So, according to all the news reports, the previous Labour government here in the UK got it wrong! They forecast that economic growth would be 3.25%. The new Office for Budget Responsibility has downgraded this estimate to 2.6%.
News reports suggest that the previous Labour Government were overoptimistic in their planning estimates.
Cut now to projects. I hear all the time that senior managers demand delivery of a project by a certain date. But, the issue for those involved is that the date is usually widely optimistic.
So, what can be done? During a recent project management training course we discussed this in some detail and came up with a number of possible options.
• plan the project and then present this to your senior manager showing the problems of delivery
• use the quality, time cost triangle to show the impact of delivery to the date required with the resources (people and money) available
• show the plan without risks and then with risks highlighting the impact of trying to deliver the project by the due date
• reduce quality of the overall project saving valuable time (clearly not an option for some, a possibility for others)
• the tongue in cheek suggestion of asking for more resources and showing the impact of no resources on the project
Of course, these suggestions are based on the people involved, the project and the company!! However, I also suggested that project managers sometimes need to raise their heads above the parapet. In other words, challenge the demand to deliver when it is clear that you cannot. I did however preface this comment that project managers, like all managers need to develop their influencing skills. This is just the opportunity.
So, what suggestions do you have for dealing with the demand for delivery by a date that is overoptimistic? I would be interested to hear!