How do you use project management skills to bring a project behind schedule back on track? Bottom line: Project management is about making promises and keeping promises. Promises are far more likely to be kept if they are made voluntarily, and according to the team’s capability. Doing this requires a lot of skill so time is not lost. You’re behind schedule: Lack of time is arguably the biggest reason for project failure. Well, ok, lack of wisdom, really; but beyond that it's lack of time. So what should you do? Start with a good diagnosis. The project may be on track, it's just that it has been assigned the wrong schedule. Commonly, adequate resources are not allocated at the start of the project. Dates get set without adequate understanding of requirements and completion criteria. (Oh, no? How many of you have managers that set dates before requirements are known?) Then the fun begins. It culminates with a lot of team infighting, blame shifting and unhappy stakeholders. Let’s go back to basics: ‘Success’ is meeting client expectations. PERIOD.
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