Responding to Changes in Your Project

Monitoring and Adjusting the Monitoring and Adjusting Resource

Schedule 327 Workload 345

Monitoring and Adjusting Costs 338

During the execution phase of your project, your resources are working on their tasks, and you're tracking their progress by entering actuals into your project plan. Those actuals, combined with your baseline information, give you the means to compare your current progress against your original plan. As part of your project control responsibilities, you use this information to keep an eye on project progress. In this way, you can analyze project performance, see how you're doing, and take any corrective action that you might deem necessary.

As you monitor and analyze project performance day to day, occasionally you'll need to make adjustments. Perhaps one task finishes a few days early, and this affects its successors and their assigned resources. Maybe another task took longer than expected and went over budget. Suppose that various changes in the schedule caused a resource to become overallocated and another one to be underutilized.

You might need to adjust your project plan to account for such variances. Sometimes, the differences work in your favor, as when a task finishes early. Other times, the differences point to a potential problem, which you can prevent if you catch it soon enough.

The nature of the changes you make to your project plan depends on your project priorities. Remember the one fixed side of your project triangle (finish date, budget/resources, or scope), and adjust your project accordingly.

For more information about the project triangle, see Chapter 9, "Checking and Adjusting the Project Plan."

In addition to the day-to-day monitoring and adjusting of a project in progress, sometimes larger modifications are needed because of external changes imposed on the project. For example, your customers might announce that you must move the finish date up six weeks. Or a new corporate edict might cut $8,000 from your budget or reduce your staff by 10 percent.

Sometimes, wholesale changes to the project are needed because the scheduled finish date, overall cost, or resource allocation has somehow gotten way off track. In this case, radical measures might be needed to bring the project into conformance again.

With large, externally imposed changes or a temporarily derailed project, you might need to replan or reschedule the project. The techniques used are similar to those you used to hit your targets when you were first planning the project. You make adjustments to the schedule, costs, resources, or scope in your project plan; and Microsoft Office Project 2003 recalculates your schedule so you can quickly see the results of your replanning.

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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