Triage for PPM in Peril

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

Ever stop to think what you would do to rescue and revive a failing project portfolio? How would you go about deciding which projects could be saved and which ones were too far gone? Maybe taking a lesson from how medical triage teams approach situations where there are mass hurt and wounded would help.

In a recent article entitled “Using Triage Methodology to Keep IT Projects on Track”, Dana Craig presents an approach called the “Triage Methodology”. In this article, Craig defines the method as follows:

“… a process of sorting or classifying injured people in emergency rooms, war zones, or disaster areas. A color coding system is used to identify priority of care.”

Applying the Triage Methodology to projects, Craig identifies the following classifications:

“Black – serious issues that didn’t receive necessary attention when required. The moment is now gone for you to be able to revive them. Failure has already occurred, so you must devise a workaround or alternative means to achieve the same effect.

Red – immediate and important issue, requiring response. This is a critical path item, meaning not resolving it will result in certain delay or failure to deliver. Examples might be issues with being able to invoice customers properly, corrupt data, or a key feature not working.

Yellow &…

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"History may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme a lot."

- Mark Twain