Project schedule risk assessment

This article urges project managers to develop qualified, schedule risk assessments both before work begins, and throughout the project in order to provide early warnings of schedule problems, and to identify and address areas needing attention. Sources of schedule risk include underdeveloped schedules, the inherent uncertainty of work involving advanced technology and other challenges, and an aggressive or over-optimistic bias in estimating activity durations. Techniques for assessing schedule risk that utilize the Critical Path Method (CPM), Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), and several other analytical approaches are profiled and compared. The key to risk assessment is quantification. Training in developing realistic estimates and risk ranges would benefit project managers, and help them to promote objective quantification as an integral part of their discipline.
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