Back from Red Presentation: Recovering Failing Projects

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Estimates for the annual cost of project failure are as high as two trillion dollars a year. The rates for projects being at risk are in the 60-70% range, and a quarter of all project's problems are so bad they are simply canceled prior completion. Preferably, all projects will run according to plan. However, moving from a 60% failure rate to 0% is unrealistic. First, organizations must understand what it is that makes their projects fail. Reasons range from methodology to human failure to poorly understood concepts to scope creep. Analyzing projects as systems uncovers all the factors that can contribute to failure.

Back From Red: Recovering Failing Projects describes the key elements in recovering red projects. It is based on the process developed while recovering dozens of projects. It covers:

  • The prerequisites for a recovery: The steering committee's responsibilities in realizing there is a problem to be solved.
  • The four-step process to recover a project:
    • Audit: The unbiased acquisition of data about the people and the project.
    • Analysis: Analyzing the data to determine root causes of problems and developing the new project plan.
    • Negotiation: Arriving at an acceptable solution for both the supplier and the customer.
    • Execute: Implementing the plan and corrective actions.
  • The major ways to keep projects from failing.

The recovery process focuses on the human factors for project failure. In other words, the work one must do in dealing with the red project, the dynamics of the team, stakeholders, and executives. Management style and technique are very important in the recovery, therefore multiple tips will be provided on being an effective leader. It also discusses the role of technology and the methodology in the failure. There are numerous case studies drawn from a variety of projects to reinforce the concepts presented.

At the end of the presentation the attendee will understand the steps of a recovery process, the responsibilities of the people involved and the requirement for realization that there is a problem.

This is a one-hour presentation and part of the Back From Red Lecture Series on project recovery.

Here is a taste of this presentation:


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