Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Project gone sour? How to set the course for recovery

We struck upon this article from PMTips. net and we'd love to share it with you. Brad Egeland writes that from his experience it’s very difficult to recover from a poorly planned or kicked off project; however, all is not lost. Egeland offers three ways to recover a good project that has gone sour.
  • Work stoppage to re-plan
Egeland personally believes in – and finds the most success with – putting a work stoppage or major slowdown in place on a project that he has taken over is one of the quickest ways to assess the situation and inject some additional much needed planning. Of course, this additional planning would have been better served and cheaper had it happened at the beginning of the project. Undoubtedly, there is going to be some hit to the project budget and probably and even greater hit to the project schedule, but it’s far better to do this now than risk losing the project entirely.
  • Adjust the schedule, reset customer expectations
The next option involves just accepting the problem and adjusting the schedule accordingly. If the customer isn’t interested in halting the project to perform necessary re-planning, then the next best option is to work hard to reset customer expectations on both schedule and budget and possibly on the quality of the end solution, but that will be a very very hard sell. Get the customer to understand there will be a delay and negotiate with them on budget issues to hopefully keep from having the plug pulled on the project.
  • Add resources
Finally, the old “adding resources” option. Throw more bodies at it. Every seasoned project manager knows that this likely won’t work well. At best it gets the project completed well over budget and probably long past the original due date – hopefully salvaging at least some customer satisfaction. At worse it becomes a behemoth project that devours dollars and days faster than you ever thought possible and becomes about as effective as a BP oil spill disaster plan.

We encourage you to go to to discover how you can turn around project failure and keep stakeholders happy and well-informed. Our thanks to Brad Egeland for the great article!

What do you do when your project is the express lane to failure?

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