Throughout the project management world, you will frequently hear the term “project recovery”. The experts at Parallel Project Training, know this is bound to be required at some point in your career as a project manager, so it is a good idea to understand exactly what it means. They’ve provided some insight into this concept, which we hope will help those facing problems and deciding whether it is worth saving your project.
What do we mean by project recovery?
Project recovery is everything that comes into play when you are trying to keep a struggling project from failing. It can be as simple as finding ways to deal effectively with the issues that have resulted in your project not remaining on track. Sometimes dealing with the problems in your problem project is not enough, and you might need to end it as part of the process of project recovery. In other words, project recovery is everything that ultimately brings you to the point where you need to make a decision on whether a project is worth saving and the tasks that you must complete in order to achieve this.
How do you decide when a project can be saved?
Those who have undertaken training courses for project managers usually believe a project can be saved. This makes sense as most project managers like a good challenge and are determined enough to try and see it through. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the right decision. The further you get into any project, the more it is likely to have changed from the original idea. There are likely to have been changes in the business priorities and goals, budgets and even other resources. These all contribute to a high level of project failures.
All of the information that was gathered at the beginning of the project must be re-evaluated in order for meaningful discussion about the project’s destiny to take place. The current state of the project should be weighed up against the start of the project with a view to how things can be moved forward. In some instances, it is possible to recover the project through adaptations to the requirements however, the only viable option is often to close the project and not complete it. No matter what decision is made, there will be costs incurred however, it is important to make the best decision for the project, and one that will ensure that you don’t lose more money than is necessary. When your project has gone bad, throwing more resources and money at is the worst decision a project manager can make.
How can you recover a project?
When there is a possibility your project can be salvaged, then you need to consider how this will happen. Much of this will depend on the nature of the project, and they should be considered on an individual basis. It also depends on the company that you work for, the amount of support a project may have, the industry you are in and even the current condition of the market.
Effective management of everything that is wrong is at the heart of project recovery. A new plan, troubleshooting and improved collaboration within the team are needed if you have any chance of saving your project. Everyone must be committed to making a success of the project, and every member of the team should be clear in what their responsibilities within their role are. The project manager is responsible for gathering the team together both at the beginning of a project and also if they want to recover a project that is failing.