Six Steps to Project Recovery
Original Publication Date: 2001-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
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.