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Topics: Agile, Information Technology, Schedule Management, Scheduling
Is it possible to create an IMS for an Operations and Maintenance (O&M) type program ?
I understand that you can create an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) if you have pretty clearly defined tasks/requirements. But is it possible to create an IMS if you have a mixed set of tasks which includes quite loosely defined O&M tasks which covers a broad range of legacy application maintenance or minor enhancement, production bug fixes (both from development and operations perspective), help desk support etc. ?

Add to that the complexity of a mix of Agile development and traditional ticketing system based operations support. What is the best tool/way to capture all the resources in an IMS type view for dependency/resource/work management ? We might need to tie it to EVM metrics as well.

I would be interested hear any ideas/suggestions and specifically if you have experience with creating an IMS for an O&M type contract. I will really appreciate any feedback. Thanks.
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Reva, did you receive any ideas/suggestions for this? I have just started an O&M project and am looking for ideas/suggestions on scheduling.
With large complex systems, the testing and verification phase often involves a lot of operations for verification credit, and maintenance of the system up until final delivery. Integrated master schedules are used extensively to tie in the many moving elements of the plan. The rationale for how and why the IMS exists in a developmental environment can absolutely be applied post-delivery as well.

While post-delivery operations and maintenance is somewhat different than PD, if you have logical milestones that set target dates for completion of major activities and multiple detail level plans supporting that, then you can and should build a top level schedule to align them.

Maintenance is often required at set operational intervals so operational planning can drive major milestones for the timing of maintenance activities. Complex maintenance activities require detailed lower level plans to complete within the down-time window so you not only can, but should have an integrated master schedule to tie the various sub-tier plans together.
I would not overly rely on your programs having the same activities. The real purpose of a master schedule is to manage your enterprise resources, allowing you to spot those who are over- and under-allocated.

Yes, loosely-defined activities will make it difficult to get the true usage of your resources. Take it as an opportunity to go back to the program and work on making the activities clear and straightforward.

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