Meeting schedule milestones in a timely manner is paramount in any industry, but particularly important in those working with the Department of Defense, where deliverables can be a matter of national safety, and where program delays can become very expensive. A major aerospace company was contracted by the Navy to build defensive missiles, and was required to provide accurate estimations of their timeline and deliverables. Jim Aksel, (Principal) at ProjectPMO, helped the aerospace company deal with schedule risk analysis for their project. Thanks to using @RISK in conjunction with Microsoft Project, Aksel was able to provide the company a rock-solid model proving that their schedule estimation was reliable.
Previously the company used an out-dated schedule risk analysis method. “They didn’t have a Monte Carlo simulation tool,” says Aksel. “They were adding duration margins to many tasks without knowing if that amount of time was correct or to the correct tasks. It was simply a guesstimation.” By cutting out the ‘junk’ tasks in the project schedule, and using @RISK to more accurately determine the durations between milestones, Aksel and his team were able to identify estimates that were six to eight weeks later than they needed to be and shorten them when appropriate.
Aksel describes his favorite feature of @RISK—the fact that the formulas, data, and models are all accessible and viewable in one place. “It lets me see what’s going on where,” he says. “I’m able to see everything in going on in one place, so there’s less mystery. I showed the team the inputs and made sure there was consensus from everyone on all the inputs. It is important to include all stake holders in this process. When two stake holders, with different interests, can intelligently discuss the probability distributions, and the triple point estimates in play, then you know people are going to take the outputs of @RISK seriously.”
Read the full case study here.