Project Management

Revenge of the Vanquished Project

It never fails. The movie is almost over, the serial killer / mutant pig / werewolf has just been vanquished, and its unflinching body lies at the bottom of some ravine or under a lake. The hero and heroine collapse with relief into each other’s arms thinking they have won the day, when – REE-REE-REE! The villain staggers back from the brink of death to seek final revenge! A good project manager is never fooled by false endings. In a guest post for the Southern Project manager, Kiron Bondale gives some tips on how to keep one eye on that (supposedly) completed project.

Victory Mistake #1

Wouldn’t it be disappointing if your team struggled hard to put a monster project to rest, but learned nothing from their experience? Clearly, there is a moral to every horror story (don’t disturb the ancient tomb, open the cursed book, enter the graveyard). Help your team find weaknesses to improve upon; then integrate those improvements into future methodology.

Victory Mistake #2

Don’t just seal away the villain in a coma for future generations to find. But if you must pass the project along to other operational teams, at least touch base with something along the lines of, “Beware the unfinished scope elements and unaddressed project defects!”

Victory Mistake #3

Once the police have arrived to cordon off the area with crime tape, drape you with a hospital blanket and chase you with a microphone, it might be worth reflecting on how much damage was truly avoided. Did you save the town? Now is the time to appraise your accomplishments.

Victory Mistake #4

A struggle without full resolution is a total let down. By now, your project staff will have expended considerable time and energy to bring the project to a closure. Don’t let their efforts be in vain. Celebrate the victory of having ended the project to help staff tie up emotional loose ends and take something away from the experience – otherwise there’s likely to be a horrible sequel.

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