Sunday, December 4, 2011

10 Key Steps to Revive a Project

We all talk about successful projects and discuss mostly on pointers to make our project successful. However, what if a project is already in a difficult situation? For such projects, there are some common but yet critical steps that can be taken to help revive the project back.

Projects commonly suffer from delays in delivery or overspent budgets.
The reasons for these are many. Most common are:

1)      Tight or unrealistic schedules,

2)      Unclear scope or requirements leading to scope creep.

3)      Lack of or too many resources.

If looked into or probed further deep, the problem mostly lies with communication, improper assignment of resources, lack of leadership, incorrect priorities and so on.
For this, mature organisations are already prepared with what is called a disaster recovery plan which normally consists of the following actionable and pointers. For those who are unprepared for such eventualities need to work to ensure that these disaster recovery plans are in place.

1)      Re-look at the project life cycle and processes.

2)      Re-look at the Organisational structure and restructure the organisational hierarchy if necessary.

3)      Put communication in place and in order to communicate strong positive message within the company. Understand the sensitivities of both external and internal stakeholders. This is where a lot of risk factor would be present.

4)      Ensure that the scope and requirements are clear and concise. Re negotiate the scope and requirements with the stake holders to ensure that the project is realistic and deliverable, If required, the requirements can be broken into smaller parts to help smooth project execution in realistic time scales without having the stakeholder to wait too long.

5)      Ensure that deadlines are re-visited and if it is necessary to meet strict deadlines, re-prioritise and re-negotiate the processes and the work by bringing in the Disaster recovery management into place.

6)      Ensure quality of the product, the technical road blocks in achieving the quality and completing the product/ service on time is well managed though positive and open communication and bringing in right kind of resources.

7)      Re-structure and bring in right and competent resources at key departments/ positions to help resolve the bottlenecks. Sometimes, external vendors/ or resources outside the project can be brought in as subject matter experts to work along with the existing team to enable them to get things done appropriately.

8)      Assign specialist disaster recovery project managers who are skilled, adept and can take strong decisions with their right knowledge of organisation structure, policies, industry, political connections. They can work along with the existing project manager and facilitate the completion of the project by enabling them.

9)      Manage risks and issues on a more aggressive scale and ensure that the risks/ issues are dealt with more realistically.

10)   Bring in strong leadership with qualities to help the overall project to move in the right direction, to motivate and facilitate the teams to work in collaboration, and who can usher in the right communication and guidance and help achieve the above.
One or more or all of the above steps in combination can help revive a project from disaster and convert it to a successful one.

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