Who Should Update the Workplan?

In some large projects, the project manager asks each team member to update the workplan with a current status and effort hours (if the effort hours are being tracked). In this scenario, the team members normally indicate whether their assigned work is completed. If not, they identify the percentage of the activity that is complete, or adjust the end date to reflect when the activity will be complete. They can also plug in their actual effort hours for each activity so far. In most cases, team members are not allowed to assign themselves to new work, add new activities or otherwise alter the workplan. After the team members update the plan with current status, the project manager can begin to evaluate the overall project status.

For very large projects, it is also common for one or more workplan administrators to be assigned to update the workplan with actuals on behalf of the project manager. They can get information from team members and update current status and actual hours worked. They can run a standard set of reports for the project manager and get additional information from team members for anything that looks unusual. The workplan administrators bring this all to the project manager for final analysis and evaluation. The bottom line is that the additional staff perform much of the logistics associated with the workplan, but it is still the responsibility of the project manager to understand what is going on and make the appropriate decisions to complete the project successfully.

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