Project Management

Roadmap for Project Recovery

Dhanu Kothari

A project failure is seldom caused by unknown or mysterious factors. In fact, failure is often predictable based on symptoms and warning signs. And it can be prevented by following a disciplined approach to recovery. Here, an experienced project recovery specialist shares his methodology for fixing a failing initiative.

The journey to project recovery begins with the acceptance that a project is in trouble. There are as many definitions and perspectives of a troubled project as there are stakeholders. A client might be utterly frustrated with the pace of progress or quality of deliverables, while the project manager honestly believes that everything is going well. The impact of such issues, if they are allowed to simmer with no attempt at resolution, can be devastating.

Let’s accept that a project is in trouble when there is a continued and sustained pattern of failure to meet the client’s expectations. These failures usually manifest themselves as schedule slippages, budget overruns, missed deliverables, and quality or performance issues, as well as general malaise among team members and overall client disillusionment with the project.

There is a need, however, to differentiate between a truly troubled project and the day-to-day, routine variances that usually occur on any project. Sometimes the routine variances may appear to be quite complex and challenging …


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When someone is lying, is it true that their pants are actually on fire?

- Jerry Seinfeld