Behind schedule is a term used in project management to describe a situation in which the work is not progressing in line with the planned schedule. It is usually caused by a lack of resources, incorrect planning, unexpected events or problems during the project. It is important to identify the causes of the delay, develop a recovery plan and take steps to bring the project back in line with the original schedule. This may involve adjusting deadlines, adding more resources or making changes to the project scope.
Example of behind schedule projects
- The completion of a new office building was delayed due to weather conditions, which caused the construction to take longer than expected. The project was initially planned to take 12 months but was delayed by 8 months.
- The launch of a new product was delayed as the development team was unable to meet the deadline due to unexpected technical issues. The project was delayed by 6 months.
- A software update was delayed due to a lack of resources. The project was delayed by 3 months due to the extra time needed to hire additional developers.
- A research project was delayed due to a lack of funding. The project was delayed by 4 months due to the extra time needed to secure additional funding.
Best practices for projekcts behind schedule
- Identify the Causes: It is important to identify the causes of the delay as soon as possible in order to develop a recovery plan and to take steps to get the project back on track. This could include analyzing the project plan and timeline, reviewing progress, and discussing any issues or challenges with stakeholders.
- Develop a Recovery Plan: Once the causes of the delay have been identified, it is important to develop a recovery plan that outlines the steps that need to be taken to bring the project back in line with the original timeline. This could include adjusting deadlines, adding more resources, or making changes to the project scope.
- Monitor Progress: It is important to monitor progress closely to make sure that the recovery plan is being followed and that the project is back on track. This could include regular meetings with project stakeholders to review progress and discuss any challenges or issues that have arisen.
- Communicate with Stakeholders: It is important to keep stakeholders informed of the project's progress and any changes that have been made to the timeline or budget. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and is working towards the same goals.
- Adjust Expectations: If it is not possible to bring the project back on track, it is important to adjust expectations with stakeholders and communicate any changes that need to be made. This could include changes to the timeline, budget, or project scope.
Types of behind schedule
A behind schedule can take on many different forms. Here are some of the most common types of behind schedule:
- Slippage: Slippage occurs when the actual progress of the project falls behind the planned progress. This can be caused by delays in obtaining resources or materials, problems with the project scope, incorrect planning, or any other unanticipated events.
- Overruns: Overruns occur when the cost or time of a project exceeds the budget or timeline that was originally allocated. This can be caused by additional work being added to the project, unexpected costs, or difficulty in obtaining resources.
- Missed Milestones: Missed milestones are when the project is not able to meet the deadlines that have been set for completing the project. This can be caused by delays in obtaining resources or materials, incorrect planning, or any other unanticipated events.
- Scope Creep: Scope creep is when the project scope expands beyond the original plan. This can be caused by changes in the customer’s requirements, additional features being requested, or difficulty in obtaining resources.
- Bottlenecks: Bottlenecks occur when the progress of a project is hindered by a single point of failure or a lack of resources. This can be caused by incorrect planning, issues with the project scope, or any other unanticipated events.
Advantages of behind schedule
There are several advantages to falling behind schedule on a project. These include:
- More time to reassess the project plan and objectives, allowing for a more thorough review and more accurate estimates of time and resources needed.
- More time to ensure that the quality of the project remains high.
- The ability to adjust the project plan in order to better meet customer needs and expectations.
- Opportunity to improve communication and collaboration between team members.
- The ability to identify potential risks and develop strategies for dealing with them.
- Improved morale and motivation, as team members are given more time to complete their tasks.
Limitations of behind schedule
A behind schedule situation can be difficult to manage and has several limitations. *Firstly, it can lead to additional costs due to the need to hire additional resources, purchase additional materials or extend the project timeline. *Secondly, it can put extra strain on the relationship between the project manager and the stakeholders, especially when deadlines are not met. *Thirdly, it can lead to decreased morale among project team members due to the increased workload and pressure to meet deadlines. *Finally, being behind schedule can lead to a decrease in the quality of the project results, as the team may be rushed and unable to produce the desired outcome.
- Manzione, L., & Melhado, S. B. (2007). Why is design delivery always behind schedule? A critical review of the design planning techniques adopted for real estate projects in São Paulo-Brazil. Proceedings: construction for development.
- Nelson, R. R. (2007). IT project management: Infamous failures, classic mistakes, and best practices. MIS Quarterly executive, 6(2).