Project Tolerances
Tolerances are a key part of being able to work autonomously as a Project Manager. Having a tolerance
means you can be over a bit or under a bit and not have to continually go back to your Project Sponsor
and get any variation approved. It gives you some slack to manage things in the best possible way and
to be a professional about how you deliver projects.
A tolerance is a performance range to which you will keep inside of. Positive tolerances (the amount by
which you can go over) are the most common. Who cares if you are significantly under against budget
or come in three months early? Actually, negative tolerances are just as important. Coming in under
budget means you have tied up budget unnecessarily for a length of time, and in the current economic
climate no sponsor will thank you for that. That isn’t to say that you should spend money on random
items just to stay within tolerance, but once you drop below your tolerance levels it would be a good time
to reforecast your project budget and free up any spare cash that you won’t be using.
The two most frequently used tolerances are budget and time.
Tolerance area
+/- time of planned
+/- amount of planned
Allowed scope variations
Allowed aggregate threat
value/individual threat value
Allowed quality variations
within a range
Allowed benefit variations
within a range
Author: PMO Office
Version: 2.0
Contact: [email protected]
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