reading this email? Read it online here:
|Thoughtscape: Thoughts and Tips from Mike Clayton|
Top Ten things to build into your
Project Contingency Plan
News and views
A contingency plan is a valuable part of your risk management. Whilst it won’t stop risks happening, nor even make them less likely, it will give you a clear set of steps to follow if one does manifest.
This will allow you to rapidly restore control and limit the potential for consequential threats. But what tactics can you put into a contingency plan? There are many, but here are ten of the best.
1. Create a schedule contingency, or
2. Identify options for extended working hours. If things go wrong, it will need to be all hands to the pump. So look at where you can generate a little extra work time if needed. Never use up this potential extra time by scheduling it into your baseline plan.
3. Look for non-dependent later activities that could be re-scheduled. If you need to turn your attention to the issue that’s arisen, know in advance what planned activities you can put off until later, without affecting your critical path and hence your completion date.
4. Identify non-critical activities that could be dropped. You may be able to do better than delay some activities… Are there any discretionary activities that can be cancelled entirely without compromising core functionality or essential quality standards?
5. Research off-the-shelf solutions that could be bought in. If you lose time, then you may want to save it again by buying ready-to-use components. If you find yourself over-budget, you may be able to buy less expensive generic components that have lower but acceptable levels of functionality.
6. Create budget contingency. Always squirrel away a small amount of budget as a contingency against troubles. Whenever you make a saving, keep it in reserve.
7. Identify non-critical deliverables that you could de-scope; reducing functionality or quality criteria. This will be an uncomfortable compromise, but if you know from the outset where stakeholders’ priorities lay, and the relative influence of different stakeholders, you can compile a hierarchy of specifications according to their priority, and hence know which ones you could compromise, if you have to.
8. Build test and remediation time into your plans. Things will go wrong, so it is far better to find them in planned test time and to fix them in scheduled remediation time. And if you have fewer failures than you anticipated, you will have the up-side risk of finding ways to use the extra time profitably.
9. Secure expert evaluators. Some projects are susceptible to deep expertise or experience and bringing this in at well-chosen points in your project can be an investment worth making. Know who you could call upon quickly if things go wrong and you can cut your remediation time and cost significantly.
10. Put in place effective change control
procedures. Change upon change is chaos, so a project with no
control over changes in scope, quality or specification detail is almost
certain to encounter problems. And, in addition, without change control,
your project governance is severely compromised.
Risk Happens! and Brilliant
Recent Blog Posts
Let Mummy Love ease your
Leslie Seltzer exposed sixty one 7 to 13 year-old girls to stressful situations, like maths problems or public speaking. Read More...
You only have to hear the clear, commanding tones of some of the finest actors – men and women – to believe in the power of the voice to influence. Read More...
In the September 2011 issue of Training Journal, I describe how I developed the Onion Model that is at the centre of The Handling Resistance Pocketbook. Here is that article. Read More...
What is management without vision and inspiration?
Brilliant Project Leader
Brilliant Project Leader received its Book Jacket endorsement today, and all is go for printing.
Thank you to Charles Vivian, Head of Programme and Project Leadership at Qedis, the UK’s top Management Consultancy to work for.
Brilliant Project Leader
As anyone who has attended my project management training or seminars will know, my approach to project management is highly practical. So, to accompany he book, I prepared a resource pack of 12 project management templates.
You can now download these freely at Brilliant Project Leader website and, at the same time, take a look at the contents of this book. It will be my seventh.
Risk Happens! is accessible to new project managers, yet has tools and resources that will give experienced hands new ideas too. It includes 60 invaluable tables and checklists, and 57 figures and diagrams. Win a Free Copy on the Risk Happens! website, along with free downloads of risk management tools.
There is a second chance to win a free copy, at Josh Nankivel's excellent PMStudent website.
National Stress Awareness Day
In two weeks' time, on 2 November, it is National Stress Awareness Day in the UK.
I will be on tour then (Practical Project Management and
But it isn't too late to book one of my Stress-related seminars
This seminar is not available as an open event. Promoters find that few people are willing to go to their boss for funding to go to a seminar about stress.
It is only available as an in-house seminar - in 90 minutes to 3 hour formats. The focus is on building the resilience to thrive in a stressful environment.
Contact me for details of how to book "It ain't the Stress that does the Damage" or its companion seminar: "More than just survival: Thriving in times of Change".
The Three-hour MBA
promising, challenging and
The Three-hour MBA, in London and Manchester - and am off to Birmingham on Thursday. It's been a great success with some cracking feedback, and I am now taking bookings for in-house seminars. There are more open dates in November, too.
"A lot of
information in a short space of time but
Practical Project Management
you can book onto any of these events by calling 01227 252100. There is a calendar on my website, where you can see all of the dates.
My focus this
I recognise you get a lot of email and I don't want to add unwanted inbox clutter. I intend to give useful tips and thoughts, but if you don't wish to get any more, I will understand, so just click the "no more emails" link and they'll stop.
Please contact me ...
... Tel: 08456 441349
... on Twitter @mikeclayton01