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well I think it depends on the nature of your project. but I beleive you should not change the dates until the job is really done on the new date.
Only adjust your working plan and forecast if you have estimates and a plan that support the change.
In order for such a drastic shift in schedule to have happened, either 1) the resource(s) are being diverted from other activities to crash your project, 2) your 12/31 date was arbitrary and not really linked to any estimates or knowledge of a real schedule. (and perhaps other reasons I'm not thinking of at the moment)
The bottom line is that you don't change dates based on someone saying they will "do my best to get this done" by a specific date. You change a plan based on credible estimates with rationale.
Like any change, you need to understand the impact on the change to everyone involved. There may be dependencies, interdependencies, other resource issues, risks, etc. that must be investigated before changing a schedule.
For this specific case suggest you to not change the dates as of now . It may happen that at the your designer plans again change or you may have other contingency arising for various reasons therefore let the dates be the same and if everthing goes correct you may inform team before 1-2 weeks of change schedule. In this way you would minimize risk also.
When a designer tells the PM that he will cut over to production by 10/1, as a PM you should manage the triple constrain - time, cost, quality. You cannot exceed the schedule, as that is not under your control. One thing what a PM can do, is to deploy additional resource, which will increase the project cost/reduce the project profit. You have to take an appropriate decision, after understanding the real problem from the designer.
Is designer a member of your team? Is she/he a shared resource across multiple projects? Who is responsible for assigning resources across the portfolio of ongoing projects in the company your work for? Who determines which projects have higher priority than the others? I sincerely doubt that is - the designer.
Lot of great feedback here.
You have a change that requires an analysis and review with your key resource, team & sponsors.
Actually, the question may be basic but your response to this should be thorough and a follow up with your key stakeholders, and your steering committee will be required to make the final determination of your schedule rebaseline.
Case by Case Basis
understand the impact on the current scheduled activities. consider the critical path. these are things whose timelines can not be changed as they do not have float. consider the resources at your disposal. can they be increased or you can manage with what you have. increasing resources comes with cost implications. there are many other factors to consider.
As other people already stated, the need for change and its impact must be thoroughly discussed. However, a 10 day difference does not seem to be much and in some projects this may be used as a buffer.
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