It is rare that a project proceeds according to plan throughout its life cycle. Frequently, variances from the plan will occur, either from a cost, schedule, or quality perspective. Keeping a pulse on the project, therefore, is critical to ensure adherence to the plans. This involves performing the following four actions.

Collecting Status Data This action will occur just prior to or during status review meetings. Data should come from the people responsible for their respective tasks.

Assessing Performance After collecting and compiling the status data, determine whether a variance or deviation from the plan has occurred and its criticality. The variance will come from one or more of three areas: cost, schedule, or quality. For cost and schedule, project management software can help determine the impact of a variance.

Taking Corrective Action If a variance appears, the next action is to decide whether to take corrective action. Corrective action might entail working overtime to get back on schedule or pursuing a complete replanning effort for the help desk project.

Managing Changes With movement, goes an old saying, comes change. A project environment constantly is moving and changing. Project managers must deal intelligently with those changes; otherwise, they constantly will fight fires. It is important, therefore, for project managers to establish an infrastructure to capture, prioritize, evaluate, and dispose changes. This action involves going beyond using configuration management software. It also deals with organizational and behavioral changes, something help desk projects must continually reconcile with their development plan.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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