Schedule Surprise

This morning we had our weekly project meeting. The upper management in attendance was surprised that we were not making our schedule software release today. I said the project release date was two days from now. I myself found it unusual that they did not know we were slipping the schedule. The top manager in the room wanted to know why we were not meeting the schedule. I volunteered that I did not know that today’s delivery date was critical. However I added that we knew that date was not feasible a long time ago.

After the meeting I went to the latest release of the schedule. All of the tasks related to the one I was working on did not match the dates on the schedule. They were all way late. I guess my delivery slippage was the first time some of the upper management was alerted to the problems since my task was a very visible one. I immediately called my manager and said we had a problem. And I told him was going to escalate the schedule problems I saw up to the top manager on the project.

Finally this afternoon I got to speak with the high level manager. I told him that the dates in the schedule did not match actual dates for anything. I asked him whether he needed me to do anything other than inform my team lead or manager when things get off schedule. He said I should also try to work with them to plan a way to get back on schedule. He also said that I could escalate any issues up to high levels of management if I do not get satisfied with the reaction from my immediate supervisors.

I learned one important lesson from this exercise. I need to be more cognizant about the published delivery schedule, especially when I am the guy on the line for a delivery. So from now on I will study the schedule, and alert people when things are slipping. The best I can do is follow a process like this.