How important a Plan B can be in project management
Finding alternatives and having them ready
The same can happen with a project worth millions. Of course, you cannot prepare for all sorts of situations, because there will always be moments when something really unexpected happens, leaving those involved in the project at a loss. In these moments, the project manager must take the initiative and encourage his colleagues and employees to think creatively. If the project manager does not have a Plan B ready, one must be developed as soon as possible, which can be presented to the customer as an alternative.
Develop Plan B on the right basis
There is a risk that you will not receive the building permit on time. It could be that no suitable offer is submitted for the complicated facade work that the customer wishes, because only very few companies carry out this work at all and these are overloaded. Good project managers recognize such eventualities at the beginning of a project, and they address the possible alternatives at an early stage. When it comes to this, replanning is necessary, but at least they already know how to react and what consequences the alternative will have in terms of time and costs.
Risk analysis and critical path
In a similar way, you can summarise and view the non-critical but important elements. Pay particular attention to those factors that are unique and exceptional, as well as those that, in your experience, can cause problems. If there is only one person in the project team who can draw up the specifications or if there is only one road that leads to the construction site and is wide enough so that larger deliveries can be made via it, a disturbance at this point can lead to a far-reaching obstruction of the project. But you could enquire early on about external offices that could step in if the worst came to the worst. You could check whether it is possible to temporarily widen one of the other roads and find out what that costs. All these anticipatory measures cost time and you obviously need to focus more on the actual project management tasks at hand and not get bogged down in risk defence. Weigh carefully what you invest your time in but always think about alternatives to have at least a vague idea. This will help you avoid panic and knee-jerk reactions. You also inspire confidence in the client because he sees that you have always thought of everything and considered an alternative early on.
Opportunities and risks
In addition, a hectic, hasty problem solving is never effective. Don't mourn the strategies that didn't work but look to the future and focus your energy on making Plan B work well.
Do you already have experience in analysing risks and identifying opportunities? Then show this to your customers and future clients with the Certified Senior Project Manager (IAPM) certification.