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Integrated Master Plan(IMP) and Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

Project management teams (PMTs) face many risks as well as opportunities when executing multi-faceted projects. A PMT will find more risk than opportunity unless it is using an Integrated Master Plan as a road map to drive goals and objectives. This highly detailed plan needs to include the critical path, resource allocation, priority, and logic. The PMT also needs a fully integrated schedule to monitor progress and performance, quickly identify deviations, and plan recovery and mitigation options.


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 Main Elements of an Integrated Master Plan (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


The Goal of the Integrated Master Plan (IMP)

The IMP provides insight to the PM, contractor, and Program Management Office (PMO) which enables them to:

Identify and assess actual progress vs. planned progress
Monitor the program Critical Path and help to develop a workaround to problem areas
Assess the status of risk management activities based on the inclusion of program Risk Mitigation activities in the IMP and IMS
Assess the progress on selected Key Performance Parameters (KPP), Key System Attributes (KSA), and Technical Performance Measures (TPM)
Provide an objective, quantitative basis for the contractor’s performance assessment rating and award fee
Help develop and support “What-ifs” exercises and identify and assess candidate problems workarounds
Provide better insight into potential follow-on efforts that are not part of the original Statement of Work (SOW)


The 5 Steps in Developing the Integrated Master Plan (IMP)

  • Step 1: Determine the IMP structure and organization
  • Step 2: Identify events, accomplishment and criteria
  • Step 3: Prepare the introduction and narrative section
  • Step 4: Complete the numbering system
  • Step 5: Iterate events, accomplishments, and criteria with the Integrated Product Team (IPT) during IMS development


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 related to the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). The IMP provides a Program Manager (PM) with a systematic approach to planning, scheduling, and execution.


Integrated Master Schedule (IMS)

The primary purpose of an Integrated Master Schedule (IMS) is to provide all project participants with a consistent tool for planning, executing and tracking technical, schedule, cost and risk activity. This tool supports the PMT in managing today’s complex projects that are schedule-driven and have critical cost requirements. The IMS documents the master plan’s road map to accomplishing owner goals and objectives and includes all project and program milestones.


The integrated Master Schedule is developed with input and participation from all parties involved in the project. This schedule  ties together the following baseline documents in the required level of detail:

Prime Contract – The version of the contract signed by all parties, including any known amendments or change orders.
Project Scope – The written scope of work for the project that includes both the Scope of Facilities and the Scope of Services.
Project Execution Plan – The overall execution plan for the project which defines execution strategies and methods.
Project Estimate – The estimate (budget) of the overall cost to execute the project, which forms the cost-control base for the project.
Management-Level Schedule – The high-level schedule which defines major activities and interfaces, summarizes the various phases of the project, and identifies all major milestones.
Risk Assessment – The results of a formal risk assessment which includes identification, evaluation and mitigation actions.


Benefits of Using an Integrated Master Schedule

  • The IMS provides your project management team with a consistent tool for managing critical activities, assessing progress and performance, and fully utilizing resources. By integrating people (experience), process (consistency) and tools (format and structure), the IMS measures progress through the execution life cycle.
  • Potential risk or opportunities can be identified early, enabling your project management team to play “what if” scenarios and look at potential mitigation options that will reduce risk to achieving fixed milestones.


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

The 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 serve as 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.


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