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Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

An Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is a network of tasks linked from program start through program finish, reflecting the interdependencies between tasks and milestones. The IMS is the foundation of the performance measurement baseline (PMB) used used to track progress, forecasts, and changes throughout program execution. The IMS enables the Critical Path Method that is used to identify the program critical path, as well as driving paths to major interim events or deliverables. It begins with the Integrated Master Plan (IMP), which details the contractual deliverables and the Statement of Work/Objectives (SOW/SOO). All of this is enveloped by the hierarchy of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) that organizes the SOW into manageable chunks.

The IMP/IMS Architecture is the Central Station for Program Integration

The IMS integrates key program elements to define and plan the work. Defining how these program elements integrate is all part of the IMP/IMS architecture that is essential to think through and solidify BEFORE beginning the detailed planning process. The time spent getting the IMP/IMS architecture right has a multiplier effect on time saved while managing the IMS during program execution.

Building & Fortifying the IMS

Building an sound IMS requires an effective combination of three program components:

1. People: Program and organizational management that lead the effort by removing obstacles for the program team and rearranging priorities. Dedicated time and effort from the program team. Trained and skilled professionals, including Integrated Product Team leads, Control Account Managers (CAMs), Supply Chain Management, Earned Value analysts, and (of course) Planners and Schedulers.
2. Process: Program-specific ground rules and assumptions plus organizational or program documentation such as an Earned Value System Description; Policies and Procedures; Program-specific policies or directives; and often Desktop Guides or Job Aids for tool-specific instructions. All together, process documentation creates structure for implementing the planning effort.
3. Tools: The necessary IT infrastructure and tools to build the IMS and analyze the IMS during the build phase, prior to baselining the IMS, and for routine IMS assessments during program execution.

Inquire. Contact AzTech to see how we can help you get your complex programs off to the right start by building an IMS that meets or exceeds your program team and customer expectations. If you also need assistance with an IMP, see our IMP consulting service page.