Project schedule analysis is a needed action to identify facts, anomalies, and issues that can exist due to intentional or unintentional actions. It can be performed by the contractor or the owner’s representative. Schedule analysis is used to verify compliance with the contract specification, logical sequence between activities, and overall schedule coherence. It should be performed on at least two levels with a recommended third level of time series analysis.
Level 1: At that level, a number of schedule metrics are derived to ensure its soundness and adherence to the project contract specifications. Baseline schedule and schedule updates must be analyzed to identify facts and anomalies. Schedule analysis should include metrics for basic information in the schedule, in addition to detailed information. Basic information such as project name and number of activities should be checked. More detailed information can be reviewed, such as constraints, critical activities, milestone activities, budgeted cost (for cost loaded schedules), completion date, and any specific contract requirements such as maximum allowed duration for activities.
Level 2: For schedule updates, a second level of analysis should be performed. Comparing the schedule update with a previous one or with the baseline schedule can help to identify changes, anomalies, errors, and mistakes. Systematic change identification as a part of the schedule analysis process can help in enhancing the quality of the schedule. Basic changes such as added actual start or actual finish in addition to other advanced findings such as increased cost without increase of earned value are expected at that level of schedule analysis.
Level 3: This involves investigating the schedule performance over a period of time. That can be achieved by analyzing the trend of key values of the project such as lowest total float, number of activities, and earned value analysis measures. Analyzing the trends of key project performance measures can be invaluable in realizing the project’s future outlook.
Schedule analysis can be performed using Schedule Cracker© software. Schedule analysis processes and metrics are explained in more details in the white papers section.