Risk Management

Crashing the Schedule Is Not Your Only Choice When Facing Delays!

When it looks like a delay is on the horizon for your project, there are things you can do beyond asking the team to work overtime or begging for additional resources. In a post for PM Hut, Kiron D. Bondale explains why these options are not always the best, in addition to offering some less costly ways to prevent a late sunset for your project.

Obvious is Not Best

There are a couple issues with asking your team to work overtime. The first is that overtime work means overtime pay, putting pressure on the project budget. The second is that asking the team to work overtime for a prolonged period will inevitably affect team morale, resulting in diminished work quality. Asking for additional resources comes with challenges as well. Most prominently, such a move risks having to take your high-performers off of their vital tasks in order to help the new resources get up to speed.

If you are hoping to arrive at a better solution, Bondale says you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. What caused the delays?
  2. Is the schedule optimal?
  3. Can you restructure scope delivery?

If you have not identified what has caused your project to lag in the first place, you could be just throwing water on a grease fire by adding new resources. Scrutinize your assumptions with your team until the truth reveals itself. And about the second question, Bondale writes:

Perhaps there were soft constraints placed on certain tasks when the schedule was originally developed which could be removed thus accelerating certain tasks. For example, an assumption might have been made that a given resource is unavailable before a certain date – would moving up their start date help? If so, negotiating for an earlier start may be something you ask your sponsor to help with.

Do any of the dependencies between critical path tasks lend themselves to fast tracking? If so, weigh the duration savings against the risks of rework or reduced quality and introduce lead times in a thoughtful manner.

Finally, in some cases, you might be able to tactfully renegotiate the timetables of certain deliverables by postponing them to a later project phase. This could prove to be more trouble than it is worth if you do not really think it through first though, so weigh all of these options carefully. Either way, as long as you keep a clear head, the sun will still rise in the morning.

You can read the original post here: http://www.pmhut.com/crashing-your-schedule-is-not-your-only-choice-when-facing-delays

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