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Project Planning for The Great Unknown

 If you have ever had a project go terribly wrong or are interested in reading about someone else's project that went terribly wrong, you will enjoy this article.   This article is written from the author's perspective, during a project that went very, very wrong and what the team did to get it back on track.

As you may have guessed by now, this huge project that couldn't go wrong went very, very wrong.   Our team realized one thing while planning: We know that we don't know. Irritating as that phrase is, it may keep you from ruining what would be an otherwise successful project. We knew that even our collective genius may not be enough to avoid disaster. But rather than spend the time creating mitigation plans for unpredictable risks, we created a mitigation plan for the actual risk of not knowing what could happen.

During this project, the team included an eight-step process tailored to how the project team operates how they run their projects.   This gave them a standard procedure to follow if trouble arose.   This implemented and used a mitigation plan that wound up saving the project.   Since that project, the team is always assuming that an “unplanned for” risk is just right around the corner.  
This mentality keeps them proactive and always expecting the unexpected.

About Richard Wood

Richard Wood has been the publisher of CAI's Accelerating IT Success newsletter since its inception in 2011. A Marketing Major at Cal Poly Pomona he has been working with Computer Aid since 2001. He can be reached at

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