Friday, August 04, 2006

Good project gone bad

So you have a project plan, you have contingency plans, you have a methodology, you have a PMO and your project still goes to hell in a hand basket. What do you do?

There are simple options that are not really the purview of Project Management but need to be acknowledged first. Option 1 is ignore it. There are a lot of variants of "ignore it" which include "assign blame", "I am a victim" and "this is the way all projects of this kind go" etc.

The other simple option is to disengage. Disengagement can occur in a number of different ways which can range from people leaving the team to people withdrawing ideas and effort short of leaving the team.

If you are the PM or responsible leader for this project and cannot personally follow a simple option, it will still be important to remember that others have simple options.

If you are responsible for a turn-around strategy for a project:

Step 1: Recognize the situation requires a turn-around
Step 2: Assess the current state
Step 3: Define the goal state and how the current state deviates from goal state.
Step 4: Define a turn-around plan. Check if the project is still worth saving.
Step 5: Get buy-in
Step 6: Start the new project.