Contingency Approach 3a/6 - Time
Persuading the Project Sponsors to Delay the Project Launch Date
You might think that this would be the hardest thing to achieve, but you might be surprised to learn that it could actually
be one of the easiest depending on how you aproach it.
Project Sponsors after all obviously want the project to launch quickly, however they also want to de-risk the launch and
ensure a quality product is launched. After all there is nothing worse than having a project which is rushed out against
the advice of those involved, runs a huge advertising campaign for the launch and then discover the project has run into
testing issues, or worse still, launches and then conks off with all the ensuing bad publicity that brings.
I hasten to add that this isn't the case in all companies. I know of companies where their entire rationale is to simply get
cutting edge projects out before the rest of their competitors whether it works or not, and then find a way of spinning
this to their advantage. You might be surprised to learn that this strategy has worked extremely well for this Organisation
and they not only have a good reputation, but they are market leaders in their highly competitive field!
Thankfully though they are a rarity. Therefore once you've done your planning and estimates, think carefully about whether
the project has a good chance of hitting the required launch date. If not then don't wait. Start having the conversations
now with your reporting line and Project Sponsors about getting the proposed launch date moved. Unless there is a specific
reason why the project must hit that launch date, depending on how you approach it, you will have a good chance of succeeding.
And if there is a specific reason why you have to launch by a certain date, then ensure you determine exactly what is the
very latest date this can be done by. Often you find this could be up to a month later than the project was supposed to
launch purely because, for example, an advertising campaign needs to run beforehand. By quantifying this, you will at least have the
full picture and know exactly when the drop dead date by when the project must launch is.
Contingency Approach Time 3a/6 - Tip
One key thing to remember here is, make sure you inform the sponsor how much you think the project launch date will slip by. Don't let
them assess this themselves, otherwise they'll devise a date they are happy with, rather than it being the right one for the
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