Step-by-Step Guide to Recover Troubled Projects

Published: 15th May 2009
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Defining a troubled project is the first step towards the recovery of a troubled project. A troubled project is defined as having any one of the following attributes:

  • Project exceeds the estimated budget

  • Project is behind the estimated schedule

  • Project does not meet expectations

  • Project's overall quality is unacceptable

    You must have an evaluation criterion for project screening to recover troubled projects.The screening criteria should consist of a balanced set of measures for evaluating and identifying the trouble in the project which includes financial issues, staffing, schedule timelines, technical and business alignment measures. Incorporate these criteria into your company's portfolio review and reporting processes to see some real results.

    Troubled projects exhibit some warning symptoms. These include:

  • Critical issues that prevent the completion of deliverables

  • A high risk of not delivering anticipated benefits

  • Resources are not fully allocated to the project

  • Significant rise of technical issues in the project

    After you recognize the symptoms associated with troubled project, the process of recovering the project begins. It starts with the implementation of a recovery plan and monitoring and controlling the project using the standard project management processes. You can also get help from recovery specialists who can help your project team implement the recommended improvements to recover the troubled project. The project recovery specialist is experienced in turning the project around and enables a complete recovery by providing constant support to help the team set their objectives and achieving them.

    The project team - all the while - should manage all work resources and efforts with strict control. The team should also ensure that right resources are available at the right time. The constant focus should be on the minimum requirements and on keeping change requests to the bare minimum.

    After you recover a troubled project, you should document the steps and the lessons learned to prevent any future instances of project failures.

    To provide a structure and method for rescuing projects in trouble by recover troubled projects, and help you to avoid falling into the downward trend for future projects through project recovery.

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