Schedule Margin is a protective time buffer added after a project’s regular timeframe to secure the deliverables against uncertainty, and hence a potential delay. It is a tool used by project managers to deal with the schedule contingencies. Schedule margin should be calculated at the planning phase to ensure less stress with the project effort for the team. It could be calculated reasoning from a level of risks that accompany every task in the project schedule.
Schedule margin can be added into the project schedule just as a “buffer” after the final deliverable is baselined to be produced (let’s say a week before the end of the project contract), so if the project gets delayed, then this extra reserved time will be used to shift the end date closer to deadline. Also a schedule margin can be embedded and allocated within a schedule by smaller portions, for every separate task on the schedule (according to level of risks associated with each task), so the end of contract can be scheduled to finish immediately after the project’s final task (no time to shift project due date remains).