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EVMS Roles and Responsibilities: Master Scheduler

Posted by Michael Breuker on Thursday, December 3, 2020

This article is part of a series on the roles and responsibilities involved in performing Integrated Program Management. Other articles included in this series are:

In an Integrated Program Management (IPM) environment, the Master Scheduler (sometimes called a Program Master Scheduler or Integrated Master Scheduler) is an experienced scheduler who is responsible for maintaining the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) for one or more programs. On programs where there are multiple schedulers, the Master Scheduler often acts as a team lead and process owner. The specific duties of a master scheduler can vary based on the structure and complexity of an organization or program, but some of the common responsibilities include:
  • Maintaining the IMS, either as a stand-alone schedule, or as a collection of integrated schedules
  • Ensuring vertical integration between program milestones and activities in lower level schedules, such as control account schedules, functional schedules, or subcontractor schedules
  • Performing Schedule Risk Assessments (SRA)
  • Maintaining and reporting on Schedule Reserve
  • Reporting overall schedule status, especially as it relates to key program milestones, to management and stakeholders
  • Analyzing the schedule impact of proposed baseline changes
  • Producing schedule data for contract reporting, such as the IPMR Format 6 or IPMDAR schedule electronic file
  • Supporting the Integrated Baseline Review (IBR) and other program reviews as the scheduling subject matter expert
  • Ensuring the IMS, and its component schedules if applicable, properly integrate with the Earned Value Management System

Program scheduling may be a centralized or distributed function. If it is centralized, the master scheduler may have sole responsibility as the program scheduler or lead a team of schedulers. If the scheduling function is distributed, the master scheduler may be responsible for orchestrating the maintenance of multiple schedules across the organization, performing such duties as:

  • Ensuring scheduling standards and best-practices are maintained on all program schedules
  • Setting the business rhythm for weekly or monthly schedule updates
  • Collecting updated schedules from control account managers
  • Analyzing changes to “giving” and “receiving” tasks used for integrating schedules
  • Reviewing schedules built and maintained by control account managers to ensure compliance with company policies and best-practices
  • Assisting control account managers with the development and maintenance of schedules

Note that the title of Master Scheduler also applies to someone who performs planning activities within a Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) system. To avoid confusion, organizations that use MRP systems will sometimes use the title of Program Master Scheduler or Integrated Master Scheduler to indicate someone performing the job described here.

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Topics: Aerospace & Defense, Earned Value Management (EVM), Integrated Program Management (IPM)

Michael Breuker

By Michael Breuker

Michael is President of Pinnacle Management Systems. Since joining the company in 2000 he has performed in a variety of consulting and management roles affecting transformative change within federal agencies and suppliers, IT organizations, Engineering & Construction, Aerospace, Finance and other industries that desire to improve project and program performance. Michael is a Microsoft Certified Professional and certified Primavera trainer and consultant. He is also an AACE certified Earned Value Professional (EVP) and APMG certified trainer for IPPM. He currently serves as Dean of Scheduling for the College of Performance Management (CPM) and is an active participant with the NDIA Integrated Program Management Division (IPMD) and the Civilian Agency Industry Working Group (CAIWG). As part of his contribution to the industry, he helped author the NDIA EVMS Scalability Guide.

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