Yesterday's post on overusing and misusing activity relationships needs some follow on. In the domain we work - space, defense, energy, process industry - there are scheduling guides.
These guides provide the framing assumptions for constructing a credible Integrated Master Schedule.
Here's some of the guides that we work with
- Air Force Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) Assessment Process - a more detailed implementation of the PASEG
- NDIA Planning and Scheduling Excellence Guide - a draft of a scheduling guide, but missing the Integrated Master Plan
- GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide - has best practices for the IMS as well as other needed parts of the Performance Measurement Baseline
- DCMA Earned Value Management System - System Surveillance Guide - contains the 14 Point Assessment
- The Integrated Project Management Handbook - Dayton Aerospace's guide for the IMP/IMS
- NASA Scheduling Management Handbook - NASA's version of how to be a credible scheduler
- AACEI Planing and Scheduling Professional Study Guide - the brochure for the PSP certificate
- DOD/DAU Scheduling Guide for Program Managers - an aging guide for Government Program Managers
- Integrated Master Plan analysis - an overview of the concept of an IMP at Space and Missile Systems Command
- Air Force Material Command Pamphlet 63-5 - buidling the Integrated Master Plan in the US Airforce
- Marshall Space Flight Center Project Management and System Engineering Handbook - MSFC's guide to building credible schedules and manging the program with them.
- Integrated Master Plan and Integrated Master Schedule Preparation and Use Guide - how to build the Integrated Master Plan and Integrated Master Schedule
- NAVAIR Integrated Master Schedule Guide - this is my favorite because it speaks directly to the problem of building a credible IMS. The building building them don't know what they're doing, get better IMS (and IMP) builders and your program's probability of success will increase. As the safety poster campaign at Rocky Flats (where I was one of many Program Managers) says Stop doing stupid things on purpose.
As well most programs we work have Command Media that describes how the Integrated Master Schedule is to be developed and used. These documents are driven by several DID's
So when there is a discussion about how to develop schedules, what relationships to use, how to construct the Program Critical Path and get the Schedule Critical Path to match it. This BTW is an important issue. In the spacecraft business or any high technology business, the Program Critical Path is know to the subject matter experts. For example if the propulsion system is not on the Critical Path then your IMS is bogus, no matter what the scheduling tools says. Same in the BioPharma world for the Clinical Trial CRO contracting processes, etc. etc. etc.
So What Does This All Mean
- Scheduling is a profession
- Treating the schedule as a personal creation is a mistake, the Integrated Master Schedule is the document of record for how the project or program will be executed. Developing the schedule as a piece of arrt is a mistake
- Building a credible schedule is hard, takes effort, experience, and guidance. Go look at guideance and take with a grain of salt those making claims about schedules, scheduling, and the guidance it they have not actual worked hands in the specific domain. Have you built spacecraft for NASA Houston or Marshall SFC, using thie gudiance documents? No? Uhm.
Finally here's a brief overview of how to Build the Perfect Schedule.