Management Bug: Lack of Project Plan Updates

A MngtBug is a problem, cause or impact in a human manager’s decision which produces an incorrect or unexpected result. Every other week we share a little bit of our knowledge base on social media and our newsletter. This week’s MngtBug is…

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This week’s “Lack of Project Plan Updates” is a classic beginners mistake in project management.

By definition, the project plan is many things to the project manager. It is a record of what has occurred on the project. It illustrates what is happening on the project right now. And, it prepares the project team by showing what will be coming up.

Keeping the plan current is an important role of the project manager (or project administrator).

The project plan is the primary communication tool used by the project manager. When project sponsors ask “Are we going to make our Phase One target date?” or the CFO asks, “What capital expenses will we incur in Quarter 4?” or the customer asks, “What will be the impact to the project cost if we add another door?”, the project manager turns to the updated project plan to get the answers; most plans follow a standard format in order to be effective.

Once a project plan is agreed upon, a baseline has been established and the project has momentum, the project manager will record time worked on a regular basis. How often this happens depends on how current the team wants the plan to be. Weekly time updates are typical, but daily may be desired for very time-sensitive projects.

It can be quite a task to get the team on the plan to record their time worked and on what. Sometimes a project administrator is used to track down time and/or remind team members to turn in or record their time.

This is also a good time for the project manager to update the resources portion of the project calendar. Vacations, leave and team availability should be reviewed and updated as needed.

Other resource timelines should be reviewed, as well. The expected arrival of materials and availability of outside resources impact the project when delayed or even made available sooner than expected. (Extracted from

Plans serve as a guide and should be updated with the last agreed-upon expectations of the stakeholders.

Known Associates

This MngtBug has been mentioned in relation to a number of MngtFixes such as…
“Project Plan Definition and Communication”,
“Roles and Ownership Definition”,
“Project Management Templates Definition and Implementation”,
“Project Management Training”,
“Project Planning Implementation”,
and of course “Project Plan Updates”!

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What about you? What do you want more or less of on medium post?
Do you have other suggestions?

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Have a nice week and remember…
Human Managers should strive to be humans while managing and be managed as humans!

Eduardo Espinheira is a Consultant, Facilitator, Manager, Public Speaker, Creator of the Management Bugs&Fixes and the Machiavellian PM Stories