Delivering Projects on Schedule – Part 1

Tips for Delivering Project on ScheduleIf you have been around technology projects for any amount of time, you have probably come across some statistic related to how some large percentage of IT and software development projects are not successful. Most  project are delivered late, come in over budget, are missing functionality, or some combination.

We may not be able to solve all the technology world’s project delivery issues here in this blog post, but if you are involved in a challenging project, I want to share some valuable tips from my experience, that will greatly increase the chances of your project coming in on schedule.  Before we get to the heart of the matter, let’s take a quick look at some factors that can significantly decrease the probability of a project coming in on schedule.


Factors that affect the probability of delivering on schedule:

  1. The larger the project, the higher the chances of the project being late.
  2. Projects in non-profit organizations have a higher chance of being delivered late than in for-profit organizations.
  3. There is less of a chance of delivering on schedule if you do not have a schedule.


If you meet any of the criteria above, don’t despair. This may be your opportunity to turn things around and get some well deserved credit for turning the project around. Following is the first tip you can get started on right now to get things back on track.


Tip 1 – Divide and Conquer

Break down large projects into smaller releases. Some program managers argue for minimizing the number of releases in order to reduce the overall overhead, since there is some level of overhead that is incurred with each release. That is a theoretically valid argument. The only problem is the application of theory to the real world. In the vast majority of projects, I would assert that breaking down a project into smaller releases significantly increases the chances of delivery and reduces the risk associated with Requirements Decay and requirements management over time.

In breaking down a project into smaller releases, consider what can be delivered soonest that would provide appreciable value for the project sponsor or key project stakeholders. Let’s say you have five high level, prioritized features the project will deliver. Some might say that the highest priority feature should be in the first release. The problem is that the highest priority feature will take the most time to deliver or cannot be delivered in a stand-alone fashion. If our objective is to deliver value as soon as possible, it may be that the feature which is third on the priority list, can be delivered relatively quickly and can be delivered independent of the other features. If that is the case, that feature would be a good candidate to target for an initial release.


Continue to Delivering Projects on Schedule – Part 2 and find out the most important thing that needs to happen with project communication to promote on-time delivery.

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