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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Getting Back on Track

One reason project management can be so, ahem, fulfilling is the plethora of choices you have for addressing problems. When your project isn't meeting the schedule or the budget, you can choose from several tuning techniques—and usually a combination of several—to set the project straight. This section summarizes the fine-tuning methods you learned in Chapter 12, which work as well during execution as they did during planning. Then, you learn about one additional approach that you turn to only during execution: assigning overtime.

A Review of Project Tuning Techniques

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Techniques that shorten duration may cost more, deliver less, or demand more from resources. Cutting costs may increase duration, decrease scope, reduce quality, or increase risk. Here's a quick review of the different ways you can adjust a schedule to correct course:

  • Increasing resource units. Assigning more of resources' time means more work gets done in less time, thus reducing duration. This approach assumes resources have more time to give (or are willing to give it).

  • Assigning resources with more availability. If you have resources who aren't already working around the clock, you can replace busy resources with people who have more available time. (Don't forget to evaluate the cost of bringing a new person up to speed on the project.)

  • Assigning more resources. Assigning more resources can shorten duration by providing more work hours every day. However, ...

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