This Week in Positive Change Management : Delivering Project Success with 45 Days Remaining in the Year

11152015 Deliver results no matter what!

There is less than with 45 days left this year; and, of course, there are still projects outstanding. Some of these critical projects are behind schedule. With looming end-of-the-year deadlines, you have to reprioritize your projects and review your schedules. If there are contractual obligations where you have to meet a deadline then you must decide which time and schedule compression techniques you will use to avoid financial penalty. Two schedule compression choices are fast tracking and crashing. There are pros and cons with each. Below are their definitions and examples when to use them.

Fast tracking is a technique that performs tasks in parallel to finish them quicker and save money. There are pros and cons towards selecting this option. The pros are that fast tracking costs less money and the tasks are done together. The cons are that project risks increase and the duties must be overlapping in order to be done in parallel. If you can use the same resources and people to produce two or more of the company’s projects simultaneously then fast tracking would be the preferred option. Next is crashing.

Crashing is a technique that’s normally considered when fast tracking doesn’t accelerate the project fast enough. With crashing, the resources are added to the critical path to speed up the schedule. The pros are that crashing works well when activities are on the critical path and the cost associated with finishing quicker. Usually crashing is chosen only when there is a financial penalty of a milestone or deadline wouldn’t been met. For instance, if you must have this product delivered by November 30th else your company pays a penalty, then you’ll have no choice but to crash your project by placing all of your work on the critical.

Although crashing and fast tracking are to be used under extreme conditions, you can still manage these techniques by developing a milestone list. This milestone list is a way to keep track of your project’s progress. Whenever you resort to use these tactics, risks automatically increase. You’re already behind schedule. You don’t want it to become anymore of a disaster.

First, before creating a milestone list, let’s define what a milestone is. A milestone is any significant task in your project. A milestone list is a list of milestones that defines project milestones, oversees milestones progress and telling the status of the compressed schedule’s story. A milestone list will communicate project progress to the team during crunch time. This list will help you and your team in the remaining 45 days to track your project and deliver any and all good news. Good luck!

This Week in Positive Change Management : Meeting Deadlines for the Final 60 Days of the Year

11012015 Tame the 2-Month Timeline

November is here and there are only 60 more days remaining this year. Although there is still plenty to do, there isn’t as much time. Well, do not get overwhelmed by the looming year-end deadlines. Here are 4 steps towards finishing this year strong without being stressed out.

Prioritize what needs to be completed.

Some things are more important than others. These high-priority tasks require more time and effort. A technique used for these essential projects is called fast-tracking. Fast-tracking is where activities that were once done in order are now done together. Doing them simultaneously reduces the amount of time necessary to complete the entire project.

Break your projects down into smaller pieces.

The goal is not to get overwhelmed by the enormity of your objective. Breaking your tasks accomplish this. If it’s a big task that will take the whole 60 days, plan each piece by week. If it is a small task requiring a couple of weeks, plan each piece by day. Daily and weekly planning achieve two things: they doesn’t overwhelm you and they let you track your progress.

Monitor your plans.

It is essential to monitor everything that you do because hiccups will occur. When they do happen, you will be able to identify them then go to your contingency plan. Contingency plans are mandatory because even with 60 days out, things rarely go according to plan.

Reward yourself at the end of each completed phase.

Stopping to catch your breathe is very important during this time. You don’t want to get so ingrained in your plan that you don’t acknowledge your progress. Each completed phase puts you one step closer towards completing your small and big tasks in 60 days.

Hopefully these 4 steps will help you organize your work for the next 60 days so that you can save time, money and, most importantly, sanity.

This Week in Positive Change Management: Managing Positive Change for the Remaining 1/3 of 2015

Today is September 1st, the ninth month of 2015. If you haven’t completed what you want to thus far, I have good news and bad news. First, the bad news: 2/3 of 2015 is gone. Now, the good news: 1/3 of 2015 is left and you can still accomplish your goals with four months remaining. You can divide your tasks into quarters. September is the 1st quarter. October is the 2nd quarter. November is the 3rd quarter. December 4th quarter. Prioritize your must have tasks by quarters. Next, fast-track and accelerate mandatory tasks during the 1st quarter (September) by doing more than one task at the same time. Fast-tracking would increase risks which is why you would develop a contingency plan to handle any potential bottlenecks. Monitor the fast-track items’ progress with biweekly reporting to determine if you need to reallocate your resources. Finally, create a monitoring schedule for October through December to complete the fast-track tasks before the end of this year. Following these steps will ensure that you can still complete your mandatory tasks in the final third of the year.