As you work through a project, it’s inevitable that things will go wrong, fall behind … surprises will crop up! That’s why it’s so important to continuously adjust the plan to match the reality of what is actually happening. Once you have reviewed the status reports and spoken to your team, you are now in the position go ahead and re-plan your project.
Here’s four steps to easily track and re-plan your project and communicate it to all the stakeholders:
Find and Manage Exceptions
First, manage the “exceptions.” Exceptions on a project can take a few forms, typically risks, issues or change requests.
Issues are risks whose time has come. Find and resolve as many issues as possible, as these can be the biggest roadblocks in the project schedule. If there are open risks, you will decide the best course of action to mitigate these risks or in some cases a contingency plan.
Change requests are not uncommon, but have the potential to have the biggest effect on the project (budget, schedule, resource allocation), which means you will probably have to consult with project sponsors and stakeholders for advice and authorization. Since change requests have the potential to effect the project in a big way, make sure you have them approved and signed off before you start re-planning the rest of the project.
Re-Assign Work and Send Notifications
By this stage you now have gathered enough information to re-plan the project proper. As it happens you were probably make changes (“re-planning”) as you went along, but now you need to formally update the project plan.
- Project Redefinition: update the project artifacts (project statement, schedules, tasks lists)
- Project Re-Assignments: as change requests come in and issues are dealt, work will need to be re-assigned. Just don’t overload any one team member!
- Team Notifications: ensure the team is notified of their new responsibilities!
Update Project Stakeholders
Now that the changes are made you may need to update your stakeholders on your progress … the good and the bad. Your project sponsor needs to know what changes are afoot so they can take action where necessary; it is best that this news comes directly from you, the Project Manager.
This may involve some of the following:
- Provide a periodic status update (via email or print)
- Raise any exceptions like change requests and high priority risks and issues
- Resolve sponsor level issues
Modify the Project Site in SharePoint
Now you are on a blog called “Manage Projects on SharePoint,” so hopefully you are doing that! Now that your project is well underway, you may decide that the project management approach you started with needs to be adjusted. So this phase you not only track and re-plan the project, but also periodically ensure you have the ‘just right’ amount of management for the project in hand.
So there’s four simple steps to effectively re-plan your project and communicate the update to all stakeholders. To learn more, check out our Free Collaborative Project Management Guide for simple and easy to follow approach for new project managers.