Plan for Contingencies to Meet Your Project Timelines
Posted by Martijn van der Hoeden
You can't predict everything that could go wrong with a project. Everything from key employees leaving to natural disasters can hinder your project delivery for months to come. If you're operating without a plan B (and C through Z), then recovering from these situations may seem next to impossible. Here are a few tips to plan for contingencies so you can stick as close to your original schedule as possible.
Work Flexibility into Your Project Planning
A rigid plan makes it difficult to adjust to the unexpected. You may not realistically be able to stick to the original timeline when something drastic occurs, but if you can't adapt to the current situation, you'll end up stuck. Work flexibility into the planning to account for anything that comes up over the course of the project. You may include anything from extra time to hiring external agencies to meet original delivery time frames.
Improve Your Visibility into the Project
You can't adjust to the unexpected if you don't know that it's happening. You can improve your project visibility by using a modern ERP, such as Unit4 PSA Suite, that gives you the tools to gain a comprehensive view of your ongoing projects. When someone runs into trouble that could throw project delivery off, you get alerted to the situation so you can adapt on the fly.
Quickly Communicate Issues to Stakeholders
Inefficient communication systems make it difficult to inform stakeholders of the problems happening with the project. Emails get overlooked, voicemails may not reach the intended recipient and calling everyone into a meeting hurts productivity. Your project planning portal should offer a streamlined way of having conversations with your stakeholders. Whether it includes messenger functionality, a project chat room or a commenting feature, the most important thing is centralizing it with the rest of the project information.
"Hope for the best but plan for the worst" is a famous saying because it completely encompasses what you have to deal with as a project manager. When you have a contingency plan in place, you're better prepared to deal with the countless situations that throw your projects off track. Watch our on-demand webinar to discover more ways to improve the performance of your professional services organization.