This seminar is designed to answer three important questions by introducing participants to world class, thoroughly vetted best practices in use now to evaluate the health of project plans and schedules across public and private enterprises of all sizes in a variety of industries.
- What are leading best practices for schedules? Published research by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) identified four general characteristics of sound schedules: they are comprehensive, well-constructed, credible, and controlled. Those 4 qualities are elaborated in 10 best practices. Publicly available best practice guides will be discussed and their URLs provided during this seminar.
- How are MS Project files tested against best practices? Well-constructed logic networks with valid critical paths are absolutely essential to credible plans and schedules. Specialized views, tables and filters will be discussed during a brief demonstration using software designed for comprehensive schedule health checks. Time will be set aside after the presentation for any who wish to discuss how their actual files could be tested.
- How can contingency time be estimated to address uncertainty and risk? Natural variability in estimates and likely impact of discrete risks on project objectives are often obscured in task information details and not visible to decision makers. Best practices for credible schedules call for estimating risks’ contributions to contingency time to prioritize risk responses. The input-process-output model will be discussed in the context of several Schedule Risk Analysis (SRA) tools that interface with MS Project. Range estimating, risk factors/drivers and Monte Carlo simulation will be demonstrated
During this event, the student will learn the 10 best practices for schedule and where to find resources for future exploration. Students will also learn what can be expected from a schedule risk analysis.
Keith Hornbacher and Kristin Hauser of Hornbacher Associates are schedule/risk analysis consultants based in the Twin Cities. They are independent from software vendors and select tools that align with clients’ needs. For more than twenty years they have collaborated with project owners and independent authorities to create, review, revise and repair project schedules. Examples of project schedule/risk assignments include the Hibernia off-shore oil platform (Canada), advanced (stealth) tactical fighter aircraft, software intensive systems (air traffic management – US and Europe), NASA missions, and heavy construction (pipelines and bridges). Mr. Hornbacher, MBA, holds the position of Affiliated Faculty, Organizational Dynamics Graduate Studies, School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania. The Fall 2014 semester will mark the his ninth year leading the graduate seminar: Managing Project Risk, Uncertainty, and the Unexpected.
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