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Turning your project around


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With these odds vying against project managers it is becoming more and more necessary that rather than cancel a project to look at a way that the project can be turned around and show some form of economic viability for the project and the company as a whole.

With this change in paradigm it will require some quick thinking both within the process of how the project is being managed and getting the buy in from both your project team and the stakeholders

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Turning your project around

  2. 2. OVERVIEW The rate of project failure in today’s economy is becoming what one considers to the norm for the rollout of projects in today’s business environment. Poor Requirements Definition 50% Poor Scope Definition 15% Inadequate Risk Management 17% Communication Problems 14% Lack of Qualified Resources 3% Other 1% ESI International Survey - 2000
  3. 3. With these odds vying against project managers it is becoming more and more necessary that rather than cancel a project to look at a way that the project can be turned around and show some form of economic viability for the project and the company as a whole. With this change in paradigm it will require some quick thinking both within the process of how the project is being managed and getting the buy in from both your project team and the stakeholders. OVERVIEW
  4. 4. ADVANTAGES Turning your project around will allow:  The firming of the money spent to date  Projecting earned value and propose a positive balance in the future .  That with a change in the approach and some re- planning you will deliver the project and more importantly you will deliver the project with the stakeholder’s blessing and approval.  That your product will be launched and you will still keep your foothold in the marketplace
  5. 5. KEEP IN MIND  The important thing is not to overcomplicate or overthink what you need to do swift and focussed action is what is required now both for the project and the business as a whole.  Remember that for each area in your project that is showing a problem a resolution can be found.  At the end of the day every problem has the chance of being turnaround without cancelling the whole show.
  6. 6. PREPARATION  Select the recovery team  Book out the day in their calendars  Prepare the meeting room  Send out the recovery approach  Assign roles and responsibilities for the recovery plan  Notify the stakeholders and finalise recovery communication plan  Assign admin support for the day  Prepare the costing analysis for the day  Obtain approval for the cost either via a change control or a project exception  Setup a central document storage unit for the recovery documentation and information  Agree to the folder structure  Provide shared access for the information
  7. 7. Project Manager Business Owner Technical Business Analyst Design Team External Suppliers Production Manager Operations THE RECOVERY TEAM Please note The recovery team will be set up in accordance of the full responsibility required to roll out the project and this could be the time where new resources are added to get a fresh view on the way forward. This could result in additional costs for the project and will need to be approved by the relevant stakeholders
  8. 8. THE RECOVERY PLAN The Project Baseline Assessment The Recovery Project Plan Assessing the Risk Presenting to the Stakeholders Go / No Go Decision
  9. 9. Obtain this information from the original project documentation Time – Schedule Cost – Financial and budget analysis Scope – Requirements documentation and business case Against each area of the triple constraints determine the actual slippage to date on time, scope and cost. Remember this is only based on actual work days for the project Determine the slippage for each tasks and then roll it up to Level 1 milestones to get the full slippage picture • Actual start date • Current finish date • Slippage You will need to do a projected view of what is required to roll out the project to deliver the completed product. 1. Actual + Slippage = Work to date 2. Current completed work plus delta to complete – final target against cost and time to get final target numbers THE PROJECT BASELINE – ASSESSMENT Original Plan Current completed activity/tasks Slippage Delta to complete The assessment will provide an overall picture of the current status of the project, what milestones have been achieved and what has yet to be accomplished. The recovery assessment must clearly show the actual slippage to date and the full cost impact of the slippage and risk to the company. Finally you will need to provide a snapshot of what is still needed to complete the full project and the benefits of this.
  10. 10. THE RECOVERY PROJECT PLAN Scope CostTime Redefine the project baseline setting up • A revised scope document (this could be either a requirement document or a new business case • Outline the revised project mandate • Against each revised activity accurately define the actual time to complete the task and this must be 100% accurate • Outline the agreed cost against each activity. Remember to include any supplier cost as well It is important to ensure that the correct project team and skills are now in place to take the project through to the finish line. Ensure that each and every activity to complete the task has the correct resource or team member assigned and draw up the roles and responsibility What could be done here is for each team member and supplier to sign a project charter to ensure buy in and commitment to complete the recovered project plan The final step in the recovery plan will be to assess the viability of proceeding with the recovery • Return on Investment • Measuring the quality • Handover of the product whether this in an on-line product or a product being sold to the public • Projected value and how this will improve the companies market foothold and competitive standing Project Baseline Resources Viability
  11. 11. ASSESSING THE RISK One of the key factors to ensure that you have all of the information on hand for understanding whether a project recovery is viable or not is to conduct a risk assessment based on two key factors • To proceed with the recovery • Not to proceed with the recovery Medium Level Risk High Level Risk Low Level Risk Medium Level Risk Probability Impact Low Low High High Once the full risk assessment is done you will need to draw up the findings showing the result of both recovery routes to provide data on 9what provides the less risk for recovery
  12. 12. PRESENTING TO THE STAKEHOLDERS • Current status of project • Reasons why to continue • Reasons why not to continue • Savings to company if project is cancelled • Cost to company if recovery plan is approved • Revised timeline to complete • Revised charter and mandate • Agreed actions and decisions Once you have all of the information at hand and you are able to provide a full view of what will be required to go ahead or to not go ahead with the project you will need to present the findings to the stakeholders and shareholders. Recommended
  13. 13. THE GO OR NO GO DECISION Go Decision • Setup new mandate and project charter • Baseline the project plan and ensure full approval has been obtained • Assign the project team and finalise the roles and responsibilities • Setup the recovered project budget • Ensure the revised SOW has been obtained from the appointed suppliers • Finalise the recovered project plan with the new time, cost and scope baselines • Agree on quality plan • Setup agreed documentation folders in shared drive • Hold kick off meeting No Go Decision • Proceed with your established project close out process • Notify the suppliers that the project has been cancelled and proceed to contract review and close out and finalise financials • Send out release notifications to the project team and ensure that the correct termination letters are sent to contractors where relevant • Notify PMO or relevant body that the project is terminated • Provide final status report on project • Begin to store all documentation on shared drive • Conduct a lessons learnt with the full team and stakeholders Once the decision has been obtained on a Go or No Go Decision remember to setup enough time to plan either option and ensure that the costs for each process has been approved in writing
  14. 14. The great thing about recovering a project is that all of your hard work will pay dividends. Clear and absolute focus on the end goals will ensure that you move forward with your team and stakeholders to deliver successfully. Projects will always have challenges and to be able to turn a project around and move it forward to deliver the vision and the mission is what makes project management the best place to be . A final word Contact Information Email Mobile +44 (0) 77 843 02708 LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn Profile Skype clionaoh Cliona O’Hanrahan MPM; Prince2 ; PMI Professional