Programme and Project Rescue and Recovery


Project triage - what's worth saving and what's not?

The Situation

So, what is a troubled programme or project? Consider the following characteristics as examples. These criteria would definitely be outside tolerances:

  • Budget is trending 30% or more over its initial estimate at completion;
  • Schedule is trending 30% or more over its initial estimated deadline (although this may not be as important if the budget is not also over by 30% or more);
  • No progress on deliverables has been made for many reporting periods;
  • The initiative appears to be within its time and cost tolerances, but it has deferred the completion of one or more major deliverables;
  • The initiative appears to be within its time and cost tolerances, but it is compromising on quality to the point that the value and integrity of its deliverables are being called into question;
  • Customers are extremely dissatisfied with the performance of the suppliers. If the customers had to do this project again, they would not use the same suppliers;
  • The customer-supplier relationship is dysfunctional. This could include situations such as the customer and sponsor losing interest in the success of the initiative, major animosity between the supplier and customer, deliberate sabotage by one party to make the other party look bad, etc.

If you're experiencing these symptoms, then you might want to consider our rescue services.

Project teams of course attempt to address their own problems, but sometimes the problems seem to grow beyond the control of the team. You can see it when significant time and effort is spent resolving one issue after the next, delays increase and productivity begins to drop. The team's sense of control then begins to wane as no obvious improvement takes shape.

When an initiative is failing to meet the expectations of key stakeholders, it can be useful to bring in an objective third party to either confirm that the initiative is irrecoverable, or help get things back on track.

Our Approach

When engaged to help rescue a programme or project, our approach is to:

  • Take control and manage;
  • Re-establish objectives;
  • Identify the underlying issues and bottlenecks;
  • Assist decisions to cancel the initiative or proceed with recovery;
  • Replan for reality;
  • Reset expectations and deal with team morale issues;
  • Implement, monitor and review;
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate.

We're not interested in egos, agendas or office politics. What we are interested in is helping you achieve your objectives, and in our experience the process above is the fastest way to accomplish this.

We conclude with a Project Post Mortem, which will engage all stakeholders to determine what went wrong and how it can be avoided on future projects - converting a near disaster into a learning opportunity.

To find out more about how we can help rescue your troubled programmes or projects, contact us today.

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