GAO Schedule Assessment Guide Best Practices For Project Schedules (Exposure Draft) Project Management Institute Baltimore Chapter Stephen Bonk 4/18/2015

Background • Government Accountability Office (GAO) released Cost Estimation Best Practice Guide (2009) • Work started on companion Schedule Guide, Exposure Draft (2012) • Final expected 2015

• Used GAO staff and outside experts

1. Capturing All Activities • Based upon Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) • Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), all activities: • • • •

Contractor Government Sub-contractor Vendor

• Effort and Events • Milestones • Zero Duration • Deliverable or major event

• Detail Activities • Summary Activities (roll up)

2. Sequencing All Activities • Logically related activities • Processors (completed before) • Successors (started after)

• Relationships • • • •

Finish to Start (F-S) Start to Start (S-S) Finish to Finish (F-F) No Start to Finish (S-F)

• Summary Logic (roll up activity) • Should not have logic relationships – derived from lower level activities

• Check for incomplete and dangling logic

2. Sequencing All Activities (Continued) • Date constraints • • • • • •

Start mo earlier than (SNET) Finish no earlier than (FNET) Start no later than (SNLT) Finish no later than (FNLT) Must start on (MSO) Must Finish on (MFO)

• Lags (and Leads) • Time before an activity can start (leads, negative time)

• Minimal use of date constraints and lags

2. Sequencing All Activities (Continued) • Path Convergence • Multiple activities joining into a single successor activity • Risk with completions of multiple processors – swings in start date of successor • Try to avoid or restructure schedule logic

3. Assigning Resources to All Activities • Assign Labor, materials, equipment, overhead and other resources • Labor People X Time=Person Days • Fixed Duration Activities (not people dependent) • Non-Labor • Fixed • Variable

• Rolling Wave Planning – More detail close in • Load activities with resources • Resource leveling • Adjust schedule or work assignments to account for availability

4. Establishing the Duration of All Activities • Establish and use project calendar • Work days • Weekends • Holidays

• Estimate durations • Document assumptions • Document methodology • Parametric • Analogy • Expert opinion

• Correspond with the basis of the cost estimate for the same WBS element • Keep shorter than two months • Planning packages for future undefined work

5. Verifying That the Schedule Can Be Traced Horizontally and Vertically • Horizon table tractability • Follow other best practices (Number 2, sequencing all activities) • Includes all activities • • • •

Integrated Master Schedule Project schedules Activities, milestones, planning packages linked Giver / Receiver dependencies linked across schedules

• Vertical tractability • Consistency between different levels of schedule • Summary • Intermediate • Detailed (dependencies at lowest level)

• Lower level schedules consistent with upper level milestones

6. Confirming That the Critical Path is Valid • Longest path through schedule • No (or least) total float • Low float paths may become the critical path with delays • No lags in critical path • Does not include Level Of Effort (LOE) activities (proper dependencies) • Use resource leveling (Best practice 3), don’t over allocate resources

7. Ensuring Reasonable Total Float • Identify reasonable float • Total float – amount of time an activity can be delayed before program finish date is affected (negative float – time to be made up) • Free float – portion of activity's total float that is available before successor activity is affected • Unreasonable float may have missing activities or logic • Nonworking project calendar periods are not float • Use free float for resource leveling

8. Conducting a Schedule Risk Analysis • Uses statistical techniques • Three Point Estimate • 10% • 90% • Most Likely

• Monte Carlo Analysis • Probability distribution: on time; early; late

• Show near critical Paths • Probabilistic branching • Triggered risk mitigation plan schedule impact

• Use schedule contingency for risks

9. Updating the Schedule Using Actual Progress and Logic • Conduct regular updates to schedule • • • • • • • •

Completed activities have actual start and finish dates Work in process has actual start and planned finish dates Percent complete for Level Of Effort (LOE) activities Recalculate schedule Adjust date constraints, external dependencies, float Address resource requirements Review critical path (or critical path shift) Document changes

10. Maintaining a Baseline Schedule • • • • • •

Baseline schedule represents original configuration of the program Current schedule is updated from actual performance data (Best practice 9) Current schedule is compared to baseline schedule to track variances Schedule baseline document is the description of the schedule As built schedule represents plan as executed to completion Baseline schedule under change control

Planned Updates for Final Version of GAO Schedule Guide • Final edition due later this year • Comment updates • Additional Appendices • Agile • Earned Value Management (EVM)

Agile Appendix • Development Methodology (Scrum as example) • Built on • Transparency • Inspection • Adaptation

• Team (fixed – up to 9 people) • Product Owner (link to customer) • Scrum Master (mentor / coach / fascinator) • Development Team (responsible for work)

Agile Appendix • Events • Sprint (time boxed – one month or less) • Sprint planning • What can be done? (from backlog) • How will work get done? (definition of done) • Sprint goal (implement backlog items)

• Daily Scrum – 15 minute time boxed, next 24 hours) • Sprint review – inspect increment, team and stakeholders (4 hour for 1 month sprint. Revised product backlog) • Sprint Retrospective – 3 hour, team plans improvements

Agile Appendix • Artifacts • Product Backlog • Features, functions, requirements • Refinement (not static) • Used for estimation

• Sprint Backlog – product backlog items selected for sprint • Sprint duration and team fixed – backlog is variable • Roll up to releases (used in planning, other names used) • Agile is planned!

Earned Value Management (EVM) Appendix • EVM in GAO Cost Guide • EVM Modifications to Schedule Guide Sections • ANSI/EIA 748 Based • Small (approx. 5 pages, follow cost & schedule best practices)

Next Steps • Update Cost Guide • Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) guidance • Agile Earned Value Management (EVM)