Let’s Start With Why
When dealing with a rescue project, you’ll need to take a step back and do some digging. Slow down and work to figure out how the team and the project ended up in the current situation. Find and review any existing project documentation and ask questions:
Be sure to re-connect with the original reason for the project and determine if anything has changed:
Once you have a solid grasp of the situation, work with the project team to modify the project plan and adjust. As tempting as it is to dive right in and start fixing things, it can land you and the team right back where you started.
Find Your Focus
Ask the team and stakeholders about the project’s biggest blocker and tackle it first. A focused approach means everyone is working towards the same targeted goal and aren’t being distracted by less significant issues. This will make a big difference and provide a faster win for your team and key stakeholders. It’s important you don’t try to fix everything at once. Instead, work with the project sponsor to determine if they care most about timeline, budget, or scope. Knowing this information will help guide your decisions and allow you to create a focused plan.
Position yourself as the project manager who will get things back on the rails and be someone the team can depend on. Little things like showing up early to meetings, being prepared with an agenda and always sending out notes after the meeting make a big impact. Be sure to meet with the project sponsor and leadership frequently with status updates. Tell them exactly what’s happening and what your plan is to get back on track.
The team you’re working with may have had a negative experience with the project up until this point or they may be hesitant to work with someone new. The sooner you can build trust with the new team, the easier it will be to move forward.
Ask for Advice
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. A mentor, fellow project manager or an experienced consultant can be an invaluable asset to guide you through these situations.
Here at Pivotal Consulting, our best practice project managers can rescue and lead business & technology projects of any size or scale, on time and on budget. We drive exceptional results utilizing the ideal project management methodology and PPM tools. Our leaders manage and execute:
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5 Reasons Most Technology Projects Fail
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