I can't tell you number of times I've looked at an IT schedule that had zero (0) margin. In the space and defense this is simply not allowed. Margin and the management of margin is mandated by several guidance documents.
Why it is difficult in the commercial IT world is a mystery to me.
Here's paper that provides a nice overview of how to show this margin and manage it during the execution of a project.
I used the full name of the paper for a couple of reasons:
- The National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) is a professional organization of both government and industry providers to the government.
- The Program Management Systems Committee is a collection of leaders from both sides - government and industry - that address issues in Program Management
- The Scheduling Working Group provides guidance on successful creation and use of the Integrated Master Schedule.