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How to Control Changes to The Project

How to Control Changes to The Project (#5 in the series How to Control a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

Changes to the project management plan are inevitable. Rarely does a project manager finish a project with the same project management plan established at the Final Planning Review. If a project manager does not have a formal process for reviewing, evaluating, and approving any such changes the resulting impact will be uncontrolled scope creep.

Why Control Changes?

Uncontrolled changes will create confusion, and confusion will erode commitment to the project. Product quality, overall morale and general loss of interest will most likely take place when a project manager cannot control changes to the project management plan. The project manager’s upward spiral in career advancement may also be dampened when key stakeholders see ineptness in managing project changes. If changes are not managed properly the project manager will experience unacceptable schedule slips, significant cost overruns, and reduced product quality. Read the Complete Article

How to Recover from Unacceptable Variances Arising from the Project Plan

How to Recover from Unacceptable Variances Arising from the Project Plan (#4 in the series How to Control a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

When an unacceptable variance from the project management plan arises the project manager needs to ensure that a corrective action plan is established. Even though the primary responsibility for the plan falls on the individual who “owns” the variance, the project manager needs to provide support as a solution facilitator.

Avoiding cost growth and schedule completion delays is paramount which means that any resources needed for correction are within the approved scope of the project. Every effort should be made to first develop “soft” recovery plans that do not require additional costs to the project. If that is not possible, then “hard” recovery plans, that do require additional costs or extensions to the project completion date, should be considered. Obviously, prevention of large variances is superior to experiencing these kinds of project impacts. Read the Complete Article

Post Control – Project Control Techniques

Post Control – Project Control Techniques (#3 in the series How to Control a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

Having a project management plan will not always ensure having effective project control. Without a control process the project manager will often resort to an improper use of institutional authority to embarrass, or intimidate a project member whose performance is unsatisfactory. As a result the project member will learn to prevent disclosure of any problems. This then creates another problem in that the project manager is not being made fully aware of deviations from the project plan. Taylor’s Law1 states that “the earlier a problem is disclosed, the easier it is to manage.” When project problems are hidden from the project manager they often grow to the point where they become untenable.

Meredith and Mantel offer three methods of control, these are:

Post control methods are used after the fact. Read the Complete Article

Go/No-Go Control – Project Control Techniques

Go/No-Go Control – Project Control Techniques (#2 in the series How to Control a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

Having a project management plan will not always ensure having effective project control. Without a control process the project manager will often resort to an improper use of institutional authority to embarrass, or intimidate a project member whose performance is unsatisfactory. As a result the project member will learn to prevent disclosure of any problems. This then creates another problem in that the project manager is not being made fully aware of deviations from the project plan. Taylor’s Law1 states that “the earlier a problem is disclosed, the easier it is to manage.” When project problems are hidden from the project manager they often grow to the point where they become untenable.

Meredith and Mantel offer three methods of control, these are:

Another technique for maintaining project control is the go/no-go method. Read the Complete Article

Cybernetic Control – Project Control Techniques

Cybernetic Control – Project Control Techniques (#1 in the series How to Control a Project)
By Michael D. Taylor

Having a project management plan will not always ensure having effective project control. Without a control process the project manager will often resort to an improper use of institutional authority to embarrass, or intimidate a project member whose performance is unsatisfactory. As a result the project member will learn to prevent disclosure of any problems. This then creates another problem in that the project manager is not being made fully aware of deviations from the project plan. Taylor’s Law1 states that “the earlier a problem is disclosed, the easier it is to manage.” When project problems are hidden from the project manager they often grow to the point where they become untenable.

Meredith and Mantel offer three methods of control, these are:

Cybernetic control involves a self-correcting feedback loop as illustrated in Figure 1. Read the Complete Article

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