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Required schedule margin can be calculated as part of your Monte Carlo Simulation, where margin are calculates as the difference between the original plan and percentile (e.g. P80) specified by as an acceptable level by your organization or ownership group. By using percentiles rather than adding fixed amounts to the calculated margin accurately account for the expected value of the project risk.
You can calculate the required margin for any activity including summary activities or the project in the Project Options > Calculation > Low and high times, durations, and cost are calculated based options. In the example below, P80 will be used to calculate the High Results
After a Monte Carlo simulation, the Result Gantt will include both the deterministic and simulation results. The required margin to account for unmanaged risk at any level of the project, is the difference between the calculated High Duration and the Base Duration.
If we look at the results from one of our sample files (Drilling.alm), we can see how this works. For the summary activity Well 00/B-056-G/N092-N we have:
Base Dur (original estimate)= 23.5 days
High Dur (calculated P80)= 29.65 days
Schedule Margin = 29.65 – 23.5= 6.15 days
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