Valid Actual Dates

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

- Walt Disney

Walt Disney’s words refer to projects that seemed impossible at the outset, but in this check, DCMA is truly looking for the impossible: finding actual dates that look suspicious. Specifically, they are looking for actual starts and finishes that fall after the status date.

What is the status date?

The status date is a date recorded in the schedule that says, in effect: the information in this schedule is up to date as of this date. Or: this schedule was updated last on this date. No matter how many days in the future someone opens the schedule, they’ll know when the information in the schedule was last updated.

What’s the purpose of this check?

Suppose you’ve been sent a schedule, and when you open it, you see that the status date is June 1st. The last person to update the schedule status (and status date) is saying that the schedule is up to date as of June 1st. If you see an activity actual finish date of June 5th, something is suspicious.

Most likely, the error is the result of one of these two scenarios:

  • The schedule author updated the schedule on or after June 5th and forgot to update the status date.

  • The person who last updated the schedule on June 1st has the power to see into the future (June 5th) and marked the activity complete.

If an actual date (start or finish) falls after the status date, DCMA will want to know the truth. Either the actual date or the status date must be incorrect.

Next steps

For each case that is flagged, determine whether the status date is incorrect or whether the actual dates were entered prematurely or mistakenly. It’s a safe bet that the person who updated the schedule is not clairvoyant.

14 Point Analyzer