Manage contingencies, reduce risk
the PCA technique
Although project managers often include a contingency factor in their calculations, if it is not distinct and measurable, it will not enable risks to be managed with precision. This article presents the Plan Contingency Allowance (PCA) technique as a way to specifically identify and measure both schedule risk and cost risk. Using this technique, a separate contingency task is created for each group of related tasks (phase), appropriate dependency tasks are added to the work effort, and then fictional resources are created and assigned to the new tasks. PCA tasks are not actually performed but exist to represent remaining contingency cost in time and dollars and are adjusted to reflect the changing project status. The PCA technique takes only a small time to implement and administer.