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How It Works

There are three steps to using the Project Schedule Simulator:

  1. Maintain the Schedule: the schedule must be kept up-to-date.  This sounds obvious, but many Project Managers create a schedule at the start of a project and then leave it untouched for the duration.  For the Simulator to work, take the schedule seriously.  Ensure that it represents all of the project's tasks and the work effort of each task. Track work that is done and that remains on each task.  Add new tasks as required, and eliminate tasks that are not part of the project. 
  2. Automatic Baselining: the system needs a basis for measurement, and the baseline provides it.  Some Project Managers are reluctant to set a baseline, perhaps because it can be perceived as a commitment to delivery dates.  The Simulator removes the issue by temporarily setting a baseline. Thus, calculations can proceed. Keep in mind, however, that without a fixed baseline, it is impossible to assess performance versus the orginial plan. Each assessment will be done based on the current version of the schedule.
  3. Resources and Costs: There are times when Project Managers do not have access to accurate resource rates. The Simulator uses a simple work-around: it takes the total budget for the tasks in the schedule and divides it by the total work effort. This yields a blended rate. Similarly, there are times when Project Managers do not complete the assignment of tasks to resources. The Simulator creates a temporary resource and assigns it to each task. Using the blended rate and temporary resources, the Simulator performs the Earned Schedule calculations.