There are of course many reasons why you have schedule problems, today I’m going to talk about three of them. These three problems can impact successful project delivery as each impacts your delivery outcome.
How is your resource allocation?
Are you over allocating your project resources time? It’s an easy enough thing to do, especially when you have BAU resources from the business working on your project. BAU resources don’t often track their daily task time. This means they commit to giving you time for your project which doesn’t always materialize.
That then means you are short on resources to complete key tasks for your project. Not a great place to find yourself in.
So how can you be sure that you only allocate your resources for the available time they have? Firstly under-allocate their time. It is better for them to say they will give you half their time. You then allocate them at 40%. This means if they deliver more in the time frame, that’s a bonus for your project.
Be very wary of your time allocation for BAU resources working on your project. Only resources that are 100% dedicated to your project can commit time consistently.
Do you track task completion rates?
Tracking task completion rate can be a time-consuming thing if you have a large schedule, and yet it’s a critical thing to do. It only takes one task to fall behind by as little as five days to have a significant impact on successful project delivery.
The key here is to be constantly communicating with your team. And test that you are receiving honest responses when you ask for task completion rates. Being told something is 50% complete when in actuality only 20% is done is not what you want.
Setup the trust with your team members to ensure they will provide you with an honest estimate of what has been done. By not having trust with team members it will create schedule problems for you.
Continually track completion rates. That means daily or weekly, depending on the criticality of your project being delivered on time. Find a way for team members to easily update you on task status.
How many dependencies do you have?
Dependencies are often those things that we overlook when compiling our schedule, and yet slippage with one task that depends on another creates big problems. When you set up your schedule did you ask the questions of the resources completing the tasks if there were dependencies for what they are doing?
It’s a simple question that can show up a lot of connections between what is required to be done for delivery. If this is an area you haven’t factored into your schedule, it’s never too late. Review your tasks, ask your resources about dependencies and then plug those into your schedule.
If you’re using a tool that automatically moves all of the subsequent tasks when one task is late being delivered, then this is perfect. It will make the process of monitoring your schedule so much easier. But if you are tracking things manually using an Excel spreadsheet for example, then remember to move every date.
Listen to this episode of Project Management Insights for further discussion on these three problem areas.
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