Schedule Visibility Tasks

“It’s easy to let external factors define us, especially the unfavorable ones, but only if we let them. Keep fighting & the unfavorable will become favorable.”

- Shahenshah Hafeez Khan

If schedule visibility tasks (SVTs) are not being used, this check can be skipped. If they are being used, DCMA is making sure they are being used properly.

What are schedule visibility tasks?

Schedule visibility tasks (SVTs) represent effort outside of the project’s scope that may potentially impact activities within the schedule. An example might be the wait time related to a piece of equipment being delivered.

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Specifically, DCMA is looking for improper use of SVTs. For instance:

  • SVTs that are not properly identified. A good practice is to preface the task’s name with “SVT” or assign an SVT code to the task.

  • SVTs that represent scope in the performance management baseline (PMB). In cases such as this, the task should not be an SVT.

  • SVTs that have resources assigned. If a project resource is working on the task, it’s not truly outside of the project.

If DCMA finds that any of these cases exist, they’ll want to investigate further.

Next steps

As with the previous check, if this check fails, it’s important to understand the underlying reason for the failure. Follow the above checklist to ascertain the reason for the failure and make the correction so that schedule margin is properly entered into the schedule.

14 Point Analyzer

Final Notes

A few final notes merit mention:

  • The DCMA DECM checks are not an absolute indicator of problems in the schedule. Instead, they flag issues for further investigation and analysis.

  • A schedule that passes the DCMA DECM checks is not necessarily problem-free. There are other types of schedule quality issues that can cause problems with the critical path. We strongly suggest using a comprehensive schedule quality tool that goes beyond the DCMA checks.

  • While issues in schedules can be uncovered with these checks, in many cases, you are treating the symptoms and not the cause. It’s crucial to research and uncover the true cause of the issues – why they’re happening in the first place – so they won’t continue to be repeated in future schedules.

  • DCMA’s scrutiny of a project schedule is not the same as quality assurance. The principle of “garbage in, garbage out” applies to project schedules. In any organization, a process should be in place to review project schedules for accuracy and consistency.