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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