Chapter 19

Getting a Plan Back on Track

Your original project plan is a carefully crafted balance between your project's objectives and the amount of time, money, and resources available. Once the project gets going, reality hits: People aren't available when you need them, work takes longer than you expected, issues arise, or unmanaged changes wreak havoc on your schedule and budget. Next thing you know, your project begins to stray from the plan.

As project manager, your job is figure out what to do and how to do it. This chapter discusses a variety of methods for bringing projects back on track. Each one affects a project in different ways, so the best one to use depends on your project's objectives. For example, if your company's future depends on getting your product to market before the competition, you might be willing to spend more money, accept more risk, or pare down the scope to shorten the schedule.

If you have to resolve small issues, you might be able to modify your project plan without asking the customer, sponsor, or key stakeholders for their approval. However, most of the time, you do need them to approve the approach for getting the project back on track. In this case, you typically recommend multiple solutions and ask the stakeholders to choose.

If a project gets into serious trouble, you have to take action, and fast. The first step is to recognize that there's a problem. Then, you stabilize the project so you can take the time you need to evaluate the situation ...

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