How to Handle Schedule Slip

A schedule is the core of a project, so how do we handle schedule slips?

Our first approach is to avoid schedule slippage from occurring in the first place.

If a project schedule truly serves as the singular project plan and centerpiece for project communications, the schedule will naturally house the most up-to-date information. The Project Scheduler is then able to manage project float properly.

If a schedule slip still occurs, then it triggers a series of actions from the Project Scheduler:

  1. Measure the float between the forecasted In-Service Date (ISD) and the deadline ISD
  2. Investigate the cause of the schedule slip
  3. Conduct a schedule trend analysis through a comparison of the current planned schedule vs. the official project baseline along with the current SPI
  4. If the schedule slip is less than the available project float, assuming no other major milestones have been affected, then update the project schedule, update the project team, update leadership, and continue to the final step.
  5. If the schedule slip is greater than the available project float, then identify mechanism to reduce the duration of the remaining schedule
If within the risk tolerance look for any activities than can be completed in parallel rather than serially
If within budget, look to add resources, internal or external, in effort to crash the project schedule
Reduce scope
If A, B, or C are not an option, then work with leadership to change the ISD deadline
6. Update the project schedule, update the project team, and update leadership

7. Conduct a lesson-learned analysis to try and avoid future schedule slip due to similar causes