Checking and Adjusting the Project Plan

Working with the Critical Path and Balancing Resource Workloads 271

Critical Task 251

Changing Project Scope 293

Bringing In the Project Finish Date. . . . 258 Reviewing the Impact of Changes 294

Reducing Project Costs 267 Obtaining Buyoff on the Project Plan. . . 294

In a perfect world, you'd define the project scope, schedule tasks, assign resources, and presto! The project plan would be finished and ready to execute.

In reality, however, this is rarely the case. After you've scheduled tasks and assigned resources, you generally need to check the results and see whether they meet expectations and requirements. Ultimately, you might need to answer one or all of the following questions to your satisfaction and to the satisfaction of your managing stakeholders:

• Will the project be finished on time?

• Is the project keeping to its budget?

• Do the resources have the appropriate amount of work?

If you get the wrong answers to any of these questions, you need to adjust your project plan until you get the right answers. For example, if the finish date is too far away, you can add more resources to major tasks.

After you make such adjustments, you need to check the project plan again. Adding resources to tasks might bring in the finish date, but it also might add cost if you hired additional resources or authorized overtime. And if you assigned more tasks to existing resources, those resources might be overallocated.

To save time as well as money, you might decide to cut certain tasks, a deliverable, or a phase. But if this means you're cutting project scope, you probably need to get approval from your managing stakeholders.

This relationship between time, money, and scope is sometimes referred to as the project triangle (see Figure 9-1). When you change one side of the triangle, it affects at least one of the other sides of the triangle.

Scope

Scope

Time

Time

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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