Approaches for Project Downsizing

Program and Project Management

 

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Program and Project Management > Best Practices > Approaches for Project Downsizing

Approaches for Project Downsizing
Arthur Rowland
I have recently been tasked to come up with a proposal from the prime contractor (we are subs) that will significantly cut my team's hours. What is the best way to comply with the request without making my team's resources seem irrelevant.
 

 
Proposal for Project Downsizing
Gopalakrishna Bhat, Project Manager, India, Member
You can have two approaches. This is what I do in such situations.
1. Justify the "value add" you team is doing to the project and try to convince the prime contractor.
2. If the contracor has already decided to cut down the hours of your team, you do not have any option other than deploying the excess team members to some other project.
 

 
Resource Assessment
MATTHEW ZHANG
Move the resource to other projects rather than keep the redundant resource, because as project manager you are measured by project payback instead of managing a big number of people :-).
 

 
Reducing Project Manhours
Carmelo L. Neri, Consultant, Philippines, Member
Here in our country to reduce man hours we usually contract out specific works to highly skilled workers with a competitive compensation. Cost of labor increases, but project is shortened by many hours. There is always an increase in cost to shorten a project's timetable but early completed project may pay off the increased cost.
 

 
Proposal to Cut Team Hours
T. Stahl
The best way to is cut work, not hours. Keep the work that your team is really good at, and where it is key to the projects success. If your team does great work on those bits, the prime may increase your work later on.
I would also be sure to identify, document and communicate the risks associated with cutting your teams hours. You do not want the prime to fail, and come back later and blame you. Ensure everything is on paper and is clear as to what is being cut, why and the risks that may arise due to this.
 

 
Revisit the RACI Chart
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
I faced a similar downsizing where I was the sole contractor. I suggested that we go back to the RACI chart that was created with the project manager. It then became a matter of determining what activities would be eliminated, if the time effort was to be reduced, or if activity responsibility was being transferred to someone else. Once the PM saw the bigger picture, he realized the value I was adding. He also was in a great position to go back to the project sponsor and steering committee with options: "if we delete this activity, here are the implications and the risk."
The RACI review may still end up in your hours being reduced. However, think of the exercise as a value add for the client in truly understanding what the downsizing ramifications will be at a task/activity level.
 

     
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