When you’re running a project one of the major pains can be having to report on potential project slippage. With most projects basing their tolerance on project timeline and cost – a potential slippage on completion can be bad news. Slippage can cause significant effects, it creates extra cost – by way of resource commitments for project staff, it affect service levels of the organization, and it can create bad PR which could befall on the project team.
There are ways, however to prevent slippage – here we list our favorite 5 – if you have more be sure to use the comments section below.
1/ Ensure the project is resourced correctly
The most common reason that a project over-runs is that it has not been resourced effectively – without the right number of project staff undertaking the tasks required your project will over-run – to help, use a planning tool that can help you accurately estimate the resources required.
2/ Stick to your plan religiously
The second common reason for slippage is that the project plan is not adhered to and additional tasks are undertaken which aren’t on the critical path. Your project plan is there for a reason so use it!
3/ Manage your risks
Manage risks that occur within the project – use a risk register to capture potential problems and develop mitigation to prevent them from occurring and impacting on your plan.
4/ Incentives suppliers and external contractors
If your project involves 3rd parties ensure that your contractual agreement incentives the suppliers for timely delivery – this is usually achieved by linking service level to financials such as 100% of the fee payable for timely delivery with a penalty clause available for each week late. The supplier will therefore be financially incentivized to deliver on time.
5/ Use proven project methodologies
Stick to proven project methodologies and tools that will help you monitor and deliver on time – don’t try and re-invent the wheel – there’s a variety of great project methodologies available that have been designed to manage projects through to successful completion – use one!