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Project Duration

posted Jun 10, 2019, 8:03 AM by jeffery jim

Doc Syed came up with a very good question for streetwise project management. Engineers; i riddle you this.

"When the initial duration of the project duration is not possible, what should the Project Manager do?"

Conventional options: 
A. Explain to the top management why it is not possible immediately when you get the project, why the duration is not possible
B. Accept the project and just work on it until near the end, then look for a reason why it cannot be finished on time
C. Don't accept to be the PM of the project.

In actual fact, none of these options are wrong. For me personally, i will not except the post and let myself be headhunted and involved with sound and proper project.

But as working class, most of you will go for option A and get screwed by your boss. You are asking for it by doing this since you have no back up plan. For smart assholes, you will go with option B and keep you good and cool salary. Usually, option B is for those who have experience and will try to tweak.

I did personally tweak option A and make it option B. In order to do so, you must be very well versed with the contract. Planning in this scenario is no longer technical; it is now tactical. I did this when handling international organization 6 years ago.

Knowing the project need to be completed in given time, the tenderer will just go on without rational thought and hit the desired time frame. When the contract is awarded, everyone looks like they are screwed. I somehow laid my plans and compose activities with resource loaded and play along with extension of time (EOT) clauses and even insert lost and expenses (L&E)clauses as my negotiation chip. These are pre-planned and carefully composed through several work breakdown structures (WBS).

The thing that many contractors are not aware is the tight schedule for client-side planners to review your work program as they are trying to beat the time frame to bind a contract. Knowing that the work program is a dossier annexed to the contract, the baseline is fixed; whatever is inserted inside is considered schedule basis memorandum (SBM). Baited and hooked, the work program now is a covenant which is a basis for EOT and L&E and the resource loaded means, the client are now in firing line if they drag the critical path. Most enjoyable if 3rd parties delayed the work which registered as government-related tradesmen.

Before tactically assemble your work program, one must understand the sequencing and aesthetically compose the realistic scenarios of activities; convincingly. Second, you ought to track and play the game and initiate all sort of issues or tweak your dramas and drag client resources (in this case management) to be held responsible for any delay. Every delay are accountable, documented and presented as the project progress. As we all know, not all initiated dramas will hit the targeted extension, thus you have to constantly arrange in a way a mitigation plan and carry on with moving targeted completion date.

There are more but as for now, to be street smart, this is the fundamental strategies when you are caught in such scenario. Of course, the gist of this strategy is to acquire more time and keeping financial impact low. You wouldn't want the client to scrap the project before the s-curve start to enter the exponential curvature right?

Another option is only available if you are involved with EPCC or design and build. You can change approach by amending the engineering components and methods to fit the time frame without affecting the procurement or cost.