Replan with Clear Purpose

You can see it in the faces of the team members. You can tell from unexpected extensive overtime. You can tell from missed milestones. You can tell from mistakes and rework.

The plan that was made is wrong. The expectations set with project stakeholders will not be met.

The reasons why it went wrong vary. The assumptions that were made in planning turn out not to be just risks, but issues. The thing you expected to be simple is actually complex. The key skilled people you thought would be full time joined late, and then were only part time. It could be all of the above.

It does matter why the plan went awry. Yet it is not the most important thing. What is important is do you have the courage to look reality in the face?

Here are three critical keys to replanning.

  • Be cold, clear and realistic about the likely future progress. Use your data and experience to inform what is likely for the future. Make a prediction how much can be realistically completed by the due date. Make a prediction of when you would realistically finish with all content.
  • Turn over every rock for options for an improved outcome. Consider what content is critical to your success. Consider bringing in additional critical resources. Look at smart ways to go faster. For example can you reduce rework to increase speed? Be realistic in what you decide.
  • Provide the project stakeholders a clear picture of the situation and what their options are. Initially stakeholders can be quite upset on the first hearing of this information. Stay focused on helping them achieve their goals and they will truly appreciate your foresight and handling of a difficult situation.

The most important part of replanning is actually your mindset.

Have the courage to see the reality of the situation, to accept that reality's implications, and have the exceptional courage to deal with that reality with your stakeholders.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT