It’s a project and yes changes are inevitable and to a large extent, so are delays. On a construction project, a delay could mean a critical path delay which for most part is instantly discoverable when it occurs. A cumulative delay is more of a cancer that continues to eat the project and is usually not discoverable until sometimes its too late. Do not be fooled into a false sense of security; if your end dates are holding just because your schedule says so, that’s only part of the news. Continue looking into how your project is going, are you making physical progress, is your SPI decent?
Back to the main story, when delays happen, project management reacts and most likely they will get all hands on deck and scream “Recover!” Yes, I know panic stations set in and all that but after the shouting, slow down and get down to doing something that will lend some sanity to the situation.
Ok, there is a delay and you have to recover, but here is the catch do you really need to recover? Remember all said and done, recovery costs $$!
A few points to consider-
- What do you achieve by recovery? If your project was ahead of schedule and even after the delay you can still deliver when the customer wants it, do you still want to recover.
- What do you gain by recovering? Is there a substantial bonus at stake?
- If recovery is going to cost you $ X and end results do not matter to the customer as long as product is delivered when the customer needs it, why spend the $$!
- If delays are translated into lost revenue for you in terms of liquidated damages amounting to $ X, but if the recovery costs you $x + $y, do you still want to recover?
- If the recovery helps gaining net revenue for you and protect your reputation by timely delivery, yes it may be worth it.
If you can truly slow down and assess the real cost-benefit of recovery, you are on the right track. Do not be wildebeest and go with the herd, learn to stand out and think on your own, a lone wolf perhaps?