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Topics: Change Management, Ethics, Stakeholder Management
Complete change of customer's project team
Network:92



My customer went through a huge internal organizational change and ALL the project team I worked with during the first 8 months of the project have been replaced. All. From the Programme head to test team. All of them are gone and replaced by newcomers.

So... I'm facing a customer project team that has no idea of what we built in 8 months and can rely only on the requirements "hardcoded" in the contract to say if what we delivered is what was expected. They have a vague idea of what our software should do, and they are not (yet?) close to their own customers (those who have expectations on how the solution should work).

The project should resume in September and I intend to review all its organization, jointly with the new customer PM so we both agree on the way forward, tweak existing processes that do not satisfy the project anymore, etc... Rebaselining of schedule and all plans should also be done together.

My questions...
Before trying to change/replan/restart, am I forgetting something?
In your view, should I do things any other way?
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Network:1061



The first thing I would do is to conduct a round of stakeholder analysis. This will allow you to determine what level of power and influence the newcomers have, how they align with the original project vision and probably most important of all, what level of satisfaction you are likely to achieve going forward with the current contract scope,

Then I would also conduct a review session to demonstrate progress made up to this point and what is coming up in the short/medium term.

The outcome of these sessions will determine the most appropriate course of action.
...
2 replies by JOSEE DUFOUR
Aug 24, 2017 7:33 AM
JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Brilliant Anton! I did not think of that aspect, shame on me!

Getting to it right now :-)

Thanks for the feedback!
Aug 24, 2017 7:40 AM
JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Oh... this is off-topic...Wanted to say I enjoyed your webinar "Acknowledge It to Manage It – 4 Steps to Recovery" that I listened to, just 2 days ago ! Thanks for sharing
Network:92



Aug 24, 2017 7:26 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
...
The first thing I would do is to conduct a round of stakeholder analysis. This will allow you to determine what level of power and influence the newcomers have, how they align with the original project vision and probably most important of all, what level of satisfaction you are likely to achieve going forward with the current contract scope,

Then I would also conduct a review session to demonstrate progress made up to this point and what is coming up in the short/medium term.

The outcome of these sessions will determine the most appropriate course of action.
Brilliant Anton! I did not think of that aspect, shame on me!

Getting to it right now :-)

Thanks for the feedback!
Network:92



Aug 24, 2017 7:26 AM
Replying to Anton Oosthuizen
...
The first thing I would do is to conduct a round of stakeholder analysis. This will allow you to determine what level of power and influence the newcomers have, how they align with the original project vision and probably most important of all, what level of satisfaction you are likely to achieve going forward with the current contract scope,

Then I would also conduct a review session to demonstrate progress made up to this point and what is coming up in the short/medium term.

The outcome of these sessions will determine the most appropriate course of action.
Oh... this is off-topic...Wanted to say I enjoyed your webinar "Acknowledge It to Manage It – 4 Steps to Recovery" that I listened to, just 2 days ago ! Thanks for sharing
Network:1897



Your customer is right. All that matters from the point of view of project management is "if what we delivered is what was expected". That´s all. And that is the critical thing to take into account when you define your project quality activities. With that said, all related to product/service/result definition is on hand of business analyst, not on project manager hands. Beyond that, critical point is pointed out by Anton about the project stakeholder analysis must reviewed. Take into account this: you are delivering a solution to a business problem and solution is equal to "the thing" to be created plus "the process" to create it. Project management is about the process.
...
1 reply by JOSEE DUFOUR
Aug 24, 2017 9:22 AM
JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Thanks Sergio,

I think we all agree the customer is in good right to know if our deliverables are fit for purpose. I sincerely hope agreeing on the process to bring them to a point where they validate the solution will be possible. For the quality aspect, the entry/exit criteria of all the future test phases must be set jointly.
Network:92



Aug 24, 2017 9:11 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Your customer is right. All that matters from the point of view of project management is "if what we delivered is what was expected". That´s all. And that is the critical thing to take into account when you define your project quality activities. With that said, all related to product/service/result definition is on hand of business analyst, not on project manager hands. Beyond that, critical point is pointed out by Anton about the project stakeholder analysis must reviewed. Take into account this: you are delivering a solution to a business problem and solution is equal to "the thing" to be created plus "the process" to create it. Project management is about the process.
Thanks Sergio,

I think we all agree the customer is in good right to know if our deliverables are fit for purpose. I sincerely hope agreeing on the process to bring them to a point where they validate the solution will be possible. For the quality aspect, the entry/exit criteria of all the future test phases must be set jointly.
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Aug 24, 2017 10:03 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Just one comment: as you know quality is not about test only. I have faced this type of situations lot of times and quality assurance was the "life preserver" for me. But what you have is what you have. I think that you have an advantage because your customer will validate the stated requirements (as I understood). Obviously, it could or not could be an advantage depending on the you achieved the requirements or not.
Network:1897



Aug 24, 2017 9:22 AM
Replying to JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Thanks Sergio,

I think we all agree the customer is in good right to know if our deliverables are fit for purpose. I sincerely hope agreeing on the process to bring them to a point where they validate the solution will be possible. For the quality aspect, the entry/exit criteria of all the future test phases must be set jointly.
Just one comment: as you know quality is not about test only. I have faced this type of situations lot of times and quality assurance was the "life preserver" for me. But what you have is what you have. I think that you have an advantage because your customer will validate the stated requirements (as I understood). Obviously, it could or not could be an advantage depending on the you achieved the requirements or not.
Network:103900



I support my colleagues suggestions, Josée.

I hope all previous project activities and outputs were properly captured. If so, then the requirements and test cases should go a long way towards transitioning the new team and getting them up and runing.

Bonne chance!
...
1 reply by JOSEE DUFOUR
Aug 24, 2017 10:49 AM
JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Merci Stéphane !

Everything was logged indeed... I just want to make sure the project resumes on agreed basis with the new team so we are all on the same page when the "usual" project bumps happen...
Network:92



Aug 24, 2017 10:43 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I support my colleagues suggestions, Josée.

I hope all previous project activities and outputs were properly captured. If so, then the requirements and test cases should go a long way towards transitioning the new team and getting them up and runing.

Bonne chance!
Merci Stéphane !

Everything was logged indeed... I just want to make sure the project resumes on agreed basis with the new team so we are all on the same page when the "usual" project bumps happen...
Network:7839



Hi JoSee - Good thing the one constant is the PM with documentation, historical perspective and knowledge you have gained so far on this project. I agree with the comments stated by my peers. You will get through this, it will not be easy with an entirely new project team, but you've got this! Go use your skills :)
...
1 reply by JOSEE DUFOUR
Aug 24, 2017 10:56 AM
JOSEE DUFOUR
...
Thanks for the cheer Lori !
Network:92



Aug 24, 2017 10:54 AM
Replying to LORI WILSON
...
Hi JoSee - Good thing the one constant is the PM with documentation, historical perspective and knowledge you have gained so far on this project. I agree with the comments stated by my peers. You will get through this, it will not be easy with an entirely new project team, but you've got this! Go use your skills :)
Thanks for the cheer Lori !

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