How Smart Project Managers Build Schedules When There is Lack Of Information

Written by LetsBuild

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As project manager, have the right, opportunity and responsibility to build a winning efficient project management plan. Within this responsibility, comes the challenge with not having the right information when it comes to proposing a time frame for the execution. In other cases, you will be in a situation where you are not an expert on some major topics that are underlying factors for the desired results. What do you do then? Well, there are two methods used by smart PM’s to deal with this kind of situations:

The Boomerang Method

This method is all about involving others to contribute with their expertise, in a remote way. The first thing you need to do is to create initial draft of the project. What this draft represent is the initial scope of work that you and your team guess or assume it will take place – once the project starts. When the draft is completed, send it to the stakeholders for feedback. The stakeholders can include, client representatives, consultants or subject matter experts, representatives within your company and other partners. During this boomerang process, certain changes will be made and activities will be added or deleted. You, as the project manager, will take the feedback and incorporate the relevant changes into the schedule and plan. This approach is relevant and recommended since it provides opportunities for feedback and feeling of ownership from the stakeholders.

The Facilitator Method

This method is sort of built on top of the boomerang method. I say this because, this method is all about one or more live sessions with the major stakeholders, consultants, client reps and experts. What you do here is you gather all of them for one or more days to discuss, plan and agree on what needs to be done. If the project is big and there are a lot of details that need to be taken care of, then you may need to divide the stakeholders in groups and meet with every group separately. The value of this method, lies in the engagement and contribution that you get live and in real time. Of course that this method is more intensive and requests more energy and resources, but it is a great way to get things done better and faster. Choose the one that best fits in your situation and context. At the end, you, as a project manager will end up with a bulletproof schedule built with input from experts. Also, please have in mind that you OWN the schedule from now on and should execute based on it.

How does all of this sound to you? Look, any of the two options above is good. Just pick one and see the results. Of course, you are going to need a good “partner” so you can collect, store and deploy the gathered information. A smart project manager also knows to go through all the things listed in this construction project management checklist. Aside from that, a smart project manager also acknowledges these 10 key responsibilities.