With the recent launch of the Fuse Schedule Index Calculator, we often get asked, what is the Schedule Quality Index™ and how is it calculated?
First and foremost the Schedule Quality Index is a means of assessing how well planned a schedule. It is a single score that is calculated from nine separate schedule check metrics. The metrics span multiple key attributes, or building blocks of a schedule that together from the underpinnings of a structurally sound schedule.
The Schedule Quality Index is made up of the following nine checks (metrics):
In theory, all activities should have at least one predecessor and one successor associated with them. Failure to do so will impact the quality of results derived from a time analysis as well as a risk analysis. This number should not exceed more than 5%.
This metric calculates the average number of logic links per activity. An average of less than two indicates that there is logic missing within the schedule. An average greater than four indicates overly complex logic, with a high likelihood of redundant links. Therefore, Logic Density™ should be between two and four.
While a highly critical schedule is not necessarily a sign of poor scheduling, it can indicate a highly risky schedule. Use this metric as a point of reference.
Hard, or two-way, constraints such as ‘Must Start On’ or ‘Must Finish On’ should be avoided. Use of such constraints can lead to inaccurate finish dates and a lack of insight into the impact of schedule changes, risk events, and earlier delays.
Negative float is a result of an artificially accelerated or constrained schedule, and is an indication that a schedule is not possible based on the current completion dates.
Activities with a high duration relative to the life of the project are an indication of poor schedule definition. Detail should be added to the schedule.
Number of Lags
A lag is a duration applied to a logic link often used to represent non-working time between activities such as concrete curing. Lags tend to hide detail within the schedule and cannot be statused like normal activities; therefore, lags should be converted to actual activities with durations.
Number of Leads
A lead, also known as a negative lag, is often used to adjust the successor start or end date relative to the logic link applied. This is a poor practice as it can result in the successor starting before the start of the predecessor.
A merge hotspot is an indication of how complex the start of an activity is. If the number of links is greater than two, there is a high probability that the activity in question will be delayed due to the cumulative effect of all links having to complete on-time in order for the activity to start on time.