My company is in the middle of a very important project that is falling apart. How do I get things back on track?
Currently, my business in the middle of a very important project, our first 'big game' project, that is simply not going well. I'm displeased with management of the project, execution by employees, and expectations by the client. Where do I even start?
My recommendation is to start with an accurate status of where everything is. Get your team leaders to list the following:
1) Where they are in their current project tasks.
2) Current number of outstanding-known defects in the project
3) Current testing status and test coverage on the project
4) Current resource level (how many people working and are they fully devoted to project - i.e how many hours are they actually on this project)
Then outline your desired Success and Quality Level for the project. What kind of test and quality levels are you defining as your acceptance criteria -- and release dates.
Once you understand where you currently are and where you actually want to be (at a certain time) - you can start creating your Recovery Protocol map. You WILL hit speed bumps. The best method is to be prepared and expect them.
For instance - what are you going to "let go" first when you run into trouble:
A) Are you going to add staff first?
B) Are you going to reduce the scope of the project first?
C) Are you going to add time to the release date or schedule?
D) Are you going to reduce the quality of the project?
Then repeat - with the understanding of what will be "let go" second and so forth. Adding the Recovery Protocol map to your Risk Assessment process at the start of your project is like having your Fire Escape plan.
If you need help getting these things in order, please contact me. I will be happy to help.
With so little information it really is hard to suggest a lot, but my first thought is that it sounds like the requirements and expectations for the project were not well formulated at the start, and/or the manager did not gain alignment / agreement of the full scope from all stakeholders (incl yourself). Without that, you will never get a sufficient plan to execute and meet everyone's expectations. I'd review that and then review what changes in scope occurred since the start. You either need to get everyone back on board with the original plans, (with or without changes included, depending on the need for those things. OR you need to re-establish new goals and gain alignment to go from there. It could mean the client needs to be willing to pay more, if their needs have changed.
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I would like to talk with you, get more details, and see how we can help your project get back on track. Thanks, looking forward to speaking with you!
Project Management, Construction Management, Owner Representation
Dear Chris, it appears that you are the person who has influence in changing the course of the project - and that brings us to the early stages of the project: did you play less attention when it was in its formative days? Were you given wrong inputs on the project progress? Did you delegate too much? Were you too lenient when the progress reports missed arriving on your desk on time?
For now, I think you should sit with the Project plan and compare your project status against it. Then you'll need a corrective plan in place to counter and reform the project. This is a plan which you have to stick to like an industrial class glue. Frankly, your details are very generic hence specific action plan is difficult to outline here, but I trust that you will get a clear POA once you have taken the measurements. We could discuss in detail offline if you want.
Your 'big game' project falling apart and your displeasure with the event are the only specifics you have mentioned. However, even with your not revealing enough to comment, saying nothing sends a message: Sounds like you're in trouble. This precedes the obvious need for discovery. If you can say more about the kind of project, if you actually have a PID, a project plan and a mission statement, then perhaps more advice and suggestion can be offered you. You start at DISCOVERY. Answer what, when, how and how much. Bring it back here and let's see what we can do collaboratively.
Sounds like the project outcome isn't sufficiently nailed down if client expectations are an issue. Most other project 'issues' usually stem from that; approach, communications, leadership, management, governance, execution etc. Can't run anything effectively with an unclear mission. I'd start there and work it back.
Your displeasure does not matter as far as the factual state of the project is concerned.
What matters is the Charter and Plan document stating what was agreed with the client and against that agreement where actually the project stands at the moment in terms of time,direction and cost.
You need to review this immediately with the person who was made responsible of keeping the track and ensuring the milestones are met.
If you are not comfortable after reviewing all these details than you need to ask for an update in the documentation like where the project stands at the moment and where it is expected to go. A new AS IS and TO BE document agreed with the client .
After getting that document than you should take drastic decisions of changing the people in the team or the project leader or may be after getting the new output you will find out the deviation from the expectation is not much.
So , in my opinion you have to see the ground reality in detail and then identify the problem for a feasible solution.
Best Of Luck,
What kind of project is it? Is someone clearly in charge and empowered to lead the project? Do others stay out of the way and allow the project "breathing room"?