Two Schedule Management Techniques
You Can Use Today
There are two schedule management techniques that you can use today to better to understand how you are tracking to your project schedule.
Investigate When ‘Completed’ Activities Are Not Really Completed
Sometimes a team member says that an activity is complete when in reality it is not quite done. This can happen for the following reasons:
- The activity should have been completed and the team member believes he needs just a short amount of time to complete it. He might say it is complete and then finish it up quickly, rather than deal with the consequences of the activity being late.
- A deliverable is ’completed’ by the team member but not approved. The team member may say the work is complete, but when the deliverable is checked it is discovered that it is incomplete or needs additional follow-up work.
Use the Triple Constraint to Manage Cost, Schedule and Scope
At the end of the planning phase you should have an agreement with your sponsor on the work that will be completed (Charter/Scope Statement), the cost (or hours) and duration that is needed to complete the work (the schedule). These three items form a concept called the “triple constraint”. If one of the three items change, at least one, if not both, of the other items need to change as well.
This is more than an academic discussion. The concept actually has great relevance to the management of the project. The triple constraint makes logical sense and can be easily explained to your clients as well.
For example, if the scope of work increases, the cost and / or deadline must increase as well. This makes sense. If you have more work to do, it will take more cost (effort) and perhaps a longer duration.
Similarly, if you are asked to accelerate the project schedule, it would be logical to ask for less work. However, if you are asked to deliver the same work in less time, the third leg of the triple constraint (cost or effort) will increase to maintain the balance. You will need to increase costs (effort), perhaps by working overtime hours or perhaps by bringing in more resources to complete the same amount of work earlier.
Once the project manager really recognizes this relationship in the triple constraint, he will instantly recognize when one leg changes and instantly look for ways that the other legs will change to maintain the triple constraint balance.