In the second installment of our Managing Project Change series, the author focuses on changes to schedule, discussing the possibility that they bring new opportunities; the difference between response and reaction; and the drawbacks of ‘fast tracking’ and ‘crashing.’
Managing change to the project as a whole is part of change management and it should follow your established guidelines for change management developed in your definition and organization stages. By monitoring the project schedule, reviewing performance and status reports, and managing change requests, the project manager can control the project schedule to the greatest extent possible. However, the project schedule is one of the parameters that almost always shift as work progresses. The question is, how do you manage these changes without going crazy or putting your project at risk?
The schedule is the number one thing that tends to change in the implementation phase of the project because we can’t know with absolute certainty how long tasks will actually take. Ideally, using subject matter experts and historical data, your estimates are very close to actual. Still, there are unexpected things that always pop up that make changes to the schedule almost a foregone conclusion. Resources become unavailable even if they were previously assigned to the project, resources get overbooked, people