Managing Expectations and Change Using Triple Constraints (Part 2)

August 28, 2017   //   Managed Services

In our last blog, we discussed the three elements that determine the success of a project. For those needing a refresher, these three elements are: scope, budget, and schedule.

Of course, over the course of any project, it is not uncommon for one or more of these three elements to change. Thus, project managers need to be flexible to change course, as well as clearly communicate how a change will affect the other constraints of the project with the rest of the team.

Let’s look at what happens when requirements change or there are delivery issues during a project. What path should be taken to ensure the project sponsor’s goals and the overall project quality are maintained? I suggest going through the following steps:

  1. Determine which constraint is impacted by the change.
  2. Determine the plan that limits the impact to the critical constraint (examples below).
  3. Communicate the change and adjusted plan to the project sponsor to gain approval and reset expectations.
  4. Communicate the change to the development team.

Critical Constraint Resolutions

Some common changes that will occur within a project are listed in the following:

Critical
Constraint
Budget Scope Schedule
Scope is added 1) You can attempt to identify other less critical scope to potentially remove.

2) Change the timeline in an effort to streamline other tasks that were potentially running at a higher rate.

Accept the scope change, extend the schedule, or budget to account for the change 1) You can attempt to identify other less critical scope to potentially remove.

2) Add resources to increase your delivery rate. This will likely require an addition to budget.

Timeline is shortened Adjust scope to remove less critical requirements (suggested a phase 2 delivery for these items). Add resources to increase the rate of delivery. This will likely require additional budget, but scope will remain the same. 1) Remove scope to account for quicker delivery.

2) Add resources to increase your delivery rate. This will likely require an addition to budget.

Budget is cut Reduce scope in the least critical parts of the project Attempt to slow down the delivery rate. Extend the timeline in an effort to reduce your spend rate This will likely require a reduction in resources. Identify scope that will not be delivered within the given schedule.
Experiencing cost overruns You can discuss options to remove certain scope from the project. You may need to adjust your budget expectations. You may need to adjust your budget expectations.
Experiencing delivery delays If budget is not an issue, then you may just need to reset schedule expectations. You may need to extend the timeline as well as request additional budget to deliver the agreed upon scope. Identify scope that will not be delivered within the required delivery timeframe.

 

As new business technology become more and more powerful and customizable, the project management of these implementations is also becoming more complex. Deploying a new solution is no longer the last step to a successful IT project. Ensuring the users are leveraging the new solution to their potential and the business is getting a return on their technology investment is the new measurement of success. Contact Us to discuss the goals of your project and to learn more about about our Managed Services offering.

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