How to handle projected delays in projects – Advanced Scenario

Posted on

While planning for projects, you may come across scenarios where a project is projected to end later than preferred. This articles discusses options to handle such projected delays, in a scenario where tasks have predecessors. In the previous article, I addressed the scenario where predecessors are not involved. The Project Planner (Advanced) Excel template is used for this demonstration.

SETTINGS

 

Our planning period is between Nov 1st, 2015 and Apr 1st, 2016. We have 4 resources and their available hours are indicated as below.

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Settings
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Settings

 

We have one project called PROJECT ONE where our preferred end date is Dec 31st, 2015

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Projects
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Projects

 

The project has 3 tasks, Task 1 assigned for ‘Designer One’, Task 2 assigned to ‘Developer One’ and Task 3 assigned to ‘Designer Two’. The Task 3 is dependent on Task 1.

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Tasks
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Tasks

 

PROJECT SUMMARY

 

When we look at project summary, we realize that the project will not complete on time. The project is expected to complete on Jan 7th, while our preferred end date is Dec 31st.

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Project Summary

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Project Timeline
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Project Timeline

 

REASON

 

In order to better understand the reason for the delay, we look at the Task schedule.

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Tasks
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Tasks

 

It is clear that Task 3 is the one that ends the latest (by Jan 7th). This is where we need to understand that the delay of Task 3 is primarily driven by the fact that it only starts on Jan 1st. Re-assignment of Task 3 to another resource will not benefit in this scenario, as ‘Designer Two’ already works 40 hours a week and Task 3 requires 40 hours of work and so, the task is expected to take a working week. So, we need to look for ways to change the start date of Task 3.

 

SOLUTION

 

Since Task 3 depends on Task 1, let’s see if we can impact Task 1‘s expected completion date. We can assign Task 1 to ‘Designer Two’ who works more hours per week than ‘Designer One’.

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Tasks
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Tasks

 

Now, the project is expected to complete on time.

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Project Timeline
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Project Timeline

 

The Task schedule now reflects that the Task 1 is expected to end on 9th Dec and that allows Task 3 to start on 10th Dec and complete on 16th Dec.

 

Project Planner Advanced Excel Template - Task Schedule
Project Planner Advanced Excel Template – Task Schedule

 

TAKEAWAY

 

Assigning a delayed task to a different resource with increased availability will increase the chances of completion on time. But when the delayed task is dependent on another task, it is important to evaluate whether that predecessor task can be re-assigned to a different resource in order for that to complete earlier.

 

If there are any questions about this template, please leave them in the comments. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *