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Six Steps to Project Recovery

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000014622D
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Document File: 7 page(s) / 53K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Note: Exhibits and Sidebar at end of main text.Projects require recovery when undesirable variances against project baselines emerge or project controls fail. Developing a course of action to quickly restore project control is critical to preserving project value, maintaining stakeholder support, and improving team morale. This article describes a six-step approach to project recovery. Project recovery is undertaken to quickly restore, or establish, the controls required for delivering the remainder of a project within stakeholder expectations. Project recovery should be performed rapidly to stabilize both the confidence in the project and the morale of the project team. Open and candid communication between stakeholders and the project team is critical to properly identifying problems, making recommendations, and restoring project controls. Exhibit 1 illustrates six steps to project recovery.[pull in exhibit 1]

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Six Steps to Project Recovery

  Note: Exhibits and Sidebar at end of main text.Projects require
recovery when undesirable variances against project baselines
emerge or project controls fail. Developing a course of action to
quickly restore project control is critical to preserving project
value, maintaining stakeholder support, and improving team morale.
This article describes a six-step approach to project recovery.
Project recovery is undertaken to quickly restore, or establish,
the controls required for delivering the remainder of a project
within stakeholder expectations. Project recovery should be
performed rapidly to stabilize both the confidence in the project
and the morale of the project team. Open and candid communication
between stakeholders and the project team is critical to properly
identifying problems, making recommendations, and restoring project
controls. Exhibit 1 illustrates six steps to project recovery.[pull
in exhibit 1]

Exhibit 1. These steps follow a "waterfall" approach-a recovery
step is not to be initiated until the predecessor step has been
completed. Initiating recovery steps without completing
predecessor steps can result in further delays in restoring project
control and greater unfavorable variances.

Recovery Intervention.

Recognizing the need for intervention and the timing of the
intervention are both critical elements in project recovery. If key
stakeholders do not perceive the need to intervene as compelling,
then the approval may not be granted. The timing of intervention
influences the recovery scope, in that projects that begin recovery
early generally require less effort and cost to recover than if
recovery is delayed.

The key to timely recognition of project recovery needs is to
establish project performance thresholds that are clear, preferably
quantifiable, objective measures that, once crossed, trigger a
project recovery. These thresholds should be clearly defined and
communicated during the early stages of the project. By defining
these thresholds and the associated corrective actions to take, a
decision to intervene can often be reached quickly, as stakeholders
have already agreed to the guidelines.Unfortunately for many
projects in industry, ranges of acceptable project variances
against key baselines are not clearly identified and agreed to by
the key project stakeholders at the time of project initiation or
during project planning. In addition, specific actions and plans
that provide the road map to bring the project back within
acceptable performance are also not defined. As a result,
unacceptable project variances or trends are not predicted or
detected enough in advance to give the project team ample time to
successfully manage undesirable project variances. Up-front
determination of "intervention thresholds," which define actions to
be taken under specific conditions, helps to remove delays or
roadblocks in the intervention decision process and subsequently
shortens the project recovery duration.

Recovery Assessment.

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