There is one more difference between French and English when talking about projects - the status of a project vs. the end result.
Do you see a difference between...?
- The project will be late.
- The project is behind schedule.
Perhaps you notice that one is in the future and one is in the present? You are right and we use different words to describe the current project status (which can change) and the end result of the project in the future. In French, you don't use different words for this - le projet est en retard, quoi!
If the project is behind schedule, there are different things a project manager can do to catch up the delay and get the project back on track. Any ideas?
- She can make everyone work overtime
- She can fast track the project (ie, put certain tasks in parallel)
- She can crash the schedule (ie, add more resources)
- She can reduce the scope
And so on. We make the same distinction between:
- The project will be on time.
- The project is on schedule.
A project whose current status is "on schedule" could tomorrow start to slip and suddenly fall behind schedule. (I'm sure you could imagine many ways this could happen). We don't say a project is "on time" unless we are predicting how the project will end.
So because of the difference with French, it may help to think of this way:
- The project is behind schedule → en retard par rapport au planning
- The project is on schedule → dans les temps par rapport au planning
- The project is ahead of schedule → en avance par rapport au planning