Guild of Project Controls: Compendium | Roles | Assessment | Certifications | Membership

Trend Anaysis

The project planning / controls team must review schedule status and identify trends regularly. Critical and near-critical activities must be monitored very closely, and any delays to these activities must be scrutinized to understand the cause, predict further slippage, and implement corrective actions. Schedule slippage on noncritical activities should also be monitored and causes understood, because the underlying cause might represent a risk to critical and near-critical activities. Project schedules can be impacted by both anomalies and trends, and each must be responded to differently.

Anomalies are infrequent and unpredictable events, often with a significant impact. The presence of an anomaly in one month does not provide any information about what will happen in the next month. Therefore, schedule anomalies are best mitigated by strategies that promptly identify and control the immediate situation in order to limit negative impacts (or maximize positive impacts). A

nomalies have little impact on the remaining forecast. Trends, on the other hand, require multiple points of data. Trends usually take longer to identify and mitigate than anomalies, but they provide useful insight into future events and generally should influence remaining forecast. The project controls / planning team must institute a rigorous program to analyze the schedule, identify trends, and respond to them to protect the project from negative trends or take advantage of positive trends.

When analyzing the schedule, project planning teams must understand anomalies, including their underlying cause, to ensure that they do not represent significant shifts that will be repeated. Anomalies should not introduce an undue bias into the forecast.

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