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What to Do When Your Team Doesn’t Believe the Project Schedule

One person cannot do it all, at least not well. This is especially evident when it comes to make a project schedule that involved a myriad of people from varying departments. In a post for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, Elizabeth Harrin shares a chapter she wrote from the book Project Pain Reliever that illustrates the warning signs of this problem, as well as how to handle it.

Rectifying the Wayward Schedule

When one person takes it upon him- or herself to create the project schedule they are doing their team a favor, right? Unfortunately this is not always the case. Sometimes this means that department requirements and other moving parts are overlooked, which causes a crunch for time and unhappy coworkers. Some of the warning signs that this project schedule will not work are:

  1. The project team complains about the schedule.
  2. The tasks are not completed on time.
  3. Some tasks are being completed that are not even on the plan.
  4. The team is under a lot of pressure to complete tasks by certain dates.
  5. Everyone seems to be working long hours.
  6. The team loses its morale, and maybe even their confidence.

If this is the case for your project, and you choose to do nothing, there are dire consequences. The project sponsor will likely lose faith in your ability to lead, and the project team will lose confidence in you. Team morale will take a turn for the worse, and they may become unwilling to work.

The solution to this mess of a situation is simple: Include the team in planning. The plan should be realistic, and the best way to make this a reality is to work with the team to see what will feasibly work. Collect a small group of the key players on the team and do three things:

  1. Document the tasks (being comprehensive).
  2. Understand all of the dependencies.
  3. Create the schedule.

After you are aware of all of the tasks that need completed, as well as the dependencies, a great schedule that everyone agrees with can be created. You can read the original post here:

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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