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How to Identify and Rescue the Lost Project

It can happen without warning. One day you suddenly realize your project is way off track. Aside from assembling a business case that receives sponsorship (a measure you’ve already undertaken) what can be done to correct the error? Peter Osborne has several suggestions in an article for Consultant News.

Point 1 – Team Leader

If a leader is selected based on their availability or on cost, it’s the first red flag that you’ve created a problem at the top of the project hierarchy. Leaders are needed for their experience and skills. A lack in those areas undermines team confidence and often sets a project adrift.

Point 2 – Stakeholders

Direction also comes from stakeholders. When there is clarity of purpose and a consistent establishing of objectives, the delivery team can’t go wrong. But unless regular alignment is enacted in the form of assessments from a top-down authority or through an external party or specialist, there’s no way to guarantee protection from project drift.

Point 3 – Risk Mechanisms

Third, not all decision-making sources are people. Like fire hydrants placed on strategic street curbs in a neighborhood, your risk management plan should include built-in “emergency risk mechanisms” than can be accessed if and when the project requires them.

Point 4 – Teams & Team Culture

A proper culture of delivery is necessary for accountability and consistency. Those two words are paramount when considering the fact that project delivery is structured from above (leadership) but ultimately supported from below (project culture). Having a culture of consistency means using tried-and true processes within a controlled framework.

Osborne leaves us with this sage advice:

The most common signs that indicate if a project needs to be put in recovery are cost pressure and time pressure. Often these two issues squeeze the scope and detrimentally affect what is delivered, compared with what you set out to deliver. One trigger, however, can easily be rectified internally, but if issues are arising in more than one of these five fundamental areas then they could be common triggers for a health check or recovery to realign business direction.

Read the full article at: http://www.consultant-news.com/article_display.aspx?p=adp&id=12848

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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