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Constant Pressure from business

By sap220 ·
I am looking for creative ideas or methods to push back and say every fire doesn't have to be put out "right now". My 2005 project plan has already been changed and re-prioritized about 3 times since November.


Any tips or tricks on communicating that Rome wasn't built in a day.

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Depends

by Salamander In reply to Constant Pressure from bu ...

Take a good, hard look at the nature of the change requests. Are they critical business needs related to the project? Are these things that were overlooked, that you are contractually obligated to deliver, or that substantially impact usability? If so, you probably need to address them. Are they bells and whistles? Remnants of other projects that are being folded into yours? Unrelated items? These are things that may best be addressed in a new phase or another project entirely, which I'll address below...

You have a couple of options. You can show the ramifications of the change orders, showing an adjusted timeline with projected completion dates that realistically show that Rome cannot be built on time to those specs. Sponsors hate schedule slip. Sometimes, all you can do is show the involved parties the ramifications of their decisions. Have them sign off on the revised project plan with the revised timetable.

Alternatively, you can roll these changes into a "Phase Two" to be completed at a later time, when the first phase is completed. Sometimes, those bells and whistles that seem so important at the outset become forgotten or unnecessary some months down the road.

Also, use your environment to your advantage. Do you have a single sponsor or many? If you are blessed with a single sponsor, show that the proposed changes don't benefit him/her, if that's the case. If you are saddled with multiple sponsors, I've observed that groups often have a hard time building consensus. If you need to, use that to your advantage to defer changes that were not part of the original specs and don't serve a critical business need to another phase.

The axiom is true: you can't have a deliverable that's good, fast, and cheap all at once. Something has to give.

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Show 'em!

by Jessie In reply to Constant Pressure from bu ...

I find that usually when clients are all insisting that their projects need to be done NOW don't have the whole picture. Let them know, "Hey, I've got this project to do for accounting, another for sales, and three more for infrastructure. They ALL impact the business and are prioritized by business needs and timelines. Where do you think your project fits into this plan?" And of course, the last is NOT a sarcastic question. Most managers/project planners, when faced with the realities of organizational planning can truly give a good estimate of where their project plans fit into the loop. They just need all the information.

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You desperately need change control

by DC_GUY In reply to Constant Pressure from bu ...

Any high-level plan that's been extensively modified three times during the last two months before its start date is not going to be a very good plan. It hasn't undergone enough review, enough risk analysis, enough cost and other resource estimating, enough buy-in, enough reality testing. This is exactly the kind of plan that's going to start suffering major variances by around April or May. And everyone will blame you for that.

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I got out of most of one today

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Constant Pressure from bu ...

by proving to the customer he didn't actually know what he wanted. He came up with another prority one job. I managed to shoot some holes in his ideas. I gave him so many alternatives he cut the job down to collecting some data for now, and then he would analyze it and choose what he wanted to do. Took a couple of hours of thinking though, before I could get back to the other job he'd asked me to do.

Politics between key players can be used sometimes.

Are you just after no more changes for a while, or are you unhappy with how their current apparent needs have impacted your idea of how it should have been done in the first place.

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Good Thought

by sap220 In reply to Constant Pressure from bu ...

Some good thoughts, Thansk, we have a pretty good change control and IT pipeline process, it's just that the needs are "today" and the priority changes based on people leaving, business climate/goals, CEO hot point of the week/month.

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