Schedule or Event Driven? How Do I Know?
DEFENSE ACQUISITION UNIV FT BELVOIR VA
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Acquisition professionals know that program schedules should be established via event-driven planning. But what is the distinction between a schedule- versus an event-driven program The author proposes that schedule-driven programs are distinguished not by whether they are behind schedule or have little margin, but by how management sets and controls schedules. Schedules for event-driven programs are created by mapping out the entire set of activities that must be accomplished and determining their reasonable durations, while considering linkages and interdependencies between activities. In other words, an event-driven schedule is built-up by considering the time required to accomplish all the program s activities. In contrast, a program can be considered schedule-driven if, for a fixed content, the schedule is determined and event durations are established based on fixed time constraints associated with the project s deliverables. One can conceive of schedule-driven programs in two categories programs in which time constraints are imposed from the outset, and those in which revised time constraints are imposed during execution to buy back schedule slips or respond to externally imposed mandates. While the contrast between event- and schedule-driven programs is clear in theory, in practice all programs are subjected to fixed time constraints otherwise each issue encountered would result in schedule slips corresponding to the time required to resolve that issue. Program managers PMs must continuously challenge their teams and industry partners to execute on schedule, even or especially when issues arise.
- Administration and Management