Project Review & Recovery

Bringing Your Failing Project Back On Track

Unfortunately, and despite the best of efforts, not all projects go as planned.  Scope creep, excessive customisation, a resistant organisation, or simply ineffective project management can throw a project off track.

A project is deemed to be in trouble and in need of recovery if during project execution it is forecast that one or more of the following will occur:

  • Estimated budget,  schedule, or scope will not be met (plus or minus acceptable variances)
  • Overall quality will not be acceptable
  • Project customers will not be satisfied with the result

Riteway’s project recovery service is more than a simple project audit that identifies the reason(s) your project is failing – we also produce an actionable recovery plan giving details on how we believe the project can be saved, if it can be of course.

Although it is most often, someone in senior management that makes the decision to intervene in a troubled project, it is the project manager who usually leads the recovery process.  In a lot of cases, the project manager will be replaced with a new project manager or an external consultant, someone with more experience that will head up the recovery.  Regardless, successfully recovering a project is possible, if the focus is given to what it was that caused the problem in the first place.

Common Causes of Troubled Projects

In most business, the top five causes of troubled projects are:

  • Requirements are unclear, there is a lack of agreement, a lack of priority, or they are contradictory, ambiguous, and imprecise
  • There is a lack of resources, resource conflicts, turnover of key resources, or poor planning
  • Schedules are too tight, are unrealistic, or are overly optimistic
  • Planning is based on insufficient data, is missing items, has insufficient detail, or is simply a poor estimate of the effort required
  • Unidentified or assumed risks that are not managed

Additionally, in smaller businesses, lack of project governance, ineffective governance, different priorities, and no clear involvement by management can also be key causes of project failure.

Key Intervention Techniques

Project recovery interventions are normally highly successful and there are statistics that indicate almost three quarters of troubled projects that undergo recovery intervention are actually recovered.

In fact, once the decision has been made to attempt to recover a project that is failing, the following intervention methods are often successfully attempted:

  • Improving communication and stakeholder management
  • Redefining the project—reducing the scope and/or re-justifying the
    project financially
  • Adding and/or removing resources
  • Resolving technical issues
  • Replacing the project manager or bringing in a consultant to
    manage recovery

Get Your Failing Project Back On Track

If you are concerned about whether your project is failing, contact us to arrange free project assessment.

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