Overcoming schedule slippage

A project schedule, usually in Gantt chart form, shows what work is to be done when.  Schedule progress is a project key performance indicator (KPI).  It measures how our project is proceeding against its schedule (usually expressed as a percentage).  If ours is a time-driven project, then this is an important measure of project success.

Schedule Slippage = (Actual Project Duration – Planned Project Duration / Planned Project Duration) X 100
 

Plenty of things can derail a project schedule, including underestimated task durations, incorrect dependencies, departing team members and material shortages and delivery delays, but here are some practical techniques that can correct our project if it’s losing ground.

Anyone who has worked on project teams knows that many factors can move a project past its deadline. It’s not uncommon for some of the work to take longer than originally … Read More »


Project execution

What follows are my thoughts about the realities of project execution – the implementation of our project plan.  This paper is designed as a primer for NZIM Diploma in Project Management students who are about to attend Module Three (Project Execution) of this NZQA-approved Level 5 qualification.

My first thought is that no project execution will be better than its plan, although of course there is a point beyond which the value of our time spent planning diminishes, at which point it’s better to implement rather than augment.  Otherwise our plan might resemble my daughter’s exam study schedule that is continually revised as time slips by until the night-before panic.

Yet for some people, planning is their forte.  I recall a road project in Auckland where the project manager who planned the project handed the plan to his deputy to implement.  The … Read More »


Project trade-off analysis

A “trade-off analysis” sounds scary or even criminal and customers might read it as “You mean I won’t get what I want?”  And yes, the customer may not get everything they want – it’s a matter of priorities.

A “paired comparisons” matrix is a useful tool for establishing project objective priorities.  To complete the matrix we have our client compare each of the four key project objectives against each other objective and in each instance record on the matrix the more important objective, then sum the number of times (score) each objective is recorded to determine objective priorities.  For example, we might find that our project is time-driven, in which case no work package should exceed a specific duration (say two weeks) to enable us to monitor with some accuracy schedule progress and take timely corrective action as need be.  Also, … Read More »



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My latest thoughts on Project Management and life.

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