, it is the result of a collaborative effort between Adrian Pitman from the Australian Department of Defence, Angela Tuffley of RedBay Consulting in Australia, and Betsy Clark and Brad Clark of Software Metrics Inc. in the United States. 
    SCRAM focuses on schedule feasibility and root causes for slippage. It makes no judgment about whether or not a project is technically feasible. SCRAM can be used:
    • By organisations to construct a schedule that maximizes the likelihood of schedule compliance.
    • To ensure common risks are addressed before the project schedule is baselined at the commencement of a project.
    • To monitor project status, performed either ad hoc or to support appropriate milestone reviews
    • To evaluate challenged projects, to assess the likelihood of schedule compliance, root cause of schedule slippage and recommend remediation of project issues
    For more information and free resources see:

Schedule Quality & Conformance Scoring

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One 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 options:

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 [ books page ]

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:

  • Acumen Fuse: A powerful analytical tool that integrates with most of the major scheduling tools:  
    Acumen is a comprehensive analysis and correction tool that includes:
    • Schedule Quality Assurance: Set your own metrics and thresholds to use as a benchmark against future plans or status updates. 
    • Performance Evaluation & Schedule Acceleration: Identify potential problems while there is still time for recovery and automatically generate scenarios to get your project back on track, or even ahead of schedule! 
    • Schedule Comparison & Forensic Analysis: Fuse can compare an unlimited number of schedule updates and identify not only the differences, but the impact of those changes.
    • Customization: Evaluate schedule, cost, risk, earned value and performance using a combination of Acumen-specific and industry-standard metrics, all customizable to meet your project’s specific needs. 
    • Project Reporting: Quickly generate reports on quality, performance, or status of the project from Fuse. Even use the API to automatically publish these reports to 3rd party applications, the web, or Microsoft Sharepoint. 
    • Acumen Cloud™: is a web-based schedule benchmarking utility built directly into Fuse that gives you the power to compare your Fuse diagnostics results to other similar projects in terms of size and/or nature.
    • Acumen 360 gives you the ability to create schedule scenarios that accelerate time frames and recover delays.
    • Acumen Schedule Index™ Calculator: is a free web-based utility that scores schedule quality and compares it with industry benchmarks for a more comprehensive level of project analysis.

The Acumen Fuse Cloud 
  • Schedule Analyzer: For Primavera P3 or P6, detailed analysis and expert recommendations with a wide range of capabilities and reports for schedule maintenance add the eForensic package for forensic analysis -
  • Schedule Inspector: Barbecana’s Schedule Inspector does 30 different tests on your schedule, including all 14 points in the Defense Contract Management Agency's (DCMA's) assessment guide for Microsoft Project 2007 or later schedules, plus many others including: redundant relationships, out-of-sequence progress, connectivity index (ratio of relationships to tasks), and resources or relationships on summary tasks -
  • SCRAM - Schedule Compliance Risk Assessment Methodology: SCRAM is an approach for identifying risks to compliance with program schedule, i.e. SCRAM can be used for the assessment and improvement of schedule risk compliance. Unlike the options above, SCRAM uses an assessment team to review all aspects of the schedule's development (people and process as well as technical conformance) -

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.

The 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 from:  


Assessing Schedule Delay and Disruption

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Planning & Scheduling Resources 

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Mosaic's Published Papers

Scheduling Resources  

Mosaic's Scheduling Blogs - Visit blog

Scheduling White Papers - PM Knowledge Materials

Planning & Scheduling Articles - View the series

Mosaic's History of Project Controls -  Visit the Page

Scheduling Organisations and Useful Links

Scheduling Books and Standards

Scheduling Software, Tools and Techniques 

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