Program Management

Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

The Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is a time-based schedule containing the networked, detailed tasks necessary to ensure successful program/contract execution. The IMS is traceable to the Integrated Master Plan (IMP), Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Statement of Work (SOW), Contractor Performance Report (CPR), and Earn Value Management system (EVMS).

Definition: The Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is a time-based schedule containing the networked, detailed tasks necessary to ensure successful program/contract execution.

What is the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) Used For

The IMS is used to verify the attainability of contract objectives, evaluate progress toward meeting program objectives, and integrate the program schedule activities with all related components. The Program Manager (PM) develops an IMS on all cost or incentive contracts, subcontracts, Government Interagency Acquisition work agreements, and other agreements valued at or over $20 million. [1]

What is the Purpose of the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

The Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is a plan for handling the project and keeping track of how well it’s doing against goals and deadlines. It helps everyone on the team work toward the same goals and ensures that problems or delays are found and fixed on time. The Integrated Master Plan (IMP) and the IMS both give the Program Management Office and the contractor’s management team a way to look at how the project is going.

Schedule Critical Path Network

The IMS utilizes Critical Path network management techniques to optimize the relationship of critical activities. It uses the same (3) three; Events, Accomplishments, and Criteria to show network relationships; as IMP. The three (3) elements of the IMP are:

  1. Event: a program assessment point that occurs at the culmination of significant program activities
  2. Accomplishment: is the desired result(s) prior to or at the completion of an event that indicates a level of the program’s progress
  3. Criteria: provides definitive evidence that a specific accomplishment has been completed
Example Project 3
Example: Integrated Master Schedule in MS Project (IMS)

The 4 Steps to Developing an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS): [1]

Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) Guide

This guide guides preparing and implementing a program’s Integrated Master Plan (IMP) and Integrated Master Schedule (IMS). The IMP and IMS are fundamental management tools critical to effective planning, scheduling, and execution of work efforts.

Guide: DoD Integrated Master Plan and Integrated Master Schedule Preparation and Use Guide – 2023

Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) Contract Data Requirements List (CDRL)

Data Item Description DI-MGMT-81661 “Integrated Program Management Report (IPMR)” is used to obtain the IMS. The contracting officer and contractor should negotiate reporting provisions in the contract, including the level of detail, submission dates, and frequency of the schedule risk analysis. The IMS is not usually considered a contractual document. [1]

Best Practices in Developing Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

Here is a list of the best techniques I’ve learned from developing multiple IMS.

  • Make sure to capture all tasks
  • Putting all tasks in the proper order
  • Put resources behind each activity
  • Figure out how long each activity will take
  • Check that the schedule can be followed from both sides to side and up and down
  • Make sure that the critical path is correct
  • Make sure the total float is reasonable
  • Put together a schedule Risk Analysis
  • Use actual progress and logic to change the schedule
  • Keep a baseline schedule

How the Integrated Master Plan (IMP) relates to the Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

The Integrated Master Plan (IMP) and Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) are linked together and show that a program is adequately planned and has the potential to achieve its goals and objectives within a program’s schedule and cost constraints. The IMP and IMS are valuable tools a PM can use in preparing for a Request for Proposal (RFP) and Source Selection.  It can be the basis of an offeror’s proposal and evaluation criteria.

The IMP and IMS are Program Management tools for program personnel and stakeholders to provide oversight of acquisition programs. They provide a systematic approach to program planning, scheduling, and execution.

IMP and IMS Relationship

Integrated Master Plan (IMP)

The Integrated Master Plan (IMP) is an event-based, top-level plan consisting of a hierarchy of Program Events.  Each event is decomposed into specific accomplishments, and each specific accomplishment is decomposed into specific Criteria.  The IMP is ultimately used to develop a time-based Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) to show a networked, multi-layered schedule showing all the detailed tasks required to accomplish the work effort contained in the IMP. The IMP and IMS are related to the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The IMP provides a Program Manager (PM) with systematic planning, scheduling, and execution approach.

AcqNotes Tutorial

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Updated: 2/3/2024

Rank: G2.2

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