A well planned work schedule will support maximum utilization of resources and ensure on time delivery to the customer. However things don’t always go as planned. Changes to the work schedule should be expected and scheduling adjustments should be made in a timely fashion. There are three basic components that can be adjusted in the work schedule – resources, scope (deliverables) and time (promised delivery date). Optimally they can be modified in that order. In other words resources should be the first place changes should be sought, then scope then time:
- Resources – When it’s necessary to make changes to the work schedule this is usually the best place to start. This area can refer to dedicated resources such as bays or equipment but most often people are reassigned to overcome unanticipated requirements or assignments that are behind schedule. Changing work assignments can be an effective way to overcome work overloads but this type of action can negatively impact morale.
- Scope – When work schedule adjustments are necessary and there are no available resources to address the problem the next place to look is at the deliverables. It may be necessary to defer some recommended services in order to meet a promised delivery date. Although this is not desirable it may be the best alternative.
- Time – This component of scheduling refers to the promised delivery date. It is much better to reassign resources or reduce deliverables in order to meet a scheduled date but sometimes neither of those options will overcome the scheduling problem. When this situation occurs changing the promised delivery date may be the only option.