LOE Tasks with Discrete Successors

“Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”

- John Wooden

In this check, DCMA is looking for the misuse of relationships involving level of effort (LOE) tasks.

What is an LOE task?

Level of effort activities are project activities that must be done to support other work activities or the project itself. They are often repeated periodically and are short-term. An example is the project status meetings held throughout the project. Those meetings aren’t directly responsible for any of the project deliverables. If the project is delayed an extra six months, there will be an additional six months of meetings to support the project.

What does DCMA mean by “discrete”?

In this check, DCMA refers to “discrete successors.” They use discrete to indicate a non-LOE task or milestone, except for the end-of-project milestone.

Why are LOE tasks with discrete successors bad?

LOE activities should never be part of the critical path, which is the main reason for this DCMA check. If an LOE task has a non-LOE successor, the LOE task could be (or become) critical, and this is problematic.

DCMA only considers incomplete LOE tasks because completed tasks cannot cause problems in the future.

Next steps

In each case that is flagged, look at the LOE task and ask whether it should truly be LOE. If it should, remove the link and find the true predecessor to the discrete successor.

14 Point Analyzer