In my last article, “How Gantt Chart-Literate Are You?,” I posed a challenge to you. Only one person noticed that if an entire portfolio is scheduled to start on April fools day, it can’t be taken too seriously. However, here is my solution (seriously!).

Here’s the original chart:

How Gantt Chart-Literate Are You: The Puzzler Solution

Project AAAA: Started late by almost one week, is up-to-date, and is forecasted to take two business days longer than its original duration (20d). Action item for the portfolio manager:

  1. Explore ways to shorten the project duration to bring forecasted finish date back to the baseline finish date.

Project BBBB: Started early by a few days and is not up-to-date. The early forecasted finish date isn’t reliable, but is forecasted currently to take one day longer (21d instead of 20d). Action items for the portfolio manager:

  1. Ask project manager BBBB the clarifying question: have you updated your schedule as per the start of the 16th of this month, or have you left remaining work scheduled in the past?
  2. Urge the project manager BBBB to update the schedule (correctly).
  3. Review the up-to-date schedule.

Project CCCC: Started late by a few days and is not up-to-date. The on-time forecast finish isn’t reliable, but the duration is currently forecasted to take two fewer days (18d instead of 20d). Action items for the portfolio manager:

  1. Ask project manager CCCC the clarifying question: Have you updated your schedule as per the start of the 16th of this month, or have you left remaining work scheduled in the past?
  2. Urge the project manager CCCC to update his or her schedule (correctly).
  3. Review the up-to-date schedule.

After scrutinizing the responses, I’ve concluded that only three people had a perfect analysis and strong recommendations:

  • Jim Peters
  • Joe Slade
  • Cliff Barbour

Since Jim was the first one in with the best response, he wins the book. But I definitely give an honorable nod to Joe and Cliff. Thanks to all of you who entered!