What is Replanning in Project Management?

April 02, 2024
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Product Marketing Manager
What is Replanning in Project Management?

Replanning in project management refers to the process of revisiting and adjusting the project plan to address changes, constraints and uncertainties that arise throughout the project lifecycle. It is essential to ensure that the project plan reflects the truth about the project.

Replanning may be done at the project level, in a single control account or work package, or at individual activities in the schedule.

In government contracting, replanning takes on an important role as part of the change management process. As contract changes are approved at the project or program level, those changes need to be made to schedules and plans in a precise way and documented. Replanning may also be used to adjust for out-of-sequence work, also known as out-of-sequence progress.

Importance of Replanning

Replanning ensures that the projects remain on track, meet their objectives and adapt to unforeseen challenges.

One of the key reasons why replanning is crucial is its ability to adapt to changing circumstances. As we know, plans are often made based on the information available at a particular point in time. However, as the project unfolds, new information and factors may arise that necessitate a reevaluation of the original plans. By engaging in replanning, individuals and organizations can remain flexible and responsive to these changes, ultimately enhancing the project's chances of success.

Furthermore, replanning also enables a thorough review of the project's progress and performance. By regularly revisiting the original plans and comparing them to the current status, stakeholders can identify any gaps, inefficiencies, or deviations that may have occurred. This allows for a more informed decision-making process and the opportunity to make necessary adjustments to improve the project's outcome.

When to Replan

Knowing when to replan is crucial to the success of a project and there are several situations that may necessitate the need to replan, including changes in project scope, unexpected obstacles and shifts in priorities.

One common reason to replan is when there are changes in the project scope. This could be due to new requirements, additional stakeholders, or unforeseen challenges that arise during the course of the project. When the original plan no longer aligns with the current scope, it may be necessary to revise and adjust it accordingly.

Additionally, unexpected obstacles or roadblocks can also trigger the need to replan. These obstacles could be in the form of resource constraints, technical issues, or external factors that impact the project timeline or budget. Replanning in such situations allows for the identification of alternative approaches and solutions to address these obstacles effectively.

Furthermore, shifts in priorities within the organization or changes in market conditions may also warrant the need to replan. This could involve reprioritizing tasks, reallocating resources, or adjusting timelines to align with the new priorities.

Replanning Challenges

Replanning often presents various challenges that project managers must navigate to ensure the success of their projects, including uncertainty, stakeholders and resources.

One of the primary challenges of replanning is dealing with uncertainty and change. Projects are inherently dynamic, and unexpected events, such as market shifts or technological advancements, can necessitate changes to the project plan. Project managers must carefully assess the impact of these changes and adapt the plan accordingly to mitigate risks and ensure the project's continued success.

Another significant challenge of replanning is managing stakeholder expectations. When a project plan is revised, stakeholders may have concerns about delays, budget increases, or changes in project goals. Project managers must effectively communicate the reasons for the replan, the potential implications, and the strategies for moving forward to maintain stakeholder trust and support.

Additionally, replanning challenges can also arise from resource limitations and dependencies. Adjusting the project plan may require reallocation of resources, renegotiation of contracts, or rearrangement of project dependencies. Project managers must carefully coordinate these changes to minimize disruptions and maintain project progress.

Challenges in Government Contracting

Project management best practices include documenting replanning as part of monthly program management reports, including the reasons for the replan and the effects.

For government contractors, this is especially important to track, including any approvals required for the changes. The approval level frequently depends on the value of the change and the impact, if any, on key milestones or the project completion.

Companies that have earned value requirements from the government will have a system description explaining their company process and documentation requirements.

In programs, changes in individual projects may have ripple effects across other projects in the program.

How Does Deltek Open Plan Help Automate Replanning?

Whatever the reason for replanning, Deltek Open Plan helps automate the mechanics of this by providing an option to replan in-progress activities. Open Plan support focuses on those activities that are in progress but need to be replanned. This allows project managers to assess changes and adapt plans to reduce risks and impacts on the schedule.

Replanning an activity includes breaking it into two parts, the original activity is marked complete on a “Split Date” of your choice. This represents the work that has been done by the split date, and the ID of this completed activity has a suffix you provide added to it to indicate it was replanned. Resource assignments and detailed steps that were completed during this porting of the work remain on the completed activity.

A new activity is created with the original ID to represent the remaining portion of the scope. This includes any resource assignments that were not finished by the split date and any detailed steps that were not complete. This activity also has all of the same coding as the original activity.

Open Plan ties the logic together between these two activities and automatically adjusts predecessor and successor logic for you.

What is needed next is to detail the revised plan for the remainder of the activity and create any new relationships, resource assignments or detailed steps that are needed to accomplish the replanned scope. Another important step is to update stakeholders about delays, budget increases, or changes in project scope so that everyone stays on the same page.

Users of our cost management solution Deltek Cobra may also need to change activity codes. For example, if you are replanning the work package in Cobra to create a new work package, you would update the work package ID on the new activity in Open Plan to align with the changes in Cobra.


Deltek Open Plan

Planning and scheduling with multi-project support, resource management, risk analysis and flexible reporting.