In the project management world, you must be ready to embrace change and adjust your methodology based on your team and the preferences of your clients. It doesn’t matter how well you plan for a project, there will always be surprise changes that come your way. It is natural to have unexpected changes occur during the process, as long as you know how to adjust. The best way to reassess your project management process is to use correct action, preventive action, and defect repair.
If you have never heard of these terms before, don’t worry. This article will help you become more familiar with these key project management terms. Knowing when to choose corrective action, preventive action, or defect repair can help you make better decisions when you’re on the job and allow you to prepare more fully for these types of questions, should they occur on the PMP exam or during training courses.
What Is Corrective Action?
Corrective action allows you to realign your process even if you have already started your project. It doesn’t matter how well you plan. Every good project manager must be prepared for change and unexpected circumstances. This is why understanding project constraints as a manager can help you become well-informed in these situations. The most important project constraints to keep in mind are money and time. You must always complete a project within budget and on time per the clients’ request, no matter what. To meet these objectives and get the job done right, you’ll need to take corrective action and get the project back on track. Otherwise you risk failing your client and disappointing your team as a manager.
Examples of Corrective Action in Project Management
If you are managing a project that has fallen behind schedule, you will need to reassess your process in order to meet project objectives. If the project is not completed on time, this will reflect poorly on you as a project manager. The only reason it would be acceptable to change the project constraints is when the client suggests a readjustment. Unless there is a new requirement coming from the client or an approved change request, it’s up to you to stay on schedule.
In order to meet your deadline on time, you must take corrective action and get your team back on track. Future tasks must be prioritized and completed quickly, and you might need extra resources in order to finish on time. It is up to you as the project manager to know what to ask for and when. If you need more people or tools, it’s best to take this corrective action before it’s too late.
What Is Preventive Action?
Next, we will explore preventive action. Preventive action is an activity that ensures that the final outcome of the project aligns with the current plan. Corrective action is taken after a challenge is already present, while preventive action occurs beforehand. Project managers must take preventive action when there is an anticipated risk that could impact the outcome of the project.
Examples of Preventive Action in Project Management
If you lose a team member at the beginning of a project, there will be a loss of manpower and you may not have the resources to complete the project on time. A good project manager will know to take preventive action and make a new hire so that the team does not struggle. Without making a new hire, the project schedule will be impacted and the client’s deadlines may not be met. Having a preventive action plan will allow the project to be completed fully without presenting a burden on other team members.
What Is Defect Repair?
Defect repair is used by project managers to modify a component of the project when needed. Once a key element of the project is complete, it must be checked for quality control and to ensure that the client will be satisfied. If there are problems with the deliverable, it must be fixed prior to being presented to the customer.
Examples of Defect Repair In Project Management
If you develop a product that has a malfunction, such as a sticky keyboard key, this will need to be fixed prior to being transferred to the client. If the defect repair stage was taken prior to this occurring, the client would never have been presented with a malfunctioning product.
How Do Changes Get Approved During a Project?
Every so often, project changes must be approved in order for the project to be completed. Approved change requests can be any of the previous three methods we just discussed:
- Corrective Action
- Preventive Action
- Defect Repair
Once change requests are submitted, there will be new requirements for the project. Thus, you as a project manager will have to reassess your plan in order to prevent any negative impacts caused by these changes. Use corrective action, preventive action, and defect repair to make the most informed decisions for your team and all of your projects.
Understanding the information in this article is an essential part of project management and a vital part of the PMP exam. Improve your project management skills or prepare for the PMP Certification exam by taking a quality online PMP exam prep course.