Some schedules represent credible tasks logically and can be used for tracking progress, and some are art projects that may be pleasing to the eye but are primarily worthless. Tired of dealing with vendors and programs trying to manage complex and expensive efforts using art projects, the US Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) developed and distributed objective criteria for evaluating schedules both quantitatively and qualitatively in 2005.
The metrics were adopted first by the US Department of Defense (DOD) and are now required of their subcontractors by some major defense contractors. While not hard and fast rules, schedules that comply with the guidelines tend to be more credible and manageable. Schedules that do not comport with the guidelines are unlikely to be useful for understanding or tracking changes in a credible way.
Chrono™ provides a mechanism to assess compliance with the DCMA 14 Point Assessment. This chapter explains the standard and how Chrono™ users can review the assessment of their schedule.
Although the DCMA assessment is not a widely recognized industry standard, it generally represents good scheduling practice. Whether or not your organization is required to use it, you may find this analysis helps to identify issues with schedule logic and performance that should be investigated. Satisfying these targets doesn’t mean that a schedule is credible or correct but failing to meet these goals indicates that a thorough schedule review to understand why the standards weren’t met might be in order.