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If your project is going awry, don’t blame the unrealistic schedule the project has as management’s fault and that management and the project’s customer are the cause of scope creep, changing requirements, limited resources, and overruns in cost.

If your project is going awry, don’t be blaming the people who attended the meetings for the ineffectiveness of the meetings.

If your project is going awry, don’t go blaming Microsoft Project for not properly managing the resources assigned to the project and incorrectly setting the scope of the project.

If your project is going awry, do not play the blame game. Wake up to the realization that projects go awry for a variety of reasons and pointing fingers and placing blame doesn’t help get a project back on track.

If your project is going awry, it could very well be because you think that project management is an optional activity and in your thinking that it is optional, you are not following the project management process of: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing.

If your project is going awry, the best thing you can do to get it back on track is to treat it as a brand new project, meaning planning the project’s re-launch; get with its executive sponsor and major stakeholders to validate its charter and business case. You should inform them with a comprehensive description of what has gone wrong with the project’s efforts to date. You should detail your plan of action describing how you will avoid the same ill fate again and you should expect that the project’s requirements have changed. You should have a detailed communication plan to present informing them of how much better you will communicate with them and you should expect that management will be watching the project’s progress very much more closely than they had before.

If your project which was going awry is after meeting with its executive sponsor and major stakeholders given a green light to restart, you should then meet with the project’s team members. Set the tone of the meeting to go over with them what was and was not going well during the initial launch of the project allowing everyone input into the discussion. You should determine everyone’s level of commitment to the project’s success and their level of confidence of it succeeding making sure to replace anyone who cannot give a high level of confidence to the project’s success.

If your project was awry and was given a green light to re-launch, you need to have clearly set checkpoints and milestones scheduled with clear project requirements needed for making each of them. These should have been in the original project’s plan but now with a re-launch more than ever are check points and milestones needed to assist the project’s successful outcome. Let all stakeholders know when each check point and milestone is achieved and openly give recognition to each of the team’s successes. This will help build momentum and success to the project.

If your project was going awry and has launched anew, your efforts as project manager in effectively communicating all aspects of the project’s status with all stakeholders has greatly increased. For whatever the reason(s) the project was awry in the past is now history and you have been given a second chance for it to succeed. Using your communication plan, keep everyone properly informed and aware of the project’s status, change requests, scope, schedule, check points, milestones, risks, etc.

Take project management seriously. Don’t let your project have a high probability of going awry by taking the project management processes as optional. You can tweak the individual processes of the project management process to fit the project’s needs but you should never treat any of the project management processes as optional. If you follow the project management process of: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing, you will find that the likelihood of your project going awry is slim to none.

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