“If you are in project delivery space, project schedule delays will be inevitable.” Do you agree? Many project managers believe that the only way to complete projects on schedule is by completing them on time. This is false. Project schedule delays can be reduced even if they are not possible to reduce with the right project management office practices, proactive risk management skills, and effective planning.
In this post, we will cover the following:
What is project delay?
Common causes of project schedule delays
How to avoid project schedule delays
Let’s take a look at each one one by one.
What is Project Delay?
Before we get into the details of project schedule delays, let’s first define what a project delay is. The magic triangle is very popular in project management. Each project has three basic elements or boundaries. These are cost, scope and schedule.
The scope defines the scope of the project and the final results.
The project budget is established and will be used throughout the project. Learn more about project cost overruns.
The project team works together to define the scope of the project and spend the budget in order to complete the project on schedule. The project schedule outlines the dates and overall project objectives.
Project Management Triangle If the planned activities are not completed on time, this is known as a “delay”. You should note that delays can occur at the activity, phase, or overall project level. If one member of the project team completes an activity in eight days when the scheduled duration was five days, that is an activity-level schedule delay. A project can have multiple phases. Any phase that exceeds the deadline will result in a phase delay. If the overall project deadline is delayed, it will result in a project schedule delay. Project overruns may be project-related or not.
Delays in Project Schedule
We surveyed 425 participants in our corporate training programs and 47.2% reported that schedule delays were the most important project management problem in their company.
The pie chart shows that schedule delays were the most important issue for project managers. There are many reasons for project delays. We will discuss the top five causes of project delays.
#1- Ineffective Scope management is the root cause of Project Schedule Delays
The project team should gather as much detail as possible from the customer and define the scope. If the scope is unclear, there will be misunderstandings between customers and project team. This will lead to rework and delays in the project schedule.
How can an unclear scope cause delays? Let’s look at it a bit more. Let’s take, for example, the customer who didn’t communicate their needs to the project team. This will result in a vague definition of the scope statement. Some work may be done based on assumptions when product development begins. The team may feel the need for improvements. You might even want to add more features to make your product better. There could also be scope creep or gold plating.
It is possible that the customer has clearly communicated his requirements. The project team failed to make the effort to clearly and accurately describe the requirements. The scope statement may have more product features. Or, perhaps some product features were not clearly and in detail. The customer would then inspect the deliverables and find issues. They would find mismatches.