Showing Up On Time - Herding Cats
There is a notion - a wrong notion - that the critical path is the path through the network of activities with zero slack. If you have a zero slack network, you’re late before you start.
All IMPORTANT items in your project need protection. That protect is called schedule margin.
In the scheduling world, NEVER have the important work on the critial path without schedule margin.
Don’t Use Slack Time for Anything Other Than Deliverables Protection
So In The End
- No schedule margin - you’re late
- Never put important stuff on the critical path with schedule margin
- Plan all work, never leave anything left over to do when you have free time
- It’s the off critical path items that will kill your project when they get on the critical path because you weren’t watching them. Watch everything, all the time.
- Use Monte Carlo - all project numbers are random numbers. Knowing the Probability Distribution Function is the start, then knowing the drivers - things that push other things - and their PDF’s provide decision points about keeping things off the path.