Typical Attributes of a Phantom Schedule

Continuation of Article 2 “What is the Purpose of a Phantom Schedule” and Article 1 “The Phantom Schedule.”

1. Secret (unknown to the other contracting party.

2. Simplified version of the contract schedule

3. Considered more reliable and accurate

4. Viewed as a validation schedule that provides better forecasts.

 5. Updated in the background by sponsoring party. *Sponsoring party points to “the organization who initiated the phantom schedule.”

 6. Decision-making tool by sponsoring party. Management decisions are no longer based on the forecast of the current contract schedule.

 7. It is an auditing tool; i.e. to check soundness of the current contract schedule using the phantom schedule as the backdrop.

 8. Located in a separate scheduling database

 9. Access to the scheduling database is restricted

 10. All phantom schedule users are sworn to secrecy

Developing a Phantom Schedule

  1. Confirm the purpose of the specific phantom schedule in this case
  2. Prepare an engagement plan. Plan the plan. Provide timeline of team review
  3. Identify the level of details needed from the sponsor/s (idea generators)
  4. Identify and connect with your in-house EPC/C&SU experts, senior planners, and estimators and schedule to sit down with them interactively, preferably in a group setting.

5. Creation of our scheduling workspace in a Primavera database

  • Creation of EPS/OBS nodes for the main work space
  • Creation of other EPS/OBS nodes for all other reference schedules
  • Identify all expert resources who will give inputs to the validation schedule
  • Create the WBS framework

  6. Get the latest copy of the current contract schedule and the corresponding baseline schedule. Import the file and all necessary attributes into the newly created workspace (see item 2- Section: Developing a Phantom Schedule)

  7. Establish the reckoning data date. Start with the data date from the current contract schedule.

  8. Create, development, and finalize the phantom schedule

  • Review execution plan and path of construction (POC)
  • Align all fundamental scheduling attributes to the contractual agreement; e.g. calendars, resources, priorities, WBS, Key Milestones, key interfaces, and others.
  • Series of meetings, interactions, expert’s inputs and review
  • Involve select resources especially the commissioning and start-up experts
  • Review WBS scope, calendars, durations, POC, sequences, roll ups, critical path, system priorities, commissioning requirements, etc.
  • Bring schedule to a level of reliability acceptable to sponsors and in-house experts
  • Check and improve to an acceptable schedule quality. Adjust the schedule as needed.
  • Identify variances to existing contractual baseline
  • Evaluate what makes sense and what did not
  • Submit a final report
  • Orient dedicated planner & scheduler to the schedule together with the sponsors; i.e. PC Manager, Project Manager and in-house specialists
  • Turnover the schedule to the responsible project scheduler who will maintain the schedule going forward

Additional source: Frago, R. (2015).Plan to Schedule, Schedule to Plan (Draft Manuscript)\Section 20: Phantom Schedule.page 239 to 247.ISBN 978-0-9947608-2-1 (Canada).



  1. Risk-based Management in the World of Threats and Opportunities: A Project Controls Perspective.ISBN 978-0-9947608-0-7.Canada
  2. Plan to Schedule, Schedule to Plan.ISBN 978-0-9947608-2-1.Canada
  3. How to Create a Good Quality P50 Risk-based Baseline Schedule.ISBN 978-0-9947608-1-4.Canada
  4. Schedule Quantitative Risk Analysis (Traditional Method).ISBN 978-0-9947608-3-8.Canada

Come check our PMSP ProductsTraining, and Services!

We are always here to serve you

PM Solution Pro understand that each client requires some type of fit-for-purpose solution, a different approach tailored to achieve the objectives. We are here to help you successfully meet your goals. Buy our products, get in touch, send your query, or get a quote.

If you want more details of what we offer, call and e-mail us now at 1+ (587) 899-1202, consultant@pmsolutionpro.com