InControl – Step by Step Instructions

STEP 1. Name the project milestone.

STEP 2. When a project milestone is originally set, or re-baseline, enter the reported date and the milestone date in the first row. This also sets default reporting dates with no slippage in the second and third rows.

STEP 3. Change the dates in the second and third rows as necessary to reflect actual or planned reporting dates.

STEP 4. When a milestone is next reported, correct the reporting date and the milestone date in the second or third row as appropriate. If necessary use the ‘copy to’ function to move the dates in the third row into the second and then correct the dates in the third row.

A well managed project will always show the average slippage per day well below the fixed blue 45 degree line. If the average slippage is at 45 degrees, then the milestone is slipping as fast as time progresses. This is the definition of an out of control project!

STEP 5. To set a warning prior to 45 degrees, enter a tolerance ratio. For example; 1:1 is 45 degrees, a slippage of 25 days over a reporting month (25:30) is about 40 degrees, as is a slippage of 75 days over a quarter. While 40 days over a quarter (40:90) is about 24 degrees and slippage of a fortnight over a quarter (14:90) is about 9 degrees.

STEP 6. If the average slippage is below tolerance, then the triangle and the traffic light will show green, unless instantaneous slippage is above 45 degrees. In this case the triangle and the traffic light will show yellow.

If the average slippage is above tolerance, then the triangle and the traffic light will show yellow regardless of instantaneous slippage.

If the average slippage is above 45 degrees, then the triangle and the traffic light will show red.

InControl – Example Scenario

You have oversight of a project and the project manager has just provided the schedule which indicates a number of activities and milestones. You select a couple of salient milestones to monitor.

Press + then enter the project and milestone names.

Note the pre-populated dates in the first column beginning with today’s date. These are the anticipated project reporting dates. The app assumes monthly, but you can set these to whatever is planned. The second column of dates are the delivery dates of the selected milestone. Change the first of these to match what the project manager is promising in the schedule. Let’s assume this is a year away (May 2014). Note that the subsequent two dates are now set to this same, baselined date and the traffic light shows Green. The last thing to do is set your tolerance. How much slippage are you prepared to tolerate before you consider the project to be ‘Amber’? The default is 25 days slippage in 30. This is pretty generous, let’s change this to 20:30.

Now let’s assume a month has passed, its June 2013 and the project manager is making their first progress report. The project manager advises that the project is on-track. No change, so you need not change anything either.

Next months report (July) is different. The project has slipped a month to June 2014. Change the third date in the second column to reflect this slippage. The project is Amber! You’ve made only half the progress you expected to this point.

The next month (August) things are better. The project manager reports we are still on track as reported last month. In this case just touch to “copy to” arrow to update the app. The triangle means there has been slippage, but its within tolerance and the traffic light shows Green. The good news continues for a couple of reporting months and as you touch the “copy to” arrow, the triangle gets smaller and the slippage forms a smaller proportion of the total progress and the traffic light stays Green.

However, October brings terrible news. Hiring challenges means a further slippage, this time to September 2014. We are Amber again! Our tolerance is exceeded. Worse, we have slipped four months and the project is only five months along. The triangle is large and sits high on the dial. This project needs very close attention!

It’s November and there is yet more problems You press the “copy to” arrow, and see that if we had held the line, we would still have been Amber, but the lower position the triangle shows we are getting back on track. Indeed if we held for the next period we would be Green again.

Alas it is not to be. Having pressed the “copy to” arrow, you adjust the delivery date to December 2014. The project is Red. You really should replace this project manager. Only six moths have passed and you are being told the contact centre is over 13 months away. The milestone is slipping into the future faster than time is ticking by! There are really only two explanations, either the project manager is lying to you about what can be achieved, or he doesn’t know what he is doing.

So you replace the project manager. The new project manager holds the milestone, for the first report in December. The “copy to” arrow sets the traffic light Amber.

Indeed this project manager is delivering. The milestone does not slip and all you have to do is use “copy to” as you move into 2014. The triangle progressively shrinks and eventually turns Green.