Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon
Adobe PDF icon

Resurrecting the Failed Project - Part 2

~ By Brad Egeland

A green road sign reading: Second Chance

In Part 1 of this two part series I began to discuss the concept of getting a second chance on a failed project from a client gracious enough to come back to your organisation to give their project another try after already experiencing a failure or complete work stoppage. It doesn't happen often, so you have to make sure you make the most of that second chance. I have done this twice and generally used a set of four major steps to get restarted. In Part 1, I covered the first of those steps…the customer introduction and knowledge transfer. Here are my remaining three steps:

New Team Assembly and Knowledge Transfer

My team was completely new to the project - as was I - so we had lots to discuss and lots of knowledge transfer that needed to take place. First, I offloaded everything I had received from the customer to my new team and gave them a few days to familiarise themselves with the materials. I then brought them back together to discuss the project, necessary action items, and key dates, tasks, and milestones that we all thought needed to be built into the revised project schedule. I had to make sure we were all on the same page because as we started to meet regularly with the customer we knew that everything - and I mean everything - we did had to give the customer confidence…not any causes for concern. Preparation was very important.

Project Schedule Revision

I abandoned the idea of just adding on to the old schedule. It was a mess for both projects I was resurrecting and what was done was done. Some things had actually been accomplished and paid for so those were complete. What I cared about and wanted my team and the customers to focus on was what we had ahead of us. So that's what I built into the schedule…the tasks that lay before us. I then took that to the team and eventually to the customer to get some feedback from both sides as I worked it into a final version that we could move forward with.

Modified Project Kick-off

Finally, we had a modified project kick-off meeting. Nothing big, nothing very formal. But it was a chance for us to once again discuss next steps, assumptions, risks, issues and lessons learned, and to review the project schedule so we all left on the same page and ready for the next phases and the next deliverables we would be focused on.

This step is critical…because while it's not a formal kick-off meeting you have to remember you're dealing with an organisation that somehow decided to give your organisation a second chance. That's big. It can't be taken lightly. So, just like a formal kick-off meeting, this is your chance as the project manager to really instil confidence in the team and the customer and get the project re-kicked off on a high note. I guarantee you there won't be a third chance.

Summary

How about our readers? Have any of you been called upon to resurrect a failed project? If so, what steps did you go through to connect with the customer, get the proper knowledge transfer and get your team ready to kick-off this new/old project once again? And, if you're feeling really bold, maybe you can tell us how it turned out. Personally, I went 1 for 2. One project just wasn't meant to be I guess. It wasn't due to failure from me or my team and our customer realised it. It was a difficult implementation and our solution wasn't ever able to match up to our customer's true need and their data needs in their environment. We tried…and we got very close, but one was unsuccessful. Thankfully, though, the other did roll out successfully and that client came back to our organisation for future project needs.


Advertisement


Comments

Be the first to comment on this article.

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
What is the fifth month of the year?
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Top 10 Qualities of an Excellent Manager

The word excellent on a virtual interface with a businessman standing behind it

What are the most important qualities of an excellent manager that allows them to tap into talents and resources in order to support and bring out the best in others.

Rolling Wave Planning

Blue rolling wave

What is rolling wave planning and how does it affect the critical chain? This article by John Goodpasture provides a detailed explanation.

How to Avoid Project Burnout

Exhausted businessman resting on a pile of paperwork with tongue hanging out from overwork

Resources on projects can be susceptible to burning out before the project finishes. Here are a few ideas to prevent burnout in project teams.

Introduction to Scrum

Rugby scrum in a big push

Scrum is one of the simplest agile methodologies and is proven to be highly effective for software development and more general product development.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Pani Tararo commented on…
SMART Goals
- Sat 22 April 12:58am

Cheryl commented on…
The Role of the Project Manager
- Thu 20 April 2:36pm

Dr. Nishikant Bohra commented on…
Who is the Project Manager?
- Thu 20 April 8:00am

Latest tweets

General Project Management • Advice needed https://t.co/U13hM1ZzWn #projectsmart #pmot about 21 hours ago

General Project Management • Earned Value Management https://t.co/nPmCyMEAl0 #projectsmart #pmot about 6 days ago

General Project Management • Techniques and Methods for Managing Project Portfolio https://t.co/yhvLP4cTUJ #projectsmart #pmot about 9 days ago