The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has published the exposure draft of the GAO Schedule Assessment Guide, Best Practices for Project Schedules. This is a companion to the GAO Cost Estimating Guide and will be used as both a best practices guide for scheduling across agencies, as well as a tool for GAO auditors to use to independently assess the adequacy and effectiveness of project schedules.
This guide contains some great information; however, it is worth noting that some of the best practices documented are different than those published in the draft version of the NDIA Planning and Scheduling Excellence Guide (PSEG). One example is the accepted methodology for handling Schedule Margin (aka, Schedule Reserve or Schedule Contingency).
The NDIA PSEG provides two preferred options (and one non-preferred) using either buffer tasks or positive float (an explanation of both of these options was part of Pinnacle's CPM-300C course presented at EVM World 2012). The GAO Scheduling Asessment Guide states that there is only one acceptable method for representing Schedule Contingency, which is the use of one or more buffer tasks.
We anticipate there will be some debate among the scheduling community on this and other topics and these differences will need to be resolved over time.
Both of these documents are public drafts and everyone may provide feedback.
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