Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 11, 2007 – How to Fix a Failing Project (Not)

You project is in trouble. You know it. Your team knows it. But somehow you have been able to keep it from your management. You need a quick fix. What can be done get back on track? Here are some tried and true ideas that could do the trick.

Rename the project. The beauty of this is that people won’t recognize it. It is like a new lease on life. People will soon forget the problems with the old project and focus on the new and improved one. Just don’t use the name “The Project Formerly Known As….”

Declare victory. If your project had 10 objectives but you only accomplished 3, hide the Scope Statement and throw a big party. Convince the business that the 3 that were implemented were the only ones they really needed.

Restructure the team. Obviously fresh legs are needed to carry the project forward. It doesn’t even need to be new people. You could try just shuffling them around a bit, maybe elevating a new team lead. Easier still, just rename the resources.

Blame the requirements. Evidently the business didn’t know what they were asking for or they would have been clearer. If the requirements were better written the project would be done by now. Better go back to square one and rewrite the requirements.

Begin Phase 2. This is the ultimate fix. Phase 1 was obviously a learning experience and created a foundation to build on. Phase 2 is where it will all come together. Used with the declaring victory tactic this can be extremely successful.

If you use these tools you will baffle and amaze your critics.

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