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Master Schedule

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Isam Sabbah
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hi guys..is there any document u can send me illustrating the master schedule idea and important tips to prepare a good master schedule?
regards

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John Cornish
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Hi Isam,

The Master Schedule to me is the baseline against which progress is measured. So to enable accurate measurement you need to break down the project into smallest chunks where measurement of progress can be made.

It is easier to believe that a 5 day job is 50% complete rather than make a judgement that a 30 day job is 50% complete.

So look at the organisation of the project which work groups are involved at what level do I want to allocate ownership, control and accountability. Then give these work groups their own sub-project plans.

Also, construct a cost breakdown structure so that the smallest of tasks in a work-pack can be costed.

And of course use a work breakdown structure that allows you to drill down for detail or roll up for summary reports.

Having got your master plan organised this way then base-line it.

Micro Planner software is very good with WBS, OBS, Cost Codes, PERT (logic)diagram and it can store your baseline plan in the "archive" for reference purposes and compare/contrast the baseline to your actual progress.

Now you have all you need for Earned Value Performance Measurement where you can integrate effort, cost
and time and express that as a percentage of the overall earned value. Then as the weeks go by you can readily see whether you have spent more than you should at that point in time. which indicates an over-spend. Or, it might indicate that you have not spent enough which is an indicator that you are falling behind schedule.

The real benefit of Earned Value Reporting is that you know the variances well ahead of the planned end date giving the project manager to bring in some corrective actions.

Micro Planner does "Earned Value" and has reports and graphs ready to communicate progress (or no progress) to the interested parties.

Try experimenting and see what a useful tool Earned Value reports are for the professional project manager.

Enjoy

John
Isam Sabbah
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thanks alot man :)
Andrew Dick
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Isam,
It will depend on the requirements, most likely laid out in the tender document.

I have seen some very detailed requirements on a master schedule, all the way down to the simplest of milestone schedules.

I would suggest that the project manager should be across what you need to produce, if not, just make up a couple of examples and then let him/her decide on what to submit.

The project I’m doing at the moment is a fairly large railway project (~$850M) and the master schedule that the leadership team gets is contained on a single A3 sheet.

I’m not saying that that will fit all circumstances but you need to be flexible and be able to produce a number of different types of report, generally using the schedule codification structures.

As for submitting the schedule immediately after contract signing, I would suggest that there should be some time after the signing to submit, this also should be laid out in either the tender documents or the contract itself.

The procurement activities are just another part of the schedule and an appropriately detailed level of information should be included.

Remember, that the initial contract program may only be used to indicate to the customer that you have put sufficient planning and thought into the delivery of the project, they themselves will have an idea of the dates the delivery milestones should occur and if they are satisfied they may not require any more detail in the initial program.

The level of the program (3,4,5) will depend on the way in which you are doing your ongoing planning. If you are using a rolling wave method then you will be down to level 4 in the near term and may only be at level 2 out past 6 months.

I hope this gives you some guidance - and remember these are my thoughts and don’t necessarily represent the thoughts of management.

Enjoy
Andy
Isam Sabbah
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Thanks andrew, i wanted to know if its usually a cost and resource loaded schedule, what is usually the level of detail is it ( 3,4,5..), is it usually submitted immediately after signing a contract, shall i include procurment activities??

regards..
Andrew Dick
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Joined: 14 Feb 2007
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Isam,

Not quite sure what sort of project your doing, however a simple search on Google for Integrated Master Plan/Integrated Master Schedule (IMP/IMS), has delivered the following;

IMP/IMS Google Search

If you familiarise yourself with some of this information and then post further detailed questions here I’m sure that the PP community will be able to provide answers to these more detaild questions.

Andy