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Can We Reschedule?

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Ready or not, for most of the world, the busy holiday season is here. And the excitement--and, let's face it, the stress--is pushing work to the back burner.
What's a project manager to do? In some cases, the decision has been made for you.
Take Aspen, Colorado, USA--city law prohibits construction within the city limits for eight days, from 25 December to 1 January.
    "It's really messing my schedule up, and at this time of the year, we need to take advantage of every good day," Gary Wesley, superintendent of a construction project in Aspen, told The Aspen Times. "I had a lot that was going to happen that week."
Project managers and construction workers interviewed by The Aspen Times and Aspen Public Radio this week seem to view the construction prohibition as a recent development.    But the city's Construction Management Plan Requirements Manual, which was revised 19 September 2007 and dated December 2007, clearly states: "No construction is permitted on ... federally designated holidays including: Christmas week (Dec. 25 - Jan. 1)."
    The situation highlights the need to exercise due diligence in the initial stages of project planning. It must may prevent a lot of headaches once delays such as the holiday season strike--and mean one less source of stress.
    How do you plan for the holiday seasons? Does work slow or just stop completely?


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Planned holidays such as end of year can very well be handled by marking them as holidays in project management tools, but most challenging are the one's such as one month of leave due to health issues which has suddenly popedup or personal taroma, that too if it happened to be key person of the project at a critical time there is no escape from rescheduling plans.

Where do I sign up for these projects? Down time sounds great!


The situation that you describe seems not unusual to me. At least outside of the USA.

I grew up in Switzerland, I now live in California and can tell you that Europe in general has many "prohibition" days on which pretty much nothing moves. And I mean absolutely nothing. All the shops are closed, all the companies are shut down, no restaurants are open and there is no construction going on.

It is also not unusual that companies close down during both the summer vacation and year-end holidays. Once again, not much (or nothing) moves.

So what's a project manager to do? Simple. Deal with it and put it into your schedule as "down time". You cannot fight the system and it simply has to be part of your overall schedule.

And the good news is of course that you get to have some down time as well... :-)

Until Next Time,
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP
The Project Management Podcast

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