Some distressed projects are so strategic and important they simply can't be allowed to fail. Here are ideas to consider when pulling these special initiatives out of the flames.
- Confirm the project sponsors and stakeholders
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Validate the project objectives
- Validate the project’s priorities and risks
- Determine mechanisms for escalating questions, concerns, and problems and how they are functioning
- Determining whether you have the right resources available; both people and funding sources needed
- Assessing whether you have the right documentation, records, requirements info, etc
- Is there an updated project plan?
- Is there an updated action log, with owners dates that are getting closed out?
- Do project meetings happen when needed? Are the right people in attendance?
When trying to save a strategic project that's gone down the tubes, the key concept is "reset." Be prepared to restart the project with a fresh perspective, evaluating budgets, time, goals, and assumptions based on a realistic assessment of the current state.
Project recovery can involve acknowledging painful truths. However, handled tactfully and with mutual respect, recovery can be a unifying experience that trains a team to work together and achieve success under the most difficult circumstances.