RTConfidence, Inc.

When Why and How do We Use Project SRA Output Data?

Here are the quick answers:


When?  Ideally, before and after kicking off projects with schedule commitments that are highly scrutinized (i.e., for most important time-sensitive projects with deterministic requirements).


Why?  To manage project schedule risk in the most effective way (i.e., SRAs are proven to be the best tools and techniques to employ for quantitative project schedule risk management).


How?  By proactively (and effectively) identifying, assessing, responding to, and controlling the project’s schedule risk from start to finish.  The general process is:

  1. Create a valid IMS (Integrated Master Schedule) for execution of your project’s Scope.
  2. Identify schedule risks and opportunities task by task – duration estimates of complex activities usually have risks and opportunities. (Steps: 1. Determine [usually from experts] the Best-Case durations for tasks with Opportunities; and 2. Determine the Worst-Case durations for tasks with Risks).
  3. Enter Best-Case and Worst-Case task durations into the SRA tool (these tools usually have provisions for this).
  4. Run the simulation (most brute-force Monte Carlo simulations require that you enter the number of iterations – the more iterations, the more accurate and time-consuming the simulation is) – the above graphic is an actual output from Chrono™, an SRA tool that doesn’t require iterations, and is incredibly fast and accurate.
  5. For this example you see that from this tool’s output data, if you want a 70% confidence in meeting your commitment date (of 3/4/2021), you need to adjust the basic schedule data. Potential actions are:
    • Per the pop-up in the center of the graph, take 47.6 workdays out of the nominal (i.e., Critical Path) schedule. You accomplish this by considering the following: 1. Conducting more tasks in parallel where you can; 2. Adding more resources (and budget, if necessary) to certain tasks to reduce the overall task duration; 3. Reducing requirements and/or project scope; 4. Consider out-sourcing options; etc.
    • Restructure as noted above to reduce most of the 47.6 nominal workdays AND consult the SRA tool’s Tornado chart for priority tasks to take actions on: 1. Reduce Risks (i.e., reduce Worst-Case durations); 2. Increase Opportunities (i.e., reduce Best-Case durations).
  6. After you get to an acceptable SRA result (e.g., a 70% or so confidence in meeting your project schedule commitment date), baseline the IMS.
  7. Run the SRA as part of every Project Update to manage project risk as progress is made. A good SRA tool will provide updated completion milestone outputs and trends.

#projectriskmanagement #projectportfoliomanagement #scheduleriskanalysis


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