Project Controls International

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Basis of Estimate

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- Why Your Project will be Late



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Interesting Stuff

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- Video: Project Controls



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(an insight into the nature of *deterministic* schedules)


Your schedule is based on deterministic dates


At least 50% of the times your schedule will be late. That may come as a surprise, but if we think about it, actually the reason is simple: the schedule is made of many activities, and the duration for each activity is deterministic, meaning that it is a single point duration; the durations are averages (and even then, these averages are not consistently defined: are they the mode, the median or the mean averages?).



Example - Driving to Work: How long does it take?


Let us take as an example “travel to work” as an activity. The duration for this activity might be say 25 minutes in a good day, 35 minutes on average or 60 minutes in a bad day with heavy rain or snow. So for this activity (assuming mean and median to be the same) 50% of the time you’ll arrive to work early, and 50% of the time late.





One must ensure there’s built-in contingency into the schedule. Ideally you’ll want also run a PERT analysis if you have the software. But the important thing is to be mindful of duration averages and the need to have some extra leg room in your schedule.


Something else to bear in mind: The schedule is *not* real. It is *not* an exact representation of reality, but rather a very simplified – and therefore imperfect – representation. It is not an exact science, but actually to some extent an art. However used correctly, it’s a very useful tool to analyze

the execution plan, criticalities, concerns and risks. Furthermore the schedule is very helpful in forcing one to think about these and as a medium of communication.


Tip: The scheduler should not get lost in the finer details and assume an unwarranted confidence, but maintain a holistic view. One should avoid not being able to see the forest for the trees. A good scheduler will be cognizant of what the schedule is and what is not, and will communicate identified criticalities and potential issues and concerns to those executing the project so that corrective action and mitigations are put in place, so that the project is completed as per the planned target date (or as near as possible to the target date) without delays that could have been avoided with careful planning.



Example of Schedule Delays:

Data from MCR (An AT&T Company) Smallsat Schedule History: Months from Development Contract Award to Launch.



Why your projects will be late half the times!

P6 vs. MS Project

The two contenders. But which one is better?

An “armchair scheduler” or frontline messenger?

A necessary document to support and explain the cost estimate: How did you arrive at that number?

Basis of Estimate
Why Project Controls

Selected Articles


Love them or hate them. How to conduct successful productive meetings.

Funny, but true. Video on the functions of Project Controls.


Settings do matter: pick the wrong settings and your schedule’s output will be meaningless.

What the text books didn’t tell you
Primavera P6 Settings
Video - Project Controls

Selected Articles

Tips on Scheduling

50% Science, 50% Art, 100% Communication

Why Project Controls?

A necessary document to support and explain the cost estimate: How did you arrive at that number?

Basis of Schedule

Love them or hate them. How to conduct successful productive meetings.

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