Problem projects happen; no matter how prepared you may think you are. The trick is to put certain processes, people, and systems in place to identify and take action against problem projects before they spin out of control. Bernadine Douglas, PMP, discusses a few measures you can take to act on problem project signs.
For instance, Douglas suggests securing executive support for major issues. This means having consistent meetings with stakeholders and executives, making sure they are aware of their responsibilities, and alerting them as soon as problems arise. Douglas includes the importance of reviewing project plans and understanding lessons learned and project history. Through a mix of awareness, constant communication, and preparation, you can head off problem projects more readily.