Schedule Quality Check
The DCMA 14 Point Schedule Assessment
The DCMA 14 Point schedule assessment is a project management guideline that provides the opportunity for qualitative and quantitative analysis of Primavera P6 Schedule. We will utilize this guideline to check the Schedule Quality.
The 14-point assessment check developed by the DCMA (Defense Contract Management Agency) in 2005 was an attempt to improve and standardize quality of project schedule. The 14-point assessment check is a very helpful way to ensure that your time schedule meets all industry standards. The metrics from the 14-point assessment have now been integrated into various project management tools such as Deltek Acumen Fuse or Oracle Primavera P6 EPPM. However this does not mean that these are generally valid standards because they were created specifically for each company’s needs so there can be some variation between different companies when using them in an organization.
This metric is an important one indicating no of Incomplete Activities that has missing Predecessor and/or Successor (Open Ended Activities). It’s preferable to make sure that you don’t have more than 5% incomplete & open-ended activities.
To be on the safe side, it’s best not to have unfinished tasks with negative lag between each other. If there is a part of the schedule that could prove itself as potential problems then you should break the unfinished Task into separate Tasks and use this lead within limits so long as critical path analysis isn’t hindered too much by doing so!
The metric ‘Lags’ is the opposite of ‘Leads’. The DCMA expects you to have a bit more flexibility when it comes getting your leads in motion, but there are still guidelines that should be followed. You can’t exceed more than 5% of relationships having lag on any given schedule so make sure these don’t add up too much!
- Relationship Type
P6 supports four relationship types, but that doesn’t mean one should build a Schedule using only start-start or finish-finish relationship. DCMA recommends 90% of unfinished activities in the schedule are linked with FS relationship patterns.
- Hard Constraints
In the project schedule, there are two types of constraints: hard and soft. Hard Constraints are Mandatory Start/Finish, Start/Finish On & Soft Constraints are As Late As Possible, Start On or Before, Start On or After, Finish On or Before and Finish On or After. DCMA advise is to avoid hard constraints on more than 5% of all constrained and unfinished activities in the schedule.
- High Float
If the schedule has more than 44 days of float on many unfinished activities, it could potentially result in float driven critical path and affects overall efficiency (since critical path is not driven by logic but total float)! This quality check recommends no more than 5% of the unfinished activities can have more than 44 days of float.
- Negative Float
The DCMA threshold for this metric is zero, meaning that regular checks and reviews of the project schedule are required. If unfinished activities with negative float appears on your radar screen, resolve them immediately (remove hard constraints if any) as they may cause missed deadlines which could lead into more problems down stream.
- High Duration
The DCMA threshold for unfinished tasks lasting longer than 44 working days shouldn’t exceed 5% . One way to fix it is unfinished activities to be broken down into smaller set of activities that can be controlled and monitored. Long-term projects may become delayed or suffer from a lack of progress if they’re not managed carefully, which could result in an incorrect estimate for the completion date.
- Invalid Dates
No Actual Dates > Data Date and no Forecast Dates < Data Date. P6 doesn’t allow Forecast Dates before Data Date and one can refer to log file for any Actual Dates > Data Date.
- Resource & Cost Loaded
The DCMA Check specifies that schedules are complete with resource and cost loaded. However in some cases, resource loading is not a requirement. All Activities except Milestones shall have resource or cost assigned to it.
- Activities Delay
According to this check, 5% of your activities can slip from their finish baseline dates. The metrics is a conservative and retrospective measure for Schedule Progress but it’s good generic tool that will show you whether or not projects are on time
- Integrity of Critical Path
This check ensures the project schedule flows seamlessly from start to finish. The project’s deadline is examined to see if it will be delayed due the introduction of an artificial delay (extension by 300 days or so).
- Critical Path Length Index (CPLI)
The critical path length is the amount of time that a project has remaining to be completed. The critical path length is an important consideration for any project that needs to be completed by a certain date. It is important to keep a close eye on any project with an overall CLPI less than 0.95 as this may require further review and investigation. The target number is 1.0.
- Baseline Execution Index (BEI)
The critical path length is the amount of time that a project has remaining to be completed. The Baseline Execution Index (BEI) is a number that helps you understand how well your project has been performing against its baseline. For example, if everything is on track then we would have an index of 1.0. DCMA says anything less than 95% is not desirable and needs further review and investigation.
head to the >>Demo page for DCMA 14 points Schedule Assessment on a sample project.