Options for Adjusting an Impossible Project Schedule How to rework an impossible project schedule and meet a forced deadline. Options for the Impossible-1 • Change the scope (size) of your project. • Add resources, keeping in mind that more people and materials will impact the bottom line. • Do this with the approval of the appropriate stakeholders. Options for the Impossible-2 • Give a task more time. • Split a task in two, modifying resource utilization to make the process work. • You could also adjust the basic finish-to- start precedence relationships by adding lead or lag time to tasks to enable some work to occur in parallel. Options for the Impossible-3 • Move a task to a time when resources are free. – Recalculate the entire schedule to make sure the moved task doesn’t impact the critical path. • Outsource the work. – Outsourcing reduces work done by the implementation team but adds new tasks for vendor management. – Outsourcing assumes that the required resource expertise is uncommitted and available. Options for the Impossible-4 • Negotiate for additional time in the schedule with a later completion date and a budget increase. – You’ll need stakeholder agreement for this. – Don’t negotiate the time required to complete the tasks. Instead, negotiate the balance among the time, resources and goals of the project. Options for the Impossible-5 • Reprioritize the goal and scope of the project. – Get stakeholder consensus. • Reduce the number of project deliverables and goals. – Get stakeholder consensus. Options for the Impossible-6 • Deliver components of the project in a phased approach. – This will extend the total project schedule, but will still give the customer an acceptable product or service. • Find resources that are more productive, better trained or have more experience. – This choice might increase the budget, but you might get most of the added employee expense back in the form of increased productivity. Meeting a Force Deadline-1 • Many projects have a forced deadline. – A customer may need a project completed by a certain date. – An event must take place on the day for which it is scheduled. • A project with a forced deadline should begin as early as possible in case unforeseen delays slow things down. Meeting a Forced Deadline-2 • If you can’t meet a force deadline, here are your alternatives: – Reduce the scope of the project. – Add additional resources. – Work out some way to extend the completion date (good luck!). Negative Float • When the float has been used up on any project, you get negative float. • When there is negative float, adjustments must be made: – To keep the schedule in line with the critical path, and – To ensure completion on the approved end date for the project. • A project with negative float has a new critical path that is longer than the approved schedule. • If you can’t make adjustments to realign tasks to schedule, you’ll need to renegotiate the cost- schedule-results balance with stakeholders.
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