Schedule Diagnostics Really Do Work
Just over a year ago, the Fuse Schedule Index™ (FSI) was launched as a means of objectively and uniformly critiquing schedule quality through the use of an all encompassing 0-100 scoring system.
Almost 50,000 analyses later, we are now seeing some very interesting trends. Perhaps the most interesting is the fact that projects that have adopted the Fuse Schedule Index™ are undeniably seeing improvement in planning quality!
Since schedule quality helps drive more realistic forecasting which in turn helps drive more on-time, on-budget completed projects, it only follows that project-led organizations benefit from better quality schedules.
So, is the average Fuse Schedule Index™ score getting better or worse? It’s getting better – a lot better.
Figure 1 shows the month on month results of average Fuse Schedule Index™ analysis over the past year. Whichever way you slice the data, the trend is positive: the average schedule score is improving. In fact, looking at the trendline, the average FSI a year ago was just over 50%. Today that score is close to 60%. That’s a 10% increase in quality! Undeniable proof that schedule critique using Fuse metrics is having a positive impact on the quality of schedules and forecasting industry-wide.
Figure 1 – How Schedules using the Fuse Schedule Index™ are getting Better
Drilling a little further into some of the emerging trends, we have also examined some of the individual metrics that comprise the FSI.
Missing Logic: Total number of activities that are missing a predecessor, a successor, or both
Take, for example, the metric Missing Logic . The results show two distinct populations: those who adhere to avoiding missing logic and those who continue to develop schedules with erroneous logic links. In this latter population, there remains a disturbing number of activities per project without sufficient logic. As we have noted before in numerous whitepapers, a schedule ultimately boils down to durations and logic – get either of those wrong and your plan is fundamentally flawed.
Figure 2 – Logic Adherent vs. Logic-less
Logic Density: The average number of logic links per activity
Some time ago we were questioned on our recommended thresholds for Logic Density™. Interestingly, the majority of projects are falling exactly within our suggested range of between 2 and 4 links per activity!
Figure 3 – Logic Density™
Negative Float: Number of activities with total finish float less than 0 working days
Negative float (or schedule bust) is often caused by artificial constraints embedded within a schedule. The results in figure 4 are interesting as they show that almost 4/5th of projects are carrying little to no negative float. The flipside to this, however, is that 22% of projects STILL have activities carrying negative float. These results indicate that 22% of projects will miss their targeted finish date even if they are executed as planned.
Figure 4 – Negative Float
Average vs. P50
What is really interesting about these insights is that if we simply looked at the averages, e.g. average negative float is 8.21% then we get a very skewed view of the world. Because almost 78% of the population doesn’t carry significant negative float, the P50 (the middle of the population) average is actually close to zero negative float. Merely looking at averages can be very misleading. However, comparing project rankings provides significant insight into and context for the quality of project planning.
The results above are just a handful of examples from a much broader range of benchmark results that we are continuing to develop through Acumen Fuse® and the included benchmarking utility, Acumen Cloud™ as well as the free web-based Schedule Index™ Calculator, recently updated to include full support for UN/CEFACT file conversion from MS Project and Primavera.
Our vision and belief has always been that project analytics help projects be more successful. With these types of results, the proof is in the pudding!
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View the Schedule Quality Averages infographic.