Plan Versus Reality

Plan Versus Reality

Projects seldom unfold exactly as planned, and this is where operational project management plays a pivotal role. As a project manager, your role involves continuous monitoring and adaptation of the project plan as the project progresses. This entails vigilant tracking of actual values versus planned values, crucial for staying on course and making informed decisions.

How to get to the

In Merlin Project, you can seamlessly set up the plan/actual comparison project view to facilitate this process. Access the Plan/Actual Comparison via Work Breakdown Structure > Plan/Actual Comparison (Time) or Plan/Actual Comparison (Cost). The "Time" view presents a Gantt chart with reference bars showcasing planned and actual scheduling values. The "Cost" view focuses on the disparity between planned and actual costs and their impact on the overall budget.

The Inspector for Actual Values in Merlin Project

Suppose you encounter an activity taking more work than anticipated. To integrate reality into the project plan, select the activity and navigate to the Inspector for "Activity: Actual Values" (fourth tab). Input the accurate date for the "Actual Start" to reflect when work truly commenced. Adjust the completion percentage based on the progress made, specifying how much work has been done and how much remains for completion.

As actual values are input, the view automatically calculates and displays the disparities between "Planned" and "Actual" values. This includes initial planned versus actual work, start and end dates, and other relevant metrics. Planned values, in grey, can be styled in the style inspector by modifying the design of "Reference Bars."

Expected Values: The "Expected" values are updated based on actual values, offering insights into the project's future considering both the initial plan and the actual execution.

Aligning the Open Day Event to Reality

Executing an open house event for VitaLeaf Botanicals Inc. introduces challenges impacting time, scope, or cost. Potential circumstances leading to changes or delays include:

The Project Plan has been adapted based on time delays in some activities
  • Vendor and Supply Issues: Shortages or logistical problems with vendors could delay setup, necessitating changes to the event scope or increased costs for last-minute replacements.

  • Venue-Related Complications: Issues like double-booking or unexpected maintenance might prompt changes in the event date or location, incurring additional costs.

  • Weather Conditions: Unpredictable weather may necessitate rescheduling for outdoor events, impacting the timeline and incurring additional costs.

  • Staffing Challenges: Unavailability of key staff due to emergencies could impact event execution, potentially increasing labor costs.

Other circumstances affecting the event could include budget overruns, technical difficulties, regulatory changes, unexpectedly high attendance, and communication issues. Proactive and agile event management, coupled with transparent communication, is essential to address these challenges effectively and maintain stakeholder trust. Stay informed about circumstances leading to changes in the project plan and adapt accordingly.

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