Project Management

Parachute Projects

Kathleen Ryan O'Connor

When you're catapulted into an ongoing project, the situtation is often volatile, potential minefields abound, and there isn't much time to ramp up and get the existing team on your side. Revamping plans and schedules is almost always critical, but rarely sufficient. Here are seven best practices to hit the ground running.

A software development project implodes before the final sprint. A process roadmap hits a roadblock without warning. A global team falls apart faster that you can say Greenwich Mean Time. And now someone has to fix it. 
 
What if that person is you?
 
Senior project manager Rich Lark has parachuted into plenty of project minefields, and he comes armed with just as many ideas to help save the day — and the project.
 
Since joining Integrated Project Management Co. (IPM) in 1999, Lark, PMP, has led projects across a range settings, from chemical plants to pharmaceutical firms, starting off as a plant engineer in the automotive industry and then as a environmental consultant at a national consulting firm, rising to vice president and division manager. A chemical engineer by training, Lark is a licensed professional engineer and Six Sigma Green Belt. 
 
As an external project manager, I get catapulted into ongoing projects all the time, and often when things aren’t going…

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