Like projects themselves, recovery from project challenges follows a definite lifecycle. Todd Williams (@BackFromRed), in his Rescue the Problem Project, identifies one prerequisite and four steps in the recovery process.
- Realization. Before recovering a project, the project sponsor, executive management, or steering committee must realize that the project has a problem and needs new direction. After accepting that the project has problems, recovery proceeds in four steps:
- Audit the project
- Analyze the data
- Negotiate the solution
- Execute the new plan.
A few years ago I put together a project de-escalation outline on Crossderry Blog based on my experience recovering projects and consulting engagements. My approach had a slightly different twist — largely driven by its emphasis on engagement management — but there are definite parallels.
- Discovery: How well do you know your project?
- Decision: To escalate, or not to escalate?
- Definition: What must be done?
- Dialogue: How to explain?
- Delivery: Into action.
I’m not sure there’s much value in reconciling project recovery lifecycles; in fact, I’m afraid it will distract from my focus on personal and professional factors in project failure and recovery. Therefore, this series of posts will use a simplified lifecycle of “Before, During, and After” project trouble.