cuss with team members what is needed
and how each new task is going to get it
done, Mr. Mosley adds.
Communication also involves getting out in the trenches, talking to team
members and looking for clues that
morale may be suffering.
“When you talk to team members,
are they with you in the conversation
and paying attention, or are they look-
ing out the window and zoning out?”
Mr. Mosley asks. “If they come in drag-
ging in the morning and in the evening,
you’ve got a problem.”
Institute quality-control measures
as the project gets back on track.
That doesn’t necessarily mean a large
quality-assurance team must be hired,
according to Mr. Mosley. “It starts with
the team member, his or her supervi-
sor, and the supervisor’s supervisor,”
Quality monitoring should be conducted throughout the project life
cycle—not just until the schedule is
restored. Track deliverables to assure
they meet specifications and requirements, as well as how often the same
work must be repeated because of quality issues.
Finally, it never hurts to infuse some
humor in the schedule recovery plan,
Mr. Mosley advises. He managed a construction project for a national power
provider in Florida, USA that was running behind schedule, largely due to
bad weather. The project team hadn’t
taken into account rain drainage issues
at the work site, and it became flooded.
“The project sponsor came down
for a monthly meeting and told me
that ‘Not even a bucketful of fairy dust
could get this project back on schedule,’” he says. To keep up team morale,
he bought a keychain depicting Tinker
Bell, the fairy from Peter Pan, and hung
it on the wall.
The team set about modifying the
site layout to keep it dry. In the end,
the project came in a month ahead of
“I took a picture of the Tinker Bell
>TIP Adding resources
won’t always alleviate scheduling
delays, says Harold “Mike” Mosley Jr.,
PMP, Zachry, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
“You might have a delivery coming from
a vendor across the globe, and it hasn’t
arrived yet,” he says. “If you worked
everyone on the project seven days a
week, you’re wasting that time because
the team members aren’t affecting
what’s driving the schedule issue.”
keychain, framed it and presented it to
the project sponsor,” Mr. Mosley says.
Most of the time, though, there’s
nothing funny about project schedule
delays. In an effort to salvage the schedule, project managers can inadvertently
kill their team’s energy and toss quality
out the door.
But that doesn’t have to be the case,
Mr. Mosley says.
Just keep it simple. “Focus your corrective measure on what is wrong and
what you can affect,” he advises. “It
may be an issue beyond the scope of
what you can address. Once you figure
out what the issue is, then you can look
for workarounds.” PM