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(PS-2324) Evaluating CPM Schedules for Best Practices: A First Principles Approach

Primary Author: J. Gerard Boyle
Co-Author(s): Andrii Podolny; Dr. Wail Menesi

Audience Focus: Advanced
Application Type: Practice
Venue: 2016 AACE International Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada

Abstract: There are now several guides meant to assist the industry in evaluating critical path method schedules. For example, various analytical programs have been built to check for compliance with the DCMA 14-Point Schedule Metrics which are intended to assist in finding indicators of schedule problems. The GAO Schedule Assessment Guide offers ten best practices associated with a high quality and reliable schedule. Although there are many similarities amongst these offerings, there are also significant differences which have not been resolved, and this lack of consensus has not benefited the practice of scheduling. The first part of this article makes the point that some of the lack of consensus can be resolved by rigorously imposing a clear definition of what a CPM schedule is. Once this is established, certain essential characteristics present themselves as sine qua non for a CPM schedule. Even with clear definition of the minimum requirements, scheduling software presents unique challenges which must be overcome. The next step after establishing that a schedule is CPM compliant is to establish best practice criteria.