Earned Schedule Metrics Challenge

It sounds like EVM is the topic of the week on LinkedIn 😊 It prompts me to raise awareness of one popular myth that pops up whenever EVM challenges are discussed. 👺 Myth: “Earned Schedule addresses EVM methodological time management problems”. One of LI's comments:...

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Project Quiz: Uncertainties and Risks

Project Results depend on activity and resource uncertainties and risk events. However, these project components also impact each other. Let's demonstrate it by a Project Quiz. A project has two streams: A->B and C->D, and will be completed when both streams...

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Quantitative Risk Analysis vs Risk Matrix

The current Global Project Risk Management maturity level could be described as a stage in which the risk management community has already learned the Risk Matrix (RM) downsides but still hasn’t learned quantitative risk analysis (QRA) pitfalls. Again and again,...

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FLEX Metrics, original story

When I was working on a post about the FLEX metric, I dug into the PlanningPlanet forum to get some examples and, by chance, found an original post when the idea of the new metric was discussed. I found this story to be very interesting and decided to save it and...

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Activity FLEX Metrics

FLEX is a metric of activity duration flexibility, introduced by Rafael Davila. Flex shows whether using fewer resources (or reducing resource workload) is possible without delaying other activities.Activity Start FLEX shows the time difference between the earliest...

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Project-Portfolio Management Snails

Project-Portfolio Snail A typical Project Portfolio environment echoes the "fractal" form of the common garden snail's shell.A small organisation may only have ad-hoc projects managed independently, and a large corporation portfolio of projects is subdivided into...

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Best practice vs Best workarounds

Many planners mix up ‘Best scheduling practice’ with ‘best workarounds’ in a particular scheduling tool. When they heavily apply one of scheduling tool, they start to believe that the workarounds are the best practice, refuse to learning alternatives and even...

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Original Critical Path Method and beyond

Recently I have organised a Linked Poll on the origin of the Critical Path Method:Originally in the Critical Path Method, project activities had to be estimated as: • Single estimation• Range• 3-point estimation• Don’t have durationThe accurate response, which was...

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Missing Part of Project Management Triangle

Project Management Triangle (also known as Golden Triangle or Iron Triangle) has one missing part. Originally, when the triangle was developed, the missing part was so obvious that the author didn’t include it in the triangle. “I was thinking about how time control...

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Indirect Resource Dependency

In the previous posts, we reviewed Volume Lags and Point-to-Point dependencies to demonstrate that assigned resources may impact activity and lag durations. This is also an excellent example to demonstrate indirect resource dependencies.We reviewed a scheduling...

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Point-to-Point Dependency

In the Previous Post, we discuss the advantages of volume lag. For example, when activity A performs preparation for activity B and: 20m, 10m3, 10 items, etc. The proposed solution was to use: Start-to-Start + Volume lag. The 'Volume lag' eliminates the problem...

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Volume lags

At times, there may be two project activities that have the potential to be carried out simultaneously, but the second activity can only begin after a certain delay following the initiation of the first activity. The minimum required delay is usually defined by the...

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Which projects deliver benefits?

Determining which project deliver benefits is not always a straightforward task due to the following factors: Project-driven portfolios Project-driven portfolios use projects to generate benefits by delivering products or services to their customers. Non-mature...

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Resource idle time and cost

For effective project delivery, control over idle time is critical but not easy. It requires appropriate methods, techniques and tools. Projects may have a situation may arise when, for example, full-time (hired) specialists of the company or equipment go to the...

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Project Management Mythology

There are numerous myths surrounding Project Portfolio Management that have a negative impact on project delivery. Some of these myths are relatively new, while others have been around for so long that it's hard to understand their origins. However, we now have a...

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Project Acceleration

Project acceleration criteriaCritical Path (CP) Drag shows amount of time that could potentially be saved on the project by reducing the duration of the activity or removing an activity completely. However, CP Drag only identifies good candidates for optimisation....

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Learn to avoid Project Delay

A small number of projects are finished ahead of schedule. Even projects who claimed to be on time often are against the latest commitment, not the originally approved target. This is relevant to almost all types of projects of all sizes and different countries....

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Multiple Work Breakdown Structures

Multiple Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a powerful method to document, analyse and report project activities via different lenses. This approach provides an opportunity to understand project delivery from many perspectives and increases chances for success....

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Predaptive delivery

Agile vs Waterfall debates are continued with an interesting outcome. Some project management gurus believe that such debates don’t make sense as there is no such a thing as Agile and Waterfall projects, as all projects are Hybrid. However, if all projects are...

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Resource vs activity calendars issue

Correct application of the Critical Path Method requires consideration of ALL constraints. A calendar is a ‘type of constraint’ that defines when work can and cannot be performed. There are two main calendar types Activity Calendar and Resource Calendar.Activity...

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Risk Matrix: good or bad?

Some project risk practitioners argue that Project Risk Matrices cannot be trusted to produce consistent and correct risk ratings and rankings, and their application has to be minimised or even avoided. However, often with the unique nature of projects, reliable...

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Risk vs Uncertainty

At project management conferences, LinkedIn discussions and even in one of the most recognised Project Risk Management book, I've found that uncertainty is just a risk with 100% probability. Not sure what is the origin of this statement, but a risk with 100%...

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Schedule Quality Metrics. Invalid Dates.

One of the important questions, when a schedule quality analysis is performed, is: “Is the schedule review up-to-date?”. There are a few metrics that could help find the answer to this question and identify activities with potentially invalid dates. Some of them...

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Schedule Quality Checks. Lags and Leads

We already discussed two types of schedule quality metrics: Missing Dependencies and Activity Constraints. Another important area to control is activity lags and leads. A project delivery schedule must reflect real-life processes and the way how the work is going...

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Monte Carlo Simulation Challenges

Risk simulation is becoming popular but most risk simulation tools and the ways how they are used miss some important functionalities that make the results of this simulation unreliable.Monte Carlo Simulation - Myth or Reality?Last year, I have organised a poll on...

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Schedule Logic Check Metrics

One of the fundamental questions for any schedule health assessment is “Is the schedule logically driven?” There are some scheduling metrics that could help planners and schedulers to find the answer to this question. In this post, we will review some of them, that...

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Critical Path Drag

Majority of project managers are familiar with the critical path method (CPM) and think that they know how to apply it to manage their projects. Many scheduling software can compute and visualise Critical Path, so it is a no-brainer to use it. Usually, a project...

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Hidden Project Schedule Opportunities

A few days ago, I had organised a poll on LinkedIn and asked a simple question: Can project duration potentially be reduced by decreasing the duration of non-critical activity (total float >0)?While the poll is still open, and the final result may still slightly...

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Project Anti-Crashing Method

PMBOK and some other project management standards describe two key methods for schedule optimisation: fast-tracking and crashing. Apart from these well-known methods, there is a method that hasn't been described widely. So, let's feel in the gap.Anti-crashingThis...

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Realistic Project Delivery KPI

How often have we been told that projects are late and over budget and we need to do something about it? At the same time, it is an absolute lack of understanding that it could be a sign of project delivery maturity rather than a real issue! The real issue is when...

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Contract Cost vs Actual Cost

Project-driven companies need to manage several budgets for the same project. Particularly useful to control contract cost (income) and actual cost (expenses) of project.The actual cost comprises of equipment, materials, resources and other direct and indirect...

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Indirect Project Cost

Direct and Indirect Project CostProject cost consists of direct cost components such as labour, materials, machinery and equipment costs. Also, an overall cost may include indirect cost, frequently referred to as overhead expenses: rent and utilities, some general...

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Cost and Schedule Integration

An integrated delivery model must take into account all technical, resource and financial constraints. Full integration between project time and cost must include all expenses assigned to project activities, resources and time-driven tasks.Cost ComponentsAs each...

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Material Gantt View

Materials in Project ManagementProject resources are divided into renewable (labour, machines) and consumable (materials). Consumable materials in project management may include fuel, sand, bricks, paint, traffic signs, etc. consumable renewable resources that are...

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Volume of work and Productivity

There are two main approaches used to estimate project work: duration-based and volume-based. Often schedules are developed with a duration-based approach, mostly due to planning tools limitations. An alternative, much more powerful approach is based on the volume...

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Project Teams Assignment

One of the fundamental problems in project delivery is that scheduling tools are not able to simulate real-life work scenarios correctly.Resource AssignmentsIn project schedules there are often some activities that require assignment of more than one  resource. In...

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Multi-Resource (Crew) Assignment

Resource Assignments by Multi-Resource (Crew)In some situations, a set of activities is performed by a stable group when multiple resources work together. We could assign each resource from this group to each activity individually. However, it is much easier to...

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Project Controls Expo Virtual 2021

We are delighted to announce that our Senior Consultant, Alex Lyaschenko, will be a speaker at the Project Controls Expo Virtual 2021 with the following topics: Invisible interdependencies (Hard, Soft and Virtual) Spider Project - Project Portfolio Navigation...

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Resource Skills Assignments

Resource Assignments by Skills (Pools)In real-life scenarios, it is quite common that we don't know which resources exactly would be available when the activity is ready for execution. It might depend on work priorities, resources availability, their productivity...

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Program vs Portfolio Centric Scheduling

There are two main perspectives to manage projects and programs in any organisation: Project/Program centric and Portfolio centric. Program centric approach This approach relies on an experience and knowledge of a program team. Schedule maturity and quality defined...

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Agile as an Excuse?

It seems that Agile is too often used as an excuse to avoid careful planning and preparation. In this post we are going to review the root cause of this phenomenon.Project AllocationsThe majority of large government agencies and non-government organisations operate...

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Scheduler in a Project Team Structure

Scheduling is a “skeleton” of project control. It connects time, cost, requirements, resources, benefits, risks & interdependencies. Scheduling not only supports project managers to plan work and collect actuals, but also to perform “what-if” analysis and...

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Agile is for IT Projects. Myth or Reality?

There is a general acceptance that Agile delivery is good for IT projects and many IT departments in various size organisations are considering or have already started adopting Agile frameworks. At the same time, I’ve heard that some of the IT project managers...

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Planning vs Scheduling

Are you aware that the majority of projects develop a schedule but actually don’t have a plan? Often projects produce a version of a project plan which covers both planning and scheduling. They are not able to differentiate one from another when required.   ...

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Schedule Quality vs Schedule Maturity

Very often project participants mix up project schedule maturity and schedule quality concepts. While these two aspects are interdependent, misunderstanding the difference is often causing conflicts between a project manager, a scheduler and a PMO team.Target...

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“B” for Bottlenecks

Majority of projects/programs manage critical project-related live data via project registers, known as DRICA, RAID, etc. Each letter represents a type of project metadata: R - risks, I - issues, A - assumptions (or actions), D - dependencies, C - change requests,...

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Project Success Criteria (PSC)

In project constraints golden triangle, which of the criteria is more important: Time, Cost or Scope?If your project is behind the schedule and you have an opportunity to speed up project delivery by applying extra resources to complete testing earlier, what would...

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How to visualise WBS out of MS Project?

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a very powerful view to represent project scope in a hierarchical way. It allows to validate scope and identify potential gaps. WBS is a key input into the schedule development process. Ideally, use a scheduling tool that supports...

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Start-to-Finish Dependency

Perhaps every project practitioner is aware of 4 basic types of project dependencies and two types of activity delays.  Unfortunately, their knowledge is often limited by these two facts. If they don’t know how to apply these correctly, it will impact the quality...

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3-Points Estimation Technique

The most useful scheduling technique which, in my opinion, has to be used in each project is 3-Points estimation technique. It is simple to use, it improves team productivity and project performance.As projects complexity level keeps growing, projects become less...

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Project Dependencies Types

Some companies define project interdependencies as “Hard” or “Soft” based on a type of constraint in their scheduling tool. In other situations, project interdependencies indicate a level of risk as probability, impact, or risk exposure. Some project management...

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Project Controls Expo Virtual 2020

We are delighted to announce that our Senior Consultant, Alex Lyaschenko, will be a speaker at the Project Controls Expo Virtual 2020 with the following topics: * "Resource Limited Project Management" * “Portfolio Schedule Management in Sydney Trains (Australia)” *...

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Tool agnostic?

Do you think that professionals should be tool agnostic? Or should they come with their own set of tools? Let’s imagine you have a leakage at home. After you have done your research and got some recommendations, a good plumber comes to your place to fix this...

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Agile & Waterfall Integration. Vendors

Some companies complain that vendors don’t support them with “Agile way” of delivery. The reality is that many companies are only able to engage vendors on a fixed price (FP) type of contract. However, the companies are expecting the vendors to work in a Time &...

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DCMA 14-Point Assessment

How to make sure you are getting the right skillset when hiring a master scheduler/planner? Someone who doesn’t only have an understanding of scheduling tools, but also has a strong planning acumen. Check out if the person would recommend using DCMA 14-Point...

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