Project Management

Picking Up a Dropped Project

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Perhaps the project was dropped because of a higher priority assignment, or perhaps it was dropped because it was failing miserably. Whatever the reason, you have been tasked with picking it back up and managing the work on it through completion.

When this happens, you need to make sure you have everything straightened out and ready to go so that the project can be successful. At the end of the day, you want to be the hero who was able to pick up the project and make it viable again. But this task will not be easy; you will need to bring all of your skills to the table when picking up a dropped project.

Finding the Documentation
The first item of business is to find all the documentation related to the project. Hopefully this exists on a shared drive or an intranet site, but you may need to scour the email accounts or hard drives of project participants if they are still with the organization. Go through everything, sort it and organize what you have so that you can easily find the information that you will need going forward. If there is not a central location for project documentation, this is the perfect time to create one—and get everyone else in the organization using it.

Discovery Period
As you find the documentation and work through investigating what happened on the project, you should treat this time as a discovery period. Do not be too hasty to pick …

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"No opera plot can be sensible, for in sensible situations people do not sing."

- W.H. Auden