Project Management

Saving a Slipping Schedule

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

No project is perfect--and it is highly probable that at some point during project execution, the schedule is going to slip and late tasks are going to start piling up on the status reports. The project manager’s responsibility is to get things going and keep the schedule on track in order to meet the finish date agreed to by the stakeholders or the client. Unfortunately, throwing more people or more work hours does not always work--and can sometimes backfire. Here are some other strategies that can help keep the project on track.

Break It Down
One of the first steps is to break down the schedule into small bites. Instead of dealing with the entire thing at once, look at the schedule in one-week or two-week chunks. This will help focus the attention of the team on the immediate problems instead of going down the rabbit hole of how they will deal with the project running six months behind schedule.

 While the overall problem will need to be addressed at some point, when the team is trying to get something back on track it is best to deal with the small pieces that can be worked on immediately instead of worrying about the bigger issues down the road. Ideally, after the immediate concerns are worked, then the bigger problems will become smaller or even go away completely. But even if they do not, the only way to get things back on track is to work the task…

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