How to Finish a Project On Time

imageIn the previous post, I explained why a project gets delayed. Here I will explain how to deliver a project on time. Keep the following four things in minds and you will be able to deliver your project on time.

1. Manage your scope very carefully

Project scope tends to increase. There are several reason for this. Sometime project team itself increase the project scope. A team member thinks that feature-X is a blasting idea and it will be very useful to the end user. He may be right in his thinking but time to implement feature-X was not estimated. So doing so will either waste the buffer time or consume a slice of time from some other task. A project manager should always keep an eye on the project scope. Having the requirements defined very clearly and reviewing the tasks status regularly helps in keeping the scope under control. In my projects, I always welcomes the new ideas from team members. However, I take the decision after carefully reviewing the current status of the project, available time and other factors.

2. Implement a change control process

In continuation to keeping the scope under control, you MUST implement a change control process. Project stakeholders tends to change the scope of project. This happens because someone just discovered a new idea which he thinks will make the project super successful. As a project manager you should welcome such ideas. However, do no jump to implementation immediately. Instead, follow your change control process. Estimate the impact of suggested change on the timeline and cost of the project. Evaluate of the new idea can be implemented in the next phase of project. Communicate your estimations to all stake holders clearly explaining the impact of implementing the new idea on the delivery of the project. Get the approvals on new timelines, cost or resources as applicable before you begin implementing the idea.

3. Keep you plan up-to-date

Always keep your project plan up-to-date. If you are using any software tool to manage your project, the task becomes easier. You project plan should be able to provide you actual vs. planned progress. As I mentioned in my other post, You always need this figure to communicate to stake holders. Your project plan should always be updated in real time to provide you correct figure.

4. Identify any deviations and fix then quickly

If you have your project plan up-to-date, you can easily identify any deviations from the plan. This is the time when you need to land your helicopter at a particular point and look into the problem. You may need to talk to team leader/member to understand the reason behind the deviation. Whatever is the reason, fix it ASAP. If fixing the reason is beyond your control, communicate immediately to stakeholders. Don’t be shy to seek help and guidance from stakeholders.

There are many more factors that may affect the timely delivery of a project. But if you follow the above four basic things, you can dramatically increase the chances of delivering your project on time.

Previous: Why Project Gets Delayed? | Next: How To Report Project Status

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