Author: Luis Contreras

Luis Contreras is President of AzTech International and has over 25 years of experience implementing earned value management systems throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. He has worked with both government and industry on both sides of DCMA compliance reviews, and with contractors on IMS assessments, schedule risk assessments, and integrated baseline reviews. He helps organizations optimize all facets of EVMS -- from the proposal stage to baseline development and execution. His breadth of expertise includes EVM, scheduling, ERP/MRP, and earned value in a manufacturing or production environment. Mr. Contreras has led AzTech's design team in developing custom applications as well as commercial tools such as Run!AzTech and Run!23 for Microsoft Project scheduling professionals, and the AzTech Compliance Expert (ACE) for assessing EVMS compliance prior to integrated baseline reviews, compliance reviews, reviews for cause, and for independent and self-assessments. Learn more about the company at

What’s New in Excellent Scheduling Guidance

It has been roughly four years since the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)¬†updated its “Planning & Scheduling Excellence Guide” (PASEG). Now this organization, which promotes communication between defense industry companies and the U.S. government, has made version 3.0 available. The idea of the PASEG is to offer guidance to program management teams on practical approaches for building, using and maintaining an integrated master schedule (IMS). It also shares information and processes for achieving reasonable consistency and a standardized approach to project planning, scheduling and analysis. The overall goal is to improve the practices of project and program management, particularly in large programs facing sizable schedule, cost and technical risks. Of note for MPUG members, the screenshots in the guide show images captured in Microsoft Project. (However, Project is used for “demonstration purposes only”; the organization doesn’t advocate the use of one tool over another.) In this brief article I’ll share what’s new in this free, handy 234-page scheduling reference guide. PASEG 3.0 is cosmetically prettier. Updated exhibits give the entire document a brighter, crisper look. The discussion on scheduling in a production environment doesn’t really offer changes of note; but it still provides a good summary for teams struggling with how to schedule production vs. development projects. Section 5.12 better integrates schedule margin with risk and encourages the use of schedule margin tasks to reflect more likely forecast finish dates. Section 10.4.6, on the Total Float Consumption Index (TFCI), provides updates with streamlined steps for estimating the projected project finish based on looking at total float consumption — much as we in the earned value management world look at management reserve burndown. Three new schedule execution metrics use earned schedule formulas to derive more than the usual, old (and stale) EV metrics. Section 10.4.9 on the time-based schedule performance index is designated as “SPIt.” This is like schedule performance index (SPI) with budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS) and budgeted cost of work performed (BCWP), except with the addition of time (hence the little “t”). This is an earlier indicator than using SPI alone and doesn’t (magically) end at 1.0, the way SPI does. Section 10.4.10 covers SPIt vs. TSPIt. Like its costly cousin, the To Complete Schedule Performance Index (TSPIt) helps determine how the projected schedule performance compares to the past schedule performance. Section 10.4.11 shares the Independent Estimated Completion Date — Earned Schedule (IECDs). Like the independent estimate at completion (IEAC), the independent estimated completion date (IECD) formula helps you decide if the schedule’s forecast finish date is within the range predicted by past schedule performance. Overall, it’s great to see another update to this useful scheduling guide. Kudos to the NDIA for publishing this useful volume. Download your copy of PASEG 3.0. A version of this article originally appeared on the AzTech LinkedIn group. Image Source