DCMA 14 Point Check – Critical Path Test

LinkedIn_PCS_Group_1This is an extension to our previous article regarding the DCMA 14 Point Check. The following method was used for Primavera P6 version 6.1, there was no other schedule analytical tool available so we developed a work around approach.

Open up the project for analysis in Primavera P6.

Select a critical activity that sits towards the front end of the critical path.

Extend this activity by a large quantity.

 Schedule the project.

Analyse if the end date changes on the project.

 In this example the end date changes which demonstrates that the Critical Path is working. This means that this project meets the DCMA criteria.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the Critical Path Test Check that will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

DCMA 14 Point Check – Critical Path Length Index

LinkedIn_PCS_Group_2

This is an extension to our previous article regarding the DCMA 14 Point Check. The following method was used for Primavera P6 version 6.1, there was no other schedule analytical tool available so we developed a work around approach.

Open the required project for analysis in Primavera P6.

Make a note of the Total Float – in this example it’s 0.

Select Group & Sort.

 Select None in the grouping.

Now select Filter.

Filter in Critical activities only.

Go back into Grouping & Sort and select show grand totals.

The Duration for the Critical Path is shown, document this down.

Now we have the data we can apply the formula, so in the example used in this document this would look like:

Critical Path Length Index = (1293 – 0)/1293 = 1.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the CPLI Check that will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

DCMA 14 Point Check – Baseline Execution Index Check

LinkedIn_PCS_Group_2

This is an extension to our previous article regarding the DCMA 14 Point Check. The following method was used for Primavera P6 version 6.1, there was no other schedule analytical tool available so we developed a work around approach.

Open up the required project for analysis in Primavera P6.

First we need to create a new report through the Report Wizard.

Select Activities in the subject area as this is the data we wish to see in the output report.

Click past the additional subject area screen as we do not require any additional subjects for this report.

Click on Columns.

Add BL Project Finish and Actual Finish.

 

Click Next.

Add the report title.

Click Run Report.

As we want the report in Excel select ASCII and ensure that the Text Qualifier is set to “.

The Report will open in Microsoft Excel.

Filter on all the completed activities and make a note of the count.

Filter on Not Started and In Progress.

Now filter on the current month for progress update in the BL Project Finish Column.

Now we have the necessary data we can carry out the BEI calculations:

683 (Completed) + 16 (Should have completed) = 699.

BEI = 683/699 = 0.98. The DCMA criteria states that this should be 0.95 or above. In this example the project meets the criteria.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the BEI Check that will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

Earned Value Management – Earned Value types (EVT’s)

Picture1Introduction

Earned Value Management utilizes a number of Earned Value Types, in essence these define the way in which performance will be claimed against the baseline.

 50/50 and XX/YY

50/50 and XX/YY operate in the same way, with 50/50 type activities the first 50% can be claimed as soon as the activity has started. The remaining 50% can be claimed upon final completion of the activity. Typically activities employing this type of EVT spans over two periods.

 0-100

0-100 EVT s typically used for activities that are likely to be completed within one period and there is no claim of completion until the activity has finished at which point 100% will be claimed.

 Incremental Milestones

Incremental milestones can be weighted against an activity to define more precisely how the activity achievement will be claimed. For example if the first milestone represents 25% in progress terms of the activity this will only be achieved once that milestone has been completed.

 Units Complete

As the name suggests this EVT calculates the % complete based upon the units complete. For example if we plan to make 10 widgets and we have made 7 then we are 70% complete.

 Percent Complete

This is usually derived through experience and judgement of the programme current status, however it’s advisable that the % complete is supported by lower level metrics or evidence to support the claim.

 Apportioned Effort

When activities are performed in support of other direct activities eg inspection and acceptance.  The effort is estimated and planned as a % of the production effort.  There must be a method of determining this %.

EG –  App Effort estimated as 10% of related production

Level of Effort (LoE)

Level of Effort claims performance in accordance with the baseline profile meaning that Earned Value will be equal to Planned Value. This means that the Schedule Performance index (SPI) will always be 1 and Schedule Variance will always equal 0. There are some exceptions to this which can be seen in the Effects of LoE article.

It is important to note that Level of Effort can have a Cost Variance, the example above indicates that there is no Cost Variance yet ACWP (AC) can be above or below the BCWP (EV) and BCWS (PV) values.

Brought to you by http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

EVM Specialist Article

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Thales L&D recently published an article on their blog regarding the role of an EVM specialist.

Click below to view the article.

 

Understanding the World of Project Management – The Earned Value Management Specialist

DCMA 14 point schedule check – Baseline Execution Index

In our thirteenth article looking at the 14 point check we described how we checked the Critical Path Length Index, in this post we are going to take a look at the Baseline Execution Index.

The DCMA criteria states that the ratio between the number of tasks completed to the number of tasks that should have been completed should be 0.95 or greater.

Baseline Execution Index Check

To check this is Primavera P6 we used the following steps:

Step 1. Open up the required project for analysis in Primavera P6.

Step 2. Create a new report through the Report Wizard by selecting Activities in the subject area as this is the data we wish to see in the output report. Click past the additional subject area screen as we do not require any additional subjects for this report.

Step 3. Add the BL Project Finish and Actual Finish columns then click next.

Step 4. Add the report title and click Run Report.

Step 5. As we want the report in Excel select ASCII and ensure that the Text Qualifier is set to “. The Report will open in Microsoft Excel.

Step 6. Filter on all the completed activities and make a note of the count. Now filter on Not Started and In Progress and filter on the current month for progress update in the BL Project Finish Column.

Step 7. Now the Baseline Execution Index calculation can be used – BEI = Tasks with Actual Finish Date / (# of Baseline Tasks Scheduled to Finish Prior to Status Date +Tasks Missing Baseline Start or Finish Date).

If the ratio is 0.95 or greater than the criteria has been met, if lower then the schedule would require a review.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the Invalid Dates Check will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

DCMA 14 point schedule check – Critical Path Length Index

In our twelfth article looking at the 14 point check we described how we used the Critical Path Test, in this post we are going to take a look at the Critical Path Length Index.

The DCMA criteria states that a Critical Path Index of 1 or above in favourable and below 1 is unfavorable.

Critical Path Length Index Check

To check this is Primavera P6 we used the following steps:

Step 1. Open the required project for analysis in Primavera P6 and make a note of the Total Float

Step 2. Select Group and Sort, select <None> in the grouping and filter on critical activities only.

Step 3. Go back into Grouping & Sort and select show grand totals. The Duration for the Critical Path is shown, document this down.

Step 4. Now we have the data we can apply the formula – CPLI = (Critical Path Length +/- Total Float ) / Critical Path Length

If the index is 1 or above then the criteria has been met, if below one then the schedule may require a review.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the Invalid Dates Check will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

DCMA 14 point schedule check – Critical Path Test

In our eleventh article looking at the 14 point check we described how we at checked Missed Activities, in this post we are going to take a look at the Critical Path Test.

The DCMA criteria states that the critical path should be grossly extended and this should impact on the completion date of the project.

Critical Path Test

To check this is Primavera P6 we used the following steps:

Step 1. Open up the project for analysis in Primavera P6.

Step 2. Select a critical activity that sits towards the front end of the critical path.

Step 3. Extend this activity by a large quantity and schedule the project.

Step 4. Analyse if the end date changes on the project.

If the completion date of the project extends then the critical path and the logic of the schedule is fit for purpose.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the Invalid Dates Check will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

DCMA 14 point schedule check – Missed Activities

In our tenth article looking at the 14 point check we described how we at checked Resources, in this post we are going to take a look at Missed Activities.

The DCMA criteria states that the number of activities that have slipped from their baseline should not exceed 5% of the total number of activities in the project.

Missed Activities Check

To check this is Primavera P6 we used the following steps:

Step 1. Open the project you wish to analyse in Primavera P6.

Step 2. Now add the Total Activities column and make a note of the Total Activities in the schedule.

Step 3. Create a new report using the Report Wizard, selecting Activities as it is activity data we require in the report.

Step 4. Add the BL Project Finish, BL Project Start, Finish and Start columns as we are looking to see if these differ on any activities. Click through until you are required to type in the report name.

Step 5.  As we want the report in Excel select ASCII and ensure that the Text Qualifier is set to “.

Step 6.  Now the report has opened in Excel insert columns between both the BL Project Finish and Start column.  Subtract the Start date from the BL Project Start Date in the column added and format the cells to a number. Repeat for the BL Project Finish and Finish column.

Step 7. Add auto filter onto the column descriptions and filter on the difference between the two start dates, note down the result. Apply the same logic on the difference between the two finish dates and make a note of the total number.

Step 8. Divide the total number of differences between the start dates and the finish dates by the total number of activities.

If the percentage is 5% or below then the criteria has been met, if higher than 5% then the schedule may need a review.

There are a further 13 checks prescribed by the DCMA which along with the Invalid Dates Check will be detailed out in further supporting documentation and video tutorials at http://www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.

Earned Value Management – The Effect of Level of Effort (LoE)

Introduction

Level of Effort is typically chosen where it is difficult to define the work content or scope, Management activities are a typical example here. It is important to note that there can still be a Cost Variance (CV) on LoE type activities.

LoE as defined in Earned Value terms is where the earned work is the same as the planned work (BCWP = BCWS or EV = PV), in other words the Schedule Variance (SV) will always be equal to zero and the Schedule Performance Index (SPI) will always be equal to one.

There are occasions however where this rule may be broken, and when using Level of Effort it is important to understand some potential effects that may impact on the Earned Value calculations.

This is best demonstrated in a set of diagrams:

LoE Operating as it should.

In the below example we have our baseline to date (BCWS or PV) which is shown as the BLUE block. The work achieved to date (BCWP or EV) is represented by the GREEN block and the actual spend to date is shown as the RED block.

This picture shows the data as we would expect a LoE activity to be operating, the achievement (BCWP or EV) equals the baseline to date (BCWS or PV). As expected the SV will be zero.

LoE_1

There may be occasions where the start date of an LoE activity is re-forecasted to start later than initially planned.

Re-Forecasted Start Date

Period One

As you can see from the below diagram, the baseline profile has remained the same yet the activity has now been re-forecasted to start at a later date. The work achieved (BCWP or EV) to date does not equal the baseline to date (BCWS or PV) so the SV is not zero.

LoE_P1

Period Two.

This effect continues through each period and each period that passes the Schedule Variance (SV) only increases.

LoE_P2

Period Three.

LoE_P3

Period Four.

In this period we are about to actually start the re-forecasted LoE activity, just look at the effect in the next period.

LoE_P4

Period Five.

As this is a LoE activity and as we have already described earlier this means that the SV will always equal zero and the SPI will always equal one. Now the activity has started all the total amount of the budget planned to date (BCWS or PV) will be claimed.

Only this period actuals (ACWP or AC) will be claimed as the work has started in this period. Straight away this is giving a false indication of reality, as we move through the periods the position only worsens.

LoE_P5

Period Six.

LoE_P6

Period Seven.

LoE_P7

Period Eight.

In this period it could be assumed that the work has been completed as the work achieved to date (BCWP or EV) equals the Budget At Complete (BAC), however in reality there is still several more weeks to achieve.

Looking at period 8 the data is indicating that the work has been completed and there has been an underspend for the achievement of that work. This is painting a favourable picture when in actual fact spend will still to be accrued until the activity has completed in reality.

LoE_P8

As the SPI and CPI are unreliable in this instance there would be an impact to other calculations such as IEAC1 and IEAC2. As the BCWP is not a true representation of reality the TCPI(E) and TCPI(B) would also be unreliable hindering the predictive capability of Earned Value.

For further articles on Earned Value Management and other Project Control articles please visit our blog on our website www.myxacom.com where knowledge is no weight to carry.