What to do if you are behind schedule



By Yury Shkoda

New York, USA



When you are managing a project, you do your best to complete it within budget and on schedule. However, sometimes things turn in a different direction and suddenly you realize that you are behind schedule. A project manager myself, I know that it’s not the best discovery and the first time it happens to you, you panic.

The thing is, it’s important to focus and remember that there are different strategies how a project manager can deal with this problem. Actually, there are two ways a project manager can compress the schedule: fast-tracking and crashing. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. The project manager has to assess the situation and choose what’s best for each particular case.

What I learned from my personal experience is that crashing should be used as a last resort, when other options have been considered first. Crashing is a technique when resources are added to the project. One of the biggest disadvantages of crashing is that it will have effect on costs. Obviously, if you involve additional people to finish the project, you will have additional costs. Also, additional team members will considerably increase the number of communication channels. Crashing may have unexpected change of events in case the new resources are not familiar with the subject. The additional resources might be over-qualified and this would lead to conflicts within the team.

Fast-tracking has its own flaws that must be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate compression technique for the project. This technique means performing the activities in parallel, when they were originally planned to be performed one after the other. It doesn’t involve any costs; however, it increases risks because activities now being performed in parallel may lead to rework or rearrangement of the project. And, reworking can lead to even more time loss.

Even though, as I said, I would first consider using fast-tracking, I can give you a real example of when crashing was a better option for my project.


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How to cite this article: Shkoda, Y. (2020).  What to do if you are behind schedule, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/pmwj90-Feb2020-Shkoda-what-to-do-if-behind-schedule-advisory.pdf 



About the Author


Yury Shkoda, PMP

New York, USA



Yury Shkoda is a PMP from New York. He is a certified teacher and a developer. He has a Bachelor’s degree in web engineering and has managed multiple projects in different industries. His most recent personal project is a website to prepare users for PMI’s PMP exam. It has multiple PMP sample questions for practice.

He can be contacted at  info.erudicat@gmail.com

For more information, go to https://www.erudicat.com/project-manager-about