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Friday, February 10, 2012

How to Deliver Challenging Projects

METHOD 123: empowering managers to succeed

Hi carla

Every project is a challenge, but if you have tight deadlines, limited funding and are short of resource then you may have a tougher challenge than you think! To help you succeed, read these tips on...

How to Deliver Challenging Projects

There are 5 classic signs of a "challenging" project. We’ve described them below and offer you advice for managing them:

Tight Deadlines

If your project deadline is practically unachievable, then here's what to do. First, try and get it delayed. If you can't, then immediately replan your project so you know by how much you will be late. If it’s more than 10% then try and find more resource to help you deliver it more quickly. And if you can’t get the resource, then reduce your scope. Identify non-critical deliverables and get your sponsor to agree that you can complete those deliverables after the deadline has passed.

Otherwise, you need to revisit the tasks in your plan to see if you can produce the same deliverables, with less tasks and effort than before. Use these project management templates to save you time and effort completing project tasks.

Limited Budget

If your budget has been cut back, then try and find another sponsor in your business to provide the additional funding required. If cashflow is the problem, then negotiate with suppliers to take delayed payments. Use internal resource rather than external contractors, as they are usually cheaper. Rent equipment rather than buy. Re-negotiate with your suppliers to reduce their deliverables and therefore, their costs. And lastly, reduce staff overtime and offer them unpaid leave when they have down time.

Resource Shortage

If you don't have sufficient resource to complete the project, then take these steps. Review your deliverables and ensure you focus on the critical ones first. Try and find people in your business who can be succonded to your project, without you being charged. If you can't, then you need to work incredibly smart. So take time out each day to prioritize your tasks and ensure everyone is spending their time wisely. Work extra hours if necessary, but don't burn out. You can only work smart if you’re "as fresh as a daisy".

Scope Changes

If your scope is constantly changing, then you need to nail it down. Start by identifying the tasks on the "critical path" and sticking to them, regardless of the change requests that arise. Identify your project priorities and get them approved by your sponsor. Make sure each priority is linked to a business objective, so that they are harder to change.

Being a Super-Hero

Does everyone expect you to be a super-hero by delivering your project with less time, budget and resource than you need? If so, don't worry - it's normal. The trick is to manage people's expectations, by under promising and over delivering. Keep people well informed, so they know what you'll deliver, how and by when.

By taking these tips, you can deliver challenging projects with a smile, and gain a reputation for super-hero like qualities!

Method123 offers templates to help you deliver challenging projects. Download the Project Management Kit today.

Project Management Templates

Want to work smarter?

These templates save you time and effort managing projects.

They are different because they:

Tick Were written by
project experts
Tick Are incredibly
Tick Include practical

These templates help you manage the entire project life cycle.


Start up projects with a:

Tick Business Case
Tick Feasibility Study
Tick Project Charter


Plan your projects by creating a:

Tick Project Plan
Tick Quality Plan
Tick Risk Plan


Use templates to manage:

Tick Time, Cost and
Tick Changes, Risks
and Issues
Tick Suppliers and

Click here to Download today...